By Svante E. Cornell (vol. 1, no. 11 of the Turkey Analyst)
In early July, the PKK terrorist organization abducted three German climbers on Mt. Ararat, in an apparent revenge for Germany’s decision to ban the PKK’s mouthpiece, Denmark-based television channel Roj TV. The episode points to the PKK’s continuous difficulties in maintaining its claim to represent Kurdish opinion, faced with multiple challenges – from both the Turkish military and governing party, who otherwise agree on little; as well as the EU’s refusal to grant the PKK legitimacy and the Iraqi Kurdish parties’ success in making Iraqi Kurdistan the beacon of Kurdish hope, eclipsing the PKK. It remains to be seen whether the PKK will be successful in taking advantage of the current Turkish crisis.
By Halil Magnus Karaveli (vol. 1, no 11 of the Turkey Analyst)
The solution to Turkey’s regime crisis must logically be sought in the center of the political spectrum. However, the revival of the center-right force of Turkish politics represents a difficult challenge. For it to make a difference, the right must break with its tradition of playing with religion. An alternative must be formulated that is more stridently secular than what the center-right traditionally has been. But for it to be viable, such a centrist force needs simultaneously to be attractive to the conservative base of the centre-right, a challenging task.
By M.K. Kaya and Svante E. Cornell (vol. 1, no. 10 of the Turkey Analyst)
Turkey’s military occupies a position of influence in the country’s society and politics unseen in any other western democracy. However, in spite of a propensity to interfere in politics, the top brass has remained relatively quiet in the past year, while the driving force in the vocal opposition to the AKP government has been the judiciary. But given the growing intensity of Turkey’s regime crisis, illustrated by the July 1 arrests, it remains to be seen whether the military can succeed in staying out of this fight.
By Halil Magnus Karaveli (vol. 1, no. 9 of the Turkey Analyst)
As the storms gather around the AKP, its rule is by all accounts likely to draw to a close. What went wrong with Turkey’s experiment of moderate Islamism? It is tempting for western observers to conclude that it was sabotaged by a supposedly autocratic, dogmatically secularist state establishment which is unwilling to surrender its positions of power. But the fatal mistake of the Islamists has precisely been to expect the seculars to accept surrender.
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.