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Turkey Media Roundup (March 22)

[Cizre, 3 March 2016. Image by Mahmut Bozarslan.] [Cizre, 3 March 2016. Image by Mahmut Bozarslan.]


Bombings in Ankara and Istanbul

Reporting on March 13 Ankara bombing from Reuters, and The Economist

PKK Taking a Page From DAESH’s Playbook The Daily Sabah editorial board accuses the HDP leadership of “radicalizing” Kurdish youth and calls on the intelligence services to take “necessary measures” to prevent further terrorist acts. 

Are Deserted Streets, Shops the New Normal in Ankara? Şükrü Küçükşahin writes that gripped by fear and panic after an unprecedented string of bombings, Ankara’s residents are shying from streets and shopping malls, hurting the local economy.

How Terror Attacks Drive Politics in Ankara Metin Gürcan writes about the the Kurdish Freedom Hawks (TAK), which had claimed responsibility for the Feb. 17 Ankara attack. 

Living With Fear Nuray Mert draws attention to fear of terrorism and the threat of death that govern the very aspect of life in Turkey.

Terror in Ankara, Iron Hand on Turkey Mustafa Akyol criticizes the government for going after terrorism only in counter-way was, and also using it as a pretext for taking its authoritarianism to new heights.

Does Turkey Have to Learn to Live with Terror? Serkan Demirtaş points out that the rise in terrorism has caused a deep trauma and spread fear in society, which will have lasting effects on the country’s social order.

Istanbul Residents Retreat from Public Spaces Following Latest Attack Pınar Tremblay reports that in the wake of the March 19 suicide attack in Istanbul, Turks are questioning why security vulnerabilities increase as police visibility and power increase.

Tough Days for Foreigners in Turkey Kerim Karakaya points out that five bomb attacks in major cities over the past six months have made life difficult for foreigners living in Turkey.

Ankara Bombing and the Failing Turkish State David Lepeska argues that in recent months the government has proved itself incapable of keeping enemies from entering the country via its border with war-ravaged Syria, or of stopping terrorists from attacking the heart of its largest city or the centre of its capital, even after being warned.

Turkey's Backbone Will Resist; They Will Be Wiped Out  The pro-government daily Yeni Şafak‘s editor-in-chief Ibrahim Karagül argues that Gezi Park movement, the Gülen community, and the new wave of terror are parts of the same project that aims to weaken Turkey. 

Repression of Academics and Civil Society Organizations

Turkey’s Democracy is Crumbling and Has Been for Quite Some Time Economist Erik Meyersson uses Freedom House rations to argue that Turkey today stands out as one of the most illiberal electoral democracies in the world.

Erdogan Vows to Punish Thought Crimes Mustafa Akyol argues that President Erdoğan responded to the latest suicide bombing in downtown Ankara that killed 37 civilians with authoritarian measures by introducing the concept of "unarmed terrorists," which targets the academics and journalists who criticize the government's war policies. 

Erdoğan’s Iron Fist, PKK, Syria and the EU Murat Yetkin reports that President Erdoğan said that the definition of “terror” should be redefined in order to include "those praising terrorist organizations, or trying to justify their actions, whether they be academics or journalists."

Kurdish Politics & Violence in the Southeast

Erdogan Could Break the Spiral of Violence If He Negotiates With the Kurds Fréderike Geerdink reports that “the armed left in Turkey is preparing” to fight, citing PKK statements that they are now coordinating with left-wing groups, meaning that “violence could spread further across Turkey.” She calls on Erdoğan to “turn the tide” by halting military operations the southeast.

Mapping “The Kurds”: An Interactive Chart Alev Erhan and Aaron Stein provide a helpful graphic explaining the structure of the Group of Communities of Kurdistan (KCK), the umbrella organization for left-wing Kurdish groups. 

Those Who Talk About Getting Rid of Erdoğan İlnur Çevik disputes PKK leader Cemil Bayık claim to be fighting a noble fight against Erdoğan, stating, “Erdoğan is here to stay. The only power that will end Erdoğan's rule is the votes of the nation and of course the divine ruling of the Almighty. Not the PKK.”

Is the West Too Soft on Turkey's PKK? Aljazeera's discussion on how Western countries deal with the PKK.

Turkey's Worries About 'Kurds' Proved to be True Mustafa Akyol suggests that the way out of this bloody quagmire would be to try to restore the peace talks between Turkey and the PKK. 

Diyarbakır in Western Media vs Diyarbakır in Reality Merve Şebnem Oruç of the pro-government daily Yeni Safak argues that people in Diyarbakır talk about the state that rescued them from the PKK's violence, and about a war the state waged on Kurds.

Bayık Announces PKK's New Mission Abdülkadir Selvi argues that the PKK is instilling fear, panic and instability in Turkey in order to achieve its goal of “ousting Erdoğan.”

Journey to Hope and Back Nancy Kricorian argues that the work of commemorating and recognizing the Armenian Genocide is and must be intimately bound up with the ongoing struggle for justice for the Kurds.

