[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Turkey and NATO
NATO would remain vulnerable without Turkey. “Despite all the sacrifices Turkey has made, its sole request from NATO is to abide by international law, treaties, and practices,” says Melih Altınok, contending that President Erdoğan was likely to raise the issue of the YPG at NATO's seventieth-anniversary summit week.
The timing of Turkey’s blockage in NATO. Turkey was also likely to refuse to back a NATO defense plan for the Baltics and Poland if the West would refuse support against the YPG, according to Barçın Yinanç. "Western opinion leaders should think about the reasons why Turkey felt the need to use its nuisance value. Could it also be because it was left no option by its allies, which remained indifferent to its repeated calls on its security concerns no matter how inappropriately they were voiced?”
Save Turkey-NATO ties, stop further damage. “It can be safely said that a NATO without Turkey is a NATO that is less secure, and a Turkey outside of NATO is a Turkey less powerful. In other words, it is true that this is a win-win situation for both sides,” contends Nagehan Alçı.
Is there room for Turkey in NATO's future? “NATO needs to reassess its strategic mission and take into consideration Turkey's security concerns,” argues Burhanettin Duran.
How NATO can punish Turkey. Formal NATO sanctions would play into the hands of Russia. “What is in the cards is a policy of ‘containment’ of Turkey in some of NATO’s most sensitive activities,” argues Marc Pierini.
Should Turkey leave NATO? “Can we simply get rid of a formidable military and political force, or shall we sit at the table and discuss the finalities of NATO, be it in northern Syria, the Baltic Sea or the Sahel?” Emre Gönen asks.
Turkey agrees to back Nato plan for Baltic states and Poland. Nato chief says Ankara has dropped opposition to a NATO plan as the London summit draws to a close.
Turkey and the US: State of the Crisis
Why Does Trump Keep Pardoning Turkey? A Thanksgiving pun leads into Steven A. Cook's opinion on Politico. According to the author, “there are people in the foreign policy community—in and outside government—who bend over backward for Turkey, arguing it is an important US ally in the region.” President Trump, he argues, does not resist them anymore.
Freedom of the Press
Tough times for media in Turkey. Murat Yetkin comments on a recent interview that Erdoğan’s spokesman İbrahim Kalın gave to Tim Sebastian. “I was jealous of my journalist colleague,” he writes, adding that if a Turkish journalist would have tried to ask the tough questions he asked Kalın, consequences would have been dire.
A New Political Party
Ruling party rebel Babacan could end Erdoğan's government. Ergun Babahan writes, “if you believe that the reason behind Turkey's current problems is Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his AKP, then Babacan's movement is one to be reckoned with.” According to him the former deputy prime minister, now about to launch his own political movement, has the power to end Erdoğan’s era.
Ali Babacan and positive agenda. Can Selçuki notices how Babacan intentions seem rooted in a “passionate defense of a ‘positive agenda’. His movement’s political discourse appears to be based on policymaking rather than entering the relentless political bickering that dominates Turkish political scene for more than a decade.”
A New Political Party
Babacan'ın partisinin AKP'den farkı ne? Mehmet Tezkan asks how will Babacan cope with his rivals, especially with Erdoğan, and expresses doubts about the chances of his party.
İmamoğlu'nun heyecanı, Babacan'ın çalışkanlığı iktidara alternatif ittifak ortaya çıkartabilir. Murat Sabuncu contends that Babacan’s political party will end up in an alliance with the CHP, the main opposition party. He argues that if the solution-oriented Babacan will team up with a CHP that can count on the mass-appeal of Istanbul mayor, İmamoğlu, for whom he foresees a bigger political role, the opposition might put up a real fight against the AKP-MHP coalition.
Ali Babacan çok insafsızdı… The new parties led by former AKP members Davutoğlu and Babacan can just help the opposition, Hüseyin Gülerce agrees. The columnist accuses Babacan, who recently gave his first tv interview, of sparing accusation to the “enemies of Turkey,” while de facto accusing Erdoğan of Turkey’s problems.
Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan Ali Babacan’ı izlediyse acaba ne tür bir reaksiyon vermiştir? Criticizing the former minister turned party leader, Mehmet Barlas argues that Babacan now speaks as if he Erdoğan had no part in his political history.
