On May 31, 2010, Israeli commandos stormed a passenger ship, the Mavi Marmara, the largest boat of a flotilla of six boats which were carrying 10000 tons of humanitarian aid to besieged Gaza, in international high waters. The operation left 9 activists dead and over 30 activists wounded. The flotilla attack started a new trend for Turkish-Israeli relations. For the first time in history, Turkish citizens were directly exposed to Israeli aggression. In this sense, the attack constitutes a break in Turkish-Israeli relations. It is now not only Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians that will shape the nature of Turkish-Israeli relations, more than anything else, but it is Israel’s steps towards salvaging bilateral relations by reassuring the Turkish nation and state.
SETA CONFERNCE By Eduard Soler and Fadela Hilali The CIDOB Foundation Mediterranean Programme Date: January 22, 2009 Thursday Time: 10.00 – 12.00 Venue: SETA Foundation, Ankara
The escalation in attacks by the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK) on Turkish troops and civilians has brought Turkey to the brink of war with the Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, has declared that unless action is taken against the PKK, Turkey will act unilaterally. Despite the intensifying rhetoric, however, the crisis may be an opportunity to find a lasting solution to the Kurdish problem in Turkey and the region
After days of debate and uncertainty, Abdullah Gül is finally a presidential candidate. Now Gül is busy trying to garner support for his nomination and, all being well, will be elected by the end of this month. What kind of a president will he be? And will his presidency provoke another political crisis in Turkey? These two questions will dominate the agenda for months to come. However the developments so far already provide some clues. By nominating Gül again, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) read the election results in the way their constituents read them -- Gül’s presidency was part of the election campaign from the very beginning. It would be wrong to reduce the AK Party’s victory to Gül alone, but the AK Party’s record over the last four-and-a-half years and what happened during Gül’s candidacy was a complete package for the vast majority of those who voted for the AK Party on July 22.
The string of events beginning with Abdullah Gül’s candidacy for president has revealed once more the fragile nature of Turkish democracy. While an ideological battle is being fought over who owns the core values of the republic, the current crisis puts democracy in Turkey to the test. The current crisis is carefully crafted and based on an old theme in Turkish politics: the ideological legitimacy of those who demand change