Community-Government: Clues of the Tension In the story titled, “The plan to finish Gülen,” Oral Çalışlar writes that “we see that the tension is deepening, not moving toward reconciliation.”

Leak Deepens AKP-Gülen rift Tülin Daloğlu comments on the leaked National Security Council resolution aiming to weaken the Gülen movement.

Silencing Taraf Emre Uslu responds to the government, which accused him and his newspaper (Taraf daily) of espionage and terrorism via publishing confidential documents.

Attacks on Free Press in Turkey “The AK Party government has opted for a policy of denial while throwing anything at the free media in order to intimidate and silence it,” says Abdullah Bozkurt.

Education Reform and Prep Schools A recent statement released by the Hizmet Community’s Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) related to the prep school conflict.

Response to Aspersion Hüseyin Gülerce comments on the GYV’s statement.

What Is the Problem Between the AK Party and Hizmet? Reflecting on the conflict, İhsan Dağı says “the AK Party is now acting as the state has always acted in this land.”

How Will Prep School Controversy Influence Election? (1)(2) Mümtazer Türköne argues that Erdoğan’s “harshness” helped his party win elections in the past, but now it makes it lose votes.

The Divine Battle Yusuf Kanlı writes that “this is a divine battle for survival for the Gülenists while a battle to consolidate its power for the AKP.”

Government Replaces Military in Defamation Tactics What makes the MGK revelation problematic is that the document was signed by the AK Party, which had itself been targeted by the the same tactics, says Lale Kemal.

Erdoğan’s Blacklist According to Pınar Tremblay, the battle shows that cooperation with the Gülen Movement is no longer worthwhile for the AKP government.

History Will Record This As Well Ekrem Dumanlı is sure that “people will not accept this draft and decision.”

Kemalo-Islamists Versus Civil Society and Hizmet İhsan YIlmaz says “Kemalo-Islamists are hostile to civil society, dissent, and the plurality of viewpoints.”

The Party Versus the Community Mustafa Akyol argues that “what we should learn from this conflict is the burning need to define the boundaries of state and the proper functioning of civil society.

Dangerous and Unnecessary Tension Markar Esayan finds the conflict dangerous and unnecessary.

Erdoğan Tries to Shake Sisi Comparison As Elections Near Semih İdiz writes that the legacy of the Gezi Park protests, the Kurdish opening, as well as the tensions with the Gülen movement are generating a disparate opposition to Turkey’s prime minister.

Will Closing Private Tutoring Centers Improve Equality? Eileen McGivney argues that prep schools are just a symptom of the real problems regarding schooling.

Missing Opportunities (1)(2) Nicole Pope examines some international surveys to better shed light on Turkey, a country where “debates are intense and fierce, surrounded by a thick fog of corrosive steam.” 

Great Gamble on Kurdish Oil 

Great Gamble on Kurdish Oil Yavuz Baydar argues that the Diyarbakır meeting is a reflection of the grand energy game.

Is an Independent Kurdish State Possible? Gökhan Bacık writes that the recent developments concerning oil are likely to remove the constraints over the emergence of the independent Kurdish state.

Turkey: Energy Hub, Financial Hub, and Also an Archeological Hub Barçin Yinanç draws attention to the statement of the Chief Executive of Genel Energy: “Oil will always find its way to the markets.”

Turkey Resolves Energy Crisis With Baghdad Mehmet Nayır reports that Turkey has reached an agreement with Baghdad, following disputes over Ankara’s plans to export Iraqi Kurdistan oil.

Realities Behind Historic Erdoğan-Barzani Meeting Göktürk Tüysüzoğlu points out that the Diyarbakır meeting has caused serious rifts among Kurdish groups.

Turkey’s Popularity in Region

Turkey’s Popularity Dives in MENA Region Poll The “country’s approval in the region decreases significantly, especially in Egypt and Syria, Turkish think-tank study shows.”

Turkey’s Diminishing Approval Rate Kerim Balcı comments on the survey that reveals that Turkey’s approval rating in the Middle East has dropped from seventy-eight percent in 2011 to fifty-nine percent.

TESEV Survey Produces Curious Results Looking at TESEV’s survey, Semih İdiz argues that “minds in the Middle East are still confused when it comes to seminal issues.”

