Metin Gürcan on t24 news site writes that Turkey is in a quandary, facing a dilemma between protecting the security of the state or that of the individual.  Think about the violence in which we have been trapped since last July. Because of this trap of violence, one to two million people have had to abandon their homes; 400,000 students have for three months been deprived of education, and we don’t know how many of them will be able to return to school after the vacation period. The number of security personnel killed exceeds two hundred and thirty. Meanwhile, the civilian casualties are close to five hundred. It seems that Ankara, in this situation where human security and state security collide, is determined to give priority to the security of the state and to reestablish public order. First, the hold of the state is to be secured in the areas of fighting, after which wounds are to be healed, the destruction in the hearts and minds of the people to be repaired, and projects of socio-economic rehabilitation aiming at human security to be launched. Now Ankara is going to reinforce security in the cities, but the question is: what is more important – security reinforcements on every street corner or the reinforcement that takes place in peoples’ minds? Should the state above all fight the separatists on the terrain or “mental separatism?” It is of critical importance how Ankara decides to solve this dilemma.

Mehveş Evin on Diken news site asks how willing Turkey is to take part in the global efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions. Turkey’s increase of emissions is cause for shame. Turkey ranks as the 14th biggest emission source among the countries of the world. Among the fifty eight countries that are responsible for ninety percent of the emissions, Turkey occupies the 50th place; it thus ranks among those who have the worst record when it comes to climate change performance. WVF predicts that if Turkey does not change course, its greenhouse emissions will increase two and a half times within the coming fifteen years, reaching nearly two billion tons. At the Paris summit, Turkey committed to limit its emissions to nine hundred and twenty nine tons. However, in that scenario, Turkey’s per capita emissions will be bigger than those of such countries as Japan, Germany and Great Britain. Unfortunately, as long as we don’t abandon energy policies that rely on coal for producing electricity, we are destined to face disasters and wars that will be caused by climate change…

Etyen Mahçupyan in Akşam writes that a new form of modern religiosity emerged in the 1990’s, and that the AKP’s rule has given the new, modern conservative identity a great impetus. The socioeconomic base of this identity is the greater prosperity, urbanization and the growth of the middle class. The nuclear families are becoming standard among the segment of population that has Islamic sensitivities, tending to the needs of children and nourishing their capabilities is increasingly given priority in these families, and new patterns of consumption affect everything from health to leisure activities. This globalization of consumption patterns creates a new world in which the bonds of the traditional religious fraternities wither, where individualism becomes the norm, and where personal interests and relations widen to include different socio-cultural constructions… This new wave of change has a critical impact on the political level.  Even though the “new” modern conservatives are still not dominant numerically, they are nonetheless qualitatively absolutely essential… That is so because without their support, AKP cannot keep power, and they are the Islamic segment that reacts to the stances of the party more quickly than any other segment. Furthermore, this is a segment that is growing very rapidly…  They are perhaps the only democratic group in terms of what modern democracy needs… For this reason, one can probably predict that this segment is where democracy is going to become entrenched and mature.

Orhan Bursalı in Cumhuriyet writes that Turkey is not making headway in the Middle East, which means that AKP’s strategy to swallow MHP is endangered.  Turkey’s “arrows” are not only missing their targets, they are also provoking a backlash. The Sunni Turcoman areas in Syria are now under the control of the forces of Assad. The military incursion into the Mosul region backfired. The downing of the Russian plane has backfired even more dramatically, with Russia deploying strong military, economic and political pressures in response. And now, after Putin has deployed S-300 and S-400 missile defenses in Syria, Turkey cannot even send up an airplane against Syria. Ankara is left without a single political card to play in the Middle East. It is left alone at the chess table. The political meaning of the command of the U.S. to Turkey to leave Mosul is “You are not going to have any influence on the drawing of new maps in the Middle East.” Thus, it is becoming impossible to achieve the kind of results in the Middle East that would satisfy the Turkish nationalism of the MHP voters. Nonetheless, the single most important internal political tool that will help AKP detach voters from MHP is the operation against PKK.

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Joint Center Publications

Op-ed Halil Karaveli "The Rise and Rise of the Turkish Right", The New York Times, April 8, 2019

Analysis Halil Karaveli "The Myth of Erdogan's Power"Foreign Policy, August 29, 2018

Analysis Svante E. Cornell, A Road to Understanding in Syria? The U.S. and TurkeyThe American Interest, June 2018

Op-ed Halil Karaveli "Erdogan Wins Reelection"Foreign Affairs, June 25, 2018

Article Halil Karaveli "Will the Kurdish Question Secure Erdogan's Re-election?", Turkey Analyst, June 18, 2018

Research Article Svante E. Cornell "Erbakan, Kisakürek, and the Mainstreaming of Extremism in Turkey", Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, June 2018

Analysis Svante E. Cornell "The U.S. and Turkey: Past the Point of No Return?"The American Interest, February 1, 2018

Op-ed Svante E. Cornell "Erdogan's Turkey: the Role of a Little Known Islamic Poet", Breaking Defense, January 2, 2018

Research Article Halil Karaveli "Turkey's Authoritarian Legacy"Cairo Review of Global Affairs, January 2, 2018


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.


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