This article analyzes Turkey’s June 12, 2011, general elections, focusing on the three parties and the predominantly pro-Kurdish independents. Although the incumbent Justice and Development Party won by a sizeable majority, it gained fewer seats in comparison to its 2002 and 2007 electoral performances. The Republican People’s Party maintained its position as the main opposition […]
Since it was launched in June 2007, the Ergenekon investigation has become the largest and most controversial case in recent Turkish history, resulting in over 300 people being charged with a membership of what is described as a clandestine terrorist organization seeking to destabilize the country’s Islamist government. In the parallel Sledgehammer investigation, 195 members […]
The Wikileaks cables on Turkey reveal a surprising paradox. U.S. diplomats present themselves as highly-informed, perspicacious observers of Turkey with more insight than one would expect into the Islamist complexes and prejudices of Turkey’s governing AKP, the role of the Gulen movement in Turkey, the political talent and personality of Prime Minister Erdogan, his increasing […]
This article argues that Turkey’s improved relations with the Gulf states in recent years reflect Ankara’s refusal to allow Washington to use its territory to invade Iraq in 2003, Turkey’s promotion of regional trade, and the decline of traditional Cold War security alliances in the Middle East. Ankara and Gulf states have increasingly seen each as viable alternatives to their traditional strategic partners–the European Union for Turkey and the United States for Gulf governments. Nonetheless, one should not overstate the importance of this alliance: Turkey and the Gulf disagree about Iran’s nuclear program and other regional issues.
This article examines the current state of Turkish politics and the positions of the two main opposition parties – the Republican People’s Party and Nationalist Action Party – on the major issues. The article argues that rather than formulating alternative sociopolitical and economic policies, both opposition parties partake in a merely partisan debate. This in turn partly discredits them as engaging in unconstructive criticism for their own political gain.
In the March 2009 Turkish local elections, the opposition Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and Democratic Society Party (DTP) did better but not as well as they had hoped. The incumbent Justice and Development Party (AKP) was content to finish first but disappointed by reduced support. Government losses were concentrated in the developed west–hard-hit by the global economic crisis–and the east and southeast–where continuing violence breeds discontent.