[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, the United States, and the Armenian Genocide
Trump must stop Congress from ending Turkey-US relationship. “The policymakers in Washington fail to understand that their attempts to punish Turkey for allegedly aligning with Russia only serves to push the Turks closer to Moscow,” Burhanettin Duran argues.
U.S.-Turkey: on a collision course at full speed. “At the moment, the state of Turkish-American relations looks like two train wagons going opposite directions on the same railway, heading each other at full speed,” Murat Yetkin writes, in an analysis of recent developments in bilateral relations.
Senate recognizes Armenian genocide in latest black eye for Turkey. The US Senate recognized on Thursday the Ottoman Empire’s massacre of more than one million of Armenians as a genocide.
Turkey’s historical bias boosts Armenian Genocide research. The stance the Turkish government adopted on the matter ironically did good to scholarly research on the Armenian Genocide, an article on Ahval argues. According to associate professor Ryan Gingeras, “it certainly helped shape the field, helped shape the sensitivity with which historians go about it. They have to know what they’re talking about, they have to be somewhat conscientious about sources and where their research fits within the broader framework of the study of the Ottoman Empire and especially this period of time.”
Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean
With US ties on verge of total collapse, Turks set eyes on Libya. Several questions are looming regarding the military agreement between Turkey and Libya, according to Burhanettin Duran. Yet one thing is sure: “Libya will be on Turkey's busy foreign policy agenda in 2020.”
Turkey emerges as a real naval power. The recent deal between Turkey and the UN-backed Libyan government, and the developments regarding the East Mediterranean “can be considered a turning point in Turkish history,” and position the country as a real naval power, Muhittin Ataman contends.
NATO and Turkey
NATO should remember its raison d'être. “Today's NATO lacks effective policy to restore a mutual understanding and build trust between its own members and also face the threats jeopardizing all of them,” Valeria Giannotta argues.
Turkey and the UK
Turkey, UK likely to come closer after Brexit. According to Serkan Demirtaş, in the post-Brexit era Turkey will be one of United Kingdom’s new allies. “Already enjoying good ties and a sound dialogue, these two non-EU countries on the northeastern and southeastern corners of the European continent would create a new political framework.”
Is Erdoğan getting ready for snap elections in 2020? Despite voices hinting at the possibility of early elections, the Turkish government seems far from embracing the idea. Yet, according to Mehveş Evin, “the only way for the AKP-MHP alliance and especially for Erdoğan to gain some legitimacy seems to plot another election and refresh confidence in his leadership across the world.”
The next Turkish elections won’t be between parties, but fronts. Early or “timely,” the next elections will be a clash among fronts, according to an analysis by Murat Yetkin. “One front asks to preserve the current system where the president holds all the authority. On the other hand, there are parties in favor of reverting to an improved parliamentary system. Their common denominator will be to make sure Erdoğan won’t get elected.”
Davutoğlu’s New Party
The Game is on: Erdoğan’s strategy against new parties. According to Can Selçuki, the strategy that Erdoğan is using to discredit Ahmet Davutoğlu and Ali Babacan, former allies and now challenging the AK Parti, might backfire. “For outsiders, this looks like a typical quarrel of clientelist politics for which AK Party has been increasingly criticized for,” he writes, arguing that it would have been easier to criticize them for the economy and the policy vis à vis Syria. Babacan and Davutoğlu were responsible for both.
Davutoğlu: Great expectations and doomed reputation. “Davutoğlu’s appeal to return to the real AKP may not be a realistic prospect for the Turkish electorate after experiencing its gradual corruption over the past two decades,” Zafer Yörük argues.
Turkey’s political map is shifting. Is the country ready to shake off Erdogan’s reign? “Davutoglu is a heavyweight in conservative circles, and his challenge to Erdogan is significant in tipping the balance further in favor of the opposition forces calling for an end to Turkey’s authoritarian nightmare,” Aslı Aydıntaşbaş writes.
Femicides in Turkey
İçişleri Bakanı Soylu danslı eyleme ne diyor. Commenting on the police intervention against women protesting against femicides in Turkey, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu contended in an interview that the goal of those protesting was rather to “erode the State,” and defined the demonstrators as “marginal groups.”
Asıl bu durum marjinal. What is marginal, contends Can Ataklı, commenting on a picture that widely circulated after the protest, “is that a single woman is taken into custody by 20-25 police officers.”
“AYM’nin bypass edilmesi Kavala kararından çok daha önemli bir sonuç doğurur.” Elif Çakır writes that she would have liked for the Supreme Court to order the immediate release of Turkish philanthropist Osman Kavala. The columnist recalled how in the past Erdoğan presented the Court as the Turkish version of the European Court of Human Rights, which has recently ordered the release of Kavala.
AİHM, Anayasa Mahkemesi’ni nasıl açığa düşürdü? Sedat Ergin makes a similar point, reminding the public of how the Supreme Court argued that Kavala’s rights had not been infringed upon despite his prolonged imprisonment pending trial.
Erdoğan'dan İmamoğlu'na Kanal İstanbul yanıtı: Sen otur işine bak. Replying to a statement on the Kanal Istanbul project, President Erdoğan told Istanbul major İmamoğlu to “mind his own business.”
Kanal İstanbul’un stratejik değeri. The Kanal Istanbul project is a “state project that can open a new page in terms of Turkey’s sovereign rights, and also ensure security,” Hasan Basri Yalçın comments, arguing that because of the Montreux convention Turkey cannot exercise full sovereignty over the Straits.
Montrö’yü bir kâğıt parçası sanma, tanı! Mustafa Balbay warns the government. “Do not think that the Montreux convention and the Lausanne Treaty are just a piece of paper.”
