Independent and cutting-edge analysis on Turkey and its neighborhood

State, Religion, Identity and Politics: Turkey Updated, Spring 2008

State, Religion, Identity and Politics: Turkey Updated, Spring 2008

As this issue of TPQ went to press, Turkey was going through a period of acute strain. Terrorist shootings at the gate of the United States Consulate in Isatnbul which ended in six fatalaties, the arrests of retired military personel on suspicion of affiliation with the ultra-right wing group "Ergenekon" and most importantly , the case before Turkey's Supreme Court on the  closure of the Justice and Development Part (AKP) and banning of 71 of its high ranking politicians made...

Nigâr Göksel | 05 June 2008

Problems of Perception and Vision: Turkey and the U.S., Spring 2008

Problems of Perception and Vision: Turkey and the U.S., Spring 2008

That the United States “has sought to use Turkey as a model of a moderate Islamic state for the Middle East” is a conviction which resonates widely in Turkey with far reaching implications, for not only Turkey-U.S. relations but also Turkey’s democratization. The author refutes the arguments this conviction rests upon. Particularly delving into the changing currents in the Turkish military and the internal power balances, he points out the risks posed by conspiracy theories...

David L. Arnett | 05 June 2008

Why Turkey is Bogged Down?, Spring 2008

Why Turkey is Bogged Down?, Spring 2008

Assessing the Political Party Law, Electoral Law and Governmental Procurement Law, the author argues that the system and the politicians are creating what keeps the country from further progress. Pointing out contradictions between the Constitution, laws, and regulations and the systemic reasons leading already powerful political forces to consolidate their power, which create a very uneven playing ground, the author outlines a vicious cycle resulting in corruption and a deficit of democracy. ...

Cem Toker | 05 June 2008

Driving Towards the EU Using Its Rear-View Mirror: Turkey's ''Foreigner'' Policy, Spring 2008

Driving Towards the EU Using Its Rear-View Mirror: Turkey's ''Foreigner'' Policy, Spring 2008

Turkey’s pursuit of EU membership has been heartily embraced by the government of Prime Minister Erdoğan but the principles of an open society, which are prerequisites for actual progress on this issue, have hardly been implemented in a way consistent with Western norms. The degree to which any society can be characterized as “open” is best measured by the way that foreigners are treated by both the government and society at large. In this respect, Turkey’s Ottoman...

Robert Johnson | 05 June 2008

From Hardware to Software, Charity to Strategy: A Roadmap for Progressive Philanthropy in Turkey, Spring 2008

From Hardware to Software, Charity to Strategy: A Roadmap for Progressive Philanthropy in Turkey, Spring 2008

The author provides an overview of developments in the landscape, laws, and perception of civil society organizations in Turkey and the interplay with philanthropy. She points out that Turkish foundations have not yet made the shift from supporting the ‘hardware’ of institutions to ‘software’ community engagement, though there are exceptions budding in recent years. She further argues that a significant challenge ahead is the reform of the tax framework for philanthropy.   Please click here...

Filiz Bikmen | 05 June 2008

Conservatism in Turkey, Spring 2008

Conservatism in Turkey, Spring 2008

Based on data collected in research, the author analyzes the trends of conservatism in Turkey observing that conservatism is higher among rural and provincial residents, among people with lower education and income, and of more rightwing orientation. The author remarks that as a segment of society rises in socioeconomic status while being politicized through religious parties, there may be a trend of reinterpreting Islam to be more congruent with the modern city realities. Another possibility...

Hakan Yilmaz | 05 June 2008

The Long Path Ahead ın Turkey's Integration with the World, Spring 2008

The Long Path Ahead ın Turkey's Integration with the World, Spring 2008

There is a populist government in Turkey today. The party in power has been trying to represent divergent interests and ideologies at once, trying to cover the entire political spectrum. Though it may look like a pluralistic approach has been adopted and that democracy has strengthened, a closer observation of how problems are solved and how implementation is carried out demonstrates otherwise. Moreover, Turkey’s foreign policy and security vision has become a factor of domestic policy....

Haluk Onen | 05 June 2008

Turkey's Liberal Islam and How It Came to be, Spring 2008

Turkey's Liberal Islam and How It Came to be, Spring 2008

For many decades, Arabs and other Muslim nations saw Turkey as a lost cause, a country which abandoned its own faith and civilization. That why, despite the customary rhetoric, Turkey never served as an example of the compatibility of Islam and modernity. It represented instead the abandonment and even suppression of the former for the sake of the latter. But that a bad message for the Islamic world: When a devout believer is forced to choose between religion and modernity, he will opt and even...

Mustafa Akyol | 05 June 2008

Turkey Under Challange: Conflicting Ideas and Forces, Spring 2008

Turkey Under Challange: Conflicting Ideas and Forces, Spring 2008

The author argues that in spite of its pro-European makeup, the AKP stands within the tradition of political Islam. The party supports Turkey’s integration with the EU, foreign investments and privatization, but at the same time it undermines secularism, the fundamental constitutional principle of the Turkish state. It uses its pro-Western rhetoric and pro-business attitude as an instrument to achieve its political goals. It attempts to replace the secular identity of Turkey with an...

W.J. Korab-Karpowicz | 05 June 2008

Was There, Is There, Will Be There A Kurdish Plan?, Spring 2008

Was There, Is There, Will Be There A Kurdish Plan?, Spring 2008

The article explores whether the current Turkish government has a comprehensive plan towards improving the situation in Southeast Anatolia and granting cultural and political rights to Kurds. Since the landslide victory of the AKP in the July 2007 general elections, there has been much talk about such a plan, but hardly any concrete steps have been apparent. Though there is an abundance of ideas, the political will to implement them seems weak. Close cooperation with the military in the fight...

Ekrem Eddy Guzeldere | 05 June 2008

The Turkey Welfare Regime: An Example of the Southern European Model?, Spring 2008

The Turkey Welfare Regime: An Example of the Southern European Model?, Spring 2008

This article focuses on the division of social responsibilities among the state, market, and family in Turkey. This issue has nowadays been high on the agenda in Turkey due to recent social security reforms. This article puts the debates into perspective by highlighting the key characteristics of and trends within the Turkish welfare regime and offering its classification through cross-national comparison.   Please click here to read the text in full

Daniel Grutjen | 05 June 2008

Rising Nationalism and the EU Accession Process, Spring 2008

Rising Nationalism and the EU Accession Process, Spring 2008

Nationalist feeling has been rising and support for Turkish membership of the European Union has been falling as conditions that led to a decline in levels of nationalism at the end of the 1990s have changed. The rocky path of the accession process since 2004 and an extended domestic political atmosphere of polarization and crisis have further provoked nationalist feeling and transformed much of it into anti-EU feeling. Global economic troubles and the prospect that EU negotiations could be...

Ruairi Patterson | 05 June 2008

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