Category Archives: Turkish Current Events

Party Building

    After thirteen years in office, Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş resigned on September 22, following a seemingly minor dispute with his fellow Justice and Development Party (AKP) legislators in the municipal council. The suggestion that his resignation was a “personal” decision—unlikely from the start—has become less tenable in the following days as two more […]

Laboratory of Democracy? Turkey’s Scientific Institutions After the July 15 Coup

Since Turkey experienced a failed coup attempt a year ago, hardly a week goes by without news of new firings, suspensions, detentions, and arrests. By the end of June 2017, over 138,000 government employees had been removed from their jobs and over 110,000 citizens had been detained—with nearly half of these detentions leading to formal […]

Reading the Black Sea Tea Leaves: Post-Referendum Analysis

Speaking before supporters, celebrating yet another electoral victory, President Erdoğan sounded many familiar themes: he promised to serve the nation rather than be its master; he emphasized the historic nature of the referendum and the heroism of those who had voted in support of his priorities; and he ended by leading the crowd in a […]

Who’s Left: Filiz Kerestecioglu and the Struggle for Rights in Turkey

On December 10, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), backed by the most right-wing of the opposition parties, submitted legislation to parliament that would do away with the office of prime minister, increase the president’s power over the judiciary, and remove parliament’s authority to investigate the executive branch.[1] That same evening, forty-four people were […]

Some of the President’s Men: Yıldırım, Davutoglu, and the “Palace Coup” Before the Coup

  When Ahmet Davutoğlu announced on May 27, 2016 that he would return all the gifts he had accumulated during his eventful nineteen months in office, the media had barely settled into referring to him as “Turkey’s former prime minister.”[1] Just a month earlier, no such end was in sight for Davutoğlu—in fact, he seemed […]

All Politics is Local, 2015: Ill Tidings for the Turkish Opposition

Provinces matter in Turkish elections. Understanding why is crucial for appreciating the scale of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) victory on November 1 and the true significance of the elections. Turkey has eighty-five electoral districts—essentially one for each of the country’s eight-one provinces with the largest three provinces (Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir) split into […]

Eastern Promises Squandered

On October 26, with less than a week remaining before the November 1 elections, a civil court in Ankara ruled that the holding company Koza-İpek and its subsidiaries should be placed under trusteeship while the firm was investigated for involvement in “FETÖ,” a allegedly sprawling terrorist organization headed by Fethullah Gülen, an imam living in […]