By Halil Magnus Karaveli (vol. 1, no. 19 of the Turkey Analyst)
The opposition Republican people’s party, CHP, long perceived as dogmatically secularist, is now intent on broadening its base and its message. CHP leader Deniz Baykal has made a bold move by enlisting women wearing the headscarf and even the black chador as party members. The overture to veiled women could at best pave the way for a new realignment that contributes to the reconciliation of secularism and religious traditionalism. But it also raises new questions about the future of secularism in Turkey.
By Haluk Sahin (vol. 1, no. 18 of the Turkey Analyst)
Turkey is moving towards local elections in March of 2009 in a state of disorientation and flux. The ideological deck of Turkish politics is once again about to be reshuffled. The ruling AKP’s room for political maneuver is seriously curtailed, which creates new opportunities for the opposition parties.
By M. K. Kaya (vol. 1, no. 18 of the Turkey Analyst)
Faced with an increasingly intractable problem of PKK terrorism, coupled with increasing tensions in society between citizens of ethnic Turkish and Kurdish origin, the governing AKP appears to have moved to the right. Erdogan’s rhetoric has become increasingly nationalistic, aligning itself more with the military brass on issues concerning the PKK, the Kurdish question in general, and Iraq. This has led to some discontent among ethnic Kurdish forces within the AKP, which have been an important support base for the party. The split was most clearly visible in the resignation of the AKP’s deputy Chairman and prominent politician of Kurdish origin, Dengir Firat. This likely has important implications for the AKP’s electoral hopes in upcoming local elections, not least in the Southeast.
By Halil Magnus Karaveli (vol. 1, no. 17 of the Turkey Analyst)
Metin Heper is professor of politics at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. Heper has recently published an account of how the Turkish state has treated the Kurdish question, “The State and Kurds in Turkey – The question of assimilation” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). Professor Heper shared his views on the Kurdish question, about its history and about what the future may hold, with the Turkey Analyst.
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.