The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality hosted a controversial ceremony to commemorate the death of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, known as Şeb-i Arus, last week. Addressing the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) parliamentary meeting on Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described the recitation of the Quran and the call to prayer in Turkish at that event as "a return to the fascist practices of the 1940s." That practice, which violates the rules of the Mevlevi Order, serves as a reminder of the Turkification of religious rituals under the single-party regime.
Once again, Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, started a new debate over early elections. This time around, he urged Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairperson Devlet Bahçeli, whose movement is part of the pro-government People’s Alliance, to say “enough is enough” and lead the country to elections. Kılıçdaroğlu’s message was an obvious, yet timid, response to Bahçeli’s earlier call on the Good Party’s (IP) Meral Akşener to return home. Former Finance Minister Ali Babacan, who currently chairs the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), echoed the same sentiment, in a meeting with Kılıçdaroğlu and claimed that Turkey’s current system of government would not last until June 2023.
Turkey’s main opposition, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), has become embroiled in internal strife over the distinction between 'Mustafa Kemal' and 'Atatürk', in reference to the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
The Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) 37th Congress resulted in the strengthening of the already dominant politician, Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, as he attempts to reshape the movement. Over the last decade, the main opposition leader has failed in every election yet increased his party’s ability to ally itself with his counterparts of choice with every passing day.
The outrage over George Floyd’s death at the hands of a racist police officer, which triggered riots in 140 cities across the United States and forced President Donald Trump to threaten military action against protestors, highlighted the importance of "the streets." Attempts to reshape politics through street protests have repeatedly captured the world’s attention over the last three decades. The Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, along with other anti-communist uprisings across Eastern Europe, was hailed as a new wave of democratization. Although that revolution resulted in Czechoslovakia’s partition, most observers celebrated its peaceful nature.