A brilliant talk.
A brilliant talk.
My new piece in The National Interest is an analysis of Turkish current events, seen from a slightly more anthropological angle than usual. I identify repeating themes and patterns that underlie Turkish society and politics.
Armed fighting has broken out again in southeast Turkey between the Kurdish PKK and Huda-Par, resulting in two deaths. Given that the AKP government is supposed to be negotiating peace with the PKK, we may well ask who or what is Huda-Par, which appears to be a far-right Islamist organization, one of many armed factions of various stripes that make up the Turkish fringe. But they’re more than that and evidence of another dangerous game being played blind in Ankara.
The December 2014 edition of Current History has a collection of articles on the Middle East by prominent scholars that give excellent analyses and updates for different countries in the region. Here’s my take on Turkey.
It appears certain that Turkey has provided military and medical assistance to ISIS (now Islamic State or IS) fighters in the past couple of years, allowing them refuge in and easy transit through Turkey to Syria. The Turkish IHH organization played a prominent role in this.
The biggest danger to the region — including Turkey — and arguably the world at the moment is not Russia’s expansionism or the Israel-Gaza conflagration, but Islamic State (IS), formerly ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).
Turkey’s Development Ministry issued a new report on the distribution of poverty across Turkey. 16% of population is poor, defined as a 4-member family living under $2125 a month.
I highly recommend Reuben Silverman’s blog (here) for an incredibly detailed account of the issues and events surrounding the corruption investigations and their larger context — the history of Hizmet versus AKP jostling.
The AKP’s executive board, in a meeting chaired by PM Erdogan, has decided not to extend the term limit for prime minister from three to four terms. This means that Erdogan will likely run for president in August.
Overall AKP 46% – CHP 28% (with 80% of the vote counted).