By Halil Karaveli
June 6, 2016
The celebration of the conquest of Constantinople 1453 is an expression of Turkey’s quest for purity. The “ideology of conquest,” the need to symbolically and repeatedly reclaim what has been Ottoman and Turkish for centuries, ultimately speaks of an existential unease with a historical legacy that is marked by a heterogeneity that is unsettling for an authoritarian state that seeks uniformity. The need to celebrate the conquest of the most important city of the land shows that Turkey is yet to become reconciled with its past. Such reconciliation calls for assuming the entirety of what is a multi-layered historical legacy. Recognizing that Turkey is the result, not so much of conquest, as of a history of continuous mixing and assimilation of aboriginal cultures and state traditions, is also the key to coming to terms with country’s ethnic and cultural diversity today and securing a democratic future for Turkey.
By Halil Karaveli
November 12th, 2015, The Turkey Analyst
The AKP regime does not stand out in the history of the Turkish republic because it is authoritarian. Rather, what makes it unique is that its endeavor to establish uncontested rule is endowed with assets that previous authoritarian attempts lacked. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s regime enjoys a stronger social foundation than any of its predecessors. Erdoğan’s recent alliance with the military has bolstered it further. The collusion of Erdoğan and the military entrenches authoritarianism. But the war with the Kurds threatens to become a threat to the stability of the regime.
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.