By M. K. Kaya (vol. 1, no. 20 of the Turkey Analyst)
The traditional Islamists of the Felicity Party (Saadet Partisi) are mounting a new challenge to the ruling, Islamic moderate AKP. For the first time since Turkey’s Islamic movement split into two parts – one moderate and reformist in the form of AKP and the other traditional in the form of the Felicity party – the former, victorious tendency could be facing a serious challenge from within its own core movement. A good showing of the Felicity party in the upcoming local elections would be likely to affect the internal balances of the Islamic movement.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 1, no. 20 of the Turkey Analyst)
Turkey’s influential liberal intellectuals have become disenchanted with the ruling AKP, which they accuse of having abandoned its initial, reformist agenda. However, disappointed liberals have yet to acknowledge that events could have taken a different turn if they had chosen to exert a corrective influence on their Islamic conservative allies in the AKP. Above all, liberals who truly aspire to be a vanguard of freedom will have to revisit the question of secularism and its democratic implications.
By M. K. Kaya (vol. 1, no. 19 of the Turkey Analyst)
The effects of the global economic crisis are increasingly making themselves felt in Turkey as well. After having initially taken the position that Turkey would somehow remain shielded from the global unrest, the AKP government has gradually been forced to acknowledge the vulnerability of the Turkish economy. However, with continued political instability and with the upcoming local elections, the AKP government is having severe difficulties in mustering the required ability to manage the unfolding economic crisis.
By Halil Magnus Karaveli (vol. 1, no. 19 of the Turkey Analyst)
The opposition Republican people’s party, CHP, long perceived as dogmatically secularist, is now intent on broadening its base and its message. CHP leader Deniz Baykal has made a bold move by enlisting women wearing the headscarf and even the black chador as party members. The overture to veiled women could at best pave the way for a new realignment that contributes to the reconciliation of secularism and religious traditionalism. But it also raises new questions about the future of secularism in Turkey.
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.