TURKEY

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  • EPC | 11 Apr 2021

    Will Turkey Ban the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party?

    A Turkish prosecutor filed a case with the constitutional court on March 17, 2021 demanding the closure of the Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), accusing it of colluding with the banned Kurdish militant movement, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is designated a terrorist organization in Turkey. HDP had attempted "to destroy the inseparable unity of the Turkish state and the nation through the actions and statements of its members." The party is also accused of “not standing by Turkey and its interests on any domestic or international issue.” This case has caused a debate among political parties and movements in Turkey, especially that it comes in a difficult period of time in which the country is going through at the domestic and external levels. This step follows an escalation by the Turkish government against HDP and its members since Nov. 2016. This is indicative of a clear desire by the ruling alliance in Turkey to re-engineer the political life in the country to dismantle the alliance of the opposition, which HDP is one of its pillars. It is also a preemptive step before the upcoming parliamentary elections. This raises many questions about the future awaiting HDP in Turkey and the implications of its potential ban on the political landscape in the country.

  • Ahmed Nadhif | 15 Mar 2021

    Erdogan’s Pivot to Erbakan’s Faction: Motivations, Challenges and Prospects

    The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey is going through a state of disintegration in its traditional social base since 2013 in the wake of disagreement with the Gülen movement led by Fethullah Gülen. Huge segments of the Turkish conservative class started to shun AKP. In the summer of 2016, the botched coup attempt deepened this rift after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan forged an alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) as part of the People's Alliance. This has led to the rise of the nationalist tendencies inside AKP and policies of the Turkish regime while traditional leaders started to leave the party. However, AKP defeat in local elections in June 2019 has clearly shown this base disintegration, especially when Erdogan’s ruling party lost Istanbul mayoral elections in front of its historical rival the Republican People's Party (CHP) after 25 years of controlling this position. Since then, Erdogan has been looking for a new formula to run in the upcoming elections, whether by cementing his alliance with the nationalists or by looking for new allies. The Turkish president is also trying to restore his historical conservative base. To this end, he has been trying for some time to woo his old mentor, Necmettin Erbakan’s movement. This paper analyzes Erdogan’s tendency for rapprochement with Erbakan’s movement by clarifying its indicators, motives, and challenges facing AKP leadership to conclude this alliance, and its future consequences.

  • EPC | 26 Jan 2021

    Turkey’s Economy: Review of 2020 and Main Challenges in 2021

    ​The Turkish economy was hit by a major crisis in March 2018 and was only able to get out of it relatively at the end of 2019 after painful financial measures were taken through raising the bank interest rate and narrowing access of foreign investors and speculators to the Turkish lira, and thanks to the global financial situation that led to increased search for investment opportunities, which drove some of those investments towards Turkey. No sooner had the Turkish economy slightly recovered than it suffered a more severe blow in 2020 as a result of the recession due to the coronavirus crisis. This paper assesses the course of the Turkish economy in 2020, and tries to explore its most prominent challenges in 2021.

  • ​Ahmed Diab | 10 Nov 2020

    Turkish Expansion in the Region: Motives, Restrictions and Prospects

    Numerous indicators show that Turkey intends to continue its expansion in the region and that this expansion has become part of Turkey’s political and strategic doctrine to consolidate regional influence under the Islamist-leaning Justice and Development Party (AKP) government led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This paper sheds light on the incentives and drivers of the Turkish trend towards increasing regional expansion, the constraints and challenges facing it, and its potential consequences and future prospects.

  • Dr. Nizar Abdul Kader | 11 Oct 2020

    The Possibility of Military Escalation between Turkey and Greece and Likely Scenarios

    Tensions in the eastern Mediterranean are at their highest in decades following Turkey’s decision to send a research vessel, the Oruç Reis, to prospect for gas and oil in maritime areas which Turkey believes fall within its exclusive economic zone, a claim disputed by both Greece and Cyprus. The roots of the crisis stretch back several years to when commercial quantities of oil and gas were first discovered in the marine areas off the coast of the two countries. Given the geographic overlap between the two, both Athens and Ankara claimed rights to those resources, which has greatly complicated the issues of sovereignty and economic rights in the exclusive economic zones claimed by both sides. Before delving into the causes of the dispute — in which Greece and Cyprus together are facing off against Turkey — and the possible outcomes, it will be useful to take a quick look at the history of relations between the three countries, which have so often been characterized by the threat of escalation and a growing sense of hostility.

  • EPC | 21 Sep 2020

    Can Africa become a platform for US-Turkish partnership?

    The potential role Turkey could play in Africa -- mainly in the context of countering Chinese economic influence -- emerged as a question in a webinar organized by the Turkish-American Business Council (TAIK). TAIK is led by Mehmet Ali Yalcindag, a Turkish industrialist with strong connections and a business partnership with the Trump family, particularly with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, through his ownership of Trump Towers in Turkey. Under such circumstance one has to ask pertinent questions: Is a strategy of Turkish-American cooperation to counter Chinese influence in Africa based on sound assumptions? Does Turkey have major influence in Africa? Is there strategic convergence between Turkish-American interests? As we will see the premise underpinning the feasibility of Turkish-American cooperation in Africa remains uncertain and speculative.

  • EPC | 04 Aug 2020

    Turkey’s Intervention in Libya: Determinants and Challenges

    Turkey's signature with the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj of two memorandums of understanding to define maritime rights and security and military cooperation between the two countries in November 2019 marked a turning point in the Turkish intervention in the Libyan arena. The operation has become a direct, open and qualitative intervention, as a result of which Turkey increased its military support for the GNA forces. In addition to providing them with sophisticated weapon systems, it also provided them with Turkish military advisers and Syrian mercenaries loyal to it. This contributed to transforming the course of the battle and the success by the GNA forces in evicting the forces of the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Haftar from the cities of the West Coast, Tripoli and its suburbs, the al-Watiya air base, and the city of Tarhuna, and their retreat towards the city of Sirte and the military base of Jufra in central Libya.

  • EPC | 11 Jun 2020

    Impact of Coronavirus Pandemic on Turkish Economic Sectors

    The coronavirus pandemic (or COVID-19) has struck the economic sectors throughout the world and caused a sudden disruption in the financial and economic activity. Yet the effects of the pandemic have not been even across the various economic sectors in the world. While some sectors were severely affected which led to their bankruptcy and collapse, others were only partially affected. In contrast, some economic sectors thrived with the increase in market demand for their services such as the health sector. The decisive factor determining the extent and depth of those effects will be the duration of the pandemic in a country and the lockdown and quarantine measures that the government has to take. The above applies to Turkey as well, except for one important difference, namely that the coronavirus pandemic erupted at a time when Turkey had already been experiencing a significant financial crisis. That is why the consequences of the pandemic are expected to be twofold for the Turkish economy.