[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 injustice wrought on Kurdish mayors. “The paradox of Turkey’s third-largest political party is that it is perfectly possible to pretend it doesn’t exist,” writes Michael Sercan Daventry, analyzing the discrimination against the pro-Kurdish and leftist HDP party. However, he argues, “ignoring the HDP’s presence is a fool’s game and, contrary to what they may say, every other opposition leader knows it.”
Erdogan’s efforts to split the opposition seem to be working. According to Gönül Tol, "The CHP-led bloc must take a principled stance against Erdogan’s repressive measures, no matter who is on the receiving end, if it wants to have the moral high ground, appeal to the Kurds, and have a decent chance in the next elections."
Erdoğan's Turkey and the Problem of the 30 Million. “Having saved the opposition from the clutches of leftists and ensured division within it, the Erdoğan government finally seeks to pull the entire bloc to the right,” writes Selim Koru. “It is difficult to discern which side is winning overall. On the one hand, the opposition is becoming more nationalist, and is willing to grant Erdoğan the legitimacy he seeks. On the other hand, there is an increasingly vociferous leftist movement.”
The Killing of George Floyd
FETÖ and Antifa have turned against Trump. Commenting on the ongoing protests following the killing of George Floyd, Melih Altınok argues on Daily Sabah that “those FETÖ members who fled Turkey and sought refuge in the U.S. are at the forefront of demonstrations,” together with the Antifa group. “We, the Turkish people, know this organization from its cooperation with the YPG/PKK terrorist group.”
Erdoğan as a guardian of human rights. President Erdoğan condemned last week the killing of George Floyd. While acknowledging the difference between cases of violence in Turkey and the events in the United States, Mehveş Evin asks, “when it comes to police brutality and use of violence against opponents, who can picture the president of Turkey as a democratic, peaceful and just political figure?”
Whose lives matter in Turkey? “Though some of these correspondences are superficial, the coincidence of these protests in the U.S. erupting just as people here are commemorating Gezi has led to some soul searching about the similarities and differences in state violence and racism in both countries,” writes Kenan Behzat Sharpe. Commenting on how numerous Turkish public personalities have taken to the social media in response to the events, he argues that “ironically, some of the liberal/left-leaning voices who rushed online to condemn Floyd’s killing share something in common with those officials who only condemn racism when it happens elsewhere: an unwillingness to take a full long look in the mirror.”
Turkey and the World
Sarraj's Turkey visit and a new era in Libya. Commenting on the recent visit to Ankara of GNA’s prime minister Fayez al-Sarraj, Burhanettin Duran writes that “Turkey must lead the effort to reform Libya’s security sector as well. Haftar must be stopped from making illegal oil deals, and a division of Libya into western and eastern parts must be prevented.”
The Dersim massacre - then and now (part I): Was it genocide? - II. In a two-part series, experts comment on Ahval on key questions about the 1937-1938 Dersim massacres. “How should we interpret this event? Was it indeed a genocide? What is the relationship between the 1915 Armenian Genocide and the events in Dersim 22 years later? How do Turks deal with this dark page in Turkish history? And what role exactly does Dersim play in the Kurdish collective memory, in particular for the Kurds from Dersim?"
Erdogan transforms neighborhood watchmen into loyalist force. “Turkish lawmakers are considering a bill to empower the country's controversial neighborhood watch in what critics say is a ploy to give the president a vigilante force under his direct control.” Amberin Zaman reports on the issue.
Erdoğan is the catalyst not the cause of Turkey’s authoritarian future. “There will be no Norway that emerges from Turkey. There is a peculiar, harsh political culture that has formed in Turkey - one that the country does not wish to abandon. It is not only the state that defends it, but the people as well,” suggests an article published on Ahval.
Ayasofya’nın ibadete açılması gündemde. “Cabinet change rumors have grown whiskers,” writes Abdulkadir Selvi. According to the columnist, the possibility is not to be ruled out completely, yet at the moment it simply is a “journalistic fantasy.”
Milletvekilinin güvencesi yok olursa. Three deputies of the opposition were stripped of their immunity and arrested on 4 June. "If the government will remove the immunity of the opposition deputies as it please, by using the judiciary, Turkey and the parliament will once again live the traumas of the 1990s," writes Fikret Bila, asking how "will ordinary citizens feel safe in such an environment?"
Yoksa HDP üyelerine virüs bulaşmıyor mu? Commenting on the arrest of the deputies, Murat Yetkin looks into the disparity in treatment of the CHP and HDP members. Stressing how the CHP deputy was transferred to an open prison as a measure against coronavirus, while the HDP deputies were still in jail, he asks if “the virus does not affect the members of the HDP?”
Freedom of the Press
Sansür, baskı ve ceza. Emin Çölaşan writes on the recent detention of journalists İsmail Dükel (Tele 1) and Müyesser Yıldız (Odatv). While no reason was provided for the arrest of Dükel, Yıldız was detained as part of an ongoing military espionage case. “Unfortunately, we will have to continue censoring our own writing,” comments Çölaşan.
‘Erkek şort giyiyorsa aranıyordur.’ Turkish social media users have taken to Twitter to denounce sexist attitudes and gendered stereotypes using the hashtag #ErkeklerYeriniBilsin (Let Men Know Their Place). “With the reversal of the sexist language, we were forced to think from an unexpected place,” comments Onur Baştürk.
#Erkekleryerinibilsin. The Women and Democracy Association (KADEM), which has Sümeyye Erdoğan Bayraktar as its Vice Chairman of the Board, criticized in a statement the social media campaign. Çiğdem Toker asks where the NGO was when twenty-three-year-old Uzbek citizen Nadira Kadirova was found dead in the house of Şirin Ünal, an MP from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Elde var: Ayasofya!. Necati Doğru argues that, instead of debating on the possibility of making a mosque of Hagia Sophia, the government should take care of a number of problems that are more relevant to Turkish citizens, starting with the economic difficulties that many families are facing.
Ayasofya’yı açmak güç ister, sıkışmışlık değil… In response to voices criticizing the renewed debate on making Hagia Sophia a mosque as the move of a hard-pressed AK Parti, Hilal Kaplan writes that “on the contrary, a struggling government would not dream of reopening it” for prayers.
Turkey and the World
Eyvahlar olsun: “Libya’da laiklik elden gitti!” “As a consequence of the most recent developments we are waiting for a statement saying that ‘in Libya secularism is lost’,” writes Tamer Korkmaz, arguing that the Turkish opposition “at the US’ command” would have preferred to see Khalifa Haftar triumph.
Libya’da Cufra düğümü; Hafter’in ipi çekiliyor mu? Zeynep Gürcanlı argues that what happened in Syria between Ankara and Moscow might also happen in Libya, where the area of Kufra might become a second Tell Rifaat.