Turkey

Turkey

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.
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…
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…
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…
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 Raza Naeem  ‘And with the pencil which draws the cartoons of the master of Religious Knowledge, demolish the pages of the Koran. You must know how to build your own paradise On this black soil.’ (Advice to Our Children, 1928)
By Afro Middle-East Centre Expectations were low for US President Barack Obama’s first visit to Palestine-Israel. In light of a frosting of relations between him and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, especially after Netanyahu endorsed Obama’s presidential rival Mitt Romney in last year’s US presidential election, and a tacit acknowledgement that the so-called ‘peace process’ had stalled, the trip was more an affirmation of the avowed support of the USA for Israel than a hope for anything more significant.
By Ali Hussein Bakir  Turkey approaches the Syrian crisis through a series of factors that it considers to be basic axioms. Among these is that the Syrian situation is a regional and international responsibility and not solely that of Turkey but that Turkey may intervene if it regards the Syrian crisis as a Turkish national security risk.  
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,…
By Burhan Koroglu The recent series of Arab revolutions began with the first revolution being in Tunisia, and resulted in the people of Tunisia being victorious in removing President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from power, and forcing him into exile. Egypt was next to witness a great popular revolution. However, the revolution in Egypt proved to be bloodier than Tunisia’s, but it was of a shorter duration, and saw a more expeditious resignation of the president, Hosni Mubarak. The outcome of the third popular revolution – in Libya – is still unclear, with rising casualties, and a revolutionary path…
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