EU-Turkey Refugee Deal

Reporting on EU-Turkey refugee deal from Bloomberg, New York Times, The Guardian. 

Is Turkey's Plan to Stop Flow of Refugees Legal?  "Turkey's offer to the European Union to stop the flow of refugees to Greece is compelling — but is it legal?" asks Jasper Mortimer.

Is the EU Really Ready to Commit to Turkey? Cengiz Çandar argues that the major weakness of the EU-Turkey deal is that it is a lifeline for Erdoğan’s increasingly authoritarian one-man rule, which hardly reflects the EU’s values and principles.

The Consequences of the Turkey-EU Refugee Deal Murat Yetkin explains the specifics of the Turkey-EU deal.  

Zombie politics: Europe, Turkey and the Disposable Human Kerem Öktem argues that racist, Islamophobic, neoliberal, authoritarian, Islamist forces have colluded to create a political space wherein refugees have become bodies that can be disposed of in the the Aegean sea.

Domestic Politics

A Political Comeback for the Turkish Military? Lars Haugom discusses the increasing influence of the military in security affairs, but concludes that “given the new community of interests between the military and the government, the military leadership has no compelling reason to take any political action.”

Where did it all go wrong for Turkey? Writing for The Telegraph, Raziye Akkoç gives a thorough summation of recent events in Turkey.

Other Pertinent Pieces

Syrian Asylum-seekers Detained in Turkish Airports for One Year Nick Ashdown profiles Fadi Mansour, a 27-year-old Syrian who has been detained at Atatürk Airport for possession of a fake passport for over a year.


Bombings in Ankara and Istanbul

PKK, TAK'ın saldırılarını neden durdurmuyor? BBC Turkish interviews KCK spokesperson Serhat Varto in the Qandil Mountains about the recent terror attacks of the Kurdish Freedom Hawks (TAK). 

PKK artık Kürtlerin IŞİD'idir Writing in Hürriyet, Ertuğrul Özkök suggests that the PKK are beginning to act like ISIS.

PKK panikte Sozcu columnist Soner Yalçın suggests the PKK has made a tactical mistake by using female suicide bombers to target civilians; now the Turkish government’s actions will appear more justified to international media.

Saldırıdan bir gün sonra İstiklal Caddesi Nadire Mater shares her observations about the day after the suicide bomb attack in Istanbul.

Teröre bağlanan yönetim politikası Cihan Soylu criticizes the government for using the terror attacks as a pretext to increase its authoritarian policies.

Repression of Academics and Civil Society Organizations

"Terörist" Oral Çalışlar recalls how he and other journalists were prosecuted during the 1990s for acts of “terrorist propaganda” such as reporting on the PKK and interviewing its leaders. 

Kral çıplak demek Ahmet Erdi Öztürk condemns the arrest of three academics who signed the Academics for Peace petition.

O sözlerin asıl 'flaş flaş' kısmı Ezgi Başaran laments the president’s “polarizing” language and discusses the arrest of Bilgi University professor Chris Stephenson for carrying an invitation to a Newroz party into a courthouse.

Fetö’nün maaşlı uzmanı Türkiye’yi böyle tehdit etmiş! (1) (2) This week it appears to be academic Henri Barkey’s turn to accused by Sabah of complicity in terrorism. The evidence: he suggested terrorism could happen and the government should be careful.

Kurdish Politics & Violence in the Southeast

Diyarbakır’da tüm yollar sokağa çıkma yasağına çıkıyor Bedri Adanır shares his observations from Diyarbakir under curfew.

Diyarbakır'dan topyekûn sayıklamalar… Bircan Değirmenci narrates how the lives of residents of Diyarbakir have drastically changed due to violence. 

Domestic Politics

Kimlik siyasetleri zehri - panzehir mümkün mü? Yunus Emre analyzes the potentials and limits of identity politics in Turkey. 

Yeni tanımlamayla kimler “terörist” olacak? Nami Temeltaş criticizes the President Erdoğan's call to redefine "terrorist" in a way that deems anyone who criticizes the government terrorist.

Dokunulmazlıklar mı, anayasa mı, bombalar mı? Mustafa Yalçıner outlines the three pressing issues on Turkey's domestic politics agenda: debates around HDP parliamentarians' impunities, new constitution, and suicide bomb attacks. 

Foreign Policy 

“Karşıyız” dediği Kürt Özerkliği, Federasyon değil Mustafa Erdemol discusses American opposition to an federal arrangement for Syrian Kurdish, arguing that America is trying to address Turkish and Iranian concerns.

Published on Jadaliyya

“Cleaning out the Ghettos” - Urban Governance and the Remaking of Kurdistan

Entertainment and Consumption: The Impending Destruction of the Armenian Memorial Trchnotz Puyn

On a Day of a March…

Humanism and Its Others

Sevan Nisanyan icin izan talep ediyoruz! / The Sevan Nisanyan Question

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

In Turkey, the Regime Slides from Soft to Hard Totalitarianism

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