By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 6, no 21 of the Turkey Analyst)
A recent, unprecedented clash between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, one of the founders of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has exposed mounting dissent within the top leadership of the AKP. This has two sources: Erdoğan’s leadership style, and an increasing, ideological divergence among Muslim conservatives. That divergence revolves around the question of how the Muslim conservatives are going to relate to and cope with change – a change that they themselves have abetted. While Erdoğan reacts with old reflexes, Arınç (and President Abdullah Gül) disapprove of conservative social engineering, and seem to understand that the Muslim conservatives’ continued political success depends on their ability to remain in tune with change.
By Gareth Jenkins (vol. 6, no. 20 of the Turkey Analyst)
Ninety years after its foundation on October 29, 1923, the Turkish Republic is already radically different to how its founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938), intended. More change seems inevitable. Since it first took office in November 2002, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has gradually dismantled Atatürk’s ideological legacy. In its place, the AKP has introduced not a pluralistic democracy but a new form of authoritarianism.
By Svante E. Cornell (vol. 6, no. 18 of the Turkey Analyst)
Following the Taksim square protests, Prime Minister Erdogan has instigated a witch hunt targeting the country’s largest industrial conglomerate, the Koç Group. Since the Koç Group-owned Divan hotel allowed a crowd fleeing tear gas fired by the police to take refuge in the hotel, the conglomerate has seen an unprecedented army of financial inspectors descend on its companies in the energy sector, saw the cancellation of a tender to construct warships for the Turkish navy, and had a lawsuit filed against for abetting the military intervention in 1997. This attack on a group responsible for a tenth of Turkey’s GDP is not only further evidence of Erdogan’s authoritarianism, but also dangerous for Turkey’s economic development. Coming at a time of uncertainty over the economic prospects of large emerging markets like Turkey, punitive action against the Koç Group would be taken very seriously by international markets.
By Gareth Jenkins (vol. 6, no. 18 of the Turkey Analyst)
On September 30, 2013, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced what he termed a “democratization package” of proposed legislative amendments. Yet not only does the package fail to address the key components of Turkey’s growing democratic deficit but it has reinforced concerns about Erdoğan’s increasingly autocratic authoritarianism.
By Gareth H. Jenkins (vol. 6, no. 16 of the Turkey Analyst)
On September 9, 2013, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) announced that it had halted the phased withdrawal of its militants from Turkey but would continue with its temporary ceasefire in order to give the Turkish government a last opportunity to meets its demands for greater rights for the country’s Kurdish minority.
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.