[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 Situation in Idlib
Has Turkey’s Incursion into Syria Opened the Door for an Islamic State Comeback? “Kurdish-led forces are stretched thin between responding to the Turkish incursion, leading operations against Islamic State cells, and guarding prisons and camps. This circumscribed capacity is being exploited by the Islamic State to penetrate local communities,” write Dareen Khalifa and Elizabeth Tsurkov.
Cleaning up Turkey’s mess in Idlib and ending the war. The United States is Turkey’s ally, but has little interest in the Turkish armed forces being bogged down in an unwinnable war. A ceasefire makes sound strategic sense. The United States and Europe both should consider continuing — if not expanding — its humanitarian assistance to ease Turkey’s burden,” argues Aaron Stein.
Idlib: The Repercussions on Turkey’s Relations
The Kremlin must heed Erdoğan's warning. “The clashes between Turkish troops and the Assad regime have not yet resulted in a direct confrontation between Turks and Russians. Before the situation spins out of control, Putin has one last chance to prevent a train wreck,” argues Burhanettin Duran.
Is Russia a friend or foe in the Middle East? “It has become increasingly evident that the only winner to emerge after the many years of the Syrian civil war is Russia, and the instability, chaos and conflict it has engendered there have built the foundations for Moscow to become a dominant and manipulative actor in the region,” writes Meryem İlayda Atlas, asking whether Russia is to be considered a friend or a foe.
Can Ankara’s sudden change of heart on NATO save the day in Idlib? “Ankara’s abrupt U-turn to re embrace NATO appears driven by conjunctural necessity to balance Russia in Idlib and Libya rather than a new realization of structural dependency between Turkey and NATO,” writes Metin Gurcan
Turkey and NATO: An unlikely love affair? While Ankara may not receive the solid backing that is seeking against Russia now, dialogue channels with NATO are stronger compared to other international institutions,” argues Sezin Öney.
The pro-Kurdish Opposition
New era for the pro-Kurdish party in Turkey. “For a long time, the HDP has been criticized for not being able to switch from its defensive position to an offensive one. The change in the party assembly has instilled hope for those criticizing the HDP,” writes Özlem Akarsu Çelik.
Detention order issued for 15 over HDP Congress. Authorities issued warrants for the detention of 15 people, after photographs of imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan were shown at the party congress.
Legal Cases: Gezi Trial
The future of Turkey-EU ties after the Kavala case. “Turkey’s accession process is approaching an irreversible end due to the recent developments that are continuously wearing down its democratic and human rights standards,” writes Serkan Demirtaş.
The Gezi Trial Stunt and Turkey’s Increasing Isolation. “From an EU standpoint, the rule of law in Turkey is still being dismantled day after day. The issue for European leaders is how to factor this democratic decline in their overall relationship with the country,” argues Marc Pierini.
Will the Gezi trial serve as a wake-up call for the EU? “The key issue for the European Union and Turkey’s Western allies is the trap of pretending that if a single sham trial ends in an acquittal, then all will be back to ‘normal’,” argues Yavuz Baydar.
Why categorise our anger to unjust practices? “There’s a segment of society who sees people’s rights being trampled in the Gezi trials as different from Ahmet Altan’s trial, or Demirtaş’s trials, or those of other Kurdish politicians. People who react when government appoints trustees to replace Republican People's Party (CHP) mayors remain silent when the same thing happens with the HDP,” writes Ali Abaday.
The Attack in Germany
Hanau attacks show the danger posed by racist terrorists. Ozan Ceyhun comments on the recent attack in Hanau, Germany, where 9 people have been killed. “The main reason for the point we have reached today is the growing xenophobia in Germany, the anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-Turk and anti-Turkey attitudes, and the lack of measures taken against all of this.”
The lessons of Hanau. “The German media continues to protect far-right extremists. Most stories describe Rathjen as ‘racist’ and ‘far-right’ rather than what he really is – a terrorist.” writes Yahya Bostan, looking at the coverage of the attack in Hanau.
The Coronavirus Outbreak
Turkey and Pakistan close borders with Iran over coronavirus deaths. Patrick Wintour reports on the decision of neighbouring countries to close the border with Iran as a consequence of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Chinese citizens living in Turkey face discrimination due to coronavirus. “The coronavirus is also a problem for Chinese nationals living outside their country. Some living in Turkey have been marginalized and discriminated against,” reports Aynur Tekin.
