As may be noticeable to everyone, media organizations and intellectuals have for some time been discussing the major change seen recently in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and in the policies pursued by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
REUTERS/Umit Bektas/Files (TURKEY)
A Turkish court jails Kurdish politician Leyla Zana for 10 years for spreading propaganda for the Kurdish rebel PKK.
Since the first time he went to a meeting of the Supreme Military Council (YAŞ), which he attended as prime minister, Abdullah Gül has routinely noted his dissenting opinions over military personnel dismissed from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).
Some circles who objected to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) administration from the very beginning and who see AK Party rule as a threat to Turkey do not understand or do not want to understand the relationship between democratic intellectuals and the AK Party.
The most remarkable recent development in Turkish politics is surely what has been happening in the main opposition, the Republican People’s Party (CHP). On Nov. 16, CHP party leader Deniz Baykal took the floor at a meeting in a peripheral district of İstanbul, declared no one could be discriminated against on grounds of "religious beliefs or ethnic origin," and welcomed a large number of covered Muslim women, some of them wearing the traditional chador, to party membership, honoring them by placing party badges on their coats.
A documentary on Mustafa Kemal Atatürk by Can Dündar shed light on the mindset of the Kemalists. It has become clear once more that they live in an imaginary world where historical facts and social and political realities of the country do not matter.
Turks love to reiterate Atatürk’s oft-quoted proverb "Peace at home, peace in the world," but I think to have peace both at home and in the world we must tackle the Ergenekon terrorist gang properly. I say "in the world" as well as it seems that shedding light on the Ergenekon case will also help Muslims all over the world.
The discussions revolving around a photo showing Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal affixing party badges on women wearing chadors seem to be growing more heated.
I occasionally write about those who try to undermine the Ergenekon terror organization case. Its supporters get panicked as the trials proceed. And this state of panic increases the number of errors.
There has been an important development in the Ergenekon case — more important than the arrests.
It has been almost two weeks since Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal accepted several covered women into his party’s ranks at a ceremony in İstanbul, but the issue continues to be debated in the Turkish media at full speed.
The Economist’s analysis of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, which depicts him as a leader who is leaning toward autocracy, sparked controversy about whether Erdoğan is adopting a new perspective on where he should stand.
By Sedat Laciner
1 Drug Smuggling, Organised Serious Crime and Terrorism
2 Economic Infrastructure of Terrorism
3 PKK Drug Smuggling And The Kurdish Diaspora
4 Sputnik Operation
5 BBC: PKK Controls 80 % of European Drug Market
6 German Police: PKK is Involved in Drug Trafficking
7 US Labels PKK Drug Smuggling Kingpin
8 PKK Mafia Network and Narcotic Money
9 Children As Drug Seller in the PKK Narcotic Network
12 Also See
"Political parties eye best faces for polls
ANKARA – With four months until local elections, political parties have intensified their efforts to find the best nominations for each city, town or region, but disclosing the selections will take time with each party waiting for the others to show their cards first."
Turks treat Ataturk, the founder of their republic, with great reverence. So when the release of a documentary divulging details of his personal life was released, a furor errupted. As Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul the documentary on his life, called Mustafa paints Ataturk as a hard-living, hard-drinking, melancholy man who felt increasingly detached from the country he created."
The military still influences civilian governments through various and innovative means although Turkey follows Democratic Control of the Armed Forces."
The Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader’s recent criticism of the single-party era, when people were judged because of what they wore, to defend his party’s softened stance on Islamic attire, has led many to wonder whether Deniz Baykal was distancing itself from his party’s legacy.
There have been remarkable changes in the views of Western observers on Turkey in recent years. Talks, mostly held with secular groups and figures in the past, are now of a more diverse character.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal, who surprised all last month when, at a ceremony, he accepted several women wearing chadors and headscarves into his party’s ranks, continues to stand by his new initiative with more surprising statements.
There is a discrepancy and even contradiction between Turkey’s foreign policy activism and the polarization of its domestic politics. While the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) keeps surprising everyone with its bold and decisive foreign policy moves, it is losing its grip on the domestic pulse.
As the candidates are being selected, one important question stands out: How will the future of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) be affected by the results of the elections to be held on March 29, 2009?
The "ethos" of İstanbul carried Recep and the social cohorts he rallied and represented to victory in the 2002 national elections as the leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Is it possible that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has a secret twin brother and that this twin has been masquerading as the prime minister in recent times?
The past several years have witnessed mentality changes within Turkey’s politically powerful military despite its attempt to portray itself as a monolithic structure.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has recently been a
target of criticism from some circles for adopting an autocratic, nationalist and statist line as well as departing from his pro-reformist profile, addressed a wide range of issues, including criticism leveled against him, at a consultative meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) held over the weekend.
As Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal continues to stand up for his “chador initiative,” which came onto Turkey’s agenda last week when he accepted several women wearing headscarves and chadors into the ranks of his party, debates continue on the motives and reasons behind this change, as well as whether the CHP will be successful in its initiative and convince people about its sincerity.
The debates concerning Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal’s affixing party badges on women with headscarves or chadors — a more conservative form of covering for Muslim women — can be summarized as follows:
As it did in the past by registering religious clerics as party members before entering a big election, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) has tried to give the impression that it is not closed to religious people by pinning party badges on some women who wear the chador.
No, I am not talking about a revolt against the state. They did this many times in the past. I am talking about a revolt against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will eventually fade away, but the demand for democracy, freedom and the truth of dealing with our past will always remain valid.
It appears to me these days that some factions of the 47 percent of people who cast their votes for the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the previous elections are looking elsewhere this time around.
After saying all negative things to women who wear headscarves, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) is now making a move in this issue. Is it possible to believe that it is sincere? No, of course not.
In order for Turkey to be normalized, it is mandatory that the CHP be normalized, as well. The CHP cannot simply be defined by the votes it picks up in elections.
The real problem is not the question of headscarved women entering Baykal’s party.
Yes, it’s true — we do have an Alevi situation in our country. We also have a serious Kurdish problem. There’s no need for anyone to fool themselves on these questions.
Reverberations continue from the pinning of official party badges on headscarved women by CHP leader Baykal.
Over time, the government stopped following up on the first steps it took at the beginning of the year on the Alevi front. But the large rally held by Alevi civil society groups on Nov. 9 had a great influence not only on the Turkish public, but also on the government.