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?
By Halil Karaveli (vol. 8, no. 1 of the Turkey Analyst)
Atatürk was Hitler’s “shining star in the darkness.” The Third Reich instituted a veritable cult of Atatürk. The Nazi admiration provides a lens for a fresh look at Kemalism. In spite of its pretentions to stand for “enlightenment”, Kemalism has failed to midwife a democratic evolution. The question is whether this has anything to do with the aspects of Kemalism that the Nazis admired.
By Halil Karaveli (vol. 7, no. 19 of the Turkey Analyst)
Liberals expected the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to be a democratic reformist bourgeois party, because unlike its predecessors of the right, it was deemed to represent an “authentic bourgeoisie.” However, the liberals not only read too much into the AKP as a bourgeois party. They also invested too much hope in the “authenticity” of the said bourgeoisie. The case of Turkey stands as an example that bourgeoisie and state authoritarianism can be mutually reinforcing.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 5, no. 6 of the Turkey Analyst)
Is there a third way for Turkey, one that would offer an escape from the statist and nationalist authoritarianism to which both Kemalism and Islamism condemns the country? While the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has increasingly come to embrace an illiberal approach, the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is attempting to move in the opposite direction. However, the assumption that there is still a significant constituency for liberal change to tap into, as was the case a decade ago, when the AKP first came to power and when EU membership beckoned, is a dubious one. History teaches that it is unlikely that Turkey, left to its own devices, will emancipate from illiberalism.
By Gareth H. Jenkins (vol. 5, no. 5 of the Turkey Analyst)
On February 7, 2012, Sadrettin Sarıkaya, a public prosecutor with “special authority”, attempted to question several high-ranking serving and retired officials of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT), including intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, on suspicion of aiding and abetting the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The resultant furor led not only to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) rushing through legislative amendments to protect the country’s intelligence officers from judicial investigation but also to calls for the entire system of “specially authorized” prosecutors and courts to be overhauled. However, there is considerable evidence to suggest that the manner in which “specially authorized” prosecutors and courts operate are merely symptoms of much deeper flaws in the Turkish judicial system as a whole.
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.