By Richard Weitz (vol. 4, no. 11 of the Turkey Analyst)
Turkey’s recent decision to spend billions of dollars buying U.S.-made helicopters underscores the continuing significance of Turkish-American defense industrial ties. Sikorsky Aircraft beat out rival European firms to persuade the Defense Industry Executive Committee, Turkey's highest decision-making body on defense procurement, to select the U.S.-based company as its supplier of next-generation utility helicopters. Defense experts predict that Turkey might buy as many as 600 of the Turkish version of the S-70 Black Hawk International offered by Sikorsky at a cost of more than $20 billion. Turkish Aerospace Industries and other Turkish firms will co-produce the helicopter.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 4, no. 10 of the Turkey Analyst)
There is a grim irony to the fact that while the AKP’s 2007 victory represented a defeat for the military, victory four years later requires that the ideology – Turkish nationalism – that upholds militarism not be challenged. The AKP’s appeasement of Turkish nationalism lays bare the limits of how far Turkey’s democratization can be extended. Meanwhile, the army’s unprovoked offensive against Kurdish guerillas in the southeast of the country reveals how the manipulation of the Kurdish issue serves as a lever for perpetuating the power of the military.
By Gareth H. Jenkins (vol. 4, no. 7 of the Turkey Analyst)
On the afternoon of March 30, 2011, Zekeriya Öz, the chief prosecutor in the controversial Ergenekon investigation, was abruptly removed from the case by the Turkish Justice Ministry. The decision came after a month in which allegations of links to Ergenekon had once again been used to try to silence critics of the exiled Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen. On the morning of March 30, 2011, police acting on Öz’s orders had raided the homes and offices of seven theologians opposed to Gülen. On March 3, Öz had triggered domestic and international outrage by ordering the arrest of eleven journalists and academics who had been critical of Gülen and subsequently attempting to erase all copies of an unpublished book about him.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 3, no. 22 of the Turkey Analyst)
After having overturned the regime of military-bureaucratic tutelage, Turkey is discovering that democracy means struggling with differences and conflict, and that democracy in turn cannot be sustained without an accompanying sense of community. Reconciling diversity and community is never easy, and the fact that Turkey was built on the denial of diversity renders such an endeavor all the more difficult. Yet unless civic virtue is nurtured and the polarizing tendency to assume the worst about others in society is overcome, the new, post-Kemalist Turkey will prove to be a disappointment.
By Richard Weitz (vol. 3, no. 16 of the Turkey Analyst)
The drawing down of the U.S. military presence in Iraq is set to remove a source of tension between Turkey and the United States. The two military establishments, whose longstanding ties have been strained by diverging changes in U.S. and Turkish national security policies in recent years, are eager to avoid further public confrontations. But since the Turkish government has begun exploring new partnerships with former adversaries, Washington policy makers should not have excessive confidence regarding U.S. leverage in Ankara, despite the continuing close ties between their two military establishments.
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.