Turkey's Bid for the New Constitution

This policy brief aims to analyse the basic parameters of the new draft constitution in Turkey. Having outlined the radical amendments to the current Constitution in terms of both fundamental rights and state organs, the paper takes up the procedural and substantial criticisms directed against the draft Constitution.

Turkey's Bid for the New Constitution
Does Turkey Need a New Standby Agreement

Does Turkey Need a New Standby Agreement?

Since 1960, nineteen Standby arrangements have been signed. With these agreements, significant progress has been made in Turkish economy: inflation has fallen to the lowest level since 1986, the public debt-to-GNP ratio has been falling, and interest rates have declined rapidly. IMF’s immediate goals concern exchange rate stability and balance of payments, and evaluations of IMF programs tend to concentrate on these two objectives. Yet, whether or not the IMF programs have positive effects on these short-term goals, what ultimately matters is that they induce economic growth and do not concentrate on incomes.


Currently, GAP is a regional development project that covers nine southeastern provinces extending over the wide plains in the basins of the lower Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Political and economical instability in Turkey in the 1980s diverted attention from the GAP Project and led to consecutive failures in meeting official targets for its progress within the initial time framework. Within the last five years,  

There is a lively debate centered on whether Turkey is undergoing an axis shift, meaning Turkey is drifting away from the Transatlantic system and heading towards the Middle East in the most acclaimed dailies and journals of the Western world.

With the appointment of Yusuf Ziya Özcan as the new president of Turkey’s Higher Education Board (YÖK), there is renewed hope for the future of the Turkish university system. For too long Turkish universities have performed way below acceptable international standards. Nor have they catered to the increasing needs of Turkish society. Instead of improving the standards of higher education in Turkey, YÖK has acted like an academic police controlling everything in the universities.

I get this question all the time: how does Turkey do it? In international relations, Turkey wants to be a member of the European Union, continue its partnership with the US, have good relations with Russia and Iran, be fully involved in Iraq and the larger Middle East, increase its presence in the Balkans and central Asia and open up to Africa and Latin America. Domestically, Turkey wants to strengthen its democracy, improve its human rights record, continue its economic development, find a solution to the Kurdish problem and ease the tensions between religion and the Turkish state.  

A new Form Of Racism: Islamophobia

According to Louise Arbour, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, bigotry and prejudice against Muslims is increasing in Europe. Arbour made a call to all governments to take action against racism and discrimination towards Muslim communities. Arbour’s remarks are based on a recent study by Doudou Diene of Senegal.

A new Form Of Racism Islamophobia

A New Era in US-Turkish Relations?

Less than one week ahead of the US presidential election, Turkish-US relations and Turkey's role in its neighboring regions were the subject of a one-day conference organized by the SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research and the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.


The decision by the Turkish Constitutional Court to reject the closure case against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) opens a new chapter in the history of Turkish democracy.

In one of his farewell speeches the outgoing Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer reiterated his belief that the regime in Turkey is in danger. He thinks that if Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan becomes president the secular principles of the republic will be jeopardized. President Sezer is not alone in this.

Everybody from Ankara to Brussels is asking the question “With the Justice and Devlopment Party (AK Party) strengthening its position in government and Abdullah Gül as the new president, will Turkey renew its efforts to join the EU as a full member?” No matter how the AK Party and the Turkish people answer the question, much still depends on what happens next in Europe.

The revamped Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) was launched by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Diyarbakır last week in the company of 12 of his ministers, 75 deputies and an army of bureaucrats. In the biggest sports stadium in Diyarbakır (which only hosts 1,300 people), he spoke for two hours about the new program and how it will change the socioeconomic structure of the region.

Everybody is asking if America is in decline. The new big question from the journal Foreign Affairs is whether the American era is over. Fareed Zakaria, the editor of Newsweek, answers with a book, his new release "The Post-American World," in which he proposes a number of ideas and strategies for the US power to survive the "rise of the rest."

Turkish President Abdullah Gül’s visit to the White House, his first such visit to the US as president and the first visit by a Turkish president in 11 years, comes at a time when US-Turkish relations have taken a new turn.

Iraq is like a miniature of the Middle East with its population structure and social characteristics. Each domestic actor in Iraq has relations with ethnic and religious groups in the neighboring countries.

A Panel Discussion with Ibrahim Turhan, Peter Mandaville, and Cemil Aydin. On Friday, October 08, 2010, SETA Foundation at Washington DC, Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies, and Center for Global Studies at George Mason University, hosted Ibrahim Turhan, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Turkey and Peter Mandaville, Co-Director of Center for Global Studies at George Mason University. The event was moderated by Cemil Aydin, Director of Ali Vural Ak Global İslamic Studies Center at George Mason University.

Changing patterns or direction in Turkey’s exports and imports could serve as a well-qualified parameter in order to assess the so-called shift in the country’s orientation.

The talk of a “new Turkey” is generating lively debates both in Turkey and abroad. Last week we discussed  Washington where the US government was trying to recover from the embarrassment of WikiLeaks.

Once Turkey considers and comes to terms with the challenge of formulating a new political language, it can rise to the level it aspires to as a new actor in a new region and in a new global order.

SETA PANEL DISCUSSION    Chair:     Talip Küçükcan, SETA    Panelists:    Taha Özhan, SETA     İhsan Dağı, METU    Mustafa Akyol, Star Newspaper  Tarih: May 26, 2011 Thursday  Saat: 15.00-17.00  Yer: SETA, Ankara

Despite a historical affinity between Israelis, Turks, strong interaction between people, NGOs, think-tanks was never established, that’s exactly what we need.