Wednesday, 01 July 2015

What the Columnists Say

Published in Roundup of Columnists

Abdülkadir Selvi in Yeni Şafak reports that Turkey is determined to take action in Syria if the PYD expands to the west of the Euphrates, taking control of Jarabulus, but that this does not mean that Turkey is about to go to war. Özgür Mumcu in Cumhuriyet writes that Turkey is dreaming about a military operation that is internally marketed as an operation against PYD, while it is externally marketed as something that supposedly targets ISIS. Orhan Kemal Cengiz in Bugün writes that the question after the election was if Erdoğan was going to interpret the results as a no to the proposed, unlimited powers of the presidency or as a “road accident,” and concludes that it’s now business as usual for the president. Orhan Bursalı in Cumhuriyet writes that it is very difficult for AKP to accept that the party has lost the possibility to form a majority government on its own, and that the party and the “Mighty” – Erdoğan – intends to never relinquish power. Candaş Tolga Işık at the Habere Dikkat news site writes that handing the seat of the speaker of the parliament to AKP as a gift, only because MHP is unable to curb its hatred of HDP, is going to be the undoing of the party.




Abdülkadir Selvi in Yeni Şafak reports that Turkey’s “red lines” were discussed at the meeting of the National Security Council. Turkey has two red lines. The first is that PYD crosses to the west of Euphrates, expanding toward Jarabulus from Kobane. If PYD takes control of Jarabulus, it will be in command of a 33 kilometer deep and 110 kilometer long territory between Kobane and Afrin. That would leave PYD one step away from reaching the harbor of Latakia. The second red line is if ISIS perpetrates a major massacre and unleashes a huge wave of refugees toward our border. I have also noted a third point: if the Jarabulus area falls into the hands of PYD, it will cut off Turkey’s trade route into Syria and from there on toward the Middle East. Our red lines were made clear at the National Security Council. What now follows is a process of major diplomatic offensive and military preparations. According to risk evaluations, the next step is going to be the deployment of our military units. It’s a difficult process. We are not going to war against Syria. Turkey’s determination has already started to have dissuading effect. As the saying goes, “be ready for war if you want peace.” Unless there is a threat against Turkey, it’s not question of entering into fighting. Going to war? Never, never, never…


Özgür Mumcu in Cumhuriyet writes that Turkey is dreaming about a military operation that is internally marketed as an operation against the PYD, while it is externally marketed as something that supposedly targets ISIS. The aim is to establish a cordon sanitaire. The purpose is to weaken the PYD; and to refurbish Turkey’s international image by pretending to be fighting ISIS. No one will probably believe that Turkey has got any serious issue with ISIS. Be mute when ISIS takes control of the border passages; be mute when ISIS takes your diplomats as hostages; be secretly happy when ISIS attacks Kobane, saying “Kobane is about to fall”; order your newspapers to write “PYD is more dangerous than ISIS” when ISIS is defeated at Tel Abyad, with your first official reaction being a statement that we are never going to allow a (Kurdish) state to be formed to the south; then talk about a military operation against ISIS. In all probability, not even they themselves believe their own words.


Orhan Kemal Cengiz in Bugün writes that the question after the election was if the president was going to interpret the results of the June 7 election as an unequivocal no to the proposed, unlimited power of the presidency or as a “road accident,” and if he was going to carry on toward that goal as soon as the shock of the election result had passed… We now see that he is slowly getting over the dazing effect of the “road accident…”  Now that the likelihood of the opposition coming together and forming a coalition has disappeared, he continues on the same path, increasing the speed… Before even the coalition discussions have started, he is trying to hurriedly dispatch the army into Syria, imposing his will on the government that is going to be formed... The police are getting harsher, and meetings and concerts that were held freely for years are forbidden; this is both a message to the “street” while also being something that limits the framework of the coalition that is probably going to be formed with the AKP.


Orhan Bursalı in Cumhuriyet writes that it is very difficult for AKP to accept that the party has lost the possibility to form a majority government on its own. To regain that possibility, it is going to force a snap election – in the process creating an environment – “even if it is on the border” – that promises to offer it what it wants.   It seems that the AKP is going to attempt to form a coalition, but only in order to show the nation “the impossibility of the coalition…” It is going to demonstrate the impossibility to accept the demands that the CHP puts forward. The AKP has long since ceased to be a normal governing party. As long as there does not emerge a new formation from within it that leaves “the Mighty” and his men alone, the difficulty of restoring the state is apparent. But AKP and “the Mighty” are nonetheless not going to save their power under these circumstances. It appears that the question of returning to normal politics is going to depend on the change of AKP. Who can accomplish that; maybe Davutoğlu?


Candaş Tolga Işık at the Habere Dikkat news site writes that the MHP’s actions, on the one hand harshly criticizing the AKP, and on the other hand handing the seat of the speaker of the parliament to the AKP as a gift only because the party cannot curb its hatred of the HDP, is not in any way worthy of respect. Those votes were given to you, not so that you would make the country dependent on the old, but so that you would solve problems. Bahçeli is not aware of it, but he is ascribing much more power to the HDP.  Erdoğan and the AKP had chosen the HDP and Demirtaş as targets during the election campaign, and the result is apparent… If Devlet Bey continues likes this, he is not only going to be the architect of the fall of MHP in the coming period, but also the architect of the rise of the HDP.

Read 31467 times Last modified on Monday, 13 July 2015

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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.


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