By Haluk Sahin (vol. 1, no. 18 of the Turkey Analyst)
Turkey is moving towards local elections in March of 2009 in a state of disorientation and flux. The ideological deck of Turkish politics is once again about to be reshuffled. The ruling AKP’s room for political maneuver is seriously curtailed, which creates new opportunities for the opposition parties.
By Svante E. Cornell (vol. 1, no. 16 of the Turkey Analyst)
Turkey’s Constitutional Court has published its detailed reasoning in two landmark cases, in which it rejected the AKP government’s lifting of the headscarf ban in universities, and found the ruling party guilty of having undermined secularism, but stopped short of closing down the party. While the two cases have been dismissed as political, a closer reading suggests a much more complex reality. The court offers a sophisticated legal and philosophical reasoning, seeking to balance competing principles. This could suggest that the Turkish Constitutional Court is seriously beginning to step into a role as the constitutional provider of check and balances.
By Halil Magnus Karaveli (vol. 1, no. 14 of the Turkey Analyst)
As the hopes that the AKP would get back on the track of reform and democratization recede, there is a real chance that the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) could reinvent itself as a centrist alternative in Turkish politics. There are also encouraging signs that Turkish social democrats realize that they have to revert to their old ways and make peace with Europe.
By M. K. Kaya (vol. 1, no. 14 of the Turkey Analyst)
Corruption allegations have a prominent place on the Turkish political agenda. In a sense, the history of Turkish democracy reads like a chronicle of corruption allegations directed at governments. With the evolution of Turkey’s economy and the rapid urbanization since 1980, corruption has affected all governing parties following that year’s military coup. The same has been true for the AKP, in spite of the party’s self-proclaimed image of purity and its anti-corruption rhetoric. A recent German court case exposes the mechanisms of Islamist political and media finance.
By Halil Magnus Karaveli (vol. 1, no 11 of the Turkey Analyst)
The solution to Turkey’s regime crisis must logically be sought in the center of the political spectrum. However, the revival of the center-right force of Turkish politics represents a difficult challenge. For it to make a difference, the right must break with its tradition of playing with religion. An alternative must be formulated that is more stridently secular than what the center-right traditionally has been. But for it to be viable, such a centrist force needs simultaneously to be attractive to the conservative base of the centre-right, a challenging task.
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.