By M. K. Kaya (vol. 8, no. 9 of the Turkey Analyst)
The Gülenists have lost the battle over the control of the state. Most damningly for them, they have been exposed as ruthless power grabbers. It has been of critical importance for the AKP government in its fight against the Gülenists that other groups within the judiciary have rallied to it. The lessons that the present Turkish government has had to learn the hard way are not going to be lost on future governments. One can assume that they are going to be very careful not to offer the Gülenists any leeway.
By Halil Karaveli (vol. 8, no. 9 of the Turkey Analyst)
The Islamists no longer occupy the moral high ground in Turkey. And Islamization has at least to some extent ceased to serve the interests of Turkish capitalism. Yet what beckons is not the disappearance of the Islamic factor from Turkish politics, but its irruption in new, uncontrolled form. The legacy of the “New Turkey” – the catchword of the AKP regime – is a portentous exacerbation of sectarianism.
Ali Bayramoğlu in Yeni Şafak writes that AKP’s otherwise legitimate struggle against the Gülen fraternity will remain flawed from a democratic perspective until the party acknowledges its own responsibility for the acts of the “cemaat” when the two were still allies. Fatih Yaşlı in Yurt writes that Turkish intellectual and political life suffers from a predilection for what he calls “easy opposition” that does not question who one is allied with as long as the cause is deemed to be good, which today blinds the opponents of AKP to the responsibility of the Gülenists in bringing about the present authoritarian rule. Murat Yetkin in Radikal writes that the talk in political circles is that AKP is preparing for a coalition with MHP after the general election in June. Orhan Bursalı in Cumhuriyet writes that Erdoğan is distancing himself from the Kurds, and is instead teaming up with the military. Umut Özkırımlı on the news site Diken writes that AKP’s, and generally the Islamists’ lasting legacy is a generalized hatred that has become a permanent, defining feature of Turkey’s society.
By Gareth Jenkins (vol. 8, no. 8 of the Turkey Analyst)
In recent weeks, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has pursued an increasingly aggressive policy towards the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in the hope of pushing the party below the 10 per cent national threshold in the June 7, 2015 general election while simultaneously preventing Turkish nationalists amongst the AKP’s own voters from defecting to the Nationalist Action Party (MHP).
By M.K. Kaya (vol. 8, no. 8 of the Turkey Analyst)
President Erdogan’s visit to Saudi Arabia and his public criticism of Iran suggest an adjustment of Turkey’s Middle East policies are under way. The Syrian conflict cooled Turkey’s relations with Iran, but boosted an alignment with Gulf States. But then, differences over Egypt seriously complicated Turkish-Saudi relations. Following events in Iraq and Yemen, the deck appears once more to be rebalanced – a new understanding with Riyadh appears to be underway, and Turkish-Iranian relations are tense. But the key question is whether these adjustments are stable, given that foreign policy appears indexed in part on Erdogan’s mood. With the ruling elite in flux, so is foreign policy.
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.