Ali Babacan'ın en büyük handikabı. Candaş Tolga Işık comments on Babacan’s interview, and wonders if he is well-positioned for a fight in this political climate. “He is right: people do not want a litigious leader anymore. But do they want one that is this ‘calm’? I am not sure.”
Teşekkürler karanlık el! Sayende sığınacağımız bir kapıyı öğrenmiş olduk. Prominent columnist Ahmet Hakan was not especially impressed by Babacan’s tv performance and argues that he might be a great right-hand man, but being a leader is a different kind of business.
Ekrem İmamoğlu mu Mansur Yavaş mı? Columnist Abdulkadir Selvi visited Ankara mayor Mansur Yavaş, who won the municipality to the opposition at the last elections. He argues that his citizens like him, and that going towards the 2023 elections both him and Istanbul mayor İmamoğlu “will make their weight felt in politics.”
Turkey and NATO
NATO’ya cenaze merasimi mi, yeni bir başlangıç mı? Yasin Aktay contends that whether the NATO is at this point “brain dead,” as French President Macron has argued, or not, whatever will happen to the alliance will have “a decisive effect on shaping the world.”
NATO Zirvesi’nde Trump tavizsiz şekilde Türkiye’den yana. The most important question to keep an eye on at the NATO summit, argues Mehmet Barlas, concerns the outcome of Turkey’s stance “against double standards” on questions such as terrorism.
NATO zirvesi ve Türkiye… Another important point not to miss is the Syrian refugee question, writes Mustafa Balbay. “European countries and the US are extremely pleased” with the role Turkey is playing in containing migration towards the West. “And they will do anything possible to keep things as they are.”
Ekonomi Toparlanıp Gitti! Murat Muratoğlu criticizes the government for its positive word on the current economic situation. “Wasn’t the economy doing well anyway? When did it stop?” he asks ironically.
Kanal İstanbul ya da kasten şehir cinayeti. The project to realize an artificial waterway connecting the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara, already discussed in the past, made a comeback to the political agenda. Çiğdem Toker reminds the public of the potential damage that such a project could inflict on the environment and on Istanbul.
Kanal İstanbul’u halka sorun. It is impossible to claim that the Kanal Istanbul project will meet any need of those who live in Istanbul, according to İbrahim Kiras. The society, he argues, will not accept it, nor is especially excited about it.
Neyle yapacaklar Kanal İstanbul’u. Murat Muratoğlu warns that neither the financing model that the government plans to use, nor where the money for the project will be found is very clear.
Kanal İstanbul milli mi olacak Çinli mi? Chinese companies are interested in the project, writes Deniz Zeyrek, warning that if Kanal Istanbul will be constructed with Chinese capitals, a waterway in Turkish territory will end up being managed by Beijing for a long period of time.
Kanal Meselesi. Melih Altınok criticizes those who oppose the construction of the canal, arguing that they have put forward very little except for slogans.
The Turkey-Libya Agreement
Türkiye-Libya Mutabakatı ve Doğu Akdeniz. An agreement between Turkey and Libya fixing new maritime borders between the two countries was contested by the Greek government for its implications in the area. Zekeriya Kurşun argues that it is wrong to look at what is unfolding as just relevant for Turkey-Greece relations and that the picture includes players such as the EU and “those powers trying to encircle Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
Libya ile Doğu Akdeniz anlaşması. According to Selçuk Türkyılmaz, the agreement reached between Turkey and Lybia should have been “applauded in the name of ‘democracy and security’,” instead of being criticized and condemned.
The First ‘Turkish Emmy’
H. Bilginer’in çıtası. While the country was focused on the spat between the governing party and the opposition, “Haluk Bilginer raised the level of the discussion with the important trophy he won,” writes Güneri Cıvaoğlu, complimenting the actor on his Emmy.
Published on Jadaliyya
Reem Abou-El-Fadl, Foreign Policy as Nation Making: Turkey and Egypt in the Cold War (New Texts Out Now)
Ahmet T. Kuru, Islam, Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment: A Global and Historical Comparison (New Texts Out Now)
Statements: Several Opposition Groups in Turkey Condemn Turkish Military Campaign in Northeast Syria