By Halil Karaveli (vol. 8, no. 1 of the Turkey Analyst)
Atatürk was Hitler’s “shining star in the darkness.” The Third Reich instituted a veritable cult of Atatürk. The Nazi admiration provides a lens for a fresh look at Kemalism. In spite of its pretentions to stand for “enlightenment”, Kemalism has failed to midwife a democratic evolution. The question is whether this has anything to do with the aspects of Kemalism that the Nazis admired.
Several columnists have brought up the recent attack against Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Yusuf Kaplan in Yeni Safak writes that the attack was the work of the French “deep state” in order to increase Islamophobia. Orhan Kemal Cengiz in Bugün writes that pious Muslims must stop hiding behind conspiracy theories, and Nuray Mert writes on the Diken news site that blaming such attacks on groups created by the West is simply an attempt to pretend that there is not a major problem that Muslims need to tackle.
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 Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 3, no. 19 of the Turkey Analyst)
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the Republican People’s party (CHP), Turkey’s main opposition party, has now decisively taken charge of the party. He signals that a departure from old, ideological habits is impending and vows that the “New CHP” will introduce freedom. However, there is a fateful disconnect between Kılıçdaroğlu’s message and the resentments of the core constituency of his party. Kılıçdaroğlu will have difficulty escaping the fate that is usually reserved for well-meaning reformers who challenge the certainties of ossified belief systems.
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.