Turkey

More than a Saudi PR disaster

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The brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi dissident and critic of Mohammed bin Sultan (aka MbS), has ripped apart the image the ruling Saudi prince had crafted for himself as a “moderniser”. The details of Khashoggi’s killing — he was enticed into the Saudi consulate in Turkey and butchered with a hacksaw — reads like a script from a horror movie.

War on Kurds resumes in Turkey

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Writing one week before the Turkish general election, I pretty much know what the results will be. I should not take the risk of putting them on paper here, as the elections will have taken place by the time Socialist Review reaches its readers. But nothing has happened in the five months since the last election to cause any significant change in the results.

Kurdish breakthrough in Turkish elections

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The general election in Turkey on 7 June was a huge setback for the ruling Islamist AKP party, and a breakthrough for the left-leaning Kurdish HDP.

The AKP’s problems started two years ago when a movement occupied Gezi Park and remained in control of Istanbul’s central square for two weeks.

As demonstrations in solidarity spread throughout the country, the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan unleashed brutal police violence which ended with eight dead and hundreds seriously injured. Even AKP supporters were shocked.

Centenary of a genocide

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The Turkish president's attempts to detract attention from the centennial of the massacre of around 1.5 million Armenian looks set to fail. Ron Margulies recalls the genocide and its gradual unveiling.

The Turkish victory at Gallipoli is celebrated every year on its anniversary, 18 March. Not because it gave a bloody nose to the Winston Churchill, about whom Turks know and care little, but because it launched the career of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk as great hero and “nation-builder” of modern Turkey.

Turkey, Brazil...Britain?

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In Turkey it was the threat to cut down trees to make way for a re-development project in a park in the centre of Istanbul; in Brazil it was the latest round of fare rises on public transport.

No one could have predicted that these events would provide the flashpoint that would trigger the sudden eruption of mass revolts that with hundreds of thousands on the streets night after night across dozens of cities in both country.

Both the threatened trees in Gezi Park and the rising costs of Brazil's transport system were the focus of pre-existing campaigns. Neither seemed about to unleash mass upheavals. In both cases, a key turning point was the brutal police violence against groups of protesters.

All change in Turkey

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Turkey's ruling Islamic AKP party has been committed to neoliberalism and expanding Turkey's regional influence. But, argues Roni Margulies, there has also been a major reshaping of the relationship between society, the state and the once all powerful Turkish military

Looking at Turkey from the outside can be a baffling exercise for anyone used to the usual political categories of the West. At first sight, everything seems to fit neatly into place. There is a sort of Islamic party in government. The governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) is a conservative neoliberal party.

Letter from Turkey

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It has been a hot summer in Turkey. For two months it hasn't dipped below 30°C even in the cooler parts of the country, but the political temperature has been even higher.

Two issues have dominated: the government's attempt to amend 26 articles of the constitution, and the hotting up of the Kurdish national struggle.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), conservative, neoliberal, and from an Islamic tradition, has continued its attempt to break the stranglehold of the rabidly nationalist, aggressively secularist bureaucracy on the country's political life. The military, the judiciary, much of the media, and parts of academia have been resisting.

Kurdistan: What Now for National Liberation?

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The Kurds are distinguished from their neighbours by their language, culture, and a homeland where they represent about 90 percent of the population. They speak an Indo-European language different from both Turkish and Arabic.

The Kurdish population is about 36 million, of whom 55 percent live within the borders of Turkey, where they represent 30 percent of the population. The rest live mainly in Iran, Iraq and Syria. The Kurds are by far the largest stateless nation on earth.

Cyprus: Beyond the Boundary

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Why did Greek Cypriots reject the UN plan to reunite the island? Phaedon Vassiliades of Workers' Democracy looks beyond the accusation of nationalism.

Last April two separate referendums were held in Cyprus, in the Turkish North and in the Greek South of the island, over the plan put forward by UN general secretary Kofi Annan for the settlement of the Cyprus issue. The Annan Plan (AP) was presented as a unique 'balanced plan' for reunification, bringing peace and prosperity in the island.

The outcome was that 65 percent of Turkish Cypriots voted yes while 76 percent of Greek Cypriots voted no, and the plan was rejected.

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