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Turkey Media Roundup (March 1)

[Diyarbakır Suriçi district under curfew, 26 February. Image by Mahmut Bozarslan.] [Diyarbakır Suriçi district under curfew, 26 February. Image by Mahmut Bozarslan.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Sunday night of every week.]


Domestic Politics

Identification of Ankara Bomber Muddled by Faulty Communication  Metin Gürcan argues that the debate over the identity of the February suicide bomber in Ankara reveals flaws in Turkey's crisis-management and communication mechanisms, and that this weakness contributes to political, ethnic, and sectarian polarization internally.

Turkish Laws Enable Protection For Rapists Arguing there is “a culture among people of protecting the perpetrator” when it comes to crimes against women in Turkey, Lale Kemal calls for reform.

A Decision From Davutoğlu that Angers Erdoğan After taking a stand against a mining firm linked to the president, Prime Minister Davutoğlu has been criticized within his own party for “not harmonizing well enough with the palace's wishes and guidance” argues Cafer Solgun.

Re-Writing History on AKP’s Farm İhsan Yılmaz describes the AKP’s removal of founding members like Abdullah Gül and Yaşar Yakış from its website as “Orwellian.”

Dr. Howard Eissenstat: There are No Longer Any Checks and Balances in Turkey In an interview with Today’s Zaman, Professor Eissenstat discusses the role of the president and the military in Turkish politics.

Talk Before You Attack, As In Artvin Kanat Atkaya finds Prime Minister Davutoğlu's meeting with representatives from Artvin, the province where locals are resisting the construction of a copper mine, to be a positive development, especially given that the government appealed to police violence during the first days of the protest.

Kurdish Politics & Violence in the Southeast

Kurds Are Now Key to a Middle East Solution Henri Barkey argues that what worries President Erdoğan is that in three of the countries with sizeable Kurdish minorities--Turkey, Iraq, Syria-- the Kurds are becoming very influential in shaping the politics in the Middle East.

How Turkey Misreads the Kurds The Editorial Board of The New York Times writes that the dispute with the Kurds is dragging Turkey into direct conflict with Russia, the USA, and Syria, and that a big part of the problem is that President Erdoğan refuses to acknowledge important differences between the two Kurdish groups: the PKK and Kurdish militants in Syria.

Room For Debate: Are Kurds Allies or Obstacles in Syria? The New York Times brings multiple experts on Turkey together to discuss recent developments in the southeast.

Journalist Trapped and Injured While Reporting in Besieged Turkish Town Dies The Committee to Protect Journalists calls for an investigation into the death of Rohat Aktaş, an editor for Azadiya Welat who was trapped in a basement in Cizre without access to treatment for a gunshot wound.

Kurdish Solidarity in Turkey's Restive Southeast Frustrates its Syria Policy Writing for Reuters, Ayla Jean Yackley details the links and cleavages between PYD and PKK forces.

The PKK's War Against Turkey and Washington's Suspicious Intentions Daily Sabah columnist Merve Şebnem Oruç suggests that US support for the PYD since 2014 has emboldened the PKK to end its ceasefire in 2015.

HDP Should Have Distanced Itself From the Bomber Presidential advisor and Daily Sabah columnist İlnur Çevik argues, “The HDP people are progressively antagonizing and provoking the ordinary Turk in the street.”

Syrian Civil War and the Refugee Crisis

After Syria Intervention Flop, What’s Next for Erdoğan? Kadri Gürsel points out that Russia's  recent moves have spurred President Erdoğan and Prime Minister Davutoğlu's desire to send regular troops to Syria; now they are seeking new venues to ensure that Turkey has some say on Syria's future.

Is 'Iran-Phobia' Spreading in Turkey? Commenting on the harsh and controversial statement of Deniz Baykal, the former leader of Turkey's main opposition party CHP, about Shiites and Kurds regarding the Syrian city of Aleppo, Pınar Tremblay argues that a new Iran-phobia is spreading among Turkish Islamists, while Turkish leftists are approaching Iran more positively.

Can Ankara's Plans Keep Up With Syria's Escalation? Metin Gürcan explains three basic structural flaws that prevents Turkey from assessing developments in Syria accurately and wisely.

IS and Russia Could Exploit Turkey's Political Divisions Soner Çağaptay discusses the dangers for Turkey in antagonizing both Russia (which could retaliate against the AKP) and ISIS (which could attack anti-AKP groups in order to further polarize the country).

Mitigating US-Turkish Disagreement over the PYD Former US Ambassador Francis Ricciardone and journalist Aaron Stein argue that the US must pressure the PYD into a “unidirectional” relationship with the PKK and respecting Turkey’s red lines along the Syrian border.

Erdoğan Has to Find An Exit From the Syria Situation (1)- (2) "Now, after the bomb attack in Ankara that killed 28 military and civilian army personnel on Feb. 17, the Erdoğan-Davutoğlu duo is getting ever closer to a crossroads in their Syria policy," writes Murat Yetkin.

