• Turkey’s local elections on March 31 produced a historic result: the main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party, or CHP, won 37.7 percent of the vote, beating President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK Party (35.5 percent) for the first time in more than two decades in power. If the CHP’s result is not surprising in Turkey’s big cities, the AKP also lost regions such as Anatolia, once considered strongholds of the majority party. It was “a turning point,” as Erdogan stressed after the results of the elections. But the CHP’s “victory” was more of an AKP’s resounding defeat, according to Cengiz Aktar, professor of Turkish and Modern Asian Studies at the University of Athens.
  • On February 6th, two devasting earthquakes left officially over 45 thousand dead in Turkey while the actual figure is estimated to be three to four times higher. This year Turkey is marking 100 years since the founding of the Republic in 1923 and in his most recent essay, The Turkish Malaise, Cengiz Aktar, argues that a combination of factors have led to its current sorry state, which first and foremost is due to the fact that modern Turkey has never faced the sins of its past, and ignoring them has led to Erdogan’s swing towards totalitarianism and kleptocracy over the last 10 years.  
  • Evan Pheiffer 26 February 2021
    The new US administration may well change its approach to Turkey, yet Erdoğan’s regime is unlikely to significantly review the foundations of its self-assigned macro-regional role— that of a revisionist player, ready to embark on a number of political and military adventures to assert its power and “right the wrongs of colonialism”. Yet someone, at some point, will call the bluff. So claims historian Kerem Öktem, a leading scholar on contemporary Turkish history and politics, in this talk with Reset DOC discussing AKP’s foreign policy in the age of Biden.
  • David Rigoulet-Roze 23 December 2020
    France, and what it represents, appears in many respects to be a priority target for political Islam in general, and for its extremist avatars in particular. This not a coincidence, since France embodies a singular conception of freedom of expression inherent to laïcité, which it has historically elevated to the rank of a cardinal republican value. “France is an indivisible, laïque, democratic and social Republic. It ensures the equality before the law of all citizens without distinction of origin, race or religion. It respects all beliefs.” It is precisely this respect for all religious beliefs that has been called into question and manipulated for largely political purposes by neo-Ottoman Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan amid the controversy generated by the republication, on September 2, 2020, of the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed by the Charlie Hebdo weekly newspaper.
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