Can Turkey's government eschew gender equality, demonise the country's dynamic women's movement, and still prevent
gender-based violence? Can a party that rejects gender equality be a force for democratisation?
April 1915 saw the start of the genocide against Armenians and other minorities in the former Ottoman Empire. Erdoğan hopes he can ignore
the anniversary and it will go away—while Armenian politics is stuck in victim
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.
A wave of xenophobia is ruining the lives of Syrian refugees in Turkey where they are seen as criminals, accused of stealing jobs and responsible for anything that goes wrong. Media incitement and state inaction fuel the flames.
Turkey is known for attempts to control information contradicting
official propaganda. However, a recent deal between the Turkish Government and
a Swedish company running software to combat child porn could silence the
digital opposition permanently.
Turkey's reality is hardly the picture of unabated democratic progress that Prime Minister Davutoğlu paints. But should the AKP be judged so harshly for continuing what are, by comparison, some of the milder faults of its predecessors?
Has the Arab Spring failed to
go far enough? What kind of complicating factor is ISIS? Turkey's PM calls for a stategy to ensure democracy survives in the region–and hints at the opportunity Europe has.
Can Turkey talk about its concern for social welfare
given its rapacious capitalist practises, lack of labour rights and persisting gender inequality? Prime Minister Davutoğlu elaborates on his 9-point
The AKP government has ruled Turkey
for 12 years, presiding over dramatic economic growth and increased global prestige. Critics say that internal opposition has been silenced,
democratic freedoms trampled and corruption is still rife.
The latest crackdown on journalists in Turkey is another twist in the spiral into authoritarianism of a state bereft of an effective political opposition—with 'Putinisation' an increasingly realistic description.