[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 Earthquake in Elâzığ
Mother Nature gives yet another strong warning to Turkey. “Friday’s seismic activity that killed at least 35 people should be regarded as another strong alarm given by Mother Nature to Turkey. It simply tells us that we are not ready for a strong earthquake,” argues Serkan Demirtaş.
Quakes don’t kill. “No one can stop quakes. No one can predict when a quake will hit. But as we have all been saying for the past more than two decades, quakes don’t kill, but poorly constructed buildings do,” writes Yusuf Kanlı, asking what Turkey has done in the past two decades to find solutions to the problem.
Turkish-Greek 'natural disaster diplomacy'. “There is an eagerness to provide generous assistance to each other when one of them is in need; however, they forget all this when time passes. Why can't the two countries do more to salvage their long-term problematic relations and change history for the sake of these amazing moments?” asks Merve Şebnem Oruç, commenting on Turkey’s and Greece’s willingness to help each other when natural disasters strike.
Managing disasters of all kinds, from earthquakes to EU relations. “2020 seems already to be ridden with unexpected crises erupting all around the world: Turkey had to face one of its worst fears, an earthquake. The warmest responses came from the EU countries with which Turkey has the coldest relations: France, and at a far warmer level, Greece,” writes Sezin Öney.
What about new alliances in Turkish politics? “AK Party is still the party that gets most of the votes by a margin of almost 15 percentage points to the runner up. Going forward, a constitutional change, to be agreed upon in the parliament may be in cards for Turkey,’’ writes Can Selçuki.
The footsteps of new alliances. “Up until now, the local businessmen used to support AKP without reservation, and it used to be a win-win situation for both parties. However, this cooperation seems to be fading,” writes Nevşin Mengü, speaking of a “significant development for Turkish politics.”
Turkey’s Role in Syria
SDF commander says Kurds ready for dialogue if Ankara is sincere. “There are [...] confidence-building, goodwill gestures that we would be prepared to consider,” SDF commander Mazlum Kobane told Amberin Zaman, signaling the group’s readiness to open a dialogue with Ankara.
Are Russia, Turkey entering last act of Idlib fight? “Some fresh dynamics on the issue are likely to be expected rather soon. This may be the last act of the years-long saga of the siege of Idlib,” argues Maxim A. Suchkov, looking into a new offensive over the Syrian city held by rebel forces.
Turkey’s patience running thin over Syrian regime’s Idlib offensive: Erdoğan. On Wednesday, President Erdoğan accused Russia of “not abiding by the deals of Astana and Sochi.”
Turkey and the Libyan Crisis
Erdogan's Libya strategy: Jump first, think later. “By openly taking sides in Libya, Turkey could end up undermining the clout it believes it has gained in that country,” argues Semih Idiz.
Diplomacy of hypocrisy in Berlin conference. “With Haftar continuing his attacks, it has become clear that the Berlin conference will not lead to a cease-fire important for the future of Libya for now. Haftar, however, is not a major actor without the support of the countries that put it forward,” argues Hilâl Kaplan.
Failed negotiations: Libya conflict here to remain. “As the cease-fire gets delayed, the hope for a diplomatic solution to the Libyan crisis diminishes,” writes Talha Köse.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s assertive foreign policy shakes international order. “If it damages its relationship [with the west] because of its security interests or unilateral moves, [Turkey] also risks becoming economically vulnerable,” analyst Ilke Toygur said to the Financial Times.
Libya is only small part of Turkey’s ambitious Africa overture. In the past few weeks much has been written about Turkey and Libya, but “Ankara has [also] been busy on other fronts in Africa,” argues Barın Kayaoğlu.
The Earthquake in Elâzığ
Depremi yaşarken!.. Uğur Dündar recalls his painful memories of the 1953 Yenice–Gönen earthquake, wishing that “God would not render anybody helpless and overcome with griefs.” In the aftermath of the earthquake in Elâzığ, he also warns “those who want a canal in Istanbul, where a devastating earthquake is expected.”
