By Gareth Jenkins (vol. 2, no. 23 of the Turkey Analyst)
For a party which has frequently expressed its opposition to the closure of political parties, the muted response of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to the outlawing of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) spoke volumes. Few appear to have mourned the banning of a party which in recent months had broadened its support base in southeast Turkey at the AKP’s expense. However, the AKP appears unlikely to be able to exploit the closure of the DTP for its own electoral advantage.
Gareth H. Jenkins (vol. 2, no. 21 of the Turkey Analyst)
The publication in the Turkish media of another slew of documents allegedly containing plans by elements in the Turkish General Staff (TGS) to stage a series of violent attacks and destabilize the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has once again raised tensions between the military and the civilian authorities. The authenticity of the documents has been hotly disputed. But what it is clear is that – regardless of whether or not they are genuine – the frequency with which such documents are now appearing in certain sections of the Turkish media is forcing the Turkish military onto the defensive and reducing its ability to exercise political influence.
By M. K. Kaya (vol. 2, no. 21 of the Turkey Analyst)
With its Kurdish opening, the Turkish government has set out to reinvent Turkey, in order to secure the integrity of the state and consolidate society. The AKP is succeeding in reaching out to the Kurds. However, the opening is being met with stiff opposition from Turkish nationalists, and the AKP will ignore that opposition at its own peril. The Kurdish imperative also plays an important if hidden role behind some of Turkey’s recent, controversial foreign policy initiatives.
By Gareth H. Jenkins (vol. 2, no. 19 of the Turkey Analyst)
The October 24 announcement by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he was postponing the planned arrival in Turkey from Europe on October 28 of 15 members and sympathizers of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was a tacit admission that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had seriously miscalculated a critical phase in the “Kurdish Opening”, which is designed to address the grievances of Turkey’s Kurdish minority and persuade the PKK to lay down its arms.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 2, no. 18 of the Turkey Analyst)
In landmark speeches, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül have celebrated Turkey’s multicultural diversity, and declared that the state is to defer to societal pluralism. The liberal discourse departs from the tradition of statism, but its credibility is undermined by the government’s illiberal policies. And the “mosaic” of Turkey is far removed from the ideals of tolerance evoked by the rhetoric of Erdoğan and Gül.That represents another, major impediment to the realization of the liberal vision.
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.