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About Ali Gokpinar

Ali Gokpinar is a Fulbright grantee and he concentrates on conflict resolution, peace building, and civil war from his home in Turkey. He can be  followed on Twitter @zynlgkpnr and blogs here.

Articles by Ali Gokpinar

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Comparing the Colombian and Turkish peace processes

The Colombian conflict has more factions, presenting a complex relationship between ideology, land issues and the drug industry, while the Kurdish question concerns national identity and cultural rights. So, why is the Colombian peace process more likely to succeed?

Erdoğan the peacemaker?

Can the Turkish government successfully manage the emerging conflict within the AKP, revive its foreign policy and negotiate a new relationship with political actors who severely criticize the government for its repressive and illiberal measures? Can the AKP remain the single ruling party?

Turkey's strategy for a prolonged Syrian civil war

Turkey needs to develop a sustainable Syria strategy if it wants to deter any internal and external threats and be influential in Syria's future.

Three Turkish misconceptions about Morsi

Shouldn't we truly try to understand Egyptian politics rather than defaulting to competing polarization narratives?

Sectarianism and the Copts in revolutionary Egypt

The new pope, Pope Tawadros, realizes that his base has awakened and that he needs to establish his rule. Both the church and its Pope will be much more active and demanding in Egyptian politics. 

Peace negotiations 2.0

Overall, Turkey is experiencing a hot summer what with the ongoing Gezi Parki protests, peace negotiations and the Syrian civil war.

Why use violence against peaceful protesters?

Of course many people might think that ‘public’ refers to people but in Turkey it actually refers to the state. Therefore, the laws and Turkish Constitution protect and serve the interests of the state rather than being in the service of citizens.

Neither Turkish spring nor velvet revolution

A media that does not function as a check on the government will not be able to survive in the coming days and people will definitely question business relations between the media and the government.


Labour Day in Turkey: ‘proportional force’ and irresponsible leadership

Perhaps Turkey has never used tear gas in its 90-year history as much as it has done in the last ten years.

When none of your business is revolutionary

Pigeon-holing citizens according to their religion is part of the armoury with which the Egyptian state controls its citizens. But there is a chink in the armour.

Demystifying Ocalan’s letter

There is a remarkable rise of banal and campaigning Turkish nationalism. A tension between competing national identities might challenge Ocalan’s rhetoric and the new democratic state.

Are they democrats?

The AKP has not persecuted journalists, so much as rather selectively targeted certain people and groups.


The limitations of Turkish foreign policy

The EU-Turkey accession negotiations slowed down not because Turkey was not interested but because Turkey demanded fair play in the negotiations.

Whither identity politics?

The statements of these two MP’s reveal how identity categorization has been central to the hearts and minds of Turkish citizens.

Turkish-Kurdish lasting peace, in sight?

The late Kurdish politician Serafettin Elci once said that this generation is the last Kurdish generation that has a chance to achieve peace.

The Saturday Mothers

To the memory of Mother Berfo who has searched for her disappeared son for thirty years.

Three moments in Turkey’s long path to democracy

For the first time in Turkey’s history, the top military commander stood alongside Ms. Gul and Ms. Erdogan, wives of the president and prime minister respectively, both of whom wore headscarves in the official reception at the Presidency mansion.

Remembering Maspero

Egypt needs time, but the Maspero martyrs should not be forgotten.

Whither Turkish democracy?

Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian civil war is not desired by Turkish civil society, but this it seems is the price you have to pay if you wish to be an economically and politically stable regional power.

Egyptian Copts’ reactions to the ‘Innocence of Muslims’

Recently, some figures of the Coptic diaspora condemned the film and its content as they were smart enough to see how it might harm their co-religionists as well as their own diasporic claims.

Turkey and Kurdish mirror images

Inspired by the Syrian Kurds’ recent experience, the PKK seems to have aimed at organizing a Kurdish uprising in the Hakkari and Şırnak provinces of Turkey. But do the Kurdish people support such an uprising?

Antioch: a new Tripoli?

Social tensions in Antioch, regular and relatively peaceful host to Alawites and Sunnis, have risen since the eruption of the Syrian conflict.

Still foreign powers?

How can we believe that the Assad regime, at the brink of falling in his own country, supported the PKK to lead such an attack? Even if we think irrationally and believe the Turkish government, how can we deny the existence of the Kurdish question?

Why Syrian refugees protest

While criticism of the AKP is either ideological or nationalist, the Turkish people’s reactions to Syrian refugees are marked by anti-Arab sentiments.

Nonviolent protest might accelerate the Syrian revolution

The logic of nonviolent action should be strategic and sound tactics should be used to challenge the power of Assad.

Erdogan vs women: the abortion debate

Is it a coincidence that a woman minister’s ideas overlap with many Turkish men’s ideas? We really need some of Foucauld’s understanding of state power to be able to answer this question.


Why do Turkey’s Nusayris reject an intervention in Syria?

Turkey’s criticism of Syria has provoked stern opposition from the Nusayris of Turkey, sharing the same ancestry with their counterparts in Syria, who mostly live in Antioch, home to thousands of Syrian refugees.

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