By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 3, no. 22 of the Turkey Analyst)
After having overturned the regime of military-bureaucratic tutelage, Turkey is discovering that democracy means struggling with differences and conflict, and that democracy in turn cannot be sustained without an accompanying sense of community. Reconciling diversity and community is never easy, and the fact that Turkey was built on the denial of diversity renders such an endeavor all the more difficult. Yet unless civic virtue is nurtured and the polarizing tendency to assume the worst about others in society is overcome, the new, post-Kemalist Turkey will prove to be a disappointment.
By Gareth H. Jenkins (vol. 3, no. 4 of the Turkey Analyst)
The recent detention of 68 serving and retired military personnel by the Turkish police on suspicion of planning a coup in 2003 has reinforced the deep divisions in Turkish society and escalated the already dangerous tensions between the country’s powerful armed forces and the civilian government. Although there have been arrests of serving and retired military personnel in the past – particularly during the controversial Ergenekon investigation – both the scale of the latest detentions and the claims on which they are based are without precedent. As a result, General İlker Başbuğ, the chief of the General Staff, is now under intense pressure to react; particularly from his colleagues in the officer corps, the vast majority of whom regard the detentions as the latest move in a politically-motivated campaign of lies and disinformation which ultimately aims to destroy the military as an institution.
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.