[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 pro-Kurdish HDP’s document on the “new era.” Commenting on the nine articles of a document made public by the HDP, Hakkı Özdal writes that it contains “traces of a strategy concerning the party’s plan for a possible ‘post-AKP’ era, with messages mainly directed toward other parts of the opposition. The broad political space and power the HDP possesses makes its strategy and attitude regarding the future of the country significant.”
The Coronavirus Pandemic
Turkey: A safe haven in pandemic days. “We know that the government wants to make the best of the tourism season and has prepared a serious plan for the summer season. It appears that Turkey will be one of the safest havens in the summer, just as it was in the first phase of the pandemic,” argues Melih Altınok on the pro-government newspaper Daily Sabah.
Turkey and the World
Blue Homeland: The Heated Politics Behind Turkey’s New Maritime Strategy. Ryan Gingeras argues that “the coining of the term ‘blue homeland’ ultimately represents more than an act of political branding. To a large extent, it signals a somewhat dramatic shift in doctrine within Turkish political and military circles.”
The Middle Kingdom and the Middle Corridor: Prospects for China-Turkey ties. “Economic cooperation has been the backbone of ties between Turkey and China, but efforts on both sides to broaden the relationship — at a time when Ankara’s relations with the West are badly strained — have raised eyebrows in Western circles.” Gönül Tol analyzes the prospects for China-Turkey ties.
The Nonsense of “Neo-Ottomanism”. “The day Erdogan leads his army on a campaign to capture Vienna, by all means call it neo-Ottoman. Until then, describing contemporary Turkish politics in contemporary terms will make for better analysis — and hopefully, better policy,” writes Nicholas Danforth, arguing that defying everything that happens in Turkey—and the West do not like—as neo-Ottoman is “deeply misleading nonsense.”
Turkey’s Role in Syria
Turkey's assault against Syrian Kurds leaves trail of misery and spin. “Seven months after Turkish forces and their Sunni opposition allies crossed into northeastern Syria, tens of thousands of displaced civilians are struggling to survive. Some are trying to recover from injuries that rights groups allege in some cases amount to war crimes. A propaganda war waged by both sides is continuing full blast,” Amberin Zaman reports.
Turkey looks to link Syrian Kurdish militia to ANTIFA following Trump tweet. “Following Trump’s tweet, several Turkish commentators started saying that ANTIFA were present in the YPG and that Trump should stop supporting the Kurdish ally as a result,“ reports Adam Lucente.
Democracy and the Military
End of shame: The meaning of Democracy and Freedom Island. Writing on the inauguration of the “Democracy and Freedom Island” off the coast of Istanbul, Nagehan Alçı argues that “May 27 set a very dangerous precedent in Turkey. So 60 years after that day, we proudly and self-confidentially condemn this era. The island where the prosecutions and arrests were perpetrated has become a place to show the next generations this shameful page from our past.”
Minorities in Turkey on edge amid threats, attacks. “Vulnerable groups have faced intimidation or worse in recent weeks in what both the government and the opposition warn are efforts to stoke conflict, though they disagree on who’s to blame,” reports Ayla Jean Yackley.
The shifting nature of the law. “Unlike the actual social distancing lines, the imaginary lines for freedoms and rights in Turkey are blurry and changing. The President and his allies distort and change the law to suit their whims. The Penal Code, the Constitution, and universal law are twisted accordingly,” writes Mehveş Evin.
Milletvekili transferine formül. Abdulkadir Selvi writes on the voices of possible early elections that recently emerged. Commenting on the moves of the opposition, he argues that the Kemalists want to avoid that the İYİ Parti create a coalition with the Islamists. Such an alliance would leave the CHP uncomfortably alone with the pro-Kurdish HDP.
Yeni partilerin asıl zorlukları neler? The biggest problem for the new Future and DEVA parties, according to Burhanettin Duran, is that “they have to answer to ‘what they would have done differently’ from Erdoğan when confronting crises such as Gezi, the attempted 'judicial coup' in December 2013, the resumption of terrorism in 2015, and the July 15 attempted coup.”
Ben aynı yerdeyim ama AK Parti Bahçeli ve Perinçek’in mahallesine taşındı. Commenting on the evolution of the AK Parti during the years, Mehmet Ocaktan argues that the political party once used a “language that embraced all Turkey,” but has now “moved to the neighborhood of Bahçeli ve Perinçek,” respectively the leaders of the nationalist MHP and Vatan parties.
The Coronavirus Pandemic
Belediyelerde “Çalışmaları engelleyin” talimatı. Saygı Öztürk argues that the municipalities controlled by the opposition are again facing a government that is trying to prevent them from doing their job. “For them hard times are coming,” he writes, adding that it is not clear up until when they will be able to provide support to citizens already facing an economic crisis and the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
Turkey and the World
Bir istihbarat operasyonunun diplomatik perde arkası. Murat Yetkin writes on the “behind the scenes” of the intelligence operation that led to the liberation of Italian aid worker Silvia Romano, in which the Turkish secret services played a crucial role. January 2020, Yetkin argues, “was a turning point in terms of Turkish-Italian relations.”
ABD’de olağanüstü hal. Bu bize neler anlatıyor? Commenting on the protests following the death of George Floyd, İbrahim Karagül argues that “the United States are now facing terrorism, economic crisis, divisions, and infighting” and that these are “the same things they have attempted in the Middle East, Latin America, and Southern Asia after WWII.”
ABD’de şiddet olayları. According to Nihat Ali Özcan, in a moment when the economic, social, and psychological effects of the pandemic are weighing on the society, “it would be intelligent to pay attention to the ‘lessons we can learn’” from what is happening in the United States.
Democracy and the Military
Darbecilik. On the anniversary of the 1960 coup d’état, Hasan Basri Yalçın writes that “27 of May is not just the name of a golpe. Some may know, in this country, for years the coup has been celebrated as a revolution. We are still grappling with the evils of this system.”
Gezi yürürlüktedir, yüreğimizdedir, önümüzdedir. On the seventh anniversary of the Gezi protests, Alper Taş writes that “undoubtedly, it could not prevent the formation of a political Islamist regime,” but it left an important legacy and “made the AK Parti’s democratic mask fall.”
Yine bir ‘güvercin tedirginliği'. Following threats and attacks to the Armenian minority, Ayşe Yıldırım asks what precautions are in place to guarantee “the security of the places of worship belonging to minorities that are often attacked,” and argues that “Hrant Dink was killed in a similar atmosphere.”