Return to sender: US letter about Turkey backfires

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ighty-seven Turkish parliamentarians responded to a scandalous letter that 54 United States senators sent to U.S. President Joe …
  • Muharrem Ince, who was the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) presidential candidate in 2018, resigned on Feb. 8, following in the footsteps of three other parliamentarians. His critique of the CHP leadership was strongly worded and comprehensive.
  • President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan created the framework for the 2023 elections by calling for a new and civilian constitution. The need for a civilian constitution dates back to the adoption of the 1982 Constitution, an embodiment of the authoritarianism of coup leaders, hence, the frequent discussions on constitutional reform over the last 39 years – and 19 constitutional amendments. Yet Turkey still has not managed to talk about its political problems at the constitutional level.
  • The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) made headlines again, as three parliamentarians resigned and Muharrem Ince, the CHP’s presidential candidate in the 2018 election, is preparing to launch his own movement. CHP Deputy Özgür Özel, the minority whip, blamed these developments on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, but the problem is more complex and deeply rooted. CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s policy of stripping his party of ideology and identity, in an attempt to unite the opposition, appears to have hit a dead end.

Bu Konuda Daha Fazla

  • Leaders of Turkey’s major political parties are meeting more frequently, as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's "alliance" talks with the Felicity Party (SP) reinvigorated the opposition. There is an effort underway to keep relations warm between the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Good Party (IP), the SP, the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) and the Future Party (GP) over proposals of an “augmented parliamentary system.”

  • Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the chairperson of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), regularly complains about Turkey’s “artificial” agenda, but that did not stop him from starting a polarizing war of words by referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as “the so-called president.” With voters unimpressed by his rants about the economy and coronavirus-related problems, the main opposition leader turned to verbally abusing Turkey’s president – the staple of his rhetoric.

  • llegations of a coup dominated Turkey’s political arena before the Muslim headscarf controversy could be put to bed. From a journalist’s dream of “a great natural disaster” to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to a former military commander claiming that the 1960 coup could have been avoided if an early election had been called, to the attempted birth of an opposition movement over the appointment of Boğaziçi University’s new rector, Turkey is dealing with a range of fierce debates. All of these conflicts attest to the resilience of the idea of Kemalist tutelage, which simply refuses to respect popular will.

  • 2020 was a difficult year for everyone. The two avalanches in the eastern province of Van and a major earthquake in the western province of Izmir aside, the COVID-19 pandemic altered our lives so remarkably that we could not adapt to the “new normal” – embodied by face masks and social distancing. We could not even mourn those who lost their lives. As the vaccine against the coronavirus becomes more widely available, we dream of reuniting with our friends and loved ones.

  • Hardly anyone in Turkey thought they would bid farewell to 2020 amid a fresh controversy surrounding the Islamic headscarf.