By Afro-Middle East Centre

The protests in more than sixty cities in Turkey over the past weeks signal growing discontent with various government policies and with the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The protests have morphed into something quite different from the initial protests, which began as an environmentalist and antineoliberal protest against the construction of new buildings in Taksim Square’s Gezi Park. Turkey's economic success in the last decade has resulted in sweeping urban development throughout the country, especially in Istanbul and Ankara, giving rise to a substantial countermovement of civil society groups, opposing what they regard as state support of business interests over people’s interests.

By Afro-Middle East Centre

On Wednesday 13 March, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) freed eight Turkish soldiers and civil servants as part of the ongoing peace process with the Turkish government. Since the government announced that it was holding negotiations with imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan in December 2012, there have been hopes for an end to the three decades of PKK insurgency that has cost 40 000 lives and the beginning of the end to the discrimination faced by Turkey’s Kurds. Although this peace initiative, dubbed the ‘Imrali Process’ after the island where Öcalan is serving a life

By Al Jazeera Center for Studies

There is a strong likelihood that Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister and head of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), will run for the country’s presidency. Legally, Turkey must elect a new president before the end of August 2014; that is, before the end of the term of the incumbent president, Abdullah Gul. Following a constitutional amendment passed in 2010, the president will this year be, for the first time in the history of the Turkish republic, elected by the direct vote of the people, rather than by a majority of parliamentarians.

By Al Jazeera Center for Studies

In simultaneous dawn raids on 17 December 2013, Turkish police, acting on the orders of the leading public prosecutor in Istanbul, Zakaria Oz, arrested more than fifty people, including the mayor of Istanbul district Fatih; the head of one of the largest construction companies in the country; sons of the ministers of the interior, economy and the environment; a Turkish businessman of Azerbaijani origin; and the head of state-owned Khalq Bank, one of Turkey’s largest banks. The simultaneous arrests were alarming, but also significant given the links between this case and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which gained favour among a large number of Turks for its economic achievements over the past decade, as well as its fight against corruption.

By Afro-Middle East Centre

Although the 30 March municipal elections in Turkey were meant to elect mayors and municipal council members, they were viewed by many as a referendum on the popularity of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP). Earlier, in 2012, Erdogan had tried unsuccessfully to bring the elections forward by five months, to allow himself extra time to campaign for the presidential elections scheduled for August. However, with the AKP’s plans to transform Turkey into a presidential presidential system delayed, the municipal elections took on added significance.

Follow Us On Twitter

Find Us on Facebook

Like us on facebook

Like on Facebook