By Matus Jevcak
September 24, 2018
The pressure of the Turkish security forces on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has been growing in recent months. After moving into the Kurdish enclave Afrin in Syria, Turkish forces have entered Northern Iraq and have advanced to the proximity of the PKK’s headquarters in the Kandil mountains. Turkey has vowed to continue its counter-terrorism operations against the PKK which might once again resort to a bombing campaign in Turkish cities in retaliation. A new round of PKK bombings would inevitably deepen the existing ethnic division in Turkey.
By Gareth H. Jenkins
September 10, 2018
The attempt by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to offset the fallout from the crisis in Turkey’s relations with the US by re-engaging with the EU is unlikely to persuade Brussels either to revitalize Turkey’s stalled accession process or to provide sufficient financial aid to prevent the country’s economy from sliding into recession. Although a softening in tone and an increase in dialogue raises the possibility of cooperation in areas of mutual interest, nor is there much prospect of the re-engagement leading to a significant easing in Erdoğan’s repressive rule.
By Barış Soydan
August 22, 2018
Last year, Turkey was the fastest growing economy among the G20 countries. Now it is going through a severe currency crisis. The lira has lost more than 40 percent against the US dollar this year. A recession is at the door. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accuses the United States of waging economic 'war' against Turkey and has threatened to ‘look for new allies’. Yet Turkey has no alternative to Western capital, and will sooner or later going to have to do whatever it takes to restore the confidence of Western investors.
By Halil Karaveli
July 16, 2018
Though not impossible, change remains an unlikely prospect in Turkey. Seen in a larger historical perspective, the switch from parliamentarianism to presidential rule represents less of a break with continuity than one would imagine. Similarly, the June 24 elections showed that Turkish electoral dynamics remain largely unchanged, even though the social democrat candidate Muharrem İnce’s campaign as well as his result did go some way in illustrating how these dynamics may ultimately change.
By John C. K. Daly
July 5, 2018
For years Turkey, which imports 90 percent of its energy needs, has considered any and all options to lessen its import costs, including nuclear. The country’s energy requirements have persistently pitted the government against the country’s environmentalist lobby, one of the strongest in the Middle East. Despite such concerns, Turkey’s nuclear lobby has scored a decisive victory, as the ground has been broken for the nation’s first nuclear power plant (NPP) at Akkuyu on the southern Mediterranean coast.
Akkuyu will consist of four 1,200 megawatt (MW) VVER reactors producing a total of 4,800 MW. The Akkuyu NPP, being constructed by the Russian state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, is projected to meet 10 percent of Turkey's future energy requirements. The first unit of the plant is scheduled to come online in 2023, with the NPP’s overall cost projected to be $20 billion.
KEY ISSUE: On April 3 President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin at the presidential complex in Ankara, where they attended via teleconference the Akkuyu NPP groundbreaking ceremony, an event described by Erdoğan as a “historic moment.” Putin remarked, "It is difficult to overestimate the significance of this large-scale, innovative project. In essence, today we are not only witnessing the construction of Turkey's first nuclear power plant, but we are also creating the basis of Turkey's nuclear industry as a whole.” Despite such optimism about bringing the facility’s first reactor online in 2023, the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey, as highlighted by both Putin and Erdoğan in their ceremonial speeches, it remains to be seen whether such an ambitious agenda will be fully implemented in the future.
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.