Ergun Babahan in Özgür Düşünce writes that the southeast of Turkey is awash in blood. In areas near the border, the state is only able to demonstrate its power with tanks and armored vehicles. Those who look at Cizre or Diyarbakır are reminded of Iraq during the American occupation. The risks are extremely great. There is a possibility that the fighting is going to spread to the Kurdish area in Syria. The AKP is taking steps that are going to raise tensions further, and remove the possibility of finding political solutions. The atmosphere of fighting is likely going to enable Erdogan to pursue his repressive policies and help him win a probable referendum on the introduction of a presidential system, as the fighting ensures that he will get the support of MHP voters. Yet the government should recognize that it is not facing a group of armed youth. It is facing a movement that has a strong popular support. Turkey is racing toward a big fire.
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.
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.