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About Murat Belge

Murat Belge is editor of Iletisim Publishing House and Yeni Gündem and is Head of the Department of Comparative Literature at Bilgi University.

Articles by Murat Belge

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Turkish winners matter for debate, loser certain

The really important issue for AKP is to come to a decision about party policy. Do they endorse the Erdoğan style of "making politics"?

Reading Ahmet Davutoğlu's comments

President Erdoğan, no doubt, sees this as the culmination of an Islamic administrative system—a system which, during the brief periods it worked, could be considered "democratic", in the 8th or 9th century.

The trials of free speech in Turkey

Murat Belge, one of the Turkish journalists facing trial in Istanbul over public discussion of the 1915 Armenian massacres, sees his case as an emblem of Turkey's struggle against the country's anti-democratic "deep state".

'Love me, or leave me?' The strange case of Orhan Pamuk

Orhan Pamuk, the renowned Turkish writer, was charged in September 2005 for “publicly humiliating” Turkey and is currently awaiting trial. His compatriot Murat Belge explains how this son of Istanbul has become a scapegoat for a paranoid press, and looks at the wider implications for Turkish national identity.

Between Turkey and Europe: why friendship is welcome

Turkey’s possible admission to the European Union is often framed in terms of what’s good for Europe. But what do Europeans know of Turkey and what of Europe is good for Turkey? Surveying more than fifty years of transformation, one of Turkey’s leading journalists charts how the military, reformists, business, leftists, Islamists and others have struggled to define Turkey’s future, and asks how it is that social conservatives now find themselves in a leading role for integration to the progressive European project. For Turkey to succeed, he says, foreign NGOs must help their counterparts in Turkish civil society.

Bombs on Istanbul

The primary target of the suicide bombings of Jewish and British institutions in Istanbul was Turkey itself. Will the assaults explode the delicate political balance of forces in this “secularist Muslim” country?

The Turkish refusal

Turkey’s triple role in the Iraq war confounded many experts. While its neo-Islamist government supported the US invasion of Iraq, and its military refrained from major incursion into the Kurdish-controlled north, its parliament refused help to American forces. Turkey’s relations with the US were strained, yet without any diplomatic benefit from the EU to compensate. The crisis has shifted the political ground under Turkey’s feet. Who will design the new maps?

Turkey - normal at last?

The new leader of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is touring Europe in the wake of his massive electoral victory, to advance his country's negotiating process over entry into the European Union. But Erdogan's AK party is pro-Islam and he himself was banned from standing for office. One of Turkey’s most distinguished commentators takes us through the tensions and paradoxes brought to a head by Erdoğan’s success.

Radical Islam and 9/11: inside the fundamentalist mind

The abstract universalism that produces extremist violence is rooted in the modern intellectual and psychological complexes of the Islamic world, says Murat Belge.
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