MESOP ‘S Turkey Media Roundup – COVERING THE WHOLE GUELEN – ERDOGAN COMPLEX (English & Turkish language media)

AKP-Gülen Community War

Two Axes Clash in Turkish Politics Murat Yetkin comments on the jeopardization of the peace process after the killing of two civilians in Yüksekova, and the escalating tension between the AKP and the Gülen movement.

The Need for a Truly Secular State Mustafa Akyol writes about Sibel Eraslan, an Islamic intellectual, who declares that “the Community-AKP conflict invites us to think more seriously about ‘secularism.’”

Erdoğan Getting Hit in AKP-“Cemaat” War Kadri Gürsel comments on the publication of a 2004 National Security Council resolution seeking to put an end to the Gülen movement.

Turkish Journalist Charged with Espionage Tülin Daloğlu reports that the Turkish Prime Ministry, National Security Council, and the National Intelligence Organization all filed criminal cases against the Taraf daily and its reporter Mehmet Baransu for publishing these documents.

Welcome to the Republic of Paranoia (1)(2) Emre Uslu points out that Mehmet Baransu, a journalist who had leaked the documents, now faces a forty-seven-year prison sentence.

A Little Fairness, Please! Ekrem Dumanlı argues that the struggle over prep schools and the leaked documents suggest that Turkey needs a participatory, transparent, and accountable democracy.

The Real Issue is the National Security Council Cafer Solgun argues that raising accusations of treason distracts the public from real issues, such as the lack of transparency and democracy.

Post-Kemalist but Still Illiberal Turkey İhsan Dağı writes that the post-Kemalist state under the AKP rule causes disillusionment because it has not evolved into a democratic one.

Erdoğan Game Plans Have Faltered Analyzing recent political developments, including blacklistings, Abdullah Bozkurt argues that “Erdoğan is fighting a losing public battle.”

Votes of Religious Orders and Communities Analyzing the AKP-Gülen conflict, Mümtazer Türköne contends that “this time, the AK Party is fighting its own social base.”

Strategic Defamation of Fethullah Gülen: English vs. Turkish İhsan Yılmaz points out that Fethullah Gülen is portrayed very differently in articles written in English and in Turkish.

What is a “State Secret”? Analyzing the 2004 National Security Council resolutions, Yusuf Kanlı claims that Turkey is apparently slowly turning into a dictatorship.

What Normalization? (1)(2)(3) Bülent Keneş argues against the idea that Turkey is in a normalization process.

Criticism and Risks Ali Bulaç comments on the need to provide the legal protection for those criticizing the state.

Erdoğan’s Way Worries and Puzzles Yavuz Baydar comments on Erdoğan’s controversial strategies in recent weeks, and analyzes them in relation to upcoming local elections.

What Istanbul Means to the Prime Minister? Kerim Balci argues that the local elections in Istanbul will redraw the leadership map of Turkish politics and will have national implications.

Where Are We Heading? Suat Kınıklıoğlu writes that Turkey is going through one of the most intense and confrontational political periods in a decade.

The Turkish Predicament Gökhan Baçık argues that the political culture in Turkey has for centuries lacked a strong system of checks and balances that would limit the state’s advantage over the individual.

Turkey’s Tea Party Mümtazer Türköne points to the emergence of a new group within the AKP, which is similar to the conservative Tea Party in the United States.

Question Only One Percent of Our Kids Could Answer Correctly İsmet Berkan criticizes the nationalist education system in Turkey.

Islam and Democracy

Demand for Women-Only Buses in Istanbul “Demands for women-only buses indicate a deeper debate about Islamization of Turkish public space,” Pınar Tremblay argues.

“A Great Islamic Democracy” Burak Bekdil claims that “Turkey is a great Islamic democracy; not a great democracy or even a democracy.”

Kurdish Question

Kurdish Peace Process is on Knife Edge-Again Tülin Daloğlu analyzes the killing of two Kurdish civilians in Gever (Yuksekova), and Abdullah Öcalan’s messages related to it.

