[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.]
The Syrian Crisis
Refugees still left in the cold. Arguing that the world is not doing enough to support Turkey’s effort for the Syrian refugees, Güven Sak argues that “it isn’t only our country that is left alone by the world’s indifference, but countless people who must uproot their families and travel to distant lands in the hopes for peaceful and dignified lives.”
Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean
Turkey Pivots to Tripoli: Implications for Libya’s Civil War and U.S. Policy. Soner Cagaptay and Ben Fishman argue that “unless Washington fully backs the German-led initiative to implement a ceasefire and return to peace negotiations, the proxy war in Libya will only escalate. Turkey and Russia—not the United States or its European partners—could be become the arbiters of Libya’s future.”
Turkey’s Mediterranean Challenge - A Step Too Far. “Intervention in Libya is the foundation for a growing expansionist posture, enabled by the Arab Spring and driven by both ideology and economic imperatives.” Ethan Chorin and Wolfgang Pusztai write about the recent developments between Turkey and the UN-backed government in Libya.
Why Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Enver Pasha were in Libya. Criticizing the leader of the opposition party CHP for his words against the possibility for Turkish soldiers to be sent in Libya, İhsan Aktaş argues that “we only need to go back 100 years in history to refresh our memories on the occupation of Libya by Italians and the reason that Mustafa Kemal Pasha and Enver Pasha were involved in Libya.”
Canal Istanbul project casts doubts on Montreux Convention. “Canal Istanbul, the 50-km waterway planned by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, has raised significant objections over its potentially devastating impact on the city’s ecology. It could have an equally profound effect on Turkey’s security and the international agreements that have governed passage through the Bosporus Straits since 1936,” argues Ertuğrul Günay.
Davutoğlu’s New Party
Is the Future Party indeed the future? “The era of parties getting a very large share of votes in Turkey is over,” writes Can Selçuki, according to whom we should not rush to underestimate the chances of the newly founded Future Party.
Mayoral avengers of populism. “Can local governments and municipal leaders counter centralized, majoritarian populist national governments by creating an alternative ‘spaces to breathe’ for politics?” Sezin Öney asks.
Montrö ve Kanal İstanbul. If the Kanal Istanbul project would be realized, writes Taha Akyol, Turkey will find itself once again in the middle of a wrestling match, as it was the case with the 1936 Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits.
Yanılıyorsam özür dilemeye hazırım. Emin Çölaşan argues that the Kanal Istanbul project will lead to the people of Turkey being ‘robbed once again,’ writing that it is already clear who will profit from it.
Kanal İstanbul üzerine üç kritik soru. There are critical questions related to the Kanal Istanbul project, argues Murat Yetkin: if violating the Montreux conventions is a request of the US, if Russian ships will pass from the canal, and if the canal is needed and Turkish people support the project.
Kanal İstanbul’u Süveyş’e benzetmek! Replying to president Erdoğan, who made a comparison between the Kanal Istanbul project and the Suez canal, Mustafa Balbay wonders if Erdoğan knows the history of the Suez canal, “wars included.”
Asrın kanalı. Comparing Kanal Istanbul with other similar canals worldwide, Yılmaz Özdil writes that the Turkish project won’t make the navigation from the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea any shorter and that the project, in his view, makes no sense.
Ziraat'i kim yanılttı? Commenting on the news that Ziraat Bank will not ‘save’ the food company Simit Sarayı, which is going through financial problems, Akif Beki argues that the public deserves to know under what circumstances is a public institution entitled to save a private company.
Istanbul Şehir University
AK Parti’nin ‘dün’ü ile ‘bugün’ü. Commenting on the recent development regarding Istanbul Şehir University, turned over to Marmara University, İbrahim Kiras writes that ‘the best academic institution put together by the conservative part of Turkey’s society is being destroyed by a conservative government, and most conservatives are not speaking out against what is happening.”
CHP and the New Parties
Ana muhalefet partisi CHP sanki bir dış ülke partisi gibi davranmamalıdır. Mehmet Barlas writes the CHP, Turkey’s main opposition party, should stop acting as a party representing foreign interests and constantly opposing the government.
Olmayacak duanın amini. According to Engin Ardıç, there are two options for the future of the opposition: one is Istanbul major İmamoğlu, as the CHP party candidate. The second is former president Abdullah Gül, as the joint presidential candidate of the coalition. In any case, he argues, Erdoğan will end up winning again.
Takviye güç. Rauf Tamer contends that CHP is the political actor that will profit the most from Turkey’s new parties. “Without shifting to the right, the CHP will manage to get closer to those who vote for right wing parties,” he argues.
CHP and the Bribery Case
Rüşvet demeyelim, okul diyelim. Former Ankara deputy Sinan Aygün has filed charges against Ankara mayor Mansur Yavaş, contending that the latter requested bribes to greenlight construction projects. Hilâl Kaplan comments that “if the CHP was not the country’s main opposition, it would be a fun party.”
CHP rüşveti de rakıyı da sever. Ersin Ramoğlu comments that CHP issues with briberies are not confined to the capital, arguing that cities like Mersin and Adana went through similar problems.
The Syrian Crisis
Suriyeli mültecilerin çoğu dönmeyecek... O halde ne yapmalı. Hasan Öztürk writes that at least half of the Syrians currently hosted in Turkey will not return home in the future, adding that the number of Syrian children born in Turkey is growing. Turkey, he argues, needs to develop projects to grant them a more inclusive future.
Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean
Libya ikinci Suriye olmamalı. Murat Yetkin argues that Turkey should avoid taking sides in the Libyan issue, in order to prevent security risks and a new wave of migrants. Ankara, he writes, should rather focus on diplomacy.
‘Başını belaya sokma’da bu kadar hevesli başka bir hükümet var mı? The main purpose of the Turkish administration is to establish a military base in Africa, argues İhsan Çaralan, commenting that ‘there is no other government so eager to get into trouble.”
Yeni bölgesel jeopolitiğin habercisi: Libya. As a reaction to Turkey, we will “probably witness an increase in the regional and international acceptance and legitimacy of Haftar,” Galip Dalay argues.
CHP’nin onulmaz körlüğü. Burhanettin Duran accuses the opposition party CHP of blindness because of the party’s comments against the new developments between the Turkish government and Libya’s internationally recognized government.
Mister Kemal, neden “Libya’da ne işimiz var?” diyor! Tamer Korkmaz argues that the CHP criticizes the government, but it has no problem with Haftar, “who is under the wing of the CIA.” “The fact that he is Uncle Sam’s terrorist doesn’t make them uncomfortable at all.”
Yine yanıldınız beyefendi. Emin Çölaşan criticizes president Erdoğan, accusing him of instrumentalizing the figure of Mustafa Kemal to justify recent decisions regarding Libya. “On most issues, he overlooks Atatürk, but he remembers him when it comes to Libya.”
Published on Jadaliyya
Ussama Makdisi, Age of Coexistence: The Ecumenical Frame and the Making of the Modern Arab World (New Texts Out Now)
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)