Foreign Policy

What Happened to Turkey's Foreign Policy? Semih İdiz reports that Turkish experts— aside from the most hardened, pro-government experts — agree that Turkey's foreign policy under the ruling AKP is in shambles, mostly caused by the country abandoning its traditional foreign policy in favor of an Islamist outlook.


Will Putin’s Economic Attacks Bring Erdogan Down? Kerem Karakaya writes that the economic warfare declared by Russia damages the Turkish economy beyond expectations.

To Stop Tourism Slump, Erdogan Asks Turks to Holiday at Home  Tülay Çetingüleç writes that President Erdoğan is asking Turks to spend their holidays in Turkey in order to alleviate the loss in revenue of Russian tourists who will not travel to Turkey this year.

A Criticism of the IMF's Turkey Perspective Cemil Ertem argues that calls by the IMF for Turkey to increase its savings rate and tighten its monetary and fiscal policies fail to understand “today's realities.”

Political Agenda Not Allowing Economic Reforms Erdal Sağlam argues that domestic and international developments underway seriously prevent the AKP government from focusing on economic reforms, especially in order to re-attract foreign investment in Turkey.

Other Pertinent Pieces

Fabric of the Past, Questions for the Future Analyzing the restoration of the historic Narmanlı Han on İstiklal Street, Emily Neumeier highlights the debates around urban renewal and development projects and  cultural heritage management in Istanbul.

Amnesty International Report 2015/16: The State of the World’s Human Rights Discussing Turkey in its annual report, Amnesty International states that “the human rights situation deteriorated markedly” in Turkey over the past year.


Domestic Politics

Aramıza hoş geldiniz, mutluyuz, ama daha yapacak çok iş var! Celebrating the release of journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, who were imprisoned because they revealed the AKP government's transportation of weaponry into Syria under the name of "humanitarian aid," Hasan Cemal writes that Turkey needs to accomplish a lot in terms of the independence of justice, freedom of speech, and journalism.

Bunun adı skandal Given the government’s failure to correctly identify the man responsible for the Ankara bombing—and given the fact that the initial, “certain” information served the government’s foreign policy goals—Ezgi Başaran wonders how the government can be trusted.

Can Dündar Türk Julian Assange’dır! Star columnist Cem Küçük accuses the recently released Cumhuriyet editor of being a tool of “Pennsylvania’s” vast conspiracy to undermine the government.

Radikal yazarı Cengiz Çandar'a Erdoğan'a hakaretten dava açıldı The Bakırköy prosecutor’s’ office has opened an investigation into columnist Cengiz Çandar for criticizing the president in his July 25 to August 9 articles: (1)-(2)-(3)-(4)-(5)-(6)-(7)

Kurdish Politics & Violence in the Southeast

Başlangıcından günümüze Kürt meselesinin son yüzyılı Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu presents a brief history of the "Kurdish Question."

Silvan yalnızlığı Leyla Alp relays her observations from Silvan in the wake of 12-days curfew and violence which ended in the death of 7 civilians.

Suriçi tanıklığı (1)-(2)-(3) Nurcan Baysal witnesses the ongoing violence in Diyarbakır's Suriçi district; meets with the authorities to try to convince them to open a corridor for trapped civilians, the wounded and the children; tries to talk to the families inside Sur district under heavy bombardment.

Halkların demokratik canlı bombası (1)-(2)-(3)-(4) Ahmet Hakan criticizes the HDP after one of its Van representatives attended the funeral of the suspected Ankara bomber.

HDP’nin intiharı Levent Gültekin calls HDP Van representative's visit of condolence to the funeral of the suspected suicide bomber "HDP's suicide."

Dündar-Gül tahliyesi ve Rohat Aktaş’ın külleri İrfan Aktan reports that Roboski families' institutional applications to the Constitutional Court were denied at the same day journalists Gül and Dündar were released, and that Constitutional Court's selective "sensibility" for the freedom of expression, and not for the right to live when it comes to Kurds, speaks volumes about the Kurdish question in Turkey.

Özgürlük Yolunu Aydınlatan Tahliye Özlem Hoşer argues that the release of journalists Gül and Dündar is an important step to overcome the widespread pessimism in society and rescue and reenact the lost sense of justice.

Other Pertinent Pieces

Kadın Cinayetleri A website devoted to recording and mapping the murders of women in Turkey.

2016 Yılına Girerken Türkiye ve Dünya Ekonomisi The annual report from TÜSİAD, the Turkish business lobby, discusses the effects of violence in the southeast and tension with Russia. It predicts growth of 3.6% in 2016.

Published on Jadaliyya

New York Event--The Fall of the Turkish Model: How the Arab Uprisings Brought Down Islamic Liberalism (March 1 @ 12.30pm)

Can the Kurdish Question Be Settled by Killing People in Sur?

In Turkey, the Regime Slides from Soft to Hard Totalitarianism

Letter to Turkish PM Davutoglu Expressing Serious Concern Over Investigation and Prosecution of Scholars Who Are Signatories of the Peace Petition

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