Monday, 16 July 2018 00:00

Can Turkey Change?

By Halil Karaveli

July 16,  2018

Though not impossible, change remains an unlikely prospect in Turkey. Seen in a larger historical perspective, the switch from parliamentarianism to presidential rule represents less of a break with continuity than one would imagine. Similarly, the June 24 elections showed that Turkish electoral dynamics remain largely unchanged, even though the social democrat candidate Muharrem İnce’s campaign as well as his result did go some way in illustrating how these dynamics may ultimately change.

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Published in Articles

By John C. K. Daly

July 5,  2018

For years Turkey, which imports 90 percent of its energy needs, has considered any and all options to lessen its import costs, including nuclear. The country’s energy requirements have persistently pitted the government against the country’s environmentalist lobby, one of the strongest in the Middle East. Despite such concerns, Turkey’s nuclear lobby has scored a decisive victory, as the ground has been broken for the nation’s first nuclear power plant (NPP) at Akkuyu on the southern Mediterranean coast.

Akkuyu will consist of four 1,200 megawatt (MW) VVER reactors producing a total of 4,800 MW. The Akkuyu NPP, being constructed by the Russian state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, is projected to meet 10 percent of Turkey's future energy requirements. The first unit of the plant is scheduled to come online in 2023, with the NPP’s overall cost projected to be $20 billion.

KEY ISSUE: On April 3 President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin at the presidential complex in Ankara, where they attended via teleconference the Akkuyu NPP groundbreaking ceremony, an event described by Erdoğan as a “historic moment.” Putin remarked, "It is difficult to overestimate the significance of this large-scale, innovative project. In essence, today we are not only witnessing the construction of Turkey's first nuclear power plant, but we are also creating the basis of Turkey's nuclear industry as a whole.” Despite such optimism about bringing the facility’s first reactor online in 2023, the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey, as highlighted by both Putin and Erdoğan in their ceremonial speeches, it remains to be seen whether such an ambitious agenda will be fully implemented in the future.

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Published in Articles

By Gareth H. Jenkins

June 20,  2018

The rapid depreciation in the value of the Turkish Lira since the beginning of 2018 is the product not only of the collapse of any remaining vestiges of investor confidence in the regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan but a symptom of the failure of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to address the long-standing structural vulnerabilities of the Turkish economy.

 

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Published in Articles

By Halil Karaveli

June 18,  2018

The Kurdish question may serve President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, helping to secure his re-election. The election campaign has demonstrated that Erdoğan no longer energizes the masses; after fifteen years in power, the Turkish president shows every sign of being worn out. He is no longer an inspirational leader; he has nothing new to say or to promise. But Erdoğan nonetheless retains the loyalty of the AKP base. And as the spokesperson of the nationalism of the Turkish state he is assured of enough non-partisan support as well.

 

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Published in Articles

By Cengiz Çandar

May 22,  2018

The outcome of Turkey’s upcoming election will be determined by the Kurdish voters. This is ironic since the presidential system that the election will enshrine is designed to exclude the Kurds from the political system of Turkey. The sequence of fatal mistakes that have been committed since 2015 show that the Turkish state is determined to deprive the Kurds from having a political say, whatever the cost. The Kurds will either liquidate Turkish autocracy or be amputated from the Turkish body politic.

 

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Published in Articles

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Joint Center Publications

Op-ed Svante E. Cornell, A Road to Understanding in Syria? The U.S. and TurkeyThe American Interest, June 2018

Article Halil Karaveli "Will the Kurdish Question Secure Erdogan's Re-election?", Turkey Analyst, June 18, 2018

Op-ed Svante E. Cornell "Erbakan, Kisakürek, and the Mainstreaming of Extremism in Turkey"Hudson Institute, June 2018

Op-ed Svante E. Cornell "The U.S. and Turkey: Past the Point of No Return?"The American Interest, February 1, 2018

Op-ed Svante E. Cornell "Erdogan's Turkey: the Role of a Little Known Islamic Poet", Breaking Defense, January 2, 2018

Op-ed Halil Karaveli "Turkey's Authoritarian Legacy"Breaking Defense, January 2, 2018

Article Svante E. Cornell, "A Religious Party Takes Hold: Turkey"The SAIS Review of International Affairs, November 2017

Article Svante E. Cornell and M.K. Kaya"The Naqshbandi-Khalidi Order and Political Islam in Turkey"Hudson Institute, September 2015 

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.

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