by YONCA POYRAZ DOĞAN
Kurdish intellectual and writer Altan Tan has said that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is not the same AK Party that the Kurds fell in love with and that sooner or later there will be alternatives to it.
A Turkish court ruled Tuesday for the release of a retired petty officer arrested and detained for 17 months in the Ergenekon case in which 86 people have been accused of membership to a group that allegedly plotted to overthrow Turkey’s Islamist-rooted government.
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In the last several months a new term for ‘political favoritism’ has emerged in Turkey. The term is “Ali Dibo Şirketi” (Ali Dibo Business-Company) — or just plain “Ali Dibo” for short. And it refers to any company (usually a local municipal one) that ‘wins’ business contracts mainly because of its political ties to the ruling AKP political party."
Turkey silently entered on a new course at the weekend:Enis BERBEROĞLU
1) Turkey’s Kurdish politics will change due to the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.
2) The country’s economic parameters will be formed more clearly following the determination of the International Monetary Fund agreement which is agreed in principal."
A fierce battle for influence in Kurdish-dominated regions pits Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party, which hopes for a strong reform mandate, against a party linked to PKK terrorists."
By CLAUDE SALHANI (UPI Contributing Editor)
WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) — Turkey is a land of many paradoxes. While the Kemalist notions of secularism and the separation of mosque and state are taken seriously, at the same time the state provides funds for the building of mosques, keeps the Sunni clergy on the state’s payroll and allows school textbooks that teach that being a Sunni Muslim is part and parcel of the Turkish identity."
[Originally published in Hürriyet Daily News] In recent years, the more moderate and reasonable Kemalists are asking themselves a curious question: How in the world has Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Turkey’s founder, who devoted himself to fighting "dogmatism" become a dogma himself? How has such a bold champion of "science and reason" turned into the symbol of a rigid, irrational, insensible ideology that impedes the country’s progress, including its candidacy for the European Union? Can Dündar, recently received the wrath of radical Kemalists because his documentary titled "Mustafa," was asking the same question last week in his column in daily Milliyet. Under the headline, "
[Originally published in Hürriyet Daily News] Since its release on the anniversary of the Turkish Republic, Oct. 29, Turkey’s pundits have been hotly debating “Mustafa,” a documentary by Can Dündar, columnist for daily Milliyet and popular voice of the moderate left. The Mustafa in question is Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Turkey’s founder, the film intends to show his “human side,” often neglected or even hidden in modern Turkey. If you know a little bit about this country, you can sense that Dündar’s idea was ambitious.
I will not write anything about the content of the movie, ‘Mustafa’.Fatih ÇEKİRGE
Because it is not a documentary… So you cannot debate the details of story; it is Can’s interpretation.
It is for this reason that the question:
-Why is ‘Mustafa’ causing so much discussion, while many such films about this subject exist?"
by STAR ESER KARAKAŞ
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was the founder of the republic and our first president. Taking Atatürk as a reference point at a time when our country’s EU membership is being discussed is ridiculous, but so is insulting and disrespecting his personality and memory in 2008.
The "wrong republic," the "second republic" and the "military republic" are among the adjectives used to describe to our current government style. If I were asked to provide one, I would suggest the "faint-hearted republic."
It is customary practice, even in democracies, that media members close to the ruling party will have a more favored status in terms of access to good stories than journalists who are not sympathetic to the policies of the government.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) have been the subject of much criticism recently, as even the circles that supported him during his party’s fight for survival now complain that Erdoğan is reconciling with the status quo and abandoning his pro-reform, pro-democratic stance.
Last week several Alevi associations organ
ized a rally in Ankara at which thousands of people gathered and put forward their demands. What they want from the state is to be recognized as a separate religious sect with which, they expect, will come some advantages that are already enjoyed by Sunni Muslim groups.
