VOL. 7, NO. 22, 03 DECEMBER 2014

By Gareth Jenkins (vol. 7, no. 22 of the Turkey Analyst)

On November 29, 2014, Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned founder of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) told a visiting delegation from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) that the Kurdish issue could be resolved – and the PKK’s 30 year-old insurgency ended – within four to five months provided that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) took the appropriate measures. In reality, not only is there little prospect of breakthrough but frustration at the lack of progress has begun to highlight the struggle for relevance between different elements within the Kurdish nationalist movement. 

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By Stephen Blank (vol. 7, no. 22 of the Turkey Analyst)

The announcement that the original South Stream is being closed, and is instead going to be redirected through Turkey, is of epochal significance. However, it is by no means certain that Russia and Turkey can pursue antagonistic policies geopolitically and simultaneously maximize the benefits of their deepened energy relation and increased economic cooperation. And in its eagerness to become a gas hub, Turkey has severely limited the possibilities for Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Central Asian gas producers to break free of Moscow’s energy grip. 

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent statement that Muslims were the ones who discovered the Americas have stimulated many commentators to draw parallels to Atatürk who claimed that Turks from Central Asia had founded all the significant civilizations in the world. Murat Belge writes that Atatürk’s “Sun-Language Theory” was no less “ridiculous” than the theory about “Muslims in America.” Fatih Yaşlı disagrees, saying that the early republic and Erdoğan’s new Turkey cannot be compared, as the latter embodies an ambition to install a religiously authoritarian system. Ahmet İnsel writes that one important reason why the AKP has been able to perpetuate its hegemony is the way many modern, secular “progressives” look at people from the lower classes, that they accuse them of selling their votes in return for social welfare benefits. Yüksel Taşkın challenges the claim of Kemalists and many leftists that the liberals were responsible for paving the way for the ascent of the AKP.  He writes that Kemalists were chiefly responsible for this, while the trouble for liberals is that they find it difficult to discard the notion that history inexorably progresses toward a positive ending.

Media

By Halil Karaveli (vol. 7, no. 21 of the Turkey Analyst)

The Turkish generals are no longer afraid to speak out and they exert influence over government policies. Erdoğan invited the military back into the power equation when, faced with the Gülenist challenge to his power, and in need of a new ally, he gave the signal to open the prison doors for the convicted officers. But more than anything else, it is the persistence of an authoritarian mindset that sets the stage for the recurrent assertion of the power of the military in Turkey.

18 MART SEHITLERI ANMA GUNU VE CANAKKALE DENIZ ZAFERININ 98. YIL DONUMU TORENLERI

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Joint Center Publications

Analysis Halil Karaveli, "Kobani and the future of Turkish Democracy," Foreign Affairs, 8 October 2014.

Analysis Halil Karaveli and Michael Tanchum, "Pakistan's Lessons for Turkey," New York Times, 5 OCtober 2014.

Analysis Halil Karaveli and Svante E. Cornell, "Davutoglu and the 'New Turkey': The Closing of a 'Hundred Year Old Parenthesis", Bipartisan Policy Center, August 26, 2014.

Analysis Halil M. Karaveli, "Erdogan's Achilles Heel: Why the Prime Minister will Win the Election, but Lose the Economy", Foreign Affairs, August 8, 2014.

Analysis
Blaise Misztal, Halil Karaveli, and Svante Cornell, "Foreign Policy Reset Unlikely Under President Erdogan", The American Interest, August 7, 2014.

Timeline Hendrik Müller, Turkey's December 17 Process: A Timeline of the Graft Investigation and the Government's Response, Joint Center electronic publication, June 2014.


Monograph
Eric S. Edelman, Svante E. Cornell, Aaron Lobel, Michael Makovsky, The Roots of Turkish Conduct: Understanding the Evolution of Turkish Policy in the Middle East, Washington: Bipartisan Policy Center, December 2013. 

 

 

The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It is published bi-weekly, and includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.

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