Kanal hayali Kanuni döneminden beri var. Commenting that the issue of the construction of Kanal Istanbul is still on the agenda, Erhan Afyoncu recalls how the construction of a canal linking the Black and Marmara seas was already hypothesized in Ottoman times.
Ziraat Bankası'nın ayıbı Simit Sarayı. While it does not grant a loan to the metropolitan municipalities governed by the opposition, Ziraat Bank is ready to save from its debts Simit Sarayı, a food chain owned by people linked to Erdoğan’s circle, Murat Muratoğlu comments. State banks including Ziraat refused to finance municipal infrastructure projects in Istanbul, the Turkish press recently reported, leading to major İmamoğlu seeking for help abroad.
Tank Palet Fabrikası Simit Sarayı'ndan daha mı değersiz? Aytunç Erkin wonders whether Ziraat Bank, ready to assist Simit Sarayı, could have not done the same for a tank and pallet factory privatized and turned over to the Turkish-Qatari vehicle manufacturer BMC.
Davutoğlu’s New Party
Adı belli oldu. The name of former PM Davutoğlu’s new party is now official, Fatih Altaylı announced: Gelecek Partisi.
Davutoğlu-Babacan ve tavşan parti. “The CHP is watching the quarrel between the AK Parti and Davutoğlu and rubbing its hands,” Mahmut Övür writes, commenting on the ongoing struggle over the future of Istanbul Şehir University and its political meaning. Yet, according to the columnist, “the ones rejoicing are Babacan and his people.” According to Övür, the quarrel will be exploited for political gains by the former FM, also about to launch his own party.
Davutoğlu koçbaşı mı? Hüseyin Gülerce wonders whether Davutoğlu’s destiny is to be a “battering ram in the war of attrition against Erdoğan and the AK Parti,” and to ultimately leave space for Ali Babacan. He also asks whether we are witnessing the preparatory steps to make space on the political stage for Babacan on the center-right and for Istanbul major İmamoğlu on the center-left.
14 AK Partili, ziyaretleri ve önerileri. A group of AK Parti politicians, columnist Hande Fırat confirms, has tried to mediate between Erdoğan’s party and the “rebels,” to no avail.
Ölü doğmuş bir parti. Expressing skepticism over the fate of the newly-founded party, Ali Saydam lists some of the issues it will face. Among them: whether to side with the majority coalition or the opposition. If it would choose the second option, he asks, will Davutoğlu’s party be able to coexist with the pro-Kurdish HDP?
Karnından konuşan ‘Demokrasi Havarileri’. A less united Islamist camp is a good thing for the opposition, Güven Gürkan Öztan argues. At the same time, he criticizes some liberal voices praising Davutoğlu’s “bravery,” saying that the new party up until now have not found the courage to say clearly “who is responsible for the issues they identified in Turkey.”
Davutoğlu’nun konuşmasında en çok alkış alan yer… Evaluating the names associated with the new party, Yıldıray Oğur argues that the party is a step forward for the conservative camp when it comes to minorities, but also cautions that “the list of founders seems weak when it comes to Kurdish politicians who will carry this ambitious policy.”
Yaprak Partisi. “It is the first time that we see a party splitting before it is established,” Engin Ardıç argues, commenting on the fact that Davutoğlu and former minister Babacan decided to put together two different parties.
Early Elections and Domestic Politics
Cumhur İttifakı: Meclis’e takılan ters kelepçe! The Turkish constitution has become a tool for conflict, İbrahim Ö. Kaboğlu writes, adding that parties such as “CHP, HDP, and İYİ Parti have the historical responsibility to turn it into a vehicle for social peace.”
Ankara’dan bildiriyorum: Açılmaya hazırlanın! Ayşenur Arslan writes that political circles in Ankara considers the possibility of early elections remote. Nevertheless, “there are ongoing preparations.”
Sıra sana da gelecek Kemal. Commenting on the arrest of the major of Urla, a man of the opposition party CHP accused of being a Gülenist, Ersin Ramoğlu argues that the party leader will share the same fate: “The CHP founded by Atatürk has become the house of FETÖ,” he says, using the acronym the Gülenist organization is now know with in Turkey.
Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean
Krizin yeni adresi; Libya. It is reasonable for Turkey to be interested in the Eastern Mediterranean energy race, Hediye Levent argues, referring to the recent deal between Turkey and the UN-backed Libyan government. “But is it in Turkey’s interest to call ‘friend’ one of two factions still at war?”
Libya’ya asker gönderme meselesi. Turkey should defend its interests in the Eastern Mediterranean not with military force but using diplomatic tools, argues Mehmet Ali Güller, referring to the fact that president Erdoğan has said to be ready to deploy troops in Libya. “We can best secure and protect our interests in the Eastern Mediterranean if we gain allies in the region.”
“Libya’da ne işimiz var?” “The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Israel, and all other countries will descend upon Libya, yet they will look at the step we took to protect our interests as excessive,” Hasan Basri Yalçın writes, referring to opposition leader Kılıçdaroğlu’s comment on the role of Turkey in Libya.
Libya anlaşması bir barış projesine dönüştürülebilir mi? Mehmet Acet wonders if the agreement with Libya could become a project of peace, arguing that the spirit of the agreement is that it is possible to find a solution that would satisfy all the actors interested in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey, the US, and the Armenian Genocide
Amerikan Kongresi’nin yaptırım kararlarının arkasında FETÖ var. Bülent Orakoğlu blames “Armenian, Jewish, Gülenist and PKK/YPG lobbies” for the fact that US senators and members of the House “prefer terrorist organizations to Turkey,” and the Gülenist for the decision of a US Senate committee to approve a sanction bill against Turkey.
Published on Jadaliyya
Yossef Rapoport, Islamic Maps (New Texts Out Now)
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)