Why have reforms stalled? What is happening to the AKP? Why do Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other AKP representatives use an increasingly nationalistic discourse? Is this the beginning of the end for AKP power? Such are questions I am frequently exposed to nowadays.
With statements he made during the Nov. 10 ceremonies held in memory of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in Brussels, where he was attending an EU defense ministers’ troika meeting, Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül became the top item on Turkey’s agenda last week, though he repeatedly tried to deny his assertions.
This article is the first of a trilogy concerning three young men. The first is Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. The second is Barack Hussein Obama, president-elect of the US, and the third is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the prime minister of Turkey.
I am in Washington, D.C., to present a paper at a conference, titled "Islam in the Age of Global Challenges: Alternative Perspectives of the Gülen Movement," organized by Georgetown University and the Rumi Forum.
Dear Democratic Society Party (DTP) members and supporters,
Please take this open letter as an appeal from someone who wants to live in peace and democracy, who places importance on coexistence and who defends all kind of freedoms, including education in one’s mother tongue.
I do not fully understand comments in the Turkish media criticizing the current government for basically everything they do — or do not do.
Local elections will be held in four months. I see these elections as a turning point for the Justice and Development Party (AK Party); in fact, not only for the AK Party, it will also be a turning point for the Republican People’s Party (CHP) as well as other political actors in the future.
The fourth article of the Turkish Constitution makes the following explanation about the first three articles: These articles of the Constitution cannot be amended, and their amendment cannot even be proposed by a political party.
Following the General Staff’s system of accreditation for journalists, which many have criticized for limiting freedom of the press in Turkey, the Prime Ministry’s recent move to revoke the press accreditation of seven journalists has brought freedom of the press into the spotlight in Turkey once again.
"There have been statements by senior figures strongly criticizing the press, in particular following press reports on alleged corruption cases and the fight against terrorism. …
Journalism is a difficult profession in a democracy that is insufficiently mature. A journalist who struggles for more democracy and freedom has to fight constantly to overcome all sorts of anti-democratic obstacles.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan got angry recently over criticism from columnist Fehmi Koru, who had said, "Erdoğan came into power like Obama, but came to resemble Bush."
The Turkish political leadership has once again entered into a dangerous compromise with the politically powerful Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) over the Kurdish issue, despite past examples of pacts between the two having been proven to be failures.
Although it seems to have been buried, at least for now, the headscarf debate is one of the major political issues that need to be addressed in this country. In response to a question during his recent visit to Washington, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan complained about the assertive secularist attitude of the Constitutional Court, and the Republican People’s Party (CHP), for that matter.
It appears that Kurdish intellectuals are trapped between the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) and the state.
by RADİKAL ORAL ÇALIŞLAR
The demand of some Alevis to close the Religious Affairs Directorate is viewed by some circles as extreme. Those who see these demands as extreme and impossible to comply with note that the directorate needs to be restructured.
by YENİ ŞAFAK FATMA K. BARBAROSOĞLU
People have been discussing Turkey’s recognition of the Kurdish identity, but it is not only an identity problem.
by STAR NASUHI GÜNGÖR
Turkey’s dialogue with northern Iraq is important and unique in many ways. First of all, it is based for the first time on a serious consensus among the state’s institutions.
by MİLLİYET FİKRET BİLA
The Turkish Rad
io and Television Corporation (TRT), starting next year, will dedicate one channel for Kurdish broadcasts. It will provide at first 12 hours and later 24 hours a day of Kurdish broadcasting on its new eighth channel.
by BUGÜN GÜLAY GÖKTÜRK
The vast majority of us share the opinion that for as long as the Sept. 12 Constitution remains in place in this country, it will be impossible to form any sort of genuine democracy here.
by SABAH NAZLI ILICAK
One of the demands made by the Alevis at the rally held on Sunday in the capital was for the elimination of mandatory religion lessons in schools.
First Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on various occasions that those who do not like Turkey’s "one nation, one flag" structure can leave and go anywhere they like better.