By Gareth Jenkins
October 27, 2022
Turkey’s Kurds have the potential to play a key role in Turkey’s forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, which are due to be held in June 2023 at the latest. Their votes could be critical to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s hopes of securing a third term as president and are likely to determine whether the alliance between his Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) retains its parliamentary majority. But, with most of its leaders in prison or facing prosecution, its members expelled from virtually all of the local authorities they won in the last local elections and its main political party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), facing closure by the Constitutional Court, the Kurdish political movement faces a major challenge in persuading its supporters of the relevance of casting their votes. The 2023 elections could be decided not so much by who Kurds vote for but how many go to the polls.
By Barış Soydan
October 17, 2022
The notion that Turkey faces an “existential” threat, that the unity of the state and the nation is at stake, has long featured preeminently in Turkish political discourse, legitimizing repressive policies. Yet, growing poverty, inequality and despair, which provide a xenophobic far right with fertile ground, may turn out to be Turkey’s truly existential problem. Millions have lost not only their economic status but also, and perhaps even worse, their hopes for the future. This development is ripe with risks and does not augur well for Turkey's future and social cohesion. Unless economic injustice and hopelessness are addressed, Turkey will face the risk of social upheaval and political destabilization.
By Halil Karaveli
October 6, 2022
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s potential candidacy in next year’s presidential election is causing tensions within Turkey’s six party main opposition alliance, raising doubts about the viability of the alternative alliance to the rule of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has rebounded in the polls. Turkey’s past, sociology and the right-wing character of the opposition alliance where the CHP is in ideological minority militate against the social democrat Kılıçdaroğlu’s presidential bid. And while Turkey’s long-standing culture war between seculars and religious conservatives may have come to an end, ethnic aspirations and rising socio-economic discontent – to which the left and the right respond differently – are bound to fuel societal conflict and make it difficult, if not impossible, to sustain a the left-right opposition alliance and the notion that there is a viable alternative to Erdoğan.
By Hamit Bozarslan
October 3, 2022
The Turkish, Russian and Iranian regimes share strikingly similar traits. They have emerged to form a group of radically nationalist, self-proclaimed “virile” alternatives to liberal democracy. All three “anti-democracies” project themselves as hegemonic powers, but they remain deeply frustrated former empires and their future is uncertain. Unfortunately, the passivity that the Erdoğan regime has succeeded in instilling in Turkish society, like the Putin regime has done in Russia, may prove to be its lasting legacy, ensuring the survival of authoritarian rule.
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.