This week's guest editors

This week's window on the Middle East - April 14, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week, Contempt and humiliation greet the first Papal visit to Israel in 50 years.

Turkish elections: money and the media

Measures aimed at limiting reporting by major independent news resources allowed Erdogan’s media to create an unquestioned atmosphere of electoral victory.

Erdogan’s choice: between hubris and sustainable peace

Erdoğan and his cabinet have represented their win as ‘certain victory’ against all oppositional political movements. But this is not the whole reality.

In Turkey's political contest, rule of the law is the real loser

The events of the past three months threw a stark light on the way the AKP government and Gülenists used the justice system in the past for common political ends. The result has been a clear erosion of the rule of law. Turkey’s voters deserve better than that.

Exploring Erdoğan’s unwavering support in Turkey

The fear of possible military coups have never left the collective imaginary of all forms of Turkish public, including the conservative constituency.

Turkey’s election failings may lead to yet another legitimacy crisis for Erdoğan

In line with the AKP government’s rudimentary understanding of “democracy” that considers it synonymous with elections, Erdoğan has reiterated countless times that the solution to all problems, including the allegations against his government, lay in that holy of holies: the Ballot Box.

Syria: Kessab's battle and Armenians' history

The takeover by anti-Damascus rebels of an Armenian village in northern Syria, near the border with Turkey, has triggered a propaganda war which focuses on the position of Syria's Armenians. This highlights core aspects of Armenians' experience since the 1915 genocide, says Vicken Cheterian.

Reports of Turkey’s authoritarianism are not greatly exaggerated

If there is going to be a serious discussion about whether the AKP’s electoral supremacy has triggered authoritarian tendencies, the starting point has to be the recognition that such practices can co-exist with a representative, democratic system.

Turkey’s local elections, Erdoğan and the spectre of Gezi

People in Turkey are being forced to see the world as a zero-sum game between Berkin and Burakcan, to embrace one and condemn the other.  Erdoğan is trying his absolute best to pull as many voters as possible into his nightmare where the "terrifying" presence of Gezi  is most deeply felt.

Turkey, the EU, and civil society: An incomplete revolution

Turkey’s campaign for EU membership has revolutionized funding for its civil society, but there is still a long way to go. A contribution to the openGlobalrights debate, “funding for human rights.” Türkçe

What happened to the 'Turkish model'?

The only guarantee of a consolidated democracy in Turkey is the emergence of a new coalition to balance the increasing power of the government vis-à-vis society. 

Opposition, the AKP and democracy in Turkey

Political life in Turkey is increasingly undemocratic and authoritarian. How can this institutional weakness be overcome? 

Politics makes biased fools of us all

With tapes of voice recordings of Erdogan being leaked, whether they are authentic or not, what we believe today is what we want to believe.

But Gezi showed us

This is a negotiation between Erdogan’s neoliberal and individualist Turkey, and a Kurdistan where communal threads, both radical and conservative, run deep. But Gezi and the Kurdish movement stand on the same side in AKP's divided nation and people keep coming to protest.

Corruption, Islamism, and Twitter in Turkey

Erdoğan has consolidated the executive, legislative, and the judicial powers under his authority; yet he has been unable to control another source of power— Twitter.

The unbearable burden of being an intellectual in today’s Turkey

The motto 'we will let neither the assailants nor the sufferings they have inflicted upon us determine our future' seems quite fitting for both past and current generations of Turkish thinkers. Is this the only way to keep one’s sanity in an open-air nuthouse?

Anti–westernism in Turkey

Erdoğan now adopts the same rhetoric of his political opponents even though they were imprisoned for attempting to overthrow his government. This anti-western, conspiracy-driven rhetoric may lead to a point of no return.

Can Turkey handle free and fair elections?

The AKP government has been fervently pushing through legislation ahead of crucial local elections in March 2014 with the air of a heavily wounded giant whose actions are not the result of intelligent calculation or rationality so much as an instinct for survival.

This week's window on the Middle East - February 18, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week, Photojournalism in the Palestinian Territories.

Turkey, the EU and Syria: reprioritising refugees’ rights and needs

Turkey, historically a laggard on taking in refugees, is showing the EU in a poor light on accepting Syrian asylum-seekers.

Turkish human rights and EU accession: the Gezi Park protests

What started out as a peaceful protest by environmentalists in Gezi Park in 2013 has engendered only government contempt for the freedoms of speech and assembly. The implications, in relation to Turkey’s chances of accession to the EU, are clear.

Understanding Erdoğan’s toxic recrimination in Turkey

It is fair to say that Turkey's government has no particular ideas and vision, no systematic critique of anything, no attachment to any particular text. That is why it has been going nowhere in particular.

Turkey’s new internet law: policing the online mall

Since the protests in Gezi Park eight months ago freedom of expression has coming under increasing attack, both on and offline. A new law now threatens digital civil society further, handing the government excessive and arbitrary power to monitor the web.   

The inconvenient truth about child brides

It is easy for states to ratify all the necessary conventions and take all the necessary legal steps in outlawing child marriages. However, it is the very social system that produces child brides that should be put under investigation.

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