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  • Author: Hasan Aydin
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Because of a perceived existential threat to the Turkish state, the teaching of any language other than Turkish in the formal education system has historically been forbidden through targeted legislation, despite the fact that Turkey comprises many minority ethnic groups other than Turks. Guaranteeing the rights of minorities like the Kurds for native tongue education would ensure preserving the distinct identities of minorities and contribute to the resolution of the decades-long Turkish-Kurdish conflict. Potential solutions include establishing programs, hiring more qualified instructors, and encouraging pluralism and diversity in education.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Education, Poverty, Minorities, Income Inequality, Kurds
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Vali Nasr, Valeria Talbot
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: The MED Report 2020, Navigating the Pandemic, provides analyses, policy recommendations and a vast array of data and infographics to stimulate discussion and inspire innovative ideas during the 6th edition of Rome MED Dialogues. Following MED's four traditional thematic sections – shared security; shared prosperity; migration; civil society, culture and media – the Report focuses on a selection of topics that are crucial to the region, highlighting both the challenges and the dynamics taking shape in an area that has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The aim of this publication is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the prospects and policy options for the Middle East and North Africa, where COVID-19 has impacted on a context already marred by socio-economic vulnerabilities and instability.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Migration, Culture, Geopolitics, Media, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Brandon Friedman, Joshua Krasna, Uzi Rabi, Michael Milshtein, Arik Rudnitzky, Liora Hendelman-Baavur, Joel D. Parker, Cohen Yanarocak, Hay Eytan, Michael Barak, Adam Hoffman
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: This collection of essays, published by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in collaboration with the Moshe Dayan Center (MDC), focuses on how states and societies absorbed the coronavirus shock as the first wave spread through the Middle East, from February through April 2020. It offers a critical examination of how several different Middle East countries have coped with the crisis. This publication is not intended to be comprehensive or definitive, but rather representative and preliminary. Each of these essays draw on some combination of official government data, traditional local and international media, as well as social media, to provide a provisional picture of the interplay between state and society in the initial response to the crisis.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Health Care Policy, Economy, Crisis Management, Sunni, Jihad, Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, Gulf Cooperation Council, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Ulaş Bayraktar
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: This report has been produced in the framework of the Empowering Civil Society for a More Democratic Local Governance Project funded by the scope of Republic of Turkey and European Union supported Partnerships and Networks Grant Program. TESEV is the lead, Şişli Municipality and Association of Union of Citizen Assemblies are the co-applicants, and the Checks and Balances Network is the associate of the project. The transition from the classical management approach to the governance approach, in which private sector and non-governmental organisations take on roles in determining public policies, has been the dominant discourse of politics for more than a quarter century. Instead of a hierarchical and monolithic bureaucratic process, this approach envisions a management triangle that engages other stakeholders. However, these governance principles have not been fully put into practice in Turkey and those that have been implemented have not yielded the expected results. The present study aims to test these statements at the level of local governments and politics. Its purpose is also to open up a discussion based on the findings of interviews and roundtables conducted in ten cities in Turkey and of a comprehensive survey administered to a nationally representative sample of civil society organisations.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Non-Governmental Organization, Governance, Democracy, Urban
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Itır Akdoğan
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: In this report, we enquire into the issue of gender equality by investigating different sectors at once to offer recommendations for improvement. In this project, which is supported by the Swedish Consulate General in İstanbul, we first examine, in light of data gathered and disseminated by European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), the percentage of women high-level decision makers in Turkey’s politics, public administration, local government, civil society organizations, social partners, business, media, judiciary and education/science/research. We compare these rates in their historical transformation and with the rates of European Union countries, thus inspecting them in their wider quantitative context. Next, we conduct in-depth interviews with women (if not present, men) high-level decision makers in these areas to carry out a qualitative assessment of women’s participation in Turkey.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Gender Issues, Politics, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, European Union
  • Author: Zerrin Cengiz, Pelin Yenigün Dilek, Ezgican Özdemir, Hande Özhabeş, R. Bülent Tarhan, Ayşe Üstünel Yırcalı, H. Ceren Zeytinoğlu
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: he Corruption Assessment Report for Turkey is the product of the research conducted by TESEV’s Good Governance program under the Southeast European Leadership for Development and Integrity (SELDI) initiative. This report documents the agenda of the first phase of the SELDI partnership that spans 2012 through 2014. Along with presenting evidence on the degree of corruption in Turkey, the report analyzes the current legal setting and the effects of corruption on the economy. It emphasizes the importance of a free judicial system, the role of civil society, and the benefits of international collaboration in fighting corruption. The report also offers possible solutions to fighting corruption, focusing on the elements that make corruption commonplace.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Corruption, Accountability, Transparency
