By Svante E. Cornell (vol. 1, no. 11 of the Turkey Analyst)
In early July, the PKK terrorist organization abducted three German climbers on Mt. Ararat, in an apparent revenge for Germany’s decision to ban the PKK’s mouthpiece, Denmark-based television channel Roj TV. The episode points to the PKK’s continuous difficulties in maintaining its claim to represent Kurdish opinion, faced with multiple challenges – from both the Turkish military and governing party, who otherwise agree on little; as well as the EU’s refusal to grant the PKK legitimacy and the Iraqi Kurdish parties’ success in making Iraqi Kurdistan the beacon of Kurdish hope, eclipsing the PKK. It remains to be seen whether the PKK will be successful in taking advantage of the current Turkish crisis.
By Halil Karaveli (vol. 7, no. 10 of the Turkey Analyst)
The year after the Gezi Park protests has been the most difficult for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan since he became prime minister, but he has prevailed over his foes and challengers and he can confidently look forward to becoming Turkey’s first popularly elected president in the upcoming election in August. No one can challenge Erdoğan. However, that does not mean that Turkey is always going to bend to his will or that the country is going to be easy to govern even for an all-powerful President Erdoğan.
By Gareth Jenkins (vo. 6, no. 22 of the Turkey Analyst)
On December 1, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız met with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shristani in Baghdad in an attempt to assuage the central Iraqi government’s concerns about a string of energy cooperation agreements between Ankara and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). On November 16, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan had hosted KRG President Massoud Barzani in the city of Diyarbakır in an attempt to divide and weaken Turkey’s own Kurdish nationalist movement.
By Kemal Kaya (vo. 6, no. 21 of the Turkey Analyst)
Petro-politics fuels the evolving relationship between Ankara, Erbil and Baghdad. At the heart of the new oil game in Mesopotamia is the question of how the oil from the territory of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is going to be transported to the world markets. Turkey’s strategic position – and its economy – is set to be strengthened as it taps into the oil riches of Iraqi Kurdistan and as it realizes its ambition to be a major regional oil hub.
By Burak Bilgehan Özpek (vol. 6, no. 19 of the Turkey Analyst)
In traditional Turkish bazaars, salesmen ask the same question if you have purchased a precious good: Do you want me to package this? This question actually aims to find the answer whether the good is going to be used by the buyer or if it is intended to be presented as a gift. Thus, the word “package” acquires a new meaning. It refers to a cover and it is applied to estheticize a good, which is presented as a gift. Such a discourse analysis in fact helps us understand why the government of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has used the word “package” in promoting its democratization reforms. Yet measured against liberal principles and expectations, the democratization package makes little or no contribution to the liberalization of Turkey.
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.