[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
As COVID-19 worsens precarity for refugees, Turkey and the EU must work together. Looking at how COVID-19 impacted on those on the bottom of the social-economic ladder, and especially on migrants and refugees, Kemal Kirişci and Başak Yavçan argue that it is necessary to revisit the 2016 EU-Turkey deal, set to expire in 2021. “Europe should increase funding to help Turkey support refugees, and should adopt policies (including through its trade policy) to improve refugees’ access to livelihood opportunities.”
Istanbul: Faces of Now – a lockdown diary. Photographer Rena Effendi explores Istanbul and talks to residents in COVID-19 quarantine. “From street vendors to magicians, barbers to dancers, hammam scrubbers to imams, each expressed dignity in the face of hardship and a unique way of resisting and overcoming their daily stresses.”
Turkey's seasonal workers face lower wages and extra competition. Sinem Köseoğlu looks into the struggle that seasonal workers in Turkey are facing this year. The coronavirus pandemic has worsened existing economic problems, and brought extra competition and lower wages.
We must tear down Erdoğan's throne together through a domino-effect. Adnan Selçuk Mızraklı, former mayor of the province of Diyarbakır writes from jail. “As others fail to produce alternatives among their calls to abandon the struggle, the HDP has announced to all peoples of Turkey through the ‘Document of Attitude’ that it will not withdraw from any democratic fronts. On the contrary, it will grow the struggle further with greater resolve.”
Freedom of Thought
Ankara spouts fury as Twitter takes down pro-Erdogan trolls. Amberin Zaman reports on the recent operation, in which Twitter has removed and suspended accounts linked to state-run propaganda and disinformation centers in China, Russia, and Turkey. “Altun's words,” she writes, “prompted speculation that the government may be gearing up for another ban.”
Turkey’s Missing WPS Agenda and Implications for the COVID-19 Pandemic. “The on-going criminalisation of women peace activists and targeted violence against Turkey’s LGBTI+ community weakens any hope of a gendered perspective becoming a priority for the Turkish state.” Nisan Alıcı, Güley Bor and Güneş Daşlı detail the effects of the long-standing lack of political will to overcome this in a post published by the LSE Middle East Centre Blog.
What does the case of Metin Topuz tell the world? An Istanbul court sentenced US Consulate employee Metin Topuz to more than eight years in prison on charges of aiding an armed terror group. “One would only hope that it helps highlight the plight of all the political prisoners who are victims of a primitive, brutal, ugly power struggle in Turkey, which has sadly turned into a place where lawlessness and cruelty reign,” Yavuz Baydar writes, arguing that the case is far from surprising.
Turkey and the World
Turkey in Libya: 'If you don't like how the table is set...' “The dream of Israel, Egypt and Greece joining hands to neutralize Turkey, which has the longest mainland coast in the Eastern Mediterranean, has ended,” argues Hilal Kaplan, commenting on how Turkey has ‘turned the table over.’’
Why is Ankara pouring Turkish liras into Syria? “Taking advantage of Syria’s currency havoc, Ankara has funneled Turkish liras into ‘liberated’ areas in northern Syria,” writes Fehim Taştekin, “but any plan to fully sideline the Syrian pound in those areas appears unrealistic.”
The Killing of George Floyd
A deja vu of debates on American decline? "The domestic problems were not resolved and most of the issues were just swept under the rug. The U.S. decline debate may now start from where it left off 10 years ago. This time it should focus on putting the house in order," writes Kılıç Buğra Kanat.
Milletvekili transferi ve seçim barajında ne oluyor? According to Abdulkadir Selvi, members of the AK Parti have different views on important topics such as the possibility to “transfer deputies” to newly formed parties or the electoral threshold, currently set at ten percent, the highest in Europe. The ruling party is reportedly working on a new electoral system.
Legal Kürt Partisi ve Siyaset. Commenting on the possible shape that an opposition coalition could take in Turkey, Murat Belge argues that “a ‘front’ that considers leaving the HDP out as the policy to follow, does not have the right to see and define itself as a ‘democratic’.”
Sakın vazgeçme Hamza! Emin Çölaşan criticized the recent decision made by Vakifbank to appoint Hamza Yerlikaya, a former Olympic wrestler to its board. Yerlikaya, a former greco-roman wrestler, is also an adviser to President Erdogan and the deputy minister for youth and sports.
Davutoğlu: önceliğim düşünce özgürlüğü olacak. In an interview with Murat Yetkin, former Prime Minister and Future Party leader Ahmet Davutoğlu details his political plans. If elected, he argues, he would put freedom of thought first. “In my prime ministry, not a single example can be cited where I have intervened directly or indirectly with any media or media member,” he says, defending his political past.
Freedom of Thought
Sosyal medyada troll temizliği. Twitter recently took down accounts linked to state-run propaganda and disinformation centers. Fatma Çelik argues that, despite the fact that they seem to support the idea that social media should remain uncensored, it is just a matter of time politicians turn to asking for strict checks to be put in place.
Sosyal medyaya behemehâl yasal düzenleme şart oldu. Hasan Öztürk argues that social media should be regulated in order to avoid “character assassination, slander, and security issues.”
Yolları Türkiye’den geçen İranlılar. Reporting on the story of a seventeen-year-old Iranian who died after crossing the mountainous border between his country and Turkey, Nevşin Mengü comments on how the government’s policy towards refugees and migrants has changed after the last elections. “Do we have to sacrifice people struggling for a better life and a better world for this uncompromising policy?” she asks.
Turkey and the World
Doğu Akdeniz’deki güç rekabeti ve Türkiye. Burhanettin Duran argues that actors with interests in the Eastern Mediterranean should not expect Turkey “to quit the fight,” as the country is aiming to a new, more prominent role in the global order.
The Killing of George Floyd
Katar’dan Türkiye’ye yatırımlar devam edecek. According to Hürriyet columnist Hande Fırat, Turkish President Erdoğan told his US counterpart that members of the Gülen movement are leading the recent protests in the United States.