The question that continues to preoccupy many commentators in the Turkish press is the direction that President Erdoğan is taking Turkey. Baskın Oran, a leading political scientist and pundit, drew a historical parallel to the epochs of Atatürk and the sultan Abdülhamid II, noting that Erdoğan is copying Atatürk in his methods, while copying Abdülhamid II ideologically. Meanwhile, the statement that General Necdet Özel, the Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish military, made during the official state reception on August 30 that the military is held in the dark about the peace negotiations between the government and the Kurdish movement and that the military is going to react if its “red lines” are crossed, was welcomed in a comment in the daily Zaman. It was noted that the words of the military deserves to be listened to and that a solution that lacks the support of the armed forces does not stand any chance of success.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 3, no. 17 of the Turkey Analyst)
At this stage, the Turkish government remains unprepared to commit itself to the kind of constitutional changes that the Kurdish movement requests. Yet a dialogue has presently gotten under way between the Turkish state and the Kurdish movement. If that dialogue can be sustained over a longer period of time, the prospects for a resolution of Turkey’s intractable conflict would look brighter than ever.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 3, no. 13 of the Turkey Analyst)
After the failure of the Kurdish opening and the offensive of the PKK, Turkey gropes for a way out of its Kurdish impasse. Recent statements by the Turkish Chief of the General staff General İlker Başbuğ suggest that a major military incursion into northern Iraq to stamp out the PKK is being considered. Yet it is unlikely that the Turkish state leadership truly believes that there is a military solution to the challenge posed by the demands of the Kurdish population. The moment when that challenge will have to be properly addressed is only being postponed.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 3, no. 8 of the Turkey Analyst)
The recent physical attacks on politicians in Turkey raise the specter of destabilization. The Turkish government speculates that the attacks are coordinated by forces within the state security establishment. The incidents obviously occur within a wider context of ideological manipulation. Turkish ultra-nationalism has developed and spread during the last decade. It seems that the punch, rather than the outstretched hand, and irrationality are set to define the future of Turkish-Kurdish relations.
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.