By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 4, no. 2 of the Turkey Analyst)
The liberals who were instrumental in legitimating the ascension of the Justice and development party (AKP) are now dramatically revoking their support for the Islamic conservatives. Its erstwhile allies accuse the AKP of seeking to reintroduce a culturally conservative version of the old regime of state tutelage. Yet it is simply beyond the power of the state to impose an ideological straitjacket on Turkey, be it Kemalist or Islamist.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 4, no. 1 of the Turkey Analyst)
The ruling Justice and development party (AKP) seems to have recommitted itself to keeping Turkey a mono-culturally Turkish state. Recent appearances are nonetheless deceptive. The AKP is not ideologically beholden to Turkish nationalism in the old, Kemalist mould. Turkey’s ruling party is nevertheless heir to a state tradition which precludes societal participation and democratic deliberation. The Kurds are expected to remain quiescent and await the state to eventually extend its benevolence, while the Turks are being misled by a nationalist discourse that veils the changes that follow from the state’s Kurdish opening.
By Gareth Jenkins (vol. 7, no. 11 of the Turkey Analyst)
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s attempts to tighten his grip on power by stoking social tensions and propagating conspiracy theories have exacerbated the already widespread concerns of Turkey’s heterodox Alevi religious community. Many Alevis now fear that not only their culture and lifestyles but also their lives are at risk.
By Toni Alaranta (vol. 7, no. 11 of the Turkey Analyst)
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power by promising to establish a liberal-democratic regime in Turkey. The increasing authoritarianism of the Turkish ruling party and the recurrent attempts to suppress dissident voices raises the question what kind of freedom, and in what circumstances, the party advocates. There is a need to go beyond the simplistic assertion that the party suddenly changed from being liberal to authoritarian.
By Halil M. Karaveli and M. K. Kaya (vol. 3, no. 21 of the Turkey Analyst)
U.S. power still matters in Turkey, and the revelation that the AKP does not enjoy universal American support is unwelcome news for the ruling party. The perception that it enjoyed full U.S. support was instrumental in the AKP’s ascendancy. The dissemination of the U.S. diplomatic correspondence from Ankara has called that myth into question, indeed effectively depriving the AKP of its cherished American cover. The reactions of leading AKP representatives to the Wikileaks publication are suggestive of a significant uneasiness. They speak of an anxiety that the U.S. could turn against the AKP, that it has indeed already done so.
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.