Etiket arşivi: Turkey

Fighting for Survival?

May 22, 2019

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party’s (JDP) principal theme in the recent municipal election campaign was “the fight for Turkey’s survival”. The party and its supporters in the media claimed that Turkey was under the siege of external powers which were determined to block Turkey’s path to becoming a global player through an array of conspiracies. Who those powers are, was never spelled out. Nonetheless, Turkish government’s disappointment with Western reaction to the Gülenist coup attempt of July 15, 2016, continuing frustration with the support extended to the PYD/YPG and the s400s/s35 conundrum offer some clues and these only point toward the US and the EU, in other words, Turkey’s traditional Western allies. Okumaya devam et

Reklamlar

On US-Russia Relations and Iran

May 16, 2019

During his first visit to Moscow on 6-8 July 2009 President Obama tried to “reset” relations. Unfortunately for the international community this failed to materialize. The Arab Spring led to a new set of confrontations. Snowden affair became an irritant and led to the cancellation by Washington of an Obama-Putin summit that was to take place during the G-20 meeting in St. Petersburg on 5-6 September 2013. Yet a brief encounter of the two leaders there paved the way for the agreement on the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons only to be followed by the crisis in Ukraine. Okumaya devam et

The Last Exit

May 9, 2019

That Turkey has a strategic location is an axiom of our foreign policy. Although this is generally presented as an asset, it has always been a double-edged sword since we border on conflict areas, prominently among them the Middle East. In the past, we believed that non-involvement in regional problems particularly inter-Arab feuds, doing our best to control damage and to promote stability served our interests.

Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 had severe consequences for Turkey’s security, trade and economic relations with the region. Later, the US invasion of Iraq, the Arab spring, the Syrian conflict and the rise of the Islamic state threw our immediate vicinity into turmoil. Okumaya devam et

A Dark Day for Turkey

May 6, 2019

Turkey held municipal elections on Sunday, March 31. Late in the evening polling stations finished counting the votes. In Istanbul, like in other major cities, the result was a victory for the opposition candidate, Mr. Imamoglu. However, the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) asked over and over for recounts and eventually a rerun. The emerging controversy diverted attention from our heavily loaded national agenda which ranges from the current economic downturn to troubled relations with allies not to mention our Syria predicament. Okumaya devam et

Counting and Recounting …

April 7, 2019

On March 31 Turkey had municipal elections. The result was a yellow card for the government. However, the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) immediately asked for recounts in Ankara and İstanbul where, according to initial figures, they lost the mayoralties after more than two decades. Is asking for recounts within the law? Yes, it is. But then government started saying that elected mayors who don’t command the majority in municipal councils, İstanbul being a case in point, would have a hard time governing. Thus, what should be a technical process has now turned into a political controversy whereby the government challenges more than the ballot box and that is pushing it too far. Turkey desperately needs to put this episode behind and turn to its heavily-loaded agenda. Okumaya devam et

Turkey’s Municipal Elections: A Yellow Card for the Government

Co-authored with Yusuf Buluc (*)

April 1, 2019

The significance of an election in a democratically governed country is determined by the context and the framework in which it is held, as well the political backdrop. If these parameters were to be applied to the municipal elections held yesterday in Turkey, in effect to determine choices for local administrations, the exercise takes on deeper and critical political character. Given where we are in our journey of modern and republican statehood close to a century, this election, as confirmed by the intensity with which the political parties have conducted their respective campaigns, brought us to a juncture with a sign boldly printed as “last exit for democracy”. Okumaya devam et

The Christchurch Tragedy

March 21, 2019

The Christchurch massacre was a horrendous crime. It was a ghastly, dastardly act of terrorism. The innocent people who lost their lives there ranged in age from 3 to 71. The enormity of the crime shocked the people of New Zealand and Muslims around the world. It shocked the world. It was a tragedy and its handling a huge challenge for the government of New Zealand. Okumaya devam et