During the past fifteen years of Justice and Development Party's (AKP) rule Turkey has
experienced important gains in income and living standards. Over the period 2002-2016, the real
per capita income has increased by 78.5%, and the transformation into an industrial and service
economy has been ongoing, with agriculture still accounting for 7.9% of GDP and 20.7% of total
employment. However, Turkey’s catch-up with advanced economies has slowed since 2008, and
progress has increasingly diverged from the historic record of the 2002-2007 period. Furthermore,
political developments within Turkey and in the surrounding region started to have lasting influence
on economic developments in Turkey.
Sübidey Togan is Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for International Economics at Bilkent University in Ankara. He has published extensively on economic developments and
liberalisation in Turkey.
Ömer Faruk Gençkaya is Professor for Political Science and Public Policy at Marmara University in Istanbul. His research interests include Public Administration, legislative Studies, women and
The Kurdish question in Turkey has taken an ominous turn in the last two years. The collapse
of the peace negotiations in the summer of 2015 led to an intensified return of violence and
destruction. The failed coup attempt of 15th July 2016 provided the pretext for a campaign of
repression against Kurdish political activism. A highly controversial referendum in April 2017
endorsed a presidential system with little legislative and judicial oversight of executive power,
further hampering Kurdish political representation and access. This essay provides an
overview of these developments and argues that democratic struggles and the Kurdish
question in Turkey are more intertwined than ever. A broad cross-ethnic coalition represents
the only viable way out of the current predicament.
Güneş Murat Tezcür (Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2005) is the Jalal Talabani Chair of Kurdish Political Studies and the director of the Kurdish Political Studies Program, the first and only
academic unit dedicated to the study of Kurdish issues in North America, at the University of
Central Florida. His research on political violence, politics of identity, and democratisation has
appeared in leading social science journals.
In this article Nilgün Arisan, after analysing the recent developments in Turkey–EU relations,
question whether a total rupture is possible between the parties and answers her question by
showing the low probability of such a nuclear option for both parties. Then, Arisan looks at the
constituents of a transactional relationship and seeks to show that a transactional
relationship totally based on realpolitik without any reference to universal values would be
unethical and doomed to fail given the current circumstances.
Nilgün Arisan Eralp, after having worked in different government departments for 25 years on TurkeyEU relations, has started to work as the Director of the EU Center in the Economic Policy
Research Foundation of Turkey. During her time as a government official and then as a researcher
she has been a part-time lecturer in various universities in Turkey. She has numerous
publications on Turkey-EU relations.
Turkey’s domestic politics spill-over to Europe: old debates in new frames
Turkey has been experiencing an authoritarian shift, which has affected its relations with Europe in a negative way. The recent referendum on various constitutional amendments, which proposed changing Turkey’s parliamentarian system to a presidential one, caused significant domestic tensions. The fact that the Turkish diaspora also participated in this political change via extraterritorial voting also diffused the tensions to the transnational space. In this article, I discuss the consequences of contemporary Turkish politics for the Turkish diaspora in Germany and in Europe at large, and explain the reasons behind the Turkish diaspora’s so-called ‘undemocratic remittances’.
Bahar Baser is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Peace, Trust and Social Relations. She is also an associate research fellow at the Security Institute for Governance and leadership in Africa (SIGlA), Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Her book Diasporas and Homeland Conflicts: A Comparative Perspective was published by Routledge in 2015. She has two co-edited volumes forthcoming in 2017 from IB Tauris: Authoritarian Politics in Turkey (co-edited with Ahmet Erdi Ozturk) and Migration from Turkey to Sweden: Integration, Belonging and Transnational Community (co-edited with Paul levin).
The so-called Islamic State and the (slow but steady) radicalisation of Turkey
Turkey’s journey towards one-man rule and a new political system without checks
and balances turned a new corner with the disputed national referendum on 16 April 2017.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won new powers from voters, which confirmed his
consistent efforts over years to transform Turkey from a secular western democratic
country into a political Islamist and authoritarian police state. Erdogan once said that
democracy, for him, is not the objective but rather a tool, comparing it to a bus within a
journey. “Once I get to my stop, I will get off.” Apparently, after highly controversial elections,
Erdogan has arrived at his stop, and he has gotten off the democracy bus. This article
analyses how Turkey has come to this juncture, what this change means for Turkey’s
domestic and international politics, and how it will influence Turkey’s foreign policy towards
the west and the security of the region.
Ahmet S. Yayla, is Adjunct Professor of Criminology, law, and Society at George Mason
University. He is also senior research fellow at the International Center for the Study of
Violent Extremism (ICSVE). He formerly served as a professor and the chair of the sociology
department at Harran University in Turkey. He also served as chief of the counterterrorism
and operations department of the Turkish National Police in Sanliurfa between 2010 and 2013.
He is the co-author of the newly released book ISIS Defectors: Inside Stories of the Terrorist
Turkey’s Constitutional Referendum and its Effects on Turkish Politics
This contribution analyses the presidential system of government and its impacts on Turkish
politics. First of all, this work elaborates the reasons of those who support a change of the
current political system, addressing the current parliamentary system’s crises from a historical
perspective. Subsequently, it explains why the system change was possible during the AKP
era, even though different political parties have made efforts regarding this issue in the past.
In this section, it refers to those crises that emerged within the system
particularly during the AKP era. Furthermore, it addresses the crises’ facilitating role with regard
to the people’s acceptance of the system change. In the third section, reasons for the AKP-MHP
agreement, which was reached subsequent to the 15 July coup attempt, are addressed. The
fourth part focuses on the presidential system of the government’s constitutional framework.
In the final part, the transition period to the new system of government and the system’s impacts
on Turkish politics are elaborated.
Nebi Miş is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Sakarya University and the Director of Political Studies at the SETA Foundation. His areas of research interests include political systems, democratisation in Turkey, political parties, civil-military relations and security politics in Turkey
Burhanettin Duran is Professor at Ibn Haldun University and General Coordinator of SETA Foundation. Prof Duran has been focusing on the transformation of Islamism, Turkish Political Thought,
Turkish Domestic Politics, Turkish Foreign Policy and Middle Eastern Politics.