Peace Politics (1)(2) Markar Esayan analyzes the peace processes, and the recent developments including the killing of two Kurdish protesters and the kidnapping of soldiers.

The Kurdish Predicament and the “Radical Line” “The PKK-BDP line indeed is still the sole political representation of ‘the Kurdish predicament,’” Nuray Mert writes.

Will Russia Play the Kurdish Card? “Russia’s connections to the region’s Kurdish communities present both opportunities and risks for Moscow’s interests in the Middle East,” Maxim Suchkov writes.

The AKP Paradox: Gezi and the Kurdish Question Ömer Taşpınar claims that there is a paradox between the government’s attitude towards the Kurdish question and the Gezi protests.

Is There Such a Thing as the Turkish Race? Orhan Miroğlu questions the notion of a “Turkish race.”

Release of Mustafa Balbay

Balbay’s Message and Political Amnesty Hüseyin Gülerce argues that although the release of CHP İzmir deputy Mustafa Balbay from prison was a good attempt to democratization, there are other factors that have yet to be addressed.

Constitutional Court Decisions in Favor of Citizens Sedat Ergin argues that the Constitutional Court decisions demonstrate advanced practices regarding the rule of law in Turkey.

“Media Dominated by Self-Censorship, Gov’t Pressure, Special Interests” An interview with Ceren Sözeri, co-author of the report “Caught in the Wheels of Power: The Political, Legal and Economic Constraints on Independent Media and Freedom of the Press in Turkey.”

Foreign Policy

Turkish Decision to Buy Chinese Missile System Stirs Controversy Erdal Sağlam comments on the concerns raised by Merrill Lynch about Turkey’s decision to buy its missile defense system from a Chinese company.

Turks Increasingly Disapprove of Ankara’s Mideast Policy Recent studies show that the Turkish public has lost interest in foreign policy as a result of the widespread disapproval of the government’s Mideast policies, Sami Cohen writes.

Turkey to Upgrade US Nuclear Arsenal at İncirlik Lale Kemal comments on the existence of US nuclear weapons deployed at the İncirlik Air Base in Turkey.

Regional Game-Changers in Energy, Investment, and Geopolitics Mehmet Öğütçü, the executive chair of the Bosphorus Energy Club, analyzes energy markets, Turkey’s role as a “hub” between energy suppliers, and the politics of energy.

Turkey Extends Hand, But No Apology, to Armenia “Turkey is making a fresh move to normalize ties with Armenia as the clock ticks down to the one hundredth anniversary of the Armenian genocide in 2015,” Fehim Taştekin writes.

CIA Focuses on al-Qaeda’s Use of Turkish Smuggling Routes Sertaç Koç reports that the US has directed the CIA’s focus on Turkish smuggling gangs who are working with radical Islamists in Syria.

Talking Turkey: Orientalism Strikes Back Ertan Aydın, the senior advisor of Erdoğan, claims that the images of Turkey in the Western media are rooted in past stereotypes and the secularist rivalry.

Other Pertinent Pieces

Enforced Disappearances and the Conduct of the Judiciary Truth, Justice, Memory Center’s study on enforced disappearances in Turkey.

“We Always Do This and Nobody Complains” What happens if one citizen files a complaint about the restrictions brought to mass transportation services on May Day, Pınar Öğünç asks.

More Discontent of AKP Does not Mean Increased Support for Opposition Barçın Yinanç argues that increasing uneasiness with the AKP, especially after the Gezi protests, is still not showing in the public opinion polls.

Latest Chapter in Battle Over Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia Kadri Gürsel points out that earlier aspiration of Turkish Islamists to transform Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque is back on the agenda.

Where are Turkey’s Female Politicians? “Although Turkish women gained the right to vote and be elected nearly eighty years ago, they are still vastly underrepresented in Turkish politics,” writes Tolga Sardan.

