Archive | April, 2016

Turkey’s transition is almost complete

Turkey’s gradual backsliding from an illiberal democracy to an autocracy has reached a new stage. Having reinforced his power by suppressing all opposition, President Erdogan has now turned his attention to reigning in the dissenting voices in his party. Friday’s surprise development at the Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK) of the ruling Justice and […]

Still speechless in Turkey

In Turkey, even good news is bittersweet these days. An Istanbul court ruled on Friday that four Turkish academics on pre-trial detention charged with spreading terrorist propaganda should be released, only to be investigated under new charges of “publicly denigrating the Turkish nation”. Esra Mungan, Muzaffer Kaya and Kivanc Ersoy were arrested on March 19 […]

Polarization is no longer just about politics in Turkey

We have now reached the point where there is no longer any pretense that Turkey can be considered a democracy. Even the long-term allies are publicly calling on its government to respect democratic norms. The European Union, while bending over backwards to brush over inconvenient truths about its controversial refugee deal, urges Turkey to share […]

Pandemonium in Washington & the new face of Turkish diplomacy

Remember the days when the late Libyan leader Muammer Gaddafi would hit the headlines for pitching his large Bedouin tent in world capitals when he travelled abroad? His flying tent, along with his elite cadre of female bodyguards would attract a lot more media attention than the political or diplomatic outcome of his visits. Turkish […]