Aslı Aydıntaşbaş in Milliyet writes that it’s not certain that pro-Kurdish HDP will cross the ten percent threshold to parliament, but she notes that polls indicate an upward trend. However, HDP will have to be wary of provocations and assure the Turkish public beforehand that it has got nothing to do with any acts of violence that may be staged during the run-up to the election in June. Oya Baydar on the t24 news site writes that the sine qua non for electoral success is that the HDP makes sure to forcefully deny and dispel the rumors that certain circles are spreading that the HDP has come to an agreement with Erdoğan to introduce a presidential system. Ali Bayramoğlu in Yeni Şafak predicts that the elections are going to confirm that both AKP and HDP benefit from the headway that is being made in the solution process. Ahmet İnsel in Radikal writes that the HDP has the potential to become the Freedom Movement for Turkey, provided that the line of its co-chairman Selahattin Demirtaş is not sabotaged by forces from within the Kurdish political movement itself.
By M. K. Kaya (vol. 8, no. 5 of the Turkey Analyst)
The row over Hakan Fidan, Turkey’s reinstated intelligence chief, is suggestive of shifting power realities and rivalries within the AKP regime. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu suffered a serious setback when he was forced to let Hakan Fidan return to MIT. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan needed not only to have his confidante back at the helm of the critically important MIT, but also to ensure that the circle around Davutoğlu did not succeed in its bid to become a power centre on its own right. Erdoğan correctly saw the emerging Davutoğlu-Fidan alliance as an alliance that had the potential to reconfigure the power status quo within the AKP.
By Burak Bilgehan Özpek (vol. 8, no. 5 of the Turkey Analyst)
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s bid to concentrate all power to himself has increased the skepticism and reluctance among the representatives of the Kurdish political movement and among liberals. The suspicion is widespread in Turkey that the “solution process” of the Kurdish problem is going to pave the way for a fully authoritarian government. What many fear is that Erdoğan is using the solution process and the promise of Kurdish peace as instruments in his bid to consolidate his position as the unchecked leader of the country.
By Fatih Yaslı (vol. 28, no. 1 of the Turkey Analyst)
The regime that the AKP is constructing certainly deserves to be defined as “new.” However, a proper understanding of the rise of the Islamists requires that their ascent is put in the right historical context, and that the true nature of the old Turkish regime is appreciated. Turkey’s Islamization has a long prehistory. It has been a long time since the radicalism of Kemalism was discarded. Instead, religion and conservatism have been consistently promoted in the name of anti-socialism.
Several columnists have brought up the recent attack against Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Yusuf Kaplan in Yeni Safak writes that the attack was the work of the French “deep state” in order to increase Islamophobia. Orhan Kemal Cengiz in Bugün writes that pious Muslims must stop hiding behind conspiracy theories, and Nuray Mert writes on the Diken news site that blaming such attacks on groups created by the West is simply an attempt to pretend that there is not a major problem that Muslims need to tackle.
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.