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  • Author: Ibrahim Dalmis
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Generally speaking, two traditions – right-wing politics and the Left – have dominated Turkish politics over the years. This study aims to analyze historic election results in order to determine roughly how much popular support each political movement enjoys in the country. Starting from transition to multi-party system in Turkey, one can see the emergence of several ideologies, groups and political parties that appeal to various social classes. Although military interventions caused a rupture in the democratization of the country, there has been a lively political environment with dynamic party politics and elections. During the span of Turkish democracy, a number parties were established and closed. This article examines the trajectory of elections and party perfomances with a special emphasis on ideology and electoral base of the parties.
  • Topic: Environment
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: E. Fuat Keyman
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: One of the fiercest electoral battles fought in the Turkish political history, the March 30, 2014 local elections yielded results akin to an outcome of a general election. The AK Party's victory in the ballot box has serious implications for Turkish politics and society in general. This paper will thus discuss and explain the implications of the elections for the AK Party' metamorphosis into a dominant party. The paper will also shed light on how the AK Party's consolidation of its power has led to the emegence of a "New Turkey." Last, the article will point to the increased polarization in Turkish society, an externality of the AK Party's dominant party status and the New Turkey.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Osman Can
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The December 17th process was started allegedly by a political move by the Gülen movement, which, until recently, had been seen as a religious organization. As the government and the parliament – institutions of democratic representation – countered this move through the use of their constitutional powers, the debate has turned into a totalistic and ontological struggle. However, very few people argue that the problems are actually not independent of the constitutional system of the Turkish Republic, but rather unavoidable consequences of the existing system. If we consider the political steps and strategies pursued by the Gülen movement, we see that we are faced with the most familiar game in Turkish political history, namely the shaping of politics through the use of state institutions.
  • Topic: History
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Bayram Balci
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Just after the end of the Soviet Union and the emergence of three independent states in the South Caucasus Turkey started to manifest a real interest for this region. Energy issue, which is the key issue in this Turkish policy since the beginning, is expected to remain the key priority for Turkey because of its growing economy. Ankara tries to have a balanced relations with the three South Caucasian countries, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia, but for multiple reasons, Turkey's policy in the South Caucasus is still determined by its relations with Azerbaijan who is the best ally and economic partner for Ankara.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Soviet Union, Georgia
  • Author: Mustafa Yetim, Bilal Hamade
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: As the Arab Spring unfolds, a new power configuration is emerging in the Middle East. Turkey is at the center of the new setting, with a fully engaged leadership role that was adopted by the ruling AK Party. In the Levant area, Ankara's influence is even greater due to Turkey's full support of the Syrian opposition against the Syrian Baath regime. In this context, it becomes clear that the increasingly involved Turkish role in the region has direct and indirect effects on the stability of countries in the Levant, one of which is Lebanon.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Taha Ozhan
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Like all long political years, the year 2014 did not begin on January 1st; rather, 2014 politically began at the end of May with the Taksim events. Nevertheless, the year may end on an optimistic note. It could be said that, unless the date of the upcoming general elections change, the long political year of 2014 will extend to June 2015. Had the government been overthrown by the police-judiciary coup in December 17th., Turkey would have been sentenced to a neo-tutelage regime for many years to come. The first phase of the tripartite elections race in Turkey ended with Erdogan's victory. The upcoming presidential elections in August 2014 will be the second phase. The March 30 elections clearly demonstrated that the AK Party will continue to play an important part in Turkey's political scene for years to come.
  • Topic: Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Turkey, India
  • Author: Ali Carkoglu
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: ABSTRACT The March 2014 local elections in Turkey did not drastically alter electoral balances in Turkey. The AK Party maintained its predominant position, despite loosing some electoral support. The opposition gained some support but not enough to challenge the incumbent party's tenure. Despite apparent gains for the CHP, it appears that the most significant vote increase was obtained by the nationalist MHP. Yet, both opposition parties remain far from imposing a credible challenge to the AK Party in future elections. These results are likely to lure PM Erdoğan into running for president. Such a decision is likely to further polarize the country and result in negative electoral campaigns for the presidential elections.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Hatem Ete
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The context of and the meaning conferred upon the local elections led it to be fought in a referandum-like atmosphere. Prior to the March 30 local elections, various scenarios put forward both for the governing AK Party and the opposition parties, which largely remained unfulfilled on the elections day. As the local elections is over, a sound analysis of the election's context, results, and possible implications is warranted. Despite the rapid and dramatic transformation that Turkey has undergone over the last decade, particularly since 2007, no such dramatic shift in the voters' behaviors has occurred. This article argues that this is because of the dominance of the identity-politics, over all other issues, that shaped the content and context of the elections. It further claims insofar as this dominance continues to prevail over other concerns in the elections, no major change should be expected in the voters' inclinations and behaviors.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Mustafa Altunoglu
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Ahead of the 2014 local elections, the main opposition, the Republican People's Party (CHP), developed an aggressive outreach campaign to add new voters to its ranks as the disappearance of its former rivals, the Democratic Left Party (DSP), left the CHP with a monopoly over the Left and the Gülen Movement broke with the ruling AK Party just months before the elections. The election results, however, reaffirmed that the main opposition party remained largely unpopular outside major metropolitan areas, including İstanbul, Ankara and İzmir. On election day, the CHP received less than 5 percent in most of the Southeast and Eastern Anatolia, as its efforts to associate with democracy and freedom proved futile against the backdrop of controversial alliances with extra-parliamentary forces.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Scott Morrison
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: As the third largest economy in the world, Japan cannot be overlooked in any analysis of Asia's importance in international geopolitics and the global political economy. The ties between Japan and Turkey – whether diplomatic, political, economic or societal – span the breadth of Asia. Those ties have become more numerous and consequential in monetary terms over the last half-decade. Although the relationship has not been a top priority for either country, awareness of the potential for mutual gain as a result of more trade and investment has a history of at least three decades. This article surveys the current economic and trade relationship between Turkey and Japan, paying particular attention to recent notable Japanese investments in Turkey and the preliminary positioning of trade representatives in advance of a proposed Free Trade/Economic Partnership Agreement.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Japan, Turkey, Asia