[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 email@example.com.]
NATO Summit, the Day After
Both NATO and France deserve better. “Despite the price it has paid on behalf of the EU, NATO and the entire world, Turkey has still received nothing in the way of support. France's opposition to Turkey's attempts to create a safe zone free of terrorist groups in northern Syria for the return of refugees is just the latest example of this,” writes Melih Altınok, commenting on last week’s NATO Summit.
Turkey's relations with the West: A quest for autonomy. Muhittin Ataman evaluates the state of the relations between Turkey and Nato, arguing that “Western countries should accept the new role that Turkey is determined to play in its neighborhood and take Turkish security concerns into account. On the other hand, Turkey needs to continue its contributions to NATO operations and challenge the threats emanating from the Middle East.”
Who benefits from a NATO without Turkey? According to Merve Şebnem Oruç, Turkey cannot be blamed for evaluating options different from NATO. “Turkey's policies to protect itself and its interests might upset its NATO allies, but what should it do after being isolated or abandoned again and again?"
NATO and Erdoğan: What did he want, what did he get? Murat Yetkin assesses Turkey’s performance at the recent summit. “If the main issue was the YPG/PKK for Turkey, there is no solution for the time being. Nor is there any reference to the issue of migrants returning to Syria. But whether maintaining the current uncertainty in the world’s current state of affairs is also a success, is up for debate.”
Turkey, the West, and Russia
Turkey seeks to refresh NATO ties to balance Russia. According to Metin Gurcan, despite the fact that Turkey did not get all that it wanted from the London NATO summit, “even an incomplete outcome meets its purpose of balancing ties with Russia by refreshing ties with NATO.”
Erdogan in NATO: Russia’s ‘Trojan horse’? Tackling the same issue, Cengiz Candar writes that “Erdogan may not succeed in this endeavor. Indeed, his insistence on the S-400 deal and his going further in relations with Moscow seems more and more to confirm the thesis that he is a ‘Russian Trojan horse in NATO’ or a ‘troublemaker,’ albeit one who could not get what he wants.”
New Turkey versus old clichés. “The understanding foreigners have of Turkey and whether or not anything can be done to improve their understanding are age-old questions. Whatever the Turkish government does and however bad things gets, foreign audiences will be inclined to regard Turkey as a “land of contradictions” and will always expect it to take a positive turn eventually,” argues Nicholas Danforth.
Why is Ankara’s economy narrative losing credibility? “Turkey is supposedly an open market economy, but Ankara has been nudging market players under the table to the point that the market is ‘open’ only in theory,” Uğur Gürses contends.
Parliament and President
Is the Turkish parliament obsolete? Turkish parliament recently approved a bill postponing the requirement for filtration in thermal power plants, enraging the opposition. The bill was later vetoed by President Erdoğan. Taking what happened as an example, Can Selçuki wonders whether the Turkish parliament has just become obsolete.
Erdoğan’s AKP in trouble as Davutoğlu and Babacan move on. President Erdoğan recently laid accusations against his former allies, busy in preparations to launch two new political parties. According to Murat Yetkin, the president's reaction "points to the fact that Davutoğlu and Babacan have been detected to spark the interest of certain groups within the AKP’s voter base (such as the Kurdish voters and the urban conservatives)."
Erdogan, Davutoglu, and the Kurdish Vote in Turkey. “It appears that Davutoglu, in particular, may see the Turkish-Kurdish vote as a potential demographic for support, especially given his public rejection of the government’s decision to remove the HDP mayors as a clear erosion of democracy,” comments Jiwan Soz.
Prisoners and Human Rights
Demirtaş’s health and the tragedy of sick prisoners. News of HDP former co-chair Demirtaş losing consciousness in prison, and of first aid being delayed, emerged last week. “The severe violations of sick prisoners rights are against the law and contradict with international agreements Turkey partakes in. Human right advocates accuse the government of being unwilling to address these problems and point to the The European Council, which remains silent,” writes Mehveş Evin.
Femicides in Turkey
Women’s' groups welcome conviction for student's murder. A Turkish court has sentenced two men to prison for the rape and murder of Şule Çet, a 23-year-old university student. “The killing was made to look like a suicide until women from all over the country, regardless of their political point views, showed up in Ankara to prevent that,” lawyer Hulya Gulbahar comments.
Ankara turns a blind eye to femicide. According to Daniel Bellut and Burcu Karakas, “even if members of the government are now reacting with shock to the murder of Ceren Özdemir, no political will to combat violence against women in any sustained way is discernible.”
Turkish women have a tough road ahead. “Last Sunday, women gathered in one of the Istanbul’s busy centers, Kadıköy. The police jumped in and dispersed the crowd. One wonders why on earth the police would not let women raise their voices against violence against women. This seems to be the new normal,” Nevşin Mengü writes.
Femicides in Turkey
Kadından beklentiniz sessizce ölmesi ve ölürken de vücut hatlarını belli etmeyen kıyafetler giymesi midir? Armed with data about the number of women killed in femicide cases in November, Tuğçe Tatari asks whether what is expected from women is to “die in silence and to do so while wearing garments that do not reveal their bodies.”
