[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.]
The Coronavirus Pandemic and The Economy
Turkey cuts rates for ninth time in a row in bid to spur growth. “Turkey is counting on cheap credit to help the country get back on its feet after what is widely expected to be a sharp slump in economic activity caused by a lockdown imposed to stop the spread of coronavirus,” reports Laura Pitel.
A misguided feeling of optimism over economy rising among Turks. According to Can Selçuki, “42 percent of Turkish people believe the economy will be stronger next year.” The country’s people, writes the columnist, have “a misguided feeling of optimism.”
I’m watching the coronavirus crisis unfold from a Turkish prison. This is why I’m hopeful. “This virus not only knocks down old men like myself but also all kinds of aged concepts, beliefs and ideas,” writes jailed Turkish novelist Ahmet Altan. “We are painfully crossing the threshold of a new world and, even more important, a new kind of human being. In the midst of this great trauma, I am optimistic about the future.”
'Baby face' political rival puts Erdogan on edge. “Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has killed rumors that his ruling party may gamble on snap elections to retain its 18-year grip on power, but he's clearly feeling the heat,” reports Amberin Zaman.
Turkish Foreign Policy
Is Turkey on moderation path in its foreign policy? “Conciliatory messages may appear as an effort to moderate Turkish foreign policy vis-a-vis the United States, Europe and Israel, but they are likely to be just maneuvering to weather the many stalemates in Turkey's foreign ties,” argues Fehim Taştekin.
Turkey’s Role in Libya
Turkey's Libya gambit is paying off - for now. “Despite Turkey’s and the GNA’s recent momentum, their gains remain fragile and inconclusive,” argues Galip Dalay, commenting on recent development on the ground on Libya and on the role that Ankara played in supporting Libya’s UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).
A political transition in Libya? “Even if negotiations were to restart in diplomatic circles, there is no reason to assume that military operations will stop. The Libyan conflict has thus reached a new and challenging stage,” writes Burhanettin Duran.
Society and Human Rights
'Turkey has dropped behind': Republic's youth dream of free lives overseas. Reporting from Ankara, Ragip Soylu writes that the Turkish youth is growing increasingly hopeless about the possibility of a bright future at home. “Even supporters of the Turkish government wish to move abroad as the economy shrinks and rights diminish.”
Can a trans woman make a fortune in your country? Commenting on the popularity of Selin Ciğerci, Nevşin Mengü writes that “the fact that an openly transgender woman married to a football player is able to cash in on her popularity serves as confirmation that the only natural and healthy view of this relationship is to accept that the LGBTI community has always been at the very core of the Turkish society.”
'I miss my homeland': fearful Uighurs celebrate Eid in exile in Turkey. “Istanbul has become the world's largest diaspora hub for Uighurs fleeing Chinese persecution,” reports Bethan McKernan. “In exile, Uighur culture has flourished in a way that was impossible in Xinjiang,” but life in the city is not without difficulties,
Baskın seçim değilse sebep ne? The Turkish government has recently killed voices suggesting that early elections were possible. Looking at recent moves by the political parties, Akif Beki wonders if returning to the polls earlier than expected is indeed on the cards.
Muhalefet erken seçim istiyor mu? Melih Altınok writes that the government has no reason to call for early elections, and that the opposition has no chance to find the numbers it would need at the assembly.
HDP ile dayanışmanın önemi… Commenting on the detention of a number of officials and members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Ankara, Ender İmrek argues that at this point “being a member of the HDP is almost a crime” by itself, and that the silence of the other parties is a sign of their acceptance of the situation.
The Coronavirus Pandemic
İki ayın sonunda COVID-19 krizinde neredeyiz? “As we take the inflationary risks under consideration, we note that it is rather difficult to overcome this crisis in the absence of external funding. Delays in securing external funding would lengthen the recessionary period and risk permanent damage to the productive capacity,” writes Selva Demiralp.
Korona salgını aslında CHP’yi korumuş oldu. “Imagine what would have happened if ritual worshipping was forbidden, public iftars prohibited, and the CHP was the governing party,” writes Sözcü’s columnist Emin Çölaşan, commenting on the measures made necessary during Ramadan because of the coronavirus.
Of Protest Songs and ‘Agent Provocateurs’
Biz bu provokasyonu tanıyoruz! When mosques in Izmir were filmed blaring the "Bella Ciao" protest song last week, the government blamed the main opposition for it. Mustafa Balbay argues that the Kemalist opposition knows very well this kind of provocations, and that they have historical precedents.
Rezalet ve ötesi. “Have no doubt, those who share videos of the songs rising from the mosques’ minarets are the same who on the night of 15 July attacked mosques and assaulted imams and muezzins,” writes Yavuz Donat.
Democracy and the Military
60 yıl önce askeri darbe, 60 yıl sonra sivil darbe... Ne kadar hazin… Sixty years after the first coup d’état in Turkey, Hasan Cemal reflects on the relation between the military and democracy in Turkey.
Turkey’s Role in Libya
Rusya Libya’yı ikiye bölmeyi hedefliyor. The real question is if “Turkey will come to a face off against the pact between Russia, the UAE, and Egypt,” writes Çetiner Çetin, arguing that Moscow's goal is to divide Libya.
Suriye’den sonra Libya’da da Ruslarla baş başa mı kalıyoruz? Mehmet Acet argues that the situation in Libya might turn into a confrontation between Russia and Turkey that would resemble what happened in Syria in recent years. According to his sources, Ankara is monitoring the evolution of the situation accordingly.