By Toni Alaranta (vol. 8, no. 3 of the Turkey Analyst)
Those who claim that democracy in Turkey has been handicapped because of the repressive “Kemalist” regime overlook that the conservative right has totally dominated Turkish politics. It is the traditions of the Turkish right that need to be scrutinized in the search for the matrix of current undemocratic practices. The Turkish Islamist poet and political ideologue Necip Fazıl Kısakürek is a key figure in this context. He propagated for a totalitarian Islamist-fascist regime in Turkey, to be ruled by an Islamic version of a Führer. And today representatives of the AKP point out that understanding Kısakürek is a precondition to understand the great “cause” (“dava”) that the AKP represents.
Cengiz Çandar in Radikal writes that the AKP has no other raison d’être left than to cling to Tayyip Erdoğan, and to be the power instrument of the supreme leader. Cengiz Aktar in Taraf cautions against harboring “revolutionary hopes” in Turkey in the wake of Syriza’s victory in Greece and the Kurdish victory in Kobane. Fehmi Koru in Habertürk predicts that the HDP, if it crosses the threshold to parliament in the general election in June, is going to be a perfect partner for the AKP in the writing of a new constitution. Bekir Ağırdır on the t24 news site writes that the HDP is going to have to triple its votes in the eight major metropolises in order to have a chance to cross the ten percent threshold to parliament. Finally, Hasan Bülent Kahraman in Sabah observes that HDP and its electoral prospects are now on everyone’s lips and that the party in that respect has succeeded in becoming a party that matters nation-wide in Turkey.
By Gareth Jenkins (vol. 8, no. 2 of the Turkey Analyst)
On January 13, 2015, Selahattin Demirtaş, the co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), announced that the HDP will run as a party in the June 7, 2015 general election. If the HDP fails to cross the 10 per cent national electoral threshold not only will the country’s Kurds no longer have their own voice in parliament but nearly all of the seats in predominantly Kurdish areas are likely to go to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), thus boosting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s hopes of changing the constitution and introducing a presidential or semi-presidential system.
On the 8th anniversary of the assassination of Armenian-Turkish editor Hrant Dink, Rober Koptaş in Agos noted that the AKP government has recently started to emphasize that police officers close to the Gülenist fraternity were implicated in the 2007 assassination. Aydın Engin in Cumhuriyet called on the opponents of the AKP regime not to put any faith in dissensions within the governing party leading to the fall of the regime. Kadri Gürsel in Milliyet similarly wrote that Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu is never going to put up a fight against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
By Fatih Yaslı (vol. 28, no. 1 of the Turkey Analyst)
The regime that the AKP is constructing certainly deserves to be defined as “new.” However, a proper understanding of the rise of the Islamists requires that their ascent is put in the right historical context, and that the true nature of the old Turkish regime is appreciated. Turkey’s Islamization has a long prehistory. It has been a long time since the radicalism of Kemalism was discarded. Instead, religion and conservatism have been consistently promoted in the name of anti-socialism.
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.