Kadın cinayetleri vaka-i adiyeye dönüşmüşse. Hasan Öztürk argues that ‘the first responsible’ for the number of femicides in Turkey is the television, perpetuating a culture where male characters are violent and armed, while women are either beautiful and weak or scheming and intriguing.
Hadi artık! “The idea that men kill women because they are of the opposite sex” is a misdiagnosis of the problem, says Melih Altinok. According to the columnist, not looking at the motivations case by case delays a solution to the issue.
Ceren Özdemir nasıl öldürüldü? A man who had already been convicted, and managed to escape from prison, killed 20-year-old student Ceren Özdemir. Taha Akyol writes that the only reason why he was in an open prison is that, after the attempted coup d'etat, the government transferred many prisoners to less secure prisons, to make space for large-scale arrests.
Kadın cinayetlerinde iyi hâl ve tahrik indirimi kaldırılmalı. Perpetrators of femicides should not be rewarded for good conduct, nor they should be able to claim that they were provoked, argues Fikret Bila.
Kadın cinayetlerini önlemenin tek çaresi idamdır. Bülent Orakoğlu suggests that the only way to prevent femicides is the threat of execution.
Kavala’ya hemen özgürlük. The European Court of Human Rights called for the immediate release of Turkish philanthropist Osman Kavala, who has already spent more than 700 days in jail. Yalçın Doğan reminds the public that there is no evidence against him, but also that in the past Turkey has already failed to respect ECHR decisions.
Davutoğlu’s New Party and Istanbul Şehir University
Yeni partinin ismi ve amblemi. On Thursday, columnist Abdulkadir Selvi wrote that it will soon become clear what the name and logo of a new party will be. The party will be led by former FM and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.
Şehir Üniversitesi ve siyasetin kodları! Fuat Bol links the controversy between Istanbul Şehir University and the majority state-owned Halkbank with the news that Davutoğlu, among the founders of the university, is about to launch a new party. The columnist asks whether “these are those who will ask for votes to the people.”
Şehir Üniversitesi’nde saklanan gerçekler. Davutoğlu is about to go public with the name and aim of his new party, but instead of making the news because of the policies he plans to support, he does because of the controversy over Istanbul Şehir, Mahmut Övür argues.
Şehir’e daha fazla kötülük yapmayın. “No students who just wants to get his diploma should be a tool for your political games,” Hilâl Kaplan writes.
Şehir Üniversitesi. Some of the former AK Parti members “dared to try and put together an opposition party,” writes Murat Belge, contending that they had to expect an answer from Erdoğan and that the controversy over Istanbul Şehir is just a part of this answer.
Murat Muratoğlu: Beraber yürümemiş miydiniz siz o yollarda? Murat Muratoğlu comments on the ‘fraud’ accusations that Erdoğan laid against his former allies in speaking of the Istanbul Şehir controversy. “Didn’t it happen during the AK Parti period? Or another government was formed in the meantime without us knowing?”
Bir kahin çıkıp Gül’e, Davutoğlu’na, Babacan’a deseydi ki… “For the first time in our political history, a party leader accuses his former companions of fraud,” argues Elif Çakır. According to the columnist, the AK Parti is about to sacrifice one of the most qualified universities in the country for political gains.
Meclis kulisinde konuşulanlar. “Davutoğlu’s new political home is a stillborn party,” reports Abdulkadir Selvi, referring on what AK Parti deputies are saying about the former PM.
Anketler ne diyor, kararsızlar partisi kaçıncı sıraya yükseldi? In the last few weeks, more than one party hinted at the possibility for Turkey to go to early elections. Columnist Abdulkadir Selvi takes a look at the latest polls: as of now, 33% of the electorate is uncertain about whom to vote for.
PKK erken seçim istiyor! Ersin Ramoğlu contends that ‘someone wants Turkey to end up in the same chaos that is engulfing Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon.’ This, according to the columnist, is the reason why Turkey’s opposition parties are calling for early elections.
NATO Summit, the Day After
Zirve’nin ardından. Despite all the tension, it was not plausible for the NATO Summit to lead to a major crisis or changes, Hasan Basri Yalçın writes. “We can expect support against terrorism, but whether it comes or not, Turkey will continue to stay under the NATO umbrella.”
Batı ile ilişkilerin yeni dinamiği. According to Burhanettin Duran, president Erdoğan seemed comfortable in London because “he understands that the traditional notion of ‘the Western alliance’ is no longer valid”. Turkey, he adds, will continue to monitor the disagreement between Western allies.
Kürt tehdidi yetmedi, NATO müdahalesi tehdidi verelim! “The Kurdish threat is no longer enough. They needed another threat: a NATO intervention,” argues Oya Baydar, commenting on the words of a pro-government columnist, and reminding the public that Turkish leftists fought against NATO and imperialism for the past 60-70 years, while the right accused them of treason.
Suudi Veliahtı Kaşıkçı cinayetini unutturmak için saçma sapan reformlar yapıyor. According to Mehmet Barlas, Saudi Arabia decided to end gender segregation in restaurants and will push for more reforms so that the world will forget the murder of journalist Jamal Kashoggi.
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