In English & Turkish Language

Women and Democracy in Turkey Lale Kemal traces the headscarf taboo back to the secularist measures adopted during the creation of the Turkish Republic in 1923.

Men Should Shut Up, for Once Ezgi Başaran interviews Sebahat Tuncel, co-chair of the HDP, and asks her whether a headscarf-wearing deputy should enter Parliament.

Who Will You Put in the Next Olympics Ad? The full text of the speech of Istanbul deputy Şafak Pavey from CHP delivered in the Parliament on 31 October, regarding the headscarf taboo.

Ninetieth Anniversary of the Republic

Turkish Republic at a Crossroads on its 90th birthday Murat Yetkin argues that  “Turkey is celebrating its ninetieth birthday today, 29 October, as its region passes through yet more turmoil.”

Turkey’s Minorities Still Orphans On 90-Year Anniversary Turkey marked its ninetieth anniversary with the inauguration of an undersea railway linking the two continents, but Greek, Kurdish and Armenian communities feel disconnected, emphasizes Fehim Taştekin.

The Republic and the Others Orhan Oğuz Gürbüz says “we cannot talk about the normalization and democratization of the regime if the actors merely change places in the system’s apparatus.”

Ninety Years of the Turkish Republic and the Vagaries of the Turkish Opposition Suat Kınıklıoğlu highlights the ninety years of the Turkish Republic.

Independence 2.0 Joost Lagendijk writes about “the underlying motives for cherishing and defending a classic idea of independence” in Turkish society on the occasion of the Republic’s ninetieth anniversary.

Kurdish Question

Ayşe Gökkan Speaks from Ground Zero Pınar Öğünç speaks to Ayşe Gökkan, the female mayor of Nusaybin, who is trying to prevent the building of a wall at the Turkey-Syria border.

Turkey Must Refocus On Kurdish Peace Process Despite setbacks in the peace process emerging from the Syrian war, Turkey must recommit itself to achieve a solution, says Cengiz Çandar.

Syria Kurdish Leader: Solution Must Include Assad Salih Muslim, co-chairman of the Syrian Kurdish PYD, said no solution can be reached in Syria without involving President Assad.

People’s Democracy Party

From HDP Convention: We Are the Remedy Pınar Öğünç reports from the People’s Democratic Party’s (HDP) convention held in Ankara last week.

New Kurdish Party Could Impact Local Turkish Elections Orhan Kemal Cengiz asks whether the HDP will fill Turkey’s “democratic opposition” vacuum.

Does the HDP Signal Any Hope for the Left? Yavuz Baydar argues that “the HDP must be seen as a new threshold after which there will be wide-reaching effects.”

Umbrella Political Party Mümtazer Türköne criticizes the alliance between the Kurdish and Leftist movements under the umbrella of the People’s Democracy Party.

HDP to Become Öcalan’s Alevi Party Emre Uslu claims that Abdullah Öcalan is seeking to reach out to the Alevis via the newly established HDP.

Turkey’s New Party: HDP Orhan Miroğlu ask whether it is the right move for Kurds to mobilize in support of the left’s struggle for power.

Foreign Policy

Syria Exports its Problems to Turkey İhsan Dağı argues that Turkey’s Syria crisis is bringing the Alevi and Kurdish questions to the fore.

An Independent or Disappointed Turkey? Nuray Mert focuses on the crisis between Turkey and the United States.

A Report to Reckon With Doğu Ergil comments on the BPC report prepared under the editorship of former US ambassadors to Turkey Morton Abramowitz and Eric Edelman.

Will Turkey Quit the West? Şahin Alpay asks whether Turkey is turning its back on the Western alliance.

Erdoğan’s Visit to Kosovo with a Focus on Local and Regional Politics Nedim Emin and Mehmet Uğur Ekinci analyze Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s one-day visit to Kosovo.

Erdoğan Stirs the Balkan Cauldron  Semih İdiz argues that Erdoğan’s remarks on Kosovo could make him lose friends in the Balkans, at a time when Ankara is having a hard time in the Middle East.

