By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 2, no. 2 of the Turkey Analyst)
Underlying the continued drama of Turkish politics is a societal polarization that has sharpened during the past decade – and which has been the subject of a growing number of reports by academics and investigative journalists. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly clear that tolerance for “the other”, even basic civility, is in worryingly short supply in the Turkish society. Without a reaffirmation of civic values, these trends of a regression of liberal values pose a growing danger to the consolidation of democracy in Turkey.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 2, no. 1 of the Turkey Analyst)
As the investigation into the alleged Ergenekon conspiracy continues unabated, the polarization of Turkish society deepens. According to one interpretation of the unfolding drama, a mortal threat to democracy has been averted by the prosecutors. The opposing narrative holds that a “republic of fear”, intolerant of political dissent, is being instituted. In the final analysis, one interpretation does not exclude the other.
By M. K. Kaya (vol. 2, no. 1 of the Turkey Analyst)
The unexpectedly harsh Turkish reaction to the Israeli offensive in Gaza has raised many eyebrows, given the implications of a shift in Turkey’s foreign policy. It remains unclear to what extent Prime Minister Erdogan’s rhetoric is related to a growing sense of Islamic solidarity underpinning Turkish foreign policy, and how much can be related simply to the upcoming local elections, where Erdogan is anxious not to be outflanked by the growing, rival Islamist Felicity party. In any case, the event – and the growing emotional character of Turkish leaders’ behavior – is an indicator of the shifting decision-making structure in Turkish foreign policy, whereby the traditional foreign policy establishment is being marginalized in favor of the Prime Minister’s own inner cabinet.
By M. K. Kaya (vol. 1, no. 20 of the Turkey Analyst)
The traditional Islamists of the Felicity Party (Saadet Partisi) are mounting a new challenge to the ruling, Islamic moderate AKP. For the first time since Turkey’s Islamic movement split into two parts – one moderate and reformist in the form of AKP and the other traditional in the form of the Felicity party – the former, victorious tendency could be facing a serious challenge from within its own core movement. A good showing of the Felicity party in the upcoming local elections would be likely to affect the internal balances of the Islamic movement.
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.