New year mood in the campus, but Turkey still discusses bilingualism etc

Erdoğan, BDP and bilingualism

The bilingual debate recently sparked by the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has expanded, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan now weighing in. After remaining silent for a time, Erdoğan has now strongly rejected opening the language issue to debate, saying that Turkey has only one official language: Turkish.

Opposing both Kurdism and Turkism

Bringing Kurdish society, which was semi-independent/autonomous until the early 19th century, under the discipline and order of the Ottoman Empire with the modernization of the administrative and military structure can also be regarded as the beginning of the Kurdish problem.

Kevin Boyle, Öcalan?s picture and unsolvable Kurdish question

After being captured and brought to Turkey, Abdullah Öcalan?s pictures were all over all newspapers in Turkey. At that exact time, I was attending a fact-finding hearing before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). In those photos, Öcalan appeared before a huge Turkish flag, looking quite confused and concerned.

Autonomy debate under shadow of weapons

by Erhan Başyurt
In advanced democracies where there is freedom of expression and thought, it is possible to debate issues like the Kurds? demand for autonomy, as long as such issues include no violence.

2010 sees milestones in military-civilian gov’t relations
Today’s Zaman
This means that retired or on duty military officers who are currently indicted as suspects in various trials — such as the Ergenekon or the Sledgehammer

Concrete change needed within CHP

Although the new Republican People?s Party (CHP) administration led by Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu constantly talks of bringing change to the party, many think the party needs to take firm steps to show it stands behind its rhetoric. Else, the party may face another defeat in the upcoming general elections.

Why would Öcalan resume a terror campaign in spring 2011?

Last week I wrote the most likely scenario for spring of 2011, which was: In order to remove the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) from power, it is likely that the Kurdistan Workers? Party (PKK) will resume its campaign of terrorism in the spring of 2011.

Time to eliminate two-headed judiciary

The legitimacy of the Military High Administrative Court (AYİM) has once again been opened up to debate after it last week controversially annulled a Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) decision to not promote three generals over their suspected involvement in a coup plan.

Memorable political developments from 2010

We are leaving the year 2010 behind. It has been a troubled year for politics but it?s marked by an important difference: the dominance of civilians in politics.

Worst case scenario in 2011 elections

Turkey is approaching a critical upcoming election. Although the opposition Republican People?s Party (CHP) is expanding its voter base, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is expected to win the election under normal circumstances.

Does Turkey have an exit strategy for its war with the PKK?

Turkey?s Kurds recently raised tension with their maximalist demands, such as creating a self-defense force, triggering tension mainly among Turkish nationalists from every walk of life. The demands have also been met with criticism from Turkish liberals.

AK Party going to polls with advantage

by Nazlı Ilıcak
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is heading to the 2011 general elections with an advantage. In 2010 Turkey performed very well when it came to the economy and foreign policy.

Differences between Kılıçdaroğlu and Baykal

by Ergun Babahan
Republican People?s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is 62 years old while former CHP leader Deniz Baykal is 72; however, Kılıçdaroğlu appears to be his older brother, probably because he worked as civil servant for years.

Main opposition party in Turkey elects new executive board

from Hurriyet Dailynews
The head of the main opposition has appointed the party’s second female secretary-general and created a new position dealing with human rights.

The near future of the populist CHP

The Republican People?s Party (CHP) congress did not yield any surprises. CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu did not discuss any of the basic issues in Turkey during his speech, which shows that he isn?t trying to reform or renew the party.

Why can PM say ?Kurdish? but not Kılıçdaroğlu?

by Hasan Cemal
Prime Minister Erdoğan can say ?Kurdish? and talk about the Kurdish problem but CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu cannot. Why not? Are there no Kurds in this country? Come on, don?t make fun. Then what?

Politics devolve into tension and fighting

by Mehmet Barlas
For the Republican People?s Party (CHP), an election victory does not mean being the most successful party but keeping the party?s votes at the same level. In light of this reality, it is not possible to make predictions about the future of Turkish politics.

AK Party?s Kurds

by Nasuhi Güngör
Certainly Kurdish deputies in the ranks of the AK Party do not explain their participating in politics by saying they are representing Kurds.

The CHP in the post-convention period

from Hurriyet Dailynews by HDN
Compared to the dominant homogenous structure of the former party assembly, the new names and diversity in the new team might add a dynamism to the CHP.

A Quarter of CHP Party Assembly Will Be Women

from Kamil Pasha by Jenny White

As part of  the post-Baykal shakeup of the opposition Republican People?s Party (CHP), twenty-one of its 80-member Party Assembly will be women. Many are new blood, rather than from the party ranks. They appear to be can-do people enticed into politics from successful careers in business, law, and academia. The youngest is 26 years old. Here is a partial lineup. So far, the changes in the party have been promising in terms of restoring the party?s rock-bottom credibility as a political actor and reorienting the platform from twenty-years of stasis to excitement about a future that party members can hope to shape.

New Kemalism: Religious but not conservative

from Hurriyet Dailynews by HDN
The Republican Peoples’ Party has to reinvent itself as the party of secularism, to find a place where it can be at peace with religion, but also promote socially liberal values.

Election maneuvers and the PKK

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its leader, Abdullah Öcalan, have always been two factors that affect elections in this country.

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