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Oytun Orhan
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: TESEV Foreign Policy Program and ORSAM (Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies) in order to understand the effects of Syrian asylum seekers to Turkey, visited Adana, Osmaniye, Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Mersin and Kahramanmaraş respectively during four different field study trips in three months. They held series of meetings with municipalities, professional organizations, chambers of trade and industry, civil society organizations, opinion leaders, locals and Syrians. This report has been prepared in the light of the observations and data gained from these field studies.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Migration, Refugees, Refugee Crisis, Syrian War, Public Policy, Services
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: With the Arab region in a state of flux, the League of Arab States seems poised to play a much-needed role on issues such as peace, security, and human rights in Arab countries. Until now, this role has been far from consistent or guided by a genuine human rights agenda. However, a closer look at the Arab League during the recent crises in the region reveals a slow shift in its positioning, highlighting the importance for civil society to engage with the Arab League and influence policies and reform in the region. Interest in the work of the Arab League is not new to civil society in the region. Civil society organizations have, for example, engaged very closely with the process of revising the Arab Charter on Human Rights. They have also worked with the League on the Darfur and Syria crises. However, this engagement has been fragmented, and at times not driven by a clear strategy. Therefore, this engagement and its impact can be strengthened through effective strategies and mechanisms. It is, therefore, paramount that the Arab League reform its relationship with civil society, and at the same time for civil society to improve its own relationship with the Arab League. The ultimate goal is better protection of human rights in Arab countries. This manual has been produced with these challenges and opportunities in mind. It aims at providing information to activists in the civil society movement, especially those working in the human rights field, on the structures, standards, and mechanisms of the Arab League relating to human rights. Better understanding of these issues can only contribute to better engagement with the Arab League, and therefore the ability to influence and reform the organization.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Human Rights, Authoritarianism, Reform, Arab Spring, State Violence, Revolution, Arab League
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Elise Massicard
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: The Justice and Development Party (JDP) has been in power in Turkey since 2002, consolidating its electoral support among an array of social groups ranging from broad appeal among the popular classes to business leaders and a growing middle class. The success of the JDP is a consequence of the manner in which the party inserted itself into certain economic and social sectors. While the party has internalized the principles of reducing the public sphere and outsourcing to the private sector, it has not restricted the reach of government intervention. On the contrary, it has become increasingly involved in certain sectors, including social policy and housing. It has managed this through an indirect approach that relies on intermediaries and private allies such as the businesses and associations that is has encouraged. In this way, the JDP has developed and systematized modes of redistribution that involve the participation of conservative businessmen who benefit from their proximity to the decision-makers, charitable organizations, and underprivileged social groups. These public policies have reconfigured different social sectors in a way that has strengthened the Party’s influence.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Sociology, Governance, Regulation, Political Science, Networks
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Balkans
  • Author: Laurence Louer
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: During the first decade of the 21st century the Gulf States undertook reforms of their social policies based on the generous redistribution of hydrocarbon profits. One of the elements of the redistribution was to guarantee of employment. Beginning in the 1990s rising unemployment indicated that the traditional employment policies were ineffective, generating social tensions as evidenced in the "Arab spring". The goal of the reforms is to move nationals into salaried jobs in the private sector, currently held largely by foreign workers. The change is strongly opposed by business executives and local entrepreneurs. Having become accustomed to inexpensive foreign workers they object to the increased costs entailed by the reforms. The royal families are thus obliged to negotiate between the interests of the private sector, often aligned with their own, and the dissatisfaction of the young, the group most impacted by unemployment and the key players in the protests that erupted in 2011 in Bahrain, Saudi-Arabia and Oman.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Political Economy, Labor Issues, Arab Spring, Social Policy, Identities, State, Multinational Corporations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, United Arab Emirates
  • Author: Aybars Görgülü, Onnik Krikorian
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: On March 2, 2012, Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF) and Turkish Economic Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) organized an international conference titled “Turkey’s South Caucasus Agenda: Roles of State and Non-State Actors” in Tbilisi, Georgia. The event brought together analysts, diplomats and decision makers from Turkey, Europe and the South Caucasus to discuss Turkey’s role in stabilizing the region both on the level of government engagement and civil society. This publication is the reflection of the commentary that was made by participants during the conference.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Civil Society, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Georgia, South Caucasus