Building up a Terror-Free Future
That Turkey is having tough times is nothing new. The country has been having domestic and international challenges for a relatively long time and the last week was no exception. The week passed amidst major internal and external debates and developments. While Turkey is struggling hard to find a definitive solution to the PKK, ISIL and PYD-YPG terrors, disheartening comments voiced by the country’s allies do not make things easier. As it has been repeatedly emphasized by the President and the Prime Minister Turkey is determined to remove terror from the country and to take any necessary legitimate measure to this end.
The Parallel Establishment
Meanwhile, the determination of the Turkish state to eliminate the parallel-state establishments continue as before. A significant move in this regard came on last Friday when an Istanbul court decided to appoint trustees for Zaman newspaper which is being accused of supporting a criminal organization led by U.S.-based cleric Fetullah Gülen. Despite the arbitrary and baseless claims accusing the government of using the judiciary for political ends Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the move was "legal, not political".
The trustees entered the headquarters of Feza Media group, which includes Turkish Cihan News Agency, Today's Zaman and Zaman dailies, Aksiyon magazine along with Zaman Kitap, under police supervision. On Saturday, contracts of Zaman's editor-in-chief Abdülhamit Bilici and English-language daily Today's Zaman's former editor-in-chief and columnist Bülent Keneş's contracts were terminated.
Official Visits Abroad
Along the domestic developments Turkey aims to further its international relations. Thus, following his South America tour some time ago the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid a visit to Africa. Bilateral trade between Turkey and all of Africa was worth $23.4 billion in 2014 while bilateral trade with sub-Saharan countries has increased tenfold since 2000, according to the foreign ministry. His visit aimed at not only furthering the economic relations but also to improve bilateral relations in general.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s visit to Iran was significant for various reasons. First of all, it was the first visit of the Prime Minister to Iran after the latter reached the nuclear deal with the P5+1 countries. Secondly, the foreign policy perspectives of Turkey and Iran especially over the Syrian crisis are deliberately irreconcilable. Yet that the two countries are firmly in favour of keeping the dialogue was among the best news of the week.