Two Squares, One Requirement Marc Pierini compares the protests in Taksim Square and those in Kiev’s Independence Square.

“The Making of Modern Turkey” A new book about Turkey’s population policies between 1913 and 1950, which sought the homogenization of Eastern Anatolia.


Kurdish Question

Gever’den Wan’a Referring to Gever, where two Kurds were killed in a protest, Nazan Üstündağ asks who the perpetrator in Van is, where earthquake victims were abandoned in the cold weather.

Yüksekova’da durum ve Öcalan’ın uyarıları Oral Çalışlar comments on the murders committed in Gever (Yüksekova) and discusses Öcalan’s message related to them.

Karşının solcusu ya da Gezi’nin Ruhu Reflecting on the murders committed in Gever, Leyla Alp argues that the left is left if and only if it can be the left of the others—for example, Kurds. 

Yüksekova: Hizbul-Cemaat mi? Delil Karakoçan asks whether the murders in Gever were committed by the community.

Ya müzakere ya kaos Pervin Buldan narrates the recent meeting between the BDP-HDP committee and Abdullah Öcalan, the KCK’s imprisoned general president.

Çözüm Komisyonu raporu: Terörist de desen muhatap almak zorundasın A recent report by the Parliamentary Settlement Commission, which indicates that the state has to address the PKK.

Türkler Kürtler ve İmralı Barış Süreci: Tarihî Fırsat Konferansı (1)(2) Amberin Zaman interviews Salih Müslim and Zübeyir Aydar during a Kurdish conference held by European Parliament.

AKP’nin tehlikeli hesapları Referring to Erdoğan’s Trakya visit, Adil Bayram contends that the AKP government has committed to “dangerous plans.” 

Cemaat ve devlet… (1)(2) Ali Bayramoğlu asks whether there could be community (Gülen) in the state or not.

Şiddet, süreç ve seçimler Yalçın Akdoğan, Erdoğan’s chief advisor, claims that the AKP’s dictum “single state, single nation, single flag, single country” is exclusivist and denialist.

Hükümet, tarikat ve özerklik Filiz Koçali criticizes the Turkish left movement and argues that they have totally missed the conflict between the AKP government and the Gülen Community. 

Rojava: Geçici yönetime kim, nasıl yaklaşıyor? Mutlu Çiviroğlu examines approaches towards the interim administration established and declared in Rojava. 

Halime Yusif’le Söyleşi: Rojava, Devrim ve Kadınlar An interview with Halime Yusif, the foreign affair supervisor of Yekitiya Star, on Rojava, revolution, and women’s movements.

Kürtler, sol ve HDP Cuma Çiçek asks whether Kurds need the People’s Democracy Party (HDP).

Yasal çerçeve Güney Aslan argues that legal arrangement is a necessity for the settlement process.

Kendal Nezan: 30 yılda büyük mesafe alan Kürt diasporası çözüme katkıda bulunabilir An interview with Kendal Nezan, the president of the Kurdish Institute of Paris.

Kürdistan petrolleri ve Türkiye’nin tercihleri… Cengiz Çandar comments on disputes over Ankara’s plans to export Iraqi Kurdistan oil.

AKP-Gulen Community War

Cemaat mi, hükümet mi? (1)(2)(3)(4)(5) Ruşen Çakır compares the AKP and the Gülen Community.

Ahmet Şık’tan Fethullah Gülen’e 25 soru Ahmet Şık, a journalist detained for a year in 2011-2012 due to his book on the Gülen Community, has twenty-five questions for Fethullah Gülen.  

Spor olsun diye mi fişledin  Mehmet Baransu responds to the AKP government, which accused him and his newspaper (Taraf daily) of espionage after he published confidential documents.

Bize çok kötülüğü dokunan Baransu’yu savunur muyuz? Nedim Şener and Ahmet Şık answer the question of whether they will defend Mehmet Baransu, who did them an ill turn.

