By Gareth Jenkins
November 22, 2022
The response of Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu to the deadly bomb blast in central Istanbul on November 13th has raised more questions than it has answered and intensified already widespread concerns about the possibility that elements in the state apparatus will ratchet up security concerns in the run-up to the next presidential and parliamentary elections, which are due to be held by June 2023 at the latest. By taking such a high public profile, Soylu also appears to have seized on the opportunity presented by the attack to try to boost his public standing -- which has been badly damaged by a string of revelations by exiled organized crime boss Sedat Peker -- and take advantage of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s absence at the G20 summit in Bali to assert his claim to being the second most powerful person in the government and Erdoğan’s heir apparent.
By Barçın Yinanç
November 17, 2022
Washington’s response to Turkey’s foreign policy choices has been to look for other allies that are either at odds with Turkey, like Greece, or which confront it, as Kurdish groups in northern Syria do. This is a risky strategy. U.S. policy makers need to be cognizant that the more the confidence gap between Ankara and Washington persists, the more it will benefit Russia that is set to use it to advance its own interests.
By Gareth Jenkins
October 27, 2022
Turkey’s Kurds have the potential to play a key role in Turkey’s forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, which are due to be held in June 2023 at the latest. Their votes could be critical to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s hopes of securing a third term as president and are likely to determine whether the alliance between his Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) retains its parliamentary majority. But, with most of its leaders in prison or facing prosecution, its members expelled from virtually all of the local authorities they won in the last local elections and its main political party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), facing closure by the Constitutional Court, the Kurdish political movement faces a major challenge in persuading its supporters of the relevance of casting their votes. The 2023 elections could be decided not so much by who Kurds vote for but how many go to the polls.
By Barış Soydan
October 17, 2022
The notion that Turkey faces an “existential” threat, that the unity of the state and the nation is at stake, has long featured preeminently in Turkish political discourse, legitimizing repressive policies. Yet, growing poverty, inequality and despair, which provide a xenophobic far right with fertile ground, may turn out to be Turkey’s truly existential problem. Millions have lost not only their economic status but also, and perhaps even worse, their hopes for the future. This development is ripe with risks and does not augur well for Turkey's future and social cohesion. Unless economic injustice and hopelessness are addressed, Turkey will face the risk of social upheaval and political destabilization.
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.