By Halil Karaveli
July 16, 2018
Though not impossible, change remains an unlikely prospect in Turkey. Seen in a larger historical perspective, the switch from parliamentarianism to presidential rule represents less of a break with continuity than one would imagine. Similarly, the June 24 elections showed that Turkish electoral dynamics remain largely unchanged, even though the social democrat candidate Muharrem İnce’s campaign as well as his result did go some way in illustrating how these dynamics may ultimately change.
By Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak (vol. 8, no. 15 of the Turkey Analyst)
Despite the importance and improvement of multi-dimensional Turkish-Chinese relations, Turkish decision makers have had difficulties reconciling their Pan-Islamic ideological rhetoric and the demands of realpolitik. While Ankara recognizes the need to form good relations with China, its self-assigned role as the protector of “oppressed Muslims” has, so far, trapped Turkey between realpolitik and the purism of ideology. Having acknowledged this clash, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has moved to neutralize the discord that has existed between Turkey’s national interests and its Pan-Islamic ideological rhetoric. Erdoğan’s new China strategy promises to pave the way for solid, stable relations between Turkey and China.
By Toni Alaranta (vol. 8, no. 14 of the Turkey Analyst)
There is widespread expectation that “normalization” and democratic consolidation will follow the June 7 election, which deprived the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of its majority. The talk about “normalization” and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan becoming “isolated” presupposes that Turkey’s democratic travails emanate exclusively from Erdoğan’s power hunger, and that once this factor is eliminated, the AKP will once again become the “normalizing force” it allegedly was previously. However, “normalization” would mean abandoning not only Erdoğan but the very political narrative disseminated by the AKP during its years in power, and thus the mission of the party.
By Halil Karaveli (vol. 8, no. 14 of the Turkey Analyst)
The AKP’s loss of its absolute majority in the June 7 parliamentary election may paradoxically offer the regime the chance to refurbish its tarnished image in the West. That, at least, is how some of the leading representatives of the regime judge the present situation. A coalition government with the center-left CHP is perceived as a chance for the AKP to rid itself of the charges of authoritarianism. Western endorsement has always been critically important for AKP, and the party is desperate to regain its lost legitimacy in the West. The question, though, is why the CHP would even contemplate lending itself to a project that would only entrench the AKP regime.
By Halil Karaveli (vol. 8, no. 3 of the Turkey Analyst)
The historical record of TÜSİAD, The Association of Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen, as an agent for democratization is anything but encouraging. Today however, the interests of its members compel TÜSİAD to be a force for democracy and secularism. But mustering the force to defend these principles requires that the members of TÜSİAD break with a long tradition of bourgeois quietude and subservience to the state. But will they instead hunker down and seek salvation in adjusting to a capitalist model that does not depend on closer relations with the West?
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.