As Erkan arrives Istanbul, an overview of Turkish agenda

One of the murder stories I have read about throughout the summer reaches at a new level: 

Karabulut murder suspect surrenders to police


Dear Prof. Jenny White emphasizes a study on the political identities of Turkish youth. A vital issue to think about.

Political Identities of Turkish Youth

I was very intrigued by Professor Selçuk Sirin’s study of political identities of Turkish youth but wanted more information than given in the press and the interview linked to in my previous post. Unable to find the original study on the web, I contacted Professor Sirin at New York University and he kindly sent me a summary of the results (presumably what had been released to the media). (21 pp in Turkish, click here sirin-basin-raporu.doc to download. For non-Turkish speakers, there are many clear pie charts, some of which I discuss below) Professor Sirin said he is still working through the rest of the data.

Relatively good news:

And US officials try to prove Kurdish opening is made in Turkey and made by Turks and US is not to blame…

US analyst Phillips: Kurdish opening is a Turkish democracy initiative

David L. Phillips, a senior fellow at the US-based Atlantic Council, has said the Turkish government is working on democratic reforms not to satisfy the demands of the European Union or the United States but because of its own interests.

[A source of conspiracy theories] ‘Rethinking the solution to the Kurdish question’

We are lucky to see the Turkish public busy debating the Kurdish question these days. While speaking with a group of friends, one of them said he strongly believes the Kurdish initiative is a project planned by the US and the CIA.

Two more pieces on TR-EU relations:

Hope and doubts among diaspora Turks


It is not easy these days to be a left-wing Turk living in the Netherlands. How to judge the efforts of the AKP government to solve the Kurdish problem? An initiative taken by conservative politicians that most Turkish leftists would never vote for. On the other hand, it looks like proposals that have been voiced by the left in the past could now make it to the top of the government’s agenda. How to deal with this dilemma?"

Cold on Turkey

The New York Times (USA), September 10, 2009

By Martti Ahtisaari *, Stockholm

Turkey’s aspiration to join the European Union motivated it to make a series of remarkable transformations between 2000 and 2005.

In the mean time, Mr. Barroso wins second term as European Commission President.

José Manuel Barroso wins second term

Mavi Boncuk |September 17, 2009

José Manuel Barroso wins second term as European Commission President

Votes from Conservative MEPs helped to give José Manuel Barroso a clear mandate yesterday for a second term as President of the European Commission. The former Portuguese Prime Minister won an absolute majority in the European Parliament despite strong attacks from the Left, who accused him of failing to do enough in his first five-year term to regulate financial markets and banks or to save jobs during the recession. Mr Barroso won with the backing of 382 of the 718 MEPs who voted, leaving him in a strong position to run the body that initiates all EU legislation.

Barroso addresses Turkish parliament in Ankara | April 10, 2008

MAIN FOCUS: The right man for Europe? | 16/09/2009

Today, Wednesday, the European Parliament decides whether President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso will serve a second term in office. The Portuguese politician campaigned for re-election to the leadership of the EU executive with the promise to advocate social policies. Although he seems likely to obtain a majority the press is sceptical about whether he’s the right man for the job.

Fun and games in Strasbourg: politics, climate and science

José Manuel Durão Barroso.Image via Wikipedia

The European institutions rarely do party politics well, but this week was a rare exception as the current European Commission (EU executive) President Jose Barroso fought for the approval of the European Parliament (lower house) for a second five year term in office. The verbal jousting between the Green leader Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Barroso was a delight; proof that the Punch and Judy politics regularly seen at Westminster can take place in a chamber hampered by simultaneous intepretation, stilted debates and differing national traditions.


Not good news on the Gov’t-Media relations:

Ercan Akyol, 15 September 2009, Milliyet VIA

Turkish Premier Defends Fine on Media Company

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan denied suggestions that a record fine imposed on Turkey’s biggest media company was an attempt to put pressure on opposition media.

The Doğan Group’s problem!

Looking at the current situation from the perspective of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), most people now see both the Hürriyet and the Doğan Group as main actors in the so-called Feb. 28 process.

ERGENEKON news as usual:

Dangerous Intrigues in Istanbul

The name "Ergenekon" may not be familiar to non-Turks, but this murky political affaire has riveted Turkey’s 70 million people.

Thirty-three members of a neo-fascist group called Ergenekon have been on trial, accused of murder, terrorism, and trying to overthrow the elected government. The trial was temporarily suspended after the courthouse was flooded out during torrential rains that inundated Istanbul last week, leaving 31 dead. "

Another praise for Taraf daily:

Gutsy Turkish newspaper challenges army’s dominance – The Globe and Mail

Caleb Lauer

Istanbul — Special to The Globe and Mail Last updated on Wednesday, Sep. 16, 2009 08:35PM EDT

Last month, four Turkish families with men in the army received the dreaded news: “Your sons have fallen as martyrs while on operation.”

Ten days after the four young men were buried, the public was able to read the eyewitness accounts in a small and remarkable newspaper called Taraf. Ibrahim Ozturk, 25, had fallen asleep while on guard duty. After he was found out, his commanding officer pulled the pin of a grenade and handed it to him. He was ordered to hold it, with its safety lever depressed, until he understood the importance of staying awake. Mr. Ozturk scavenged for a spare pin. He pleaded with his superior. After less than an hour the grenade exploded in his hand, killing him and three other conscripts. Forced to admit there had been a cover-up, the army charged the officer with murder."

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