Analysis and Summary: Turkey at a Tipping Point

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.

The Salafi Switcheroo

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.

Islamic State Member Threatens Istanbul

One IS member threatens on camera that if the apostate Turkish government doesn’t turn the Euphrates water back on, which Turkey has blocked with its dam, IS will come to Istanbul and turn it on from there. He is quite explicit that this is a threat. Hello, Ankara?

Islamic State in Turkey

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).

The Poor and The Disconnected

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.

Coffee, Camaraderie, and the Cultural Logic of Factionalism

For those who are interested, this is what [Jenny White has] been doing on [her] sabbatical in Stockholm, a short essay describing [her] recent research on the 1970s in Turkey, a period that ended in a quasi-civil war and a coup.

The Ballot Queen and The People’s Cake

The situation in Turkey is so fluid and unpredictable, that all possibilities are on the table right now. PM Erdogan has been campaigning for months to become president, without actually announcing his candidacy. The opposition has floated a few candidates without any campaigning.

Hizmet versus AKP: Everything You Want To Know

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.

Anne/Mother

A film by Safak Pavey in which the mothers of the young people killed during the Gezi protests speak.

Final 2014 Local Election Results

The final numbers for the March 30, 2014, elections are in from the Supreme Election Board (YSK):