Turkey

Turkey

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…
By AlJazeera Centre for Studies On 3 November 2002, only one year after it was founded, Turkey's Justice and Development Party (AKP) recorded a surprising electoral victory by winning thirty-five percent of the seats in the Turkish parliament. Because of the form of that country's electoral system, this electoral victory enabled the AKP to govern on its own, without having to forge alliances with other parties to be able to govern. As recently as four years ago, most experts in Turkish affairs were still anticipating the imminent downfall of the head of the AKP, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and,…
By AlJazeera Centre for Studies On Sunday, 12 September 2010, a constitutional referendum was held in Turkey on a broad package of amendments. The amendments had previously been proposed to parliament by the government, headed by the Justice and Development Party (AKP), but had failed to achieve the two-thirds majority needed to implement the changes. Subsequently, after the proposed referendum had received the approval of the majority, the Republican People's Party (CHP) appealed to the Constitutional Court, objecting to the referendum. However, the court approved the referendum after making minor changes to both its wording and the wording of a…
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…
By Lamis Andoni On the eve of the 26 June 2010, an important meeting between US President Barack Obama and Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was held in Toronto where the two sides exchanged soft - but poignant - warnings. Philip Gordon, the US Assistant Secretary of European and Eurasian affairs, challenged Turkey to prove that it remains "committed to NATO, Europe and the United States", while Erdogan questioned whether the US was "supporting Turkey adequately in its battle against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)". The statements were the strongest public indication of emerging mutual distrust between the two…
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