By M. K. Kaya (vol. 2, no. 21 of the Turkey Analyst)
With its Kurdish opening, the Turkish government has set out to reinvent Turkey, in order to secure the integrity of the state and consolidate society. The AKP is succeeding in reaching out to the Kurds. However, the opening is being met with stiff opposition from Turkish nationalists, and the AKP will ignore that opposition at its own peril. The Kurdish imperative also plays an important if hidden role behind some of Turkey’s recent, controversial foreign policy initiatives.
By Gareth H. Jenkins (vol. 2, no. 19 of the Turkey Analyst)
The October 24 announcement by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he was postponing the planned arrival in Turkey from Europe on October 28 of 15 members and sympathizers of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was a tacit admission that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had seriously miscalculated a critical phase in the “Kurdish Opening”, which is designed to address the grievances of Turkey’s Kurdish minority and persuade the PKK to lay down its arms.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 2, no. 18 of the Turkey Analyst)
In landmark speeches, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül have celebrated Turkey’s multicultural diversity, and declared that the state is to defer to societal pluralism. The liberal discourse departs from the tradition of statism, but its credibility is undermined by the government’s illiberal policies. And the “mosaic” of Turkey is far removed from the ideals of tolerance evoked by the rhetoric of Erdoğan and Gül.That represents another, major impediment to the realization of the liberal vision.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 2, no. 17 of the Turkey Analyst)
The perspective of the General staff on the Islamic conservative movement has evolved, from having seen it as an intruder on the territory of the state to judging it on its own possible merits as a protector of the integrity and strength of the state. The joint management by the AKP government and the General staff of the Kurdish issue is revelatory of the convergence that is under way between the erstwhile foes, provoking the anger of an alienated nationalist opposition.
By Svante E. Cornell and M.K. Kaya (vol. 2, no. 16 of the Turkey Analyst)
In its laudable attempts to reduce tensions with its neighbors and to gain a greater influence in the South Caucasus, the AKP government has made itself dependent on forces that it cannot control. Unless Armenia and Azerbaijan strike a deal rapidly, Turkey will inevitably be forced to choose between reneging on its commitment to normalize relations with Armenia or risk a breakdown in its relations with Azerbaijan. In either situation, Moscow will be the geopolitical winner. Western, in particular American, activity to support an agreement on principle between Armenia and Azerbaijan is urgently called for.
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.