By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 4, no. 23 of the Turkey Analyst)
Internal and external dynamics no longer compel Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to transcend his democratic limits. It was the confluence of a particular set of external and internal dynamics that worked to ensure the Turkish Islamists’ conversion to democracy. These dynamics are no longer at work. Instead, as Turkey’s strategic value – and Erdoğan’s international fame – has soared in the wake of the Arab revolutions, traditional Turkish state authoritarianism is being offered a new lease on life.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 4, no. 7 of the Turkey Analyst)
Agreeing upon the rules for how they are going to live together, with mutual respect for differences, is the fundamental challenge that faces the citizens of Turkey. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has pledged that the authoritarian constitution will be replaced with a new, “civilian” constitution following the general election in June. Yet a truly “civilian” constitution must be a societal covenant, of which Turkey has had no prior experience. The question is if the people of Turkey will be able to surprise each other with restraint and generosity.
By Kerem Öktem (vol. 4, no. 5 of the Turkey Analyst)
Turkey remains an “Angry nation”, tormented by the many ghosts of its history, some of which still lurk in the shadows. Its political system is characterized by deep polarization, and it is by no means certain that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will go on to dismantle the edifice of state tutelage bequeathed by the “guardians” who have now been put on the defensive as never before in the history of the republic. Yet even if the country’s immediate prospects remain ambiguous, the people of Turkey have nonetheless used the ballot box several times to successfully defy authoritarianism and military diktats. That deserves to serve as an inspiration for others in the Middle East.
By Gareth Jenkins (vol. 7, no. 11 of the Turkey Analyst)
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s attempts to tighten his grip on power by stoking social tensions and propagating conspiracy theories have exacerbated the already widespread concerns of Turkey’s heterodox Alevi religious community. Many Alevis now fear that not only their culture and lifestyles but also their lives are at risk.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 2, no. 23 of the Turkey Analyst)
With its policies of a “democratic opening”, the AKP government has embarked on an enterprise that ultimately challenges the core identity of the republic as a specifically Turkish state. The revulsion that the notion of putting Turkishness on an equal footing with the other identities of society is eliciting suggests that it may, once again, prove difficult to find a liberal way out of the perennial dilemma of Turkey – to establish a secure foundation for the state in a setting of societal heterogeneity.
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.