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.
By Gallia Lindenstrauss
February 4th, 2016, The Turkey Analyst
In view of the challenges Turkey is facing in the Middle East, Ankara is attempting to further solidify its relations with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and specifically with KRG’s president, Massoud Barzani. While this policy may assist Turkey in increasing its influence over the future of Iraq and assist it in diversifying its energy suppliers, it is less likely to help Turkey in its internal struggle with its Kurdish minority, or in countering the Kurdish aspirations in Syria. Yet, as the only still relevant remnant of Turkey’s ‘zero Problems’ policy, Turkey-KRG relations do have the potential to assist Ankara in maintaining and solidifying its influence over the future of Iraq.
By Gareth H. Jenkins
February 1st, 2016, The Turkey Analyst
The sustained clashes in urban areas that have wracked southeast Turkey in recent months mark a new stage in the decades-old insurgency of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and threaten to escalate into a full-blown civil war. Although it is still not too late to pull the country back from the brink, neither the Turkish government nor its Western allies appear aware of the extent of the danger that it is facing.
By Halil Karaveli
January 25th, 2016, The Turkey Analyst
Terrorist attacks that target opponents of the Turkish regime and for which the “Islamic state” is held responsible are used to legitimize a “war against terrorism” that is a euphemism for Turkey’s new old war against the Kurdish movement. The forces behind the terrorism that has struck Turkey during the last six months will in all probability never be exposed. As a rule, political violence remains unresolved in Turkey, except when the Kurdish PKK is involved. Nonetheless, it is ultimately enough to know which forces that have historically been served by political violence. The instigators may have remained in the shadows, but it has always been clear that the winners have been the advocates of authoritarian rule.
By Ipek Velioglu
January 15th, 2016, The Turkey Analyst
Turkey’s decision to shoot down a Russian jet in the Syrian border led to a crisis between the two countries. Although Russia and Turkey always had divergent political agendas, they maintained a good relationship. In the last decade, thanks to the personal relationship of the leaders, Russia and Turkey created a strong economic partnership, especially in the energy field, and kept it separately from the political sphere. But this time is different: the deterioration in political relations will have a strong impact on energy cooperation. Russia slammed economic sanctions on Turkey and big investment projects are at risk. Given its dependency on Russian natural gas, Turkey is concerned about its energy security, making the quest for alternative suppliers and sources highly relevant.
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.