[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 the Libyan Crisis
Turkish voters – and Putin – will restrain Erdogan’s Libya ambitions. A “pushback from the Turkish electorate – and Russian President Vladimir Putin – is likely to restrain [Erdoğan’s] military ambitions overseas,” write Aykan Erdemir and Brenna Knippen.
Anti-Turkey alliance grows as Ankara sends troops to Libya. Egypt is seeking to build international pressure against Ankara's military moves in Libya, argues Ahmed Gomaa, who talked to Egyptian diplomats and analysts.
As Powers Jostle for Influence in Libya, Europe Finally Pays Attention. “Europe has suddenly woken to the implications of a new Great Game, this time in North Africa, that is rapidly destabilizing its backyard. Belatedly, the Continent is paying attention,” write Steven Erlanger and Matina Stevis-Gridneff, commenting on the recent involvement of Russia and Turkey in the crisis.
Compelling the world toward diplomacy in Libya. “President Erdoğan is forcing the world into 'diplomacy' in Libya by overcoming deep differences, as he did with Russia in Syria,” contends Hilâl Kaplan.
Erdoğan: Road to peace in Libya goes through Turkey. “Keeping in mind that Europe is less interested in providing military support to Libya, the obvious choice is to work with Turkey, which has already promised military assistance,” President Erdoğan wrote in an editorial on Politico before the Berlin Summit.
Turkey’s Libya strategy: cure has become worse than disease. “The final communique that the foreign powers agreed on during the conference are conflicting with Ankara’s interests and military plans,” argues Fehim Taştekin.
Turkey, Syria, and Russia
How will Turkey respond to Assad’s Idlib offensive? “It’s perhaps time for Ankara to develop a new strategy to avoid a new refugee inflow and fresh security concerns on its border. A military response to the regime’s assaults will only escalate the violence and will further complicate the situation in the field,” writes Serkan Demirtaş.
Erdoğan and Putin: Friends for life? “The deeper, structural dimension of the Putin-Erdoğan rapprochement probably indicates that the Russian experience of transition to post-Soviet capitalism provides the blueprint for post-Kemalist Turkey,” argues Zafer Yörük.
Turkey’s foreign policy forays amount to a fiasco. “Every venture led by Erdoğan has benefited Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Amid this circle of fire, Turkey can hardly take on a potent role to push for peace. For the destructive choices it has made in recent years have taken their toll on constructive diplomacy,” writes Fehim Taştekin.
Kanal Istanbul gets ministry nod on environment. The Environment and Urbanization Ministry approved the report on the impact of Turkey's planned new waterway.
In Turkey, a Battle Over Infrastructure Could Shape the Next Presidential Race. “The debate over the Istanbul Canal infrastructure project has the potential to turn into an existential one between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu,” says Can Selcuki, arguing that it will likely shape the next presidential elections.
The politics of polarization are losing ground in Turkey. Turkish voters demand a new way of doing politics, argues Can Selçuki, according to whom “the existing actors could reinvent themselves. Alternatively, new actors could enter the political arena and offer their narrative. It is no coincidence new actors are emerging on all sides of the political spectrum.”
Turkey's domestic politics and emerging political parties. “The majority of Turkish voters still support the leadership of President Erdoğan and the AK Party government. If the AK Party succeeds in reinterpreting these political discussions appropriately, its political life span will be prolonged,” argues İhsan Aktaş.
The Opposition and the Kurds
A new era with new difficulties for the HDP. “One task for the HDP is keeping the traditional voter base attached to them while being an active part of the new period that lies ahead for Turkish politics,” writes Nevşin Mengü, reporting on how some among the voters are “feeling disappointed and left behind by the HDP.”
Turkey and Its Minorities
I am Father Aho’s witness. I bear witness to the Syriac people. The recent arrest of Father Aho, a Syriac priest in Nusaybin, accused of aiding and abetting a terrorist group, “is nothing more than a tactic to intimidate Syriacs who were forced to flee to Europe and now want to return,” argues Nurcan Baysal.
The Changing Colors of Istanbul. Orhan Pamuk walks through his city, photographing its streets at night. He discovers new light and new realities.
Turkey’s Foreign Policy
CHP ne öneriyor? Hasan Basri Yalçın accuses the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) of criticizing the country moves without having “a meaningful foreign policy perspective.”
Turkey and the Libyan Crisis
Şimdi de Libya macerası. “Are we waiting for the funerals of the martyrs who will come from Libya as they did from Syria?” asks Emin Çölaşan. The columnist criticizes Turkish foreign policy, arguing that the country might soon have to contend with another crisis with important domestic repercussions for Turkey.
Emevi Camii tutkusu bitti, ‘Asrika’ düşü başladı. “In addition to shipping weapons [to Libya], Turkey is also sending jihadist without feeling the need to hide this,” contends Erk Acarer.
