By Micha’el Tanchum
August 29, 2019
With Turkey poised for a cross-border invasion to clear northeastern Syria of U.S.-aligned Kurdish forces, Washington and Ankara announced an agreement on August 7, 2019 to jointly create and patrol a safe zone in the region, averting the possibility of the two NATO allies exchanging fire. Far from a climb down for Ankara, the agreement enables Turkey to achieve its minimal goals, and probably more. At the same time, it provides a significant yet delicate reset opportunity for Turkey-U.S. relations that have been severely strained since the U.S.-Kurdish military partnership than began with Battle of Kobani.
By Gareth H. Jenkins
March 27, 2019
Despite intense pressure from the Turkish state, including the imprisonment of a large proportion of its leadership, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is again expected to win the majority of votes in the predominantly Kurdish southeast of the country in the nationwide local elections on March 31, 2019. But President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s repeated public threat to prevent HDP officials from holding office means that, for Turkey’s Kurds, the election will be less about choosing who will run their local authorities than their own identity amid a growing conviction that their future lies in a considerably looser relationship with the central government in Ankara.
By Halil Karaveli
June 18, 2018
The Kurdish question may serve President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, helping to secure his re-election. The election campaign has demonstrated that Erdoğan no longer energizes the masses; after fifteen years in power, the Turkish president shows every sign of being worn out. He is no longer an inspirational leader; he has nothing new to say or to promise. But Erdoğan nonetheless retains the loyalty of the AKP base. And as the spokesperson of the nationalism of the Turkish state he is assured of enough non-partisan support as well.
By Cengiz Çandar
May 22, 2018
The outcome of Turkey’s upcoming election will be determined by the Kurdish voters. This is ironic since the presidential system that the election will enshrine is designed to exclude the Kurds from the political system of Turkey. The sequence of fatal mistakes that have been committed since 2015 show that the Turkish state is determined to deprive the Kurds from having a political say, whatever the cost. The Kurds will either liquidate Turkish autocracy or be amputated from the Turkish body politic.
Celal Başlangıç in Haberdar notes that AKP is taking action in parliament to strip especially the HDP parliamentarians of their immunity. CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said that the move “is against the constitution, but we are nonetheless going to vote in favor of removing the immunity.” Everyone in the party was surprised, even shocked, including some of those who are very close to the CHP leader. Why had Kılıçdaroğlu – who until now had accused President Erdoğan of violating the constitution – decided to be party to this crime? In CHP circles, four answers are suggested to this question: one is that the CHP leader feared that the AKP was going to accuse him of helping “PKK deputies.” Second, he was afraid that the neo-nationalists within CHP would have rebelled otherwise. Third, Kılıçdaroğlu’s own identity – he is Alevi and Kurd – played a role. But the explanation that is mostly discussed is that Kılıçdaroğlu decided to say “yes” after a briefing he received at the General staff. People in the party are saying that Kılıçdaroğlu knew very well – after a meeting earlier during the day with the central committee of the party – that the general tendency was in favor of saying “no” to the AKP’s motion, but that the briefing he was given at the General staff later during the day led was decisive, explaining why he went on television in the evening to tell that CHP was going to vote “yes.”
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.