[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.]
Turkey and the World
Turkey-centric thinking and world politics. “As Turkey continues to shine in political, economic and military fields, the Western way of thinking is being replaced by Turkey-centric thinking,” writes Sabah columnist İhsan Aktaş, arguing that President Erdoğan “influences Turkish intellectuals to prioritize the values and interests of their own country.”
Turkey gears up for tougher challenge in Libya as conflict heats up. “Despite cease-fire calls in Libya,” argues Metin Gürcan, “Turkey and its allies might be readying for a push toward the strategically important areas of Sirte and al-Jufra next month.”
Who would pick up the phone in Washington during a Greek-Turkish crisis? Commenting on recent tensions between Ankara and Athens, Alexis Papachelas argues that, “if something serious occurs in the Aegean or south of Crete no one knows who to call in Washington or what response will be given from the other side of the Atlantic.”
Israel is the greatest threat to global security. Yeni Şafak columnist Yasin Aktay comments on Israeli plans to annex part of the West Bank. “Back in time, the Pharaoh had also taken ‘security measures’ against Prophet Moses. The resentment accumulated had brought his end. Roles have changed today, but their fate is the same, and Israel is fast approaching its own end..”
Claw operations key part of Turkey’s counterterrorism strategy. Talha Köse evaluates on his column on Daily Sabah two operations recently launched by Turkish armed forces against the Kurdistan Workers' Party. Claw Tiger and Claw Eagle “constitute some of the broadest cross-border military operations against PKK targets in northern Iraq in recent years.”
This is how both ‘terror’ and ‘sea’ corridors were collapsed. İbrahim Karagül, editor-in-chief of the conservative newspaper Yeni Şafak, argues that recent events showed that “Turkey is a regional powerhouse. Every step it takes further boosts this power. The steps it has taken in the north of Syria and Iraq, in the Mediterranean, in North Africa and in the Aegean involve serious geopolitical intelligence. Its next steps will be no different.”
Turkish First Lady’s Hermes bag and a pair of jeans. An Istanbul court recently heard the case of Evrensel writer Erdal İmrek, charged with insult over a column about Emine Erdoğan’s Hermes handbag. “To mention it is a no-no,” writes Mehveş Evin, referring to the first lady’s interest in high end products. Newspaper used to “advise not to touch upon the subject of Erdoğan family’s private affairs. It “would lead to a phone call from Ankara.”
Populism in Turkish politics and the LGBTI community. “LGBTI people are still becoming the victims of honor killings in Turkey,” writes Nevşin Mengü. “Now that a narrative of hatred against LGBTI people is gaining traction in Turkish politics, harder days await members of the community.”
The fight over the “restless conservative” in Turkish politics. “Five years back, their ears would have been sealed off to other politicians, as they were more or less content with the government. Nowadays,” argues Can Selçuki, “they are more susceptible to other political actors. In the future, the restless conservatives will be the centre-right battleground and will determine the outcome of the elections.”
Turkey’s Great New Hope Is the Same Old News. “Babacan’s Democracy and Progress Party has sparked excitement among Turkey’s pollsters and pundits. That’s because he has presented himself as a force of wide-reaching change.” However, writes Selim Sazak, “there’s good reason to doubt Babacan’s promise as a national leader and his commitment to liberal democratic values.”
Erdoğan’ın kadınları. AKP MP Özlem Zengin recently caused a stir by arguing that before the AKP came to power women had no voice in Turkey. Birgün columnist Ayşenur Arslan argues that, when referring to conservative women, “what she said is true, yet that story has come to an end,” and the party “now wants women to close themselves at home again.”
Böyle habercilik olur mu? Commenting on the broader problem of femicides in Turkey, HaberTürk columnist Kübra Par argues that “leaving the political fights aside, women deputies should come together and take a common stance” on the issue.
Onu da yakın. “Şehir University, of which Ahmet Davutoğlu was the founder, was closed. Why? Apparently because the university administration is close to Ahmet Davutoğlu,” writes HaberTürk columnist Fatih Altaylı.
“Sanki Şehir Üniversitesi ortadan kaldırılıyormuş, sanki imha ediliyormuş gibi…”Karar columnist Elif Çakır comments on the decision to shut down İstanbul Şehir Üniversitesi, which according to many is politically motivated. “It is a fact that the whole country knows for what reason the university's doors were locked.” she argues.
Koronaya şimdi mi yakalansak? HaberTürk columnist Muharrem Sarıkaya worries that the university entry exams, held despite COVID-19 and involving 2.5 million students, might bring an increase in Coronavirus cases. The authorities have issued a limited lockdown to try and halt the possible spread of the virus.
Kabinede önemli değişiklikler geliyor. According to Hürriyet columnist Abdülkadir Selvi, major cabinet changes are expected for 10 July, on the anniversary of the inauguration of the executive presidential system in 2018. Changes might also come for the parliament’s specialized commissions.
Kabine değişimi. “There are signals that there will be not only a cabinet shuffle, but a much more radical change,” writes Sabah columnist Mahmut Övür, according to whom the date chosen is the fourth anniversary of the 15 July failed coup d’état.
Uzun aradan sonra HDP ziyareti… Commenting on the recent visit of a delegation from the ruling party to the pro-Kurdish HDP, which the AKP accuses of having ties with terrorists, Posta columnist Oral Çalışlar asks whether this is “the beginning of new initiatives.” Despite all the pressure, he writes, the HDP still attracts ten percent of national votes.
“İsraf” diyerek geldi, Bellini’nin resmine 6.5 milyon bayıldı!Yeni Akit editor-in-chief Ali Karahasanoğlu criticized Istanbul mayor İmamoğlu. The mayor recently announced that the municipality has acquired a fifteenth-century portrait of Sultan Mehmed II for 770,000 British pounds. “Low-income families who cannot put bread to their table,” writes Karahasanoğlu, “will feel fed by looking at the portrait.”
İmamoğlu şimdi kazandı. Sözcü columnist Soner Yalçın argues that, when discussing the recent acquisition by the municipality of Istanbul, the focus should not be on the price paid, but on the value of the portrait. The painting, he proposes, should be hanged at the Topkapı palace.