By Halil Karaveli (vol. 7, no. 21 of the Turkey Analyst)
The Turkish generals are no longer afraid to speak out and they exert influence over government policies. Erdoğan invited the military back into the power equation when, faced with the Gülenist challenge to his power, and in need of a new ally, he gave the signal to open the prison doors for the convicted officers. But more than anything else, it is the persistence of an authoritarian mindset that sets the stage for the recurrent assertion of the power of the military in Turkey.
President Erdoğan is serious about building a mosque in Cuba and in his allegation that Muslims discovered America before Columbus, contends Fatih Yaşlı. The latest remarks of Erdoğan speak of the ideological nature of his regime, he writes. Mümtaz’er Türköne writes that the new, 1,000 room presidential palace of Erdoğan is a monument to the suspension of the rule of law. Murat Belge observes that ridding Turkey of Atatürkism has not ushered in democracy. A new Turkey will be born the day power holders abandon their palatial ambitions, Belge writes. Elif Çakır worries that there is still a risk of a military coup. Abdülkadir Selvi presents the news that Abdullah Öcalan is going to announce early next year that PKK permanently gives up the armed struggle in Turkey.
By Gareth Jenkins (vol. 7, no. 20 of the Turkey Analyst)
On November 4, 2014, Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek revealed that a total of $800 million would be spent on a new palace and plane for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The announcement has reinforced concerns about not only about Erdoğan’s increasing authoritarianism but also about his growing absorption into his self-image at the cost of the realities of the world around him.
By Halil Karaveli (vol. 7, no. 20 of the Turkey Analyst)
The neo-Ottomans are reverting to Kemalism. From having aspired to be the rule-setter of the Middle East, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is now exhibiting neo-Kemalist traits, accusing the Western powers of harboring imperial designs against Turkey. For Turks of all stripes assuming the worst about Western “imperialists” is natural. But that also means that the fears that their prejudices entertain risk becoming self-fulfilling prophecies.
By Gareth Jenkins (vol. 7, no. 18 of the Turkey Analyst)
On October 7, 2014, Turkey was swept by some of the most violent civil unrest in a generation. At least 23 people were killed and hundreds injured in an eruption of Kurdish nationalist anger at Ankara’s perceived indifference to the apparently imminent capture by the Islamic State of the predominantly Kurdish Syrian border town of Kobane.
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.