Deprem vergileri nereye gitti? “The temporary earthquake tax introduced in 2000 turned 20. It could vote and get a driver’s license,” writes Murat Muratoğlu, asking where are the seventy billion collected from Turkish taxpayers and what were they used for.
Yer bilimleri uzma. Taha Akyol argues that earthquakes such as the one that struck in Elâzığ have very different consequences if they happen in countries such as Pakistan, or in Italy and Spain. The columnist asks why Turkey did not invest more energy to get “closer to the level of advanced societies,” instead of using them in political fights.
Depremin nedenini de fay hatlarını da biliyoruz ama hazırlıklı değiliz. “The earthquake figures were not very high, but they were a wake-up call. We are not ready for a major disaster,” writes Mehmet Barlas.
İmamoğlu'nun tatil zamanlaması. Many news outlets criticized Istanbul mayor İmamoğlu for vacationing days after the earthquake. “Nobody cares about why, where, or with whom he went,” writes Akif Beki “the problem is when.”
Yine Yunus’u hatırladım. “All the political parties were there. We shouldn’t have to experience a calamity to stand together. As for avoiding calamities, we have to act together, with farsightedness and common sense,” argues Hande Fırat.
Remembering Uğur Mumcu
Uğur Mumcu’nun katli: Atatürk’e ve Cumhuriyete suikast!, “The assassination of Uğur Mumcu was one of the culminating points of a systematic attempt against independence, the Republic, secularism, the social state, the rule of law, and Ataturk,” writes Emre Kongar. Twenty-seven years ago, prominent journalist Uğur Mumcu was killed in Ankara by a bomb planted under his car.
Uğur Mumcu kazandı! “27 years ago they killed Uğur Mumcu. Today they cannot kill journalists defending secularism, so prosecutors and judges accuse journalists defending the secular republic they laid their hands on of being Gulenists,” argues Necati Doğru, referring a recent legal case against journalists of the mainstream opposition newspaper Sözcü.
The Future Party
Ahmet Davutoğlu gerçek bir siyasi lider olabilir mi? Nagehan Alçı questions the credentials of former Prime Minister Davutoğlu, now the leader of the newly-founded Future Party, arguing that if he aspires to be seen as a strong political leader, he has to change his attitude.
Tuzun koktuğu yer… “If Ahmet Davutoğlu would have abandoned the idea of founding the Future Party, Istanbul Şehir University would have not been seized, and the Bilim ve Sanat Vakfı would have not been touched,” argues Elif Çakır. According to the columnist, there are political reasons behind what recently happened to a university and a foundation close to the leader of the Future Party.
Towards the Elections
Muhalefetin Cumhurbaşkanlığı planı. Commenting on a recent statement by Good Party leader Meral Akşener, columnist Abdulkadir Selvi argues that all the signs seem to indicate that the opposition will present a coalition candidate at the presidential elections in 2023.
Turkey, Syria, and the Libyan Crisis
Libya’da çözüm yakın değil. “Unfortunately there is no solution for Libya,” argues Hasan Basri Yalçın, according to whom, instead of focusing on a solution for the crisis, it is necessary to act to protect interests in the long term.
Suriye'den mektup var. Emin Çölaşan publishes an anonymous “letter from a Turkish officer in Syria,” in which the author lay charges against the militias supported by the Turkish government.
Turkey and Germany
Merkel’in acil misyonu. Angela Merkel has to “overcome the narrow ambitions of France and Greece for Europe’s long-term interests,” argues Burhanettin Duran, commenting on a recent visit that the German chancellor paid to Turkey.
Türkiye-Almanya: Mülteciler, Rusya ve artık laiklik de. “Merkel is trying to leave a good legacy to continue the historic ties between the two countries and Erdoğan who wants to attract European investments and markets again is trying to use German leverage,” writes Murat Yetkin, arguing that the relations between Germany and Turkey are currently more complicated than meets the eye.
Published on Jadaliyya
Camila Pastor, The Mexican Mahjar: Transnational Maronites, Jews, and Arabs under the French Mandate (New Texts Out Now)
Urban Transformation and Resistance in Tarlabaşı: The Politics of a Delayed Construction Project in Istanbul
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)