The Situation in Idlib
İdlib’de aykırı fikri, çatışmamayı savunmak. Orhan Bursalı argues that journalist and opinion leader should act objectively, rather than as warmongers. The columnist writes that those who accuse people of treason for opposing the government on Idlib, may soon find themselves in that same position if the situation worsens.
Artık ‘SAVAŞ’ diyebilir-mişiz! Ayşenur Arslan comment on the development in Idlib, and argues that nobody asked the Assembly the permit to go to war in Syria. “He can declare war and send the children of this country to die to keep the government afloat,” she writes.
Türkiye’ye yeni yol haritası çizenler. According to Burhanettin Duran, those who today asks Turkey to use soft power in foreign policy are still thinking according to a mentality that after the Arab Uprisings has stopped being valid. “By asking Turkey to ‘downshift’, what they mean is ‘accept to act passively.”
The Libyan Scenario
Birkaç şehit olunca! Emin Çölaşan criticizes president Erdoğan, who recently announced that “some [Turkish] “martyrs” died in Libya. The columnist accuses the government of keeping information from the public regarding Turkish involvement in the country.
Hükümet vatandaşına ‘şehit olmayı’ vadeder mi? “Today no sane statesman or government would promise martyrdom to his citizens,” argues İhsan Çaralan, commenting on a recent speech by president Erdoğan, who stated that “each and every member of this nation aspires to stand guard at [the martyr] hill.”
FOX TV muhabirinin sorusu ve Erdoğan. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused Fox TV reporter Barış Kaya of “spreading lies,” when the journalist asked him about Turkey’s casualties in Libya. Nevşin Mengü argues that Erdoğan has long forgotten how to answer to a question from the press, and adds that his own team must be keeping him in the dark about criticism spreading in the country.
Fox Haber. Commenting on the events, Yılmaz Özdil writes that, according to the Turkish leadership, there is no one who is not lying except the president of the Republic itself.
The pro-Kurdish Opposition
HDP’den CHP’ye: “Birlikteliğimizi resmîleştirelim.” Hilal Kaplan comments on the words of pro-Kurdish HDP co-leader Pervin Buldan, who recently accused the main opposition of lacking transparency over the undeclared alliance between the two parties. “I wonder if they will be able to look their voters in the eyes and deny the alliance with the HDP once again,” writes Kaplan.
Kürt adımı. Muharrem Sarıkaya comments on the recent congress of the HDP, and evaluates the decision of nominating Mithat Sancar to replace Sezai Temelli as one of the co-leaders of the party. The decision, argues Sarıkaya, breaks a tradition of choosing between names linked to the socialist camp, and might mark the start of a new era for the HDP.
Manevra! Commenting on the recent verdict on the Gezi trial, in which philanthropist Osman Kavala was acquitted, only to be re-arrested on new accusations, Necati Doğru criticizes president Erdoğan, who commented that “they set out to acquit (Kavala) with a manoeuvre.”
Gezi’nin beraatına Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan’ın gösterdiği tepkiyi anlamamak mümkün değil. Mehmet Barlas argues that it is necessary to understand what Erdoğan is saying about Gezi, and that “there is not such a thing as an innocent uprising,” rather “Soros-like types behind it.”
Kavala’nın tazminatını kim ödeyecek peki? Akif Beki argues that, if Kavala had been really guilty of crimes related to the failed coup d’etat, he would have been arrested and found guilty a long time ago.
The Coronavirus Outbreak
Tam yerine denk gelmiş, bir daha söylüyorum. Melih Altınok argues that there are people, “Gülenist trolls” among them, who cannot wait for the Coronavirus to reach Turkey.
The Presidential Library
Millet Kütüphanesi. Hasan Basri Yalçın praises the recent inauguration of the Presidential library in Ankara, arguing that libraries in Turkey - university libraries included - are generally in a poor state and do not help student in doing proper research.
Obituary: Muzaffer İlhan Erdost
Muzaffer Abi’nin, bir öncünün ardından. Mustafa Akyol retrace the life of Muzaffer Erdost, founder of the publishing houses Sol and Onur. Imprisoned for his political belief after the 1971 coup d’etat, Erdost has recently passed away. “He was among the pioneers. He worked quietly, calmly and decidedly for democratic rights and freedoms, against all oppressions,” writes Akyol.
Published on Jadaliyya
Ayşe Parla, Precarious Hope: Migration and the Limits of Belonging in Turkey (New Texts Out Now)
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)