Society, Politics, and Economy in Modern Turkey: Sociology of Turkey - Maintained by Tugrul Keskin
We are at a point in our work when we can no longer ignore empires and the imperial context in our studies. (p. 5)
― Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism

Friday, October 30, 2015

Turkey Votes: Heading into a Familiar Deadlock?

The Atlantic Council’s Aaron Stein says second round of voting is unlikely to produce a clear winner

By Ashish Kumar Sen

ATLANTIC COUNCIL - October 29, 2015 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will not be on the ballot in the Nov. 1 elections, yet the vote is in many ways about him.  Turks will participate in their second election in five months after the previous round on June 7 failed to give any single party a majority and subsequent attempts at forming a coalition proved fruitless.  Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party, known by its Turkish acronym AKP, suffered a significant setback in the June vote losing its parliamentary majority for the first time in thirteen years.  Erdoğan has been firmly in control since 2003—first as Prime Minister, and since 2014 as President. He wants to rewrite the constitution and transform Turkey from a parliamentary into a presidential form of government—thereby vesting more powers in himself.  Erdoğan has been firmly in control since 2003—first as Prime Minister, and since 2014 as President. He wants to rewrite the constitution and transform Turkey from a parliamentary into a presidential form of government—which would give his post more power.  However, those plans were spoiled by simple math. AKP needed to secure a two-thirds majority in parliament to enable it to rewrite the constitution and pass it out of parliament without a referendum. It won only 258 seats in June, short of the 367 needed.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Decision Time for Polarized Turkey

Interviewee: Gonul Tol, Director of the Center for Turkish Studies, Middle East Institute

Zachary Laub, Online Writer/Editor


The governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) is appealing to heightened Turkish nationalism to regain a parliamentary majority in snap elections on Sunday. But voters frustrated with what they see as the party's flagging commitment to democracy are likely to vote much the same as they did in the June general election, says Gonul Tol, of the Middle East Institute in Washington. The resumption of violence with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), attacks on the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP)'s rallies, and the coalition maneuvering that is likely all point to an increasingly polarized Turkish political scene, Tol says. Prospects appear grim for a Kurdish peace process, she says.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Deep Divisions in Turkey as Election Nears But Turks Share Negative Views of Foreign Powers


BY Jacob Poushter

As a result of a political deadlock stemming from the June 2015 parliamentary elections in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called a snap election, set for November 1, 2015. Even before the current political stalemate, Turks were split on whether the democratic system in their country was working, and positive views of Erdogan were at their lowest point since 2012. However, a majority of Turks still prefer a democratic form of government rather than a leader with a strong hand to guide their country. The internal divisions that are plaguing Turkey are clearly evident in a newly released Pew Research Center poll, which was conducted April to May 2015. According to the survey, the country is split evenly down the middle in terms of the way its democracy is working – 49% are satisfied, while 49% are dissatisfied. But members of President Erdogan’s electoral coalition are significantly more satisfied with the current state of democracy. This includes Turks who are older, less educated, those who support his Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Muslims who pray more than 5 times per day. Younger, more educated Turks, followers of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and less devout Muslims are more disillusioned.


Önde gelen 3 kamuoyu araştırmacısından seçmenin nabzı

Ruşen Çakır - 23 Ekim 2015 

Bu hafta içinde Metropoll Araştırma Şirketi Başkanı Özer Sencar, Andy-Ar Araştırma Şirketi Başkanı Faruk Acar ve KONDA Araştırma Şirketi Genel Müdürü Bekir Ağırdır‘la 1 Kasım seçimlerini tartıştığımız özel yayınları.


World in Ukraine: Ukraine could follow Turkey's example as East-West bridge

KYIV POST - Oct. 23, 2015

BY Ilya Timtchenko

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Turkey for a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Oct. 18 is an indication of the country’s growing importance and influence in the region.
With the European Union grappling with a refugee crisis caused by civil war in Syria, Turkey is a good friend to have right now. Perhaps that’s why Merkel came with a pledge to push for Turkey’s accession to the union, even though she won the chancellorship in 2005 on a promise never to let Turkey join.
And there’s no denying the country, with its population of 79 million and a gross domestic product of $800 billion, is an important regional player. Acting as a bridge between Europe and the Middle East, it is a natural trade route – the same position in which Ukraine finds itself.
Others are courting the regional linchpin as well.
Merkel’s visit came after Erdogan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin a month ago in Moscow. The two leaders agreed on a $100 billion trade partnership by 2023, which includes a $15 billion gas pipeline and a $22 billion nuclear power plant in southern Turkey, which is already under construction. Russia alone provides nearly one-fifth of Turkey’s energy, and almost 60 percent of its natural gas.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Workshop held on 12-13 November 2015 at the Institut Français d’Études Anatoliennes (Istanbul)

Turkish studies, as a seemingly autonomous field of knowledge, has not been critically examined. Turkology is the subject of several handbooks and journal issues, as well as numerous articles, which are mostly the works of specialists who seek to retrace a tradition, reassess the state of the field, or pay tribute to their predecessors. With few exceptions, they generally provide a linear, internalist, if not hagiographic narrative centered on the “life-and-work” of a series of outstanding individuals. Moreover, conducted country by country, these bio-bibliographic surveys tend to neglect the circulation of ideas, men and artifacts, and rarely confront different traditions. Lastly, in Turkey, the history of Turkish studies is often conflated with that of Turkism, therefore conveying a strong nationalist imaginary. In sum, the available literature says little about the epistemological but also social, political, and economic dynamics behind the constitution of the field: these are the dynamics we wish to investigate.