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Category: Turkish politics

Erdoğan could be losing his grip on a dangerous, divided Turkey

Written by Alpaslan Ozerdem and Bahar Baser.

Turkey’s New Year was marred by a terrorist attack, claimed by the so-called Islamic State (IS), that killed 39 people and injured many more at a famous nightclub in Istanbul. After nearly two years of deadly incidents and alarming political instability, Turks were once again left counting the dead – and wondering how much more their country can take.

In the last 18 months, Turkey has seen 33 bomb attacks that have claimed 446 lives, 363 of them civilians. Some commentators even claim that low-level terror is now almost the norm in Turkey.

The End of Turkey’s Kurdish ‘Peace Process’?

Written by Aytac Kadioglu.

Turkey’s Kurdish peace process was cut off by two catastrophic incidents in July 2015: the Suruc suicide bombing took place during a press statement outside the Amara Culture Centre which claimed 32 lives and two police officers were murdered by the PKK in their home. These incidents were the beginning of a terrifying escalation of violence. Hundreds of militants belonging to the insurgent Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), many Turkish security officers and civilians lost their lives in subsequent security force operations and PKK attacks as of 2016.

Negative campaigning in Turkey

Written by Emre Toros.

The highly competitive and rapidly changing scenery of electoral activity throughout the world seems to be more chaotic than ever. In different contexts, political actors test various tools in order to influence the voter preferences. Operating in this diverse environment, these actors still have to decide on one common and crucial aspect of their electoral campaigns: whether to prioritise their own assets or draw attention to the weaknesses of their rivals. This decisive choice is conceptualised under the categories of positive and negative campaigning. Recently, the latter, namely the negative campaigning, attracted an increased attention both from academic and non-academic circles.  In that sense, Turkey seems to be an interesting case. The Turkish Republic has been a multiparty democracy since the mid-1940s and although it has been interrupted by three military coups, the party and election system in Turkey has brought real alternations in the government from the very early years of the multiparty system.

Turkey election: Erdogan and the AKP get majority back amid climate of violence and fear

Written by Bahar Baser and Ahmet Erdi Öztürk.

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayip Erdoğan, appears to have strengthened his grip on the country after the Justice and Development Party (AKP) won an outright majority in a snap election just five months after an inconclusive poll. It is a result that will shock and frighten many in the country.

Unofficial preliminary results, appeared to give the AKP 49.3%, followed by the centre-left Republican People’s Party (CHP) on 25.7%, the far-right Nationalist Action Party (MHP) on 12.1% and the pro-Kurdish left-wing Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on 10.5%. The AKP is predicted to take 312 seats in the 550-seat parliament, the CHP 135 seats, the HDP 60 and the MHP 43.

This result is a big surprise, since pre-election polls forecast a result not much different from that of the June election – and it undoubtedly owes a lot to the toxic atmosphere in which the election was held.

Ankara bombs: Turkey is being torn apart by bad leaders and bad neighbours

Written by Alpaslan Ozerdem.

It had already been a deadly summer of political instability in Turkey. And now this. Another bloody massacre – this time at the hand of twin bomb attacks on a peace rally in Ankara, which have killed at least 97 people.

It is the worst terror attack in Turkey’s history, and the culmination of a dreadful wave of violence. In just a few months, hundreds of civilians, Turkish security personnel and PKK members have been killed. Barely a single day passes in Turkey nowadays without some incident of lethal political violence.