Iraq-Turkey Ties Improve Following tensions over a number of regional and domestic issues, Sami Kohen argues that Iraq and Turkey are slowly rebuilding ties to the benefit of both nations.

Other Pertinent Pieces

AK Party’s Sovereignty Over Istanbul Threatened Kadri Gürsel claims that Mustafa Sarigul is likely to win local elections as the main CHP opposition candidate if he chooses to run in 2014.   

International Oil Companies Gamble on Turkey’s Shale Gas Olgu Okumuş asserts that while information on Turkey’s hydrocarbon reserves remains elusive, some shale investors are willing to take the risk.


Demokrasi, Cumhuriyet, Meclis’te başörtüsü Nuray Mert argues that ninety years of modernization could not create a democracy, yet she emphasizes the importance of overcoming the headscarf taboo.

Tarihe not düşelim Yalçın Akdoğan, Erdoğan’s chief political advisor, considers welcoming women deputies wearing headscarves in the Parliament as a historical breakdown in Turkey.

Ninetieth Anniversary of the Republic

10 soruda 90 yıllık Cumhuriyet’in büyük günahları üzerine Hasan Cemal summarizes the oppressive, illiberal, and failed projects of the Republic in ten questions.

90. yılında Cumhuriyet “There are other republican ideas within the Republic, and they fight with each other implicitly or sometimes explicitly,” Dinçer Demirkent writes.

AKP, artık adeta ‘ben cumhuriyeti yeniden kurarım’ demeye basladı Bülent Somer argues that the discourse of “everything started with the AKP” omits the Republic’s gains.

Cumhuriyet ve Gezi Ruşen Çakir argues that the three principles of the French Revolution—liberty, equality, fraternity—could be found in Gezi; yet the government’s oppressive attitude toward the Gezi uprising deepened the existing polarization within society.

Cumhuriyet’in temelleri II. Abdulhamit zamanında atıldı This Interview with historian Kemal Karpat offers a comprehensive summary of the Republic’s history.

Atatürk olmasaydı Aksiyon’s special issue called “Atatürk olmasaydi (if there had been no Ataturk)” consists of several writers’ pieces about the ninety years of the Republic, Atatürk, and contemporary politics of Turkey.

Opening of Marmaray

Esas çılgın proje ne olurdu? Instead of “crazy projects” proposed one after another before the local elections, Bekir Ağırdır argues that the crazy project we need most is to change the whole government structure.

AKP modernleşmesi Commenting on the Gezi and METU (ODTU) uprisings and AKP’s “crazy projects”, Yetvart Danzikyan argues that AKP represent the “dark face of modernity.”

Hevesler ve kalaslar Following the conflictual opening of Marmaray, Ertan Keskinsoy analyzes the AKP’s developmentalist projects, their failures and problems.

Kurdish Question

Cumhuriyetin 90. yılı ve Kürtlerle barış Cengiz Çandar points that in order for the peace process to be a durable solution, the “dialog” between Öcalan and the state, and Prime Minister Erdoğan’s “monologue” before the public must be turned into a “negotiation” between the parties.

‘Yeni Ortadoğu’da Kürt rolü’… Cengiz Çandar writes about “the Kurdish role in the new Middle East,” organized in Washington.

Damardan!.. Süreç!. Sedat Yurttaş explores the problems and the stagnation of the peace process, and makes suggestions to Prime Minister Erdoğan.

Ateşkesin geleceği After the KCK’s declaration that the peace process came to an end, Kadri Gürsel comments on the future of ceasefire and peace process.

Kürt siyasetinin tabularla savaşı Şeyhmus Diken emphasizes the importance of new alliances between Turkish left and the Kurdish movement, especially after the Gezi uprising.

İhsan Dağı: devlet bu toprakların kutsalı An interview with İhsan Dağı on his newly published book, “I love you, Je t’aime, Ich liebe dich, Ez jı te hez dıkım,” which focuses on the Kurdish question.

