By Ozan Serdaroğlu
December 23rd, 2015, The Turkey Analyst
The Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has always cherished strong economic bonds with the West, recognizing that both the EU and the U.S. are vital for Turkey’s foreign trade. Developments during the second half of 2015 show that further deepening of economic relations with Western countries has become a top priority. This new posture may also bring about considerable changes in domestic economic governance, ushering in a convergence of goals between the government and the economic elites in Turkey.
By Gareth H. Jenkins
December 21st, 2015, The Turkey Analyst
In theory, the restoration of the parliamentary majority of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the general election of November 1 should have been an opportunity to address Turkey’s many pressing problems, not least its international isolation and the cleavages in Turkish society. Instead, in the weeks since its election victory, the AKP has continued with the policies that it was pursuing before, not only exacerbating existing crises but creating new ones.
Güray Öz in Cumhuriyet writes that history teaches that the establishment of a one party rule and ideological homogenization requires the securing of the full support of big capital. At the recent meeting of the Association of Turkish Businessmen and Industrialists (TÜSİAD) the representatives of big capital listened to the speech of the prime minister standing. That shows that we should not expect that big business is going to oppose the ideological uniformity that the one party regime is introducing. Make no mistake; they will acquiesce to ideological homogenization in the name of the “stability” that they like so much. The problems in society, in the east, in the west and with the outside world are not going to end, but never mind that; homogenization is good for the protection of profits in troubled tomes; one nation, one party – that’s a good deal for profit…
By Halil Karaveli
December 7th, 2015, The Turkey Analyst
The interplay of Western interests and internal Turkish dynamics has more often boosted authoritarianism than democracy in Turkey. Turkey’s strategic value as a “sentinel” during the Cold War gave Turkish governments a tacit license to suppress freedoms and democratic rights. The historical pattern is now being repeated. It is reassuring for the authoritarian Turkish regime that Turkey has once again become indispensable as a guard-post for its Western partners.
Mahmut Bozarslan on Bertaraf Haber writes that the PKK engaged the state in a ferocious fight without allowing the HDP the chance to do politics. And this time it did it by bringing the fighting into the middle of city centers… Even though the west of Turkey holds HDP responsible for the fighting, the Kurds knew very well who the responsible was. The declarations of self-rule in many Kurdish populated cities and the armed resistance on the streets, started to annoy the Kurds. The Kurds could not make sense of why there was suddenly a resumption of violence just as peace was within reach. The Kurdish voters stood up against PKK’s preference for violence. The HDP was made to pay for the violence that did not cease despite all calls from civil society. Yes, the state started the violence, but the PKK continued with it. The PKK could very well have declared that it was not going to take action and then withdrawn across the border. Not only did it choose not to withdraw, it turned the cities into war zones. And poor HDP had to pay the price. Yet despite everything negative, if one victor of the election is the AKP, so HDP is the second one. It is a major accomplishment to manage to get 59 parliamentarians elected despite all pressure and despite having been squashed under the tension that all the fighting has caused. The loser is the strategy of Kandil [the PKK], and the tactics of urban guerilla. As the saying goes, “War for the people in spite of the people” does not work.
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.