By Gareth H. Jenkins (vol. 4, no. 11 of the Turkey Analyst)
On May 21, 2011, six members of the Turkish ultranationalist Nationalist Action Party (MHP) resigned from the party’s National Executive Committee after an internet website began broadcasting secretly-recorded videos of them engaging in extramarital sexual relations. Over the previous month, four other leading members of the MHP had been forced to resign after similar secretly-recorded videos were posted on the same internet website. The identity of those responsible for recording and broadcasting the videos currently remains unclear. However, opposition parties have accused supporters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), whose campaign for the June 12 general election has been largely based on trying to prevent the MHP from gaining enough votes to cross the 10 percent threshold for representation in parliament.
By M.K. Kaya and Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 2, no. 7 of the Turkey Analyst)
The results of the local elections in Turkey held on March 29 were a disappointment for the governing Justice and development party, AKP. For the first time, the AKP experienced an electoral setback. Conversely, the opposition parties have regained some confidence. Yet Turkey remains as divided as ever. Indeed, the electoral map of Turkey reveals a country fractured into four distinctive parts, with the liberals confined to the coastline.
By Orhan Bursali (vol. 2, no. 6 of the Turkey Analyst)
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) has won two consecutive elections and is now in its eighth year in power. Since the AKP’s leaders came from an Islamist political background, doubts about the sincerity of its adherence to the principles of the democratic system have lingered on among the opposition. These suspicions have been fed by the controversial policies of the AKP, and in particular by its sustained effort to concentrate power in the hands of the executive branch.
By Haluk Sahin (vol. 1, no. 18 of the Turkey Analyst)
Turkey is moving towards local elections in March of 2009 in a state of disorientation and flux. The ideological deck of Turkish politics is once again about to be reshuffled. The ruling AKP’s room for political maneuver is seriously curtailed, which creates new opportunities for the opposition parties.
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.
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.