Berlin zirvesine giderken. “To find a compromise on the future of Libya between the countries involved in this country is a very difficult matter,” Burhanettin Duran predicted on the eve of the Berlin Summit.
Korsan General Hafter akıllı olsaydı Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan’ı anlamaya çalışırdı. “If the ‘pirate’ General Haftar was smart, he would have tried to understand president Erdoğan,” Mehmet Barlas wrote, commenting on the result of the Berlin Summit, and arguing that any “pirate” should carefully assess the assassination of Qassem Soleimani.
Türkiye Libya sonucundan memnun ama Erdoğan Berlin’den neden erken ayrıldı? The Berlin Summit, according to Murat Yetkin, has made the military option discussed in Turkey in the past few weeks less and less probable.
Berlin konferansından çözüm çıktı mı? “No concrete result came from the Berlin Summit,” writes Abdulkadir Selvi, arguing that Turkey will have to get used to live with the Libyan problem for a long time.
Berlin’den çıkan sonuç. “At the moment, the most promising thing is our expectation that the parties sitting at the table in Berlin have learned a lesson from the Syrian civil war,” writes Burhanettin Duran.
Yeni partilere ilgi azalıyor. According to Abdulkadir Selvi, who commented on the data emerging from a recent survey, the new political movements that are being set up in Turkey by former allies of President Erdoğan are not as attractive to the public as they were at first.
Erdoğan yeni partileri engelleyebilir miydi? According to Mehmet Ocaktan, President Erdoğan could have stopped his former allies from forming new parties, if he had agreed to go back to the reformist agenda that the AK Parti followed in the past.
The Opposition and the Kurds
Demirtaş’ın edebi kişiliği. Melih Altınok comments on a picture widely shared online, portraying the spouses of Istanbul mayor İmamoğlu (CHP), CHP’s leader Kılıçdaroğlu, and HDP former co-leader Demirtaş, together with CHP deputy Canan Kaftancıoğlu, sitting in theatre to attend a play adapted by one of Demirtaş books. “To keep the votes of the Kurdish citizens who helped the CHP win the local elections in Istanbul, the party is fostering the relationship at the chargé d'affaires level,” the columnist writes.
Bay İmamoğlu, bu iyi eğitimli kadınlara ne diyeceksiniz? Answering to Istanbul mayor İmamoğlu, who replied to critics by saying that his wife “is a well-educated woman,” who does not need to be told where to go and not to, columnist Şebnem Bursalı argued that the mayor should also consider other “well-educated women,” the ones who decided to die as “martyrs” for their country.
Hrant Dink, 13 Years Later
Hrant'la 'Biz' öldük, Türkiye öldü! “We have to admit that what happened to Hrant and what happened in 1915 are events of the same nature, even if different,“ writes Tayfun Atay, arguing that the Armenian Genocide interrogates “the humanity, conscience, and morality” of Turkey, and that both in 1915 and in 2007, when Armenian intellectual Hrant Dink was killed, “we died, we were killed.”
Voleybol takımına 'teşhirci' diyen MHP'li Şahin belediye başkanları listesinden çıkarıldı, istifası istendi. The Turkish female national volleyball team recently earned a ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Birol Şahin, a local politician with the ultra-nationalist party MHP, criticized them and accused them of “dressing immodestly in the presence of men.” The politician was consequently asked to resign from the party.
Voleybol milli takımımızın Tokyo’ya gitmesi hepimizi gururlandırdı; bazıları hariç. “A great success made us all proud as a nation. Except for someone,” writes Emin Çölaşan, commenting on the words of Mayor Şahin.
Erken seçim için ne dedi? “I could have asked much more, but I felt too embarrassed to ask that question to our female volleyball players, who wear successfully the jersey with the star and crescent,“ writes Abdulkadir Selvi. The columnist reached for a comment Naz Aydemir Akyol, one of the members of the national team.
Obituary: Rahşan Ecevit
Demokratik sol, sağ kolunu kaybetti. “Whether you define Rahşan Ecevit as an ‘ulusalci’ or a member of the democratic left, she was one of the cornerstones of the social-democratic political camp,” writes Muharrem Sarıkaya. Rahşan Ecevit, a veteran politician who was also the spouse of late Turkish president Bülent Ecevit, died last week at ninety-seven.
Ecevitlere saygı. Rahşan Ecevit “was not just ‘the wife’. With her strong personality and ideas she was a politician in her own right,” comments Taha Akyol.
Published on Jadaliyya
Judith E. Tucker, ed., The Making of the Modern Mediterranean: Views from the South (New Texts Out Now)
Sato Moughalian, Feast of Ashes: The Life and Art of David Ohannessian (New Texts Out Now)
Ussama Makdisi, Age of Coexistence: The Ecumenical Frame and the Making of the Modern Arab World (New Texts Out Now)