People’s Democracy Party

HDP kongresinden: çaresiz değiliz, çare biziz Pinar Öğünç traces back the the formula and ideals of the newly established political party, the People’s Democracy Party (HDP), to the Gezi uprisings.

Sebahat Tuncel IMC TV 28 Ekim 2013 Sebahat Tuncel, co-president of the HDP, answers questions about the HDP, local elections, alliances, peace process, and headscarf issues.

Siz hala HDP’lileştiremediklerimizden misiniz? Erdem Yörük argues that the HDP will be an active proponent of democracy and freedom movements in Turkey.

Dindar ya da sosyalist hiçbir erkek kadınların kıyafetine karışamaz Hüda Kaya, member of the HDP, is interviewed about the “Freedom to Headscarf” movement and her recent membership in the HDP.

Şiirler, haklar, ülkeler ve partiler Portraying the First Congress of the HDP, Sırrı Süreyya Önder points out that HDP’s main goal is to follow the route to a dignified peace and democracy demanded in the Gezi uprisings.

Kürt hareketinin sahiden sosyalist sola ihtiyacı var mı? Analyzing the HDP’s establishment and the critiques about it, Ruşen Çakir asks: “Does the Kurdish movement really need the socialist left?” 

Sosyalist solun Kürt hareketine daha fazla ihtiyacı var Following his previous opinion piece, Ruşen Çakir points out that the socialist left needs the Kurdish movement in order to become hegemonic in Turkey.

HDP mi patlar, BDP mi çatlar? Arzu Yılmaz argues that the HDP aims at a political paradigm shift, which the “Turkish left does not believe, the Kurdish population does not understand, and the PKK couldn’t grasp.”

HDP bir açılım mı, fiyasko mu? and HDP neye tekabül ediyor? Yalçın Akdoğan, Erdoğan’s chief adviser, argues that the HDP is an “Öcalan production party,” which would be obliged to remain marginal even among the leftists and Kurds.

HDP, 2011’de ‘erken doğum’ 2013’te ‘ölü doğum’dur  “The HDP is the realization of Öcalan’s long lasting dream of an umbrella party”, whose constituent body is Kurdish politicians and their identity politics, Murat Aksoy argues.

AKP’nin de TurkiyelileŞmesi gerekmez mi? Criticizing the condemnations of the HDP, Erol Katırcıoğlu argues that the AKP should envision a paradigm shift similar to the HDP in order to include all segments of Turkish society.

Foreign Policy

Çin’e ‘orta dunyayı’ altın tepside sunmak Fehim Taştekin argues that the possibility of selling a missile defence system to Turkey offers new economic and territorial advantages to China.

Dünya bize düşman mı? Mete Cubukçu criticizes the use of conspiracy theories or “external enemy” thesis in analyzing Turkey’s foreign policy. 

AKP’nin Ortadoğu politikası Ömer Laçiner’s article comments on the AKP’s policies in the Middle East, the peace process, and the democratization package.

Turkiye üzerine bir rapor Ergin Yıldızoğlu comments on the recently established BPC report entitled “From Rhetoric to Reality—Reframing US Turkey Policy”.

Ankara-Erbil-Şam-Rojava ekseninde el-Kaide’li ufuk turu After his meetings in Washington, Cengiz Çandar warns us about the future of Turkey-Iraq and Turkey-US relations.

Other Pertinent Pieces

AKP’nin üç miti Umut Ozkırımlı argues that the AKP uses three myths against any kind of criticism to its power: “the AKP is doing politics,” “the AKP is waiting for society to be ready,” and “the AKP is a reformist party.” 

Çoğunlukçuluk Murat Belge points that Prime Minister Erdoğan uses a “majoritarian” language, and ignores any criticism saying that democracy is also about protecting the minority rights.

AKP ve Müslüman olmayanlar Ohannes Şerhi tries to answer the question “How can we define the AKP’s attitude towards non-Muslims?”

Türkiye’de deli olmak Gündüz Vassaf points out that mentally ill persons in Turkey, along with children, are the ones, whose rights are being violated most.