By the Editors (vol. 1, no. 9 of the Turkey Analyst)
In late May 2008, three researchers from the Joint Center’s Turkey Initiative met with Turkey’s 9th president, Süleyman Demirel. This is a summary of his comments, which focused on the background to the current Turkish political crisis. Mr. Demirel, a towering figure over Turkey’s conservative forces for half a century, defines the problem as a struggle between modernity and bigotry.
By Halil Magnus Karaveli (vol. 1, no. 8 of the Turkey Analyst)
The ideological confrontation between Islamism and secularism in Turkey is fed by contradictory interpretations of republican history. The enterprise of secularism is either understood as having oppressed religion or as having been insufficiently true to its Enlightenment heritage. How republican history is interpreted will ultimately shape the future course of Turkey.
By M. K. Kaya and Svante E. Cornell (vol. 1, no. 8 of the Turkey Analyst)
Political leaders in Turkey have tried to manipulate media for decades, and the AKP government is no exception. The AKP government is apparently bent on creating a pliant media. As much of the centrist, mainstream media turned against it in 2007, the government has assertively sought to secure its influence over media, engineering the takeover of major media outlets by friendly forces. The recent takeover by CALIK holding of the Sabah/ATV group and the machinations involving the Dogan holding are cases in point.
By Halil Magnus Karaveli (vol. 1, no. 7 of the Turkey Analyst)
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) rejects the accusation of being anti-secular, instead advancing its own interpretation of secularism. Opinion polls, however, indicate that the AKP’s views are representative of but a minority of the Turkish population. A clear majority appears to believe that secularism is in fact endangered, and there is only minority support for the kind of redefinition of secularism that is sought after by the moderate Islamists.
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 includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.