Saturday, 03 October 2015 00:00

Gültekin: Islam and death

Levent Gültekin, who is a former Islamist and the author of a recent, bestselling book on the moral “defeat” of political Islam in power in Turkey, writes on the Diken news site that the first thing that comes to our mind when we think about the Islamic world is: death. We are not even afraid of saying, as we have done after the accident in which nearly one thousand pilgrims were killed, “How nice it was that these blessed people died at a blessed time, at a blessed place”!  The religious understanding that prevails in the Islamic world is one that exults not in life, but death. It is because this religious understanding prevails that Muslims are utterly incapable of building cities that you can live in; it is because they have surrendered to this understanding that they do not bother to work on how to live a better life. In reality, as Muslims we are the living dead. That is because our lives have no value in these lands. And because death is valued more, things such as serenity, ethics, friendship, courtesy, knowledge, being principled – in short, to live like a human being – have no value. We cannot nourish any hope that we are ever going to be able to change this understanding, which prevents us from being like humans, and have it accepted by the Islamic world. So let us at least cease to preserve this religion – which is condemned to this understanding – as the focus of our lives.

Saturday, 03 October 2015 00:00

Bayramoğlu: can Turkey revolutionize itself?

Ali Bayramoğlu in Yeni Şafak observes that Turkey’s societal tissue is multi-pieced. It is almost as if the “millet” system of the Ottomans, where different communities co-existed without ever being in contact with each other, continues in a different shape. The question now – and it is an urgent one – is whether we will finally be able to realize a historic revolution – “a grand, civilian, egalitarian civilization project” – that endeavors to build bridges between the different sections, communities and groups, many of which have been formed as a result of cultural differences. What the AKP has done during the last thirteen years is that it has empowered a societal section that had long been excluded, granting it its rights, securing its self-confidence, placing it next to the other section, as its equal. That has been a great egalitarian endeavor and it has to a large extent succeeded. But the AKP has not done what was expected from it next; it has not continued on to the second stage, embracing all the different sections in a common construction. Instead, it has emphasized its own values.

Saturday, 03 October 2015 00:00

Mahçupyan: PKK is in for a big disappointment

Etyen Mahçupyan in Akşam writes that the PKK can only achieve its aims in Syria if its acts in concert with Turkey. However, the HDP/KCK has adopted the opposite course. This can only mean one thing: The organization [the PKK] pursues the logic “everything or nothing” and it has only two possible supports in order to attain its goal: The U.S. and the people of the region… There is no need to make an additional effort to prove the unreliability of the U.S. Thus we get to the real issue: The question of the degree of support for the PKK’s strategy from the people in the region… That’s an important question, because if you act according to the “everything or nothing” logic, and you in fact lack the support of the population, then there is a high probability that you are going to forfeit the obliging stance of the U.S. at your next move, leaving you with a “nothing” as a result…

Oral Çalışlar in Radikal writes that it is highly likely that various coalition formulas are going to be discussed after November 1, just as was the case after June 7, and that the AKP is once again going to be at the center of these. [HDP co-chair] Demirtaş has made the assessment that "the AKP needs to change itself." It is a fact that this assessment points toward an interesting potential. Whatever happens, Turkey is ultimately going to return to the solution process [of the Kurdish issue]. The discussions about disarmament and about democratization projects are going to resume…  For that to happen, and for the discussions to continue once they have started, AKP and HDP, as in the past, are going to have to put in work hours together. If the AKP does not get a majority, there is inevitably a coalition on the horizon.  It is useful to be open to new experiences, to new searches and to be courageous.

Saturday, 03 October 2015 00:00

Selvi: majority is within AKP's reach

Abdülkadir Selvi in Yeni Şafak writes that support for the AKP seems to be around 44 percent at the start of the election campaign. That means an increase of three percentage points compared to the result on June 7. There are three main reasons for the AKP’s increase. First, the governmental vacuum that has reigned since June 7 has made those who care about stability to turn to the AKP. Second, one to two percentage points are made up of returning voters from the MHP, in reaction to the intransigency of MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli after the election, when he refused to consider a coalition [with the AKP] and stayed out of the [caretaker] government when the fight against PKK had started. The third factor is those who voted for the [Islamist] Felicity Party and The Party of Grand Unity (BBP) on June 7, and who are now concluding that “Our votes did not have any effect on the political equation. Let’s now make sure that we get a majority government.”

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Joint Center Publications

Op-ed Halil Karaveli "The Rise and Rise of the Turkish Right", The New York Times, April 8, 2019

Analysis Halil Karaveli "The Myth of Erdogan's Power"Foreign Policy, August 29, 2018

Analysis Svante E. Cornell, A Road to Understanding in Syria? The U.S. and TurkeyThe American Interest, June 2018

Op-ed Halil Karaveli "Erdogan Wins Reelection"Foreign Affairs, June 25, 2018

Article Halil Karaveli "Will the Kurdish Question Secure Erdogan's Re-election?", Turkey Analyst, June 18, 2018

Research Article Svante E. Cornell "Erbakan, Kisakürek, and the Mainstreaming of Extremism in Turkey", Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, June 2018

Analysis Svante E. Cornell "The U.S. and Turkey: Past the Point of No Return?"The American Interest, February 1, 2018

Op-ed Svante E. Cornell "Erdogan's Turkey: the Role of a Little Known Islamic Poet", Breaking Defense, January 2, 2018

Research Article Halil Karaveli "Turkey's Authoritarian Legacy"Cairo Review of Global Affairs, January 2, 2018

 

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.

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