ORIENT III 2017: Current developments in Turkey

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Dear readers of ORIENT,

Recent dramatic developments in Turkey, especially after the failed coup attempt – two general elections in 2015, mass arrests of presumed followers of the Gülen movement as well as Kurdish politicians, journalists and opposition leaders, in violation of the rule of law and human rights – have destroyed the image of Turkey as a democratic Muslim model state, and the constitutional referendum of April 2017 is also seen as indicative of this by many observers. The amount of power now concentrated in the hands of the authoritarian president is indeed highly controversial – as are the forcible changes in many position across the judiciary, state agencies, universities and schools.

Where is Turkey headed? How will the formerly close relations with Europe, and Germany in particular, develop? It is our goal to bring together different views and perspectives, allowing the reader to understand different viewpoints of the current discourse.

First, Prof Subidey Togan and Prof Ömer Faruk Gençkaya provide an overview of the economic dimension of recent developments in Turkey. Following this, Prof Güneş Murat Tezcür analyses the ‘Kurdish question’ before Nilgün Arısan Eralp sheds light on the state of Turkey’s relations with the EU. Dr Bahar Baser subsequently discusses the role of Turkish communities voting abroad. Afterwards, Dr Ahmet Yayla provides a sharp view before Nebi Miş and Burhanettin Duran follow with their analysis of the recent changes to the political system and landscape in Turkey. I hope that the current issue provides you with valuable insights and different perspectives as food for thought in the ongoing discussions about recent developments in Turkey.

Dr. Gunter Mulack
Director of the German Orient-Institute



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