Kadri Gürsel on the Diken news site notes that, interestingly, historically, assaults against the left, the Kurds, dissidents and democrats in Turkey are not stopped, and when they have been allowed to take place, they are never explained. That is not a coincidence. If an assassination in Turkey that could have been prevented still has taken place, you can rest assured that light will never be shed on it. The proprietor of the system of darkness in Turkey may change, but its signature mark that never changes is this. And, we recognize the origin of this signature that is left behind every unresolved assassination. The abbreviation may change. It was different in the seventies; in the 2015 it has become ISIS. The signature is always the same, though. That signature is written all over the bodies that were blown to death in Ankara. The purpose is to have society retreat within its shell, to make it fear for its future and to depoliticize it.
Hasan Cemal on the t24 news site writes that the government is fully responsible for the Bloody Saturday in Ankara. HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş is the target of hellfire because he holds the state responsible for the Bloody Saturday. Stop there – as if the state in Turkey is innocent. Have you forgotten about all the provocations that were undertaken in order to pave the way for coups? Have you forgotten the massacres in Kahramanmaraş and Çorum in the 1970s? The evidence of how this state has violated the law in the name of its supposed superior interests are fresh in memory. There is not a single conspiracy that the “deep state” – whose roots go back a century – has not staged in this country in order to prevent democracy and the rule of law from being established. And I should also add this: the regime of Erdoğan, which for a while seemed to be signaling that it was fighting against the “deep state,” has since it became the state itself, resorted to using he ominous instruments of the “deep state.” About that, there is no doubt in my mind.
By Svante Cornell
October 9th, 2015, The Turkey Analyst
Since 2010, the State Directorate for Religious Affairs has risen in prominence. Diyanet’s budget has quadrupled under the AKP, and the Directorate now issues fatwas on demand, as well as wading into political issues and backing up the AKP position. Moreover, Diyanet has drastically increased its provision of Quran courses for students of all ages. The Diyanet, originally created by the Turkish state to exercise oversight over religious affairs, is now firmly under the control of President Erdoğan, and has turned into a supersized government bureaucracy for the promotion of Sunni Islam.
By Nick Danforth
September 23rd, 2015, The Turkey Analyst
Turkey’s democratic and authoritarian legacies have been thoroughly intertwined from the outset. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s authoritarian instincts have been both motivated and enabled by the authoritarian behavior of his predecessors. Yet Erdoğan is also restrained by institutional forces that remain in place because military and civilian leaders before him proved willing to step down and compromise. And he is moreover restrained by the instincts of voters and some within his own party who value Turkey’s democratic tradition.
By M. K. Kaya
September 23rd, 2015, The Turkey Analyst
With the 5th party congress, the deep divisions within the AKP came to the surface. President Erdoğan masterminded the exclusion of the other “founding fathers” – Abdullah Gül and Bülent Arınç – from the leadership of the party. The party congress also effectively finished off Ahmet Davutoğlu as a serious leader. In fact, the AKP is at an impasse. The struggle that has been raging within the party is exclusively a struggle over power and control, not about the ideological direction, and the party cadres – whether they are behind Erdoğan or disgruntled with his leadership style – are by and large a spent force in Turkish politics.
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.