AKP–Cemaat çatışmasında mola kısa sürdü (1)(2)(3) Aydın Engin points out that the prep schools have been strategic for the Gülen Community.

Hocam Türkiye’ye dön artık Abdülkadir Selvi addresses Fethullah Gülen and asks him to return Turkey.

Gülen: Bize ‘örgüt’ diyenlerin sözleri ‘haince’ Fethullah Gülen rejects labeling his community as an “organization,” contending that those who utter this word commit a “traitorous” behavior.

Gâvura gelince hoşgörü…Müslümana gelince hakaret! Hasan Karakaya severely criticizes the Gülen movement.

Cemaat, parti ve demokrasi Taha Akyol refers to Sibel Eraslan, a pious, headscarf-wearing Muslim, who argues that a “referee” in such disputes may be none other than secularism.

Devletle bütünleşme sivilliği bitiriyor An interview with Mustafa Erdoğan, the Dean of İstanbul Ticaret University’s Faculty of Law, on the examination of conservative politics within the state.

‘Cemaat’ten mühim bir siyasi adım Koray Çalışkan explains how the Gülen Community has established a trade union apart from the trade union ruled by AKP members.

Tahribat değil tamirat Yalçın Akdoğan, Erdoğan’s chief advisor, claims that their party’s attitude is not hostile and on the contrary it fosters conversation.

Cemaatin yol ayrımı: Ya siyasi şeffaflık ya siyaset Murat Aksoy argues that the Community at a crossroads: it will either become a political party or acquire political transparency.

Dershane tartışmasını savaşa çevirince olan… (1)(2)(3) Fehmi Koru speculates over the consequences of the prep school debate.

Ankara’ya ‘reset’ atalım Reflecting on the war between the AKP and the Community, Aslı Aydıntaşbaş says that not only Turkey’s foreign policy but also its domestic policy needs a reset.

Cemaat savaşının meydan manzarası Hasan Bülent Kahraman tries to envision a prep school battle.

‘Genç Cemaatçiler Rahatsız’ Referring to the Ergenekon case, Amberin Zaman writes that young communalists are now restless with the AKP government.

Local Elections

Seçmen hangi dürtülerle tercihini belirleyecek? Bekir Ağırdır examines how voters will make their political choices in the upcoming local elections.

Hangi tarikat, cemaat kime oy verecek? Ömer Şahin speculates about the preferences of sects and communities in the upcoming local elections.

Sırrı Süreyya Önder’in Adaylığı ve Ayrılmanın Siyasi Anksiyetesi Nilüfer Zengin advocates for HDP deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder’s nomination as candidate for İstanbul mayor.

Other Pertinent Pieces

‘Türklük ırk değil kültür, Ermeniler ile Türkler arasında genetik fark çıkmadı’ An interview with Ömer Gökçümen, Assistant Professor of Biology, on race and Turkishness.

Osmanlı ve Türklük Şükri Hanioğlu offers a historical analysis of the relationship between the Ottoman Empire and Turkishness.

Dersim Seyahati İsmail Beşikçi writes his Dersim observations.

Zıplamak ile aşmak Karin Karakaşlı comments on the recent blacklist scandal of Turkey: It was revealed that The Council of Higher Education (YÖK) demanded the names of PhD and graduate students who study the Armenian genocide at their universities.

Erdoğan’ın devletleşmesi: Şırnak’tan Roboski’ye, fişlenmekten fişlemeye… Hasan Cemal comments on Erdoğan’s statism.

Meclis’ten Merhaba… (1)(2) Mustafa Balbay’s initial columns after his release from prison.

Aman petrol canım petrol Mete Çubukçu comments on Turkey’s Iraq policy, after disputes over Ankara’s plans to export Iraqi Kurdistan oil.

‘Aile Savunucuları’ Roşin Çiçek’i Anlayabilir mi? Yıldız Tar asks whether the defenders of family could understand Roşin Çiçek, a seventeen-year-old LGBTT individual who was killed by his father and uncles for being gay in July 2012.