In April, Turkish citizens will vote on what may be the most important change to the nation’s constitution in a century, moving the government away from an often deadlocked Parliamentary system to a Presidential one, albeit with some features that will distinguish it from other such systems in the world today. While much criticism has been leveled that the proposed changes will hand too much power to the President, the fact remains the amendments are supported by what may be a majority of Turkish voters. So what accounts for this dissonance?
Belkıs Kılıçkaya explains how critics of Turkey’s proposed Presidential system miss the fact that France already has had one for decades. Cem Duran Uzun unravels the reasons behind the proposed changes to the Judiciary in Turkey, which are an attempt to make the institution more impartial, and end its historic politicization. In two articles, Ali Aslan retraces the historic anti-democratic role Turkey’s main opposition party, the CHP, has played, and how the new Presidential system is meant to force the country’s political blocks to think outside outdated notions of secular and religious identity groups. And Serdar Gülener takes a look at the criticism that the new system will do away with checks and balances between the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches.
Turkey’s war on the PKK’s terror has impacted the country for decades, but nowhere more so than in the country’s southeast, where it has displaced hundreds of thousands who were hoping to build a life in a country that is economically and socially prospering. To end the PKK’s terrorism, it is important to understand the group is responsible for the current cycle of violence, and to identify the social structures that need to be built to ensure it cannot exploit and intimidate locals again in the future. Yusuf Özkır points out how the HDP lost the political moment and betrayed the support locals gave it in 2015, opting to support a terrorist group instead of the rule of law. Ipek Coşkun examines the social structures that need nourishment in Diyarbakir to help people return to a normal life. Mehmet Solmaz reports from Brussels and takes up his unanswered questions about why the PKK enjoys full freedom in Europe.
Over the last fifteen years Turkey has emerged as a robust economy, and the standard of living for its burgeoning population has increased dramatically, but this success brings with it the challenge of meeting the energy needs of a fast-developing nation. As part of its 2023 plan, Turkey is looking to cultivate stable, reliable energy sources. Currently, more than 70 percent of Turkey’s energy needs are met by imports, mostly fossil fuels, from countries and regions that are not always politically or economically stable. A goal has been set to make renewable energy – wind, hydorelectric, solar, geothermal, and biomass – account for 30 percent of Turkey’s energy supply by 2023. In this Investigation, The New Turkey takes a look at the details of these plans, with articles by İsmail Kavaz, Erdal Tanas Karagöl, Salihe Kaya, and Ilya Roubanis.
The coup attempt, which took place in the evening of July 15, 2016 and aimed at toppling the democratically-elected Turkish government by using brutal force, was thwarted thanks to the level of democratic maturity in Turkey. The New Turkey published several articles investigating political, social, and economic aspects of July 15 resistance to the coup attempt.
Despite the long history of friendship and partnership between Turkey and Germany, there are tidal waves of symmetry and asymmetry in political relations of the two countries. Some German media groups and politicians opt for persistent and imbalanced criticism against Turkey, whereas the German Parliament’s last decision on the Armenian mass deportations in 1915 in Anatolia is expected to have deteriorating effects over the bilateral relations. The New Turkey investigated current biased representations of Turkey in Germany.
The troubling legacy of the Sykes-Picot Agreement is not just a by-gone memory but rather a haunting spirit for the peoples of the Middle East. The real actors of the region are still denied the capacity to decide their own future. In the midst of local and international political and military rivalry, Sykes-Picot remains an undying symbol of Western imperialism in the Middle East. The New Turkeyinvestigated the current repercussions of this troubling legacy through articles by Prof. Muhittin Ataman, Prof. Berdal Aral and Assist. Prof. Talha Köse.
The New Turkey investigated the future of Turkish-Egyptian relations, and discovered that there are conflicting visions and scenarios with regards to cost-benefit calculations: while some argue that a rapprochement between the two countries might bring more benefits than costs, others assert that this optimism is too naive and unrealistic. The debate, however, is expected to continue.
The debates for a new constitution resumed in Turkey. The government is determined to ensure the writing of a new constitution, in a rather participatory way, to replace the 1982 Constitution wich clearly reflects the authoritarian, statist, and tutelary mentality of its founders. thenewturkey.org investigated different aspects of the constitution-making process.