Turkish Culture Popular Among Gaza Palestinians Rasha Abou Jalal reports that Prime Minister Erdoğan’s support for Palestine has prompted strong interest in Turkish culture among Gazans.

A Reset in Foreign Policy 

Turkey’s Foreign Policy Reset Will Not Be Easy (1)(2) Cengiz Çandar writes that Turkey’s allies still have misgivings about the recent past and direction of Turkish foreign policy

Turkey Recasts Approach to Armed Groups in Syria Fehim Taştekin asks whether cutting off logistical support to al-Qaeda in Syria will be enough to extricate Turkey from the Syrian morass.

Reset of Turkish Foreign Policy or Reset of Region? Verda Özer claims that Turkey plays the new regional game by its own rules.

The Politics of the Sunni World and Iran Nuray Mert contends that “the shortcomings of ‘political Islam’ should not be confused with the political expression of religious values.” 

Foreign Policy Was Shattered by Your Factory Settings Kadri Gürsel comments on the claim that the AKP government has reset its foreign policy back to factory settings.

Turkish Foreign Policy Falters As Gov’t Grows Authoritarian in Domestic Policy Bülent Keneş argues that Turkey’s Middle East policy has collapsed due its self-styled “big state” rhetoric and chest thumping.

Will an Empowered Iran Be Rival to Turkey? Sami Kohen asks whether Turkey will pay for the nuclear deal between Iran and P5+1.

Turkish-Arab Cooperation Forum Remains in Limbo Although not officially canceled, Tülin Daloğlu points out that the fifth Turkish-Arab Cooperation Forum may not be held this year.

Failure in Formulating a New Constitution

Why Can We Not Have a New Constitution? Orhan Kemal Cengiz points out that the Constitutional Reconciliation Commission has been dispersed without accomplishing its mission.

Seduced by the Promise of Marriage Doğu Ergil comments on Haşim Kılıç’s statement regarding the failure of formulating a new constitution.

Constitutional Amendments Under the Justice and Development Party Rule Vahap Coşkun writes that “the need and demand for a new Constitution remains very much alive.”

Other Pertinent Pieces 

Nelson Mandela: A Leader Above All Others In its editorial, The Guardian compares Mandela and Öcalan.

Will Erdoğan Visit Genocide Memorial in 2015? Orhan Kemal Cengiz argues that Turkey’s official position is not likely to change on the hundredth anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

Turkey’s Highest Court Boosts Credibility by Watershed Ruling Semih İdiz writes that a landmark ruling by Turkey’s Constitutional Court is causing discomfort within the AKP government.

Turkey Looks East, After Failed Attempts to Join EU Murat Belge asserts that Turkey has turned its interest toward membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) after its failed attempts to join the EU.

Syrian Refugees in Istanbul Sent from Pillar to Post Yasemin Çongar points out that over 200,000 Syrian refugees struggle to find shelter and work in Istanbul as winter sets in.

Turkey’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Imam Spurs Controversy Gayatri Parameswaran and Felix Gaedtke focus on the investigation related to Ahmet Muhsin Tuzer’s music.

Turkey’s Credit Card Issue Could Become Explosive Thomas Seibert claims that debt in Turkey is becoming a social crisis.

Who Else But the Liberators? An anonymous Kurdish blogger comments on the debate about whether there exists such a thing as a Turkish race.

How Democratic Is the Ballot Box? Cengiz Aktar explains why we can hardly claim that the electorate will make a free and informed choice in Turkey.

Hagia Sophia’s Precarious Future Tuğba Tanyeri Erdemir comments on Arınç’s statement, which is widely understood as a hint at future plans for opening the Hagia Sophia for Muslim prayers.

Which Morals? Soli Özel comments on a recent survey of the Metropoll research, which indicates that sixty-nine percent of the society does not tolerate co-habitation.

Turkish Anarchists Turn to Kemalism Emre Kızılkaya claims that the Gezi uprising not only shook the government, but also challenged the archaic features of “Kemalism 1.0.”

Heper: Democracy an Inevitable Goal for Military A comprehensive  interview with Metin Harper, the author of Turkey’s Political Life: Historical, Theoretical, and Comparative Perspectives