By AlJazeera Centre for Studies

The results of Turkey's parliamentary elections, held on Sunday 12 June 2011, reflect a more accurate picture of the Turkish political scene than might have been assumed from some pre-election predictions. Indeed, the parliamentary representation of the four political parties that won seats is an indication of their real and solid support among the Turkish people. The importance of these Turkish parliamentary elections was indisputable. Within Turkey the question on many people's minds was whether the election results would give the prime minister, and president of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an adequate opportunity to stamp his mark on the content of a new draft constitution for Turkey. That a new constitution is necessary is agreed upon by most of Turkey's political forces. Beyond Turkey's borders, where the winds of Arab revolution rage, others were waiting to see whether the elections would result in the weakening or strengthening of Erdogan's powers and his popular mandate.

By Afro-Middle East Centre

Turkey is preparing for the first round of its historic presidential election scheduled for 10 August. The election will be the first time to elect the country’s president through a popular vote rather than by parliament, as has been the case since a legislative amendment in 2007. Previously a single seven-year term of office, the next president’s term will be five years, followed by a possible second term.

By Mesut Yegen
 
Introduction
The Turkish state’s engagement with the Kurdish question had previously relied on three approaches: assimilation, repression and containment. In engaging with the Kurdish question, the state used the first two approaches inside Turkey and the third was used abroad. Since the foundation of the Turkish republic by Ataturk until the late 1990s, the Turkish state seemed satisfied with this policy. Kurdish resistance in Turkey had not become sufficiently powerful as to force a change in the state’s policy of assimilation and repression. Moreover, the international climate between the 1920s and 1980s had allowed an easy containment of Kurds outside Turkey. Throughout this period, Turkey, Iran and Iraq have, in principle, cooperated to contain the Kurds. The Treaty of Sadaabad, signed in 1937 between Iran, Turkey, Iraq and Afghanistan, commited the parties ‘to respect the inviolability of their common frontiers’, to refrain from acts of aggression against each other, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, and to prevent ‘the formation or activities of armed bands, associations or organisations to subvert the established institutions, or disturb the order or security of any part, whether situated on the frontier or elsewhere, of the territory of another Party, or to change the consitutional system of such other Party.’[i] Signed with the encouragement of Britain in 1937, the Sadaabad Treaty remained binding after the Second World War when NATO and the USSR patronised international politics.

By AlJazeera Centre for Studies

It is not an exaggeration that domestic Turkish politics has been experiencing an ongoing crisis since the 1960 military coup, which resulted in the overthrow of the long-standing Menderes government and condemned the head of state to the gallows. In the five decades since the coup d’état, Turkey has witnessed two direct military interventions and three indirect interventions; this is apart from countless covert interventions.

By Juan Cole

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week in Toronto that, in the wake of the G20 conference, Turkey will no longer routinely give Israeli military aircraft permission to fly in Turkish airspace. The announcement came as Turkey forbade an Israeli military air-plane (taking officers on a visit to the sites of Nazi death camps for Jews in Poland) to fly over its territory. The Turkish press denies that the destination of the plane influenced the decision. Future Israeli military overflight permission will be granted on an ad hoc basis.

From the Guardian: 'Israel's Ynet news website reported that other military flights had also been quietly cancelled. "Turkey is continuing to downgrade its relations with Israel," an unnamed official told Ynet. "This is a long-term process and not something that began just after the flotilla incident. We are very concerned." '

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