By M. K. Kaya and Svante E. Cornell (vol. 1, no. 12 of the Turkey Analyst)
Like most other states, Turkey was hard pressed to respond to the war in Georgia. For Turkey, the war threatened its position in the Caucasus, as well as its long-term objective of becoming a hub of European energy transportation. Prime Minister Erdogan chose to moment in order to promote a form of Caucasian alliance - a well-intentioned but somewhat surreal proposal in the middle of a raging war. The crisis exposed the government's lack of attention to the Caucasus, and the need for a serious rethink of Turkey's role there
By Halil Magnus Karaveli (vol. 1, no. 12 of the Turkey Analyst)
The conclusion of Turkey’s regime crisis calls for a revisal of the conventional way of interpreting Turkish political dynamics. Turkey has moved from confrontation over the nature of the regime to a systemic reconciliation in the making. Significantly, the split between the moderate Islamists and the military is about to be bridged. That should make it less difficult for observers in the West to discern and appreciate the reality of civilian secularism in Turkey.
By Svante E. Cornell (vol. 1, no. 11 of the Turkey Analyst)
In early July, the PKK terrorist organization abducted three German climbers on Mt. Ararat, in an apparent revenge for Germany’s decision to ban the PKK’s mouthpiece, Denmark-based television channel Roj TV. The episode points to the PKK’s continuous difficulties in maintaining its claim to represent Kurdish opinion, faced with multiple challenges – from both the Turkish military and governing party, who otherwise agree on little; as well as the EU’s refusal to grant the PKK legitimacy and the Iraqi Kurdish parties’ success in making Iraqi Kurdistan the beacon of Kurdish hope, eclipsing the PKK. It remains to be seen whether the PKK will be successful in taking advantage of the current Turkish crisis.
By Halil Magnus Karaveli (vol. 1, no 11 of the Turkey Analyst)
The solution to Turkey’s regime crisis must logically be sought in the center of the political spectrum. However, the revival of the center-right force of Turkish politics represents a difficult challenge. For it to make a difference, the right must break with its tradition of playing with religion. An alternative must be formulated that is more stridently secular than what the center-right traditionally has been. But for it to be viable, such a centrist force needs simultaneously to be attractive to the conservative base of the centre-right, a challenging task.
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.