Riccardo Cristiano interviews for Reset DOC political scientist Cengiz Aktar on the Turkish nationalist-authoritarian shift. A 360 degrees picture of Turkish society and its relationship with politics, religion and the Kurdish question.
- With the US completely out of the scene, the military operation against the Kurds consolidates the two clear protagonists of the new Great Game: Turkey and Russia. The Kurdish question remains, once again, unanswered.
- It took no longer than two days to bring the territory back under the control of the Regional Government of Kurdistan at the end of 2014. In the space of 48 hours, the Iraqi army and the Hashd al-Shaabi shi’ite militia integrated into it took control of Kirkuk, it was swiftly followed by the recapture of Dibus, Makhmur, Khanaqin, Jalawla, Gwer, Bashiqa and Sinjar.
- The Kurdish conflict has re-emerged as a key issue in Turkey. On October 19th the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, inflicted an extremely violent attack on the Turkish state, killing 24 soldiers (the highest number of victims in the past few years) in the southeast. The AKP government’s reaction to the event was extremely harsh. Turkish President Abdullah Gül promised to “reduce to the same tears” those who had carried out the attacks. And that is what happened. Ankara launched a massive attack not only in Southeast Turkey but also across the border into northern Iraq, where the Turkish governments says Kurdish separatists take refuge and organize their attacks. To understand the recent flare-up in the conflict and its links to Turkey’s constitutional re-writing process, Resetdoc spoke to Professor Ferhat Kentel, a sociologist at Sehir University in Istanbul.
- For many Turks, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a man of the people; born in 1954, he spent his early childhood near the Black Sea coast, moving to Istanbul at 13, where he sold simit (sesame buns) on the streets and played semi-professional soccer. He went on to become the mayor of Istanbul in 1994 in a rags-to-riches tale of hard work and charisma. Now, the third-term prime minister faces undesirable regional and domestic instability.