By Barış Soydan
March 23, 2021
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have always claimed to represent the people, the downtrodden, against the elite, which is an important key to their longevity in power. Yet, during its eighteen years in power, the AKP has consistently sided with the economic elite against labor. The AKP has not only preserved the legacy of the conservative governments that preceded it – and of the military rulers who at the beginning of the 1980s imposed severe constraints on labor rights – but it has further limited the rights of workers. The response of the Turkish government to the pandemic has demonstrated a blatant indifference to workers’ health and safety.
By Gareth Jenkins
February 11, 2021
The continuing protests at Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University are unlikely to lead to a repeat of the Gezi Park Protests, which swept Turkey in summer 2013, much less pose a serious threat to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s grip on power. But his heavy-handed response has provided another example not only of the intolerance of dissent that has come to characterize his regime but of his increasing tendency to make mistakes and miscalculations – including his failure to understand that his repeated recourse to the politics of fear is insufficient to halt the long-term decline in his popular support.
By Oya Baydar
February 1, 2021
Turkey is evolving from authoritarianism to fascism under the tutelage of the far-right leader Devlet Bahçeli, to whom President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan defers to stay in power. Turkish and international observers have until recently failed to take the full measure of Bahçeli’s importance, treating him as the “junior partner” of Erdoğan, overlooking that Bahçeli is the political front-figure of the state establishment and that he gives voice to the die-hard nationalist, militarist-expansionist mentality that is deeply entrenched in the Turkish state. Meanwhile, the opposition does not offer a democratic counter-force as it too remains wedded to statist nationalism. Yet, faced with the imminent threat of fascism, the parties of the Turkish opposition must sooner or later recognize that it will be their turn next and that the western parts of Turkey cannot and will not remain democratic when the eastern, Kurdish part of the country is under the rule of dictatorship.
By Michaël Tanchum
January 19, 2021
Turkey's decision to provide an unprecedented level of military assistance to Azerbaijan empowered Baku to achieve a resounding victory in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War, changing the geopolitical rules of the game in the South Caucasus. Moreover, the war has enhanced Ankara's ability to project its influence in Central Asia. Benefiting from its inclusion in the Chinese-led BRI network of connectivity across Central Asia, Turkey may have outfoxed China in Azerbaijan to become a rising Eurasian power. Although Russia now has to tolerate the presence of Turkish troops on Azerbaijani soil, China may be the big strategic loser in the war's outcome.
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.