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This week's editor

NSS, editor

Niki Seth-Smith is a freelance journalist and contributing editor to 50.50.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

"To demand peace is not a crime": Turkish academics on trial

President Erdoğan's attack on academics and freedom of speech calls into question whether Turkey will ever comply with the Copenhagen Criteria which govern EU accession.  But does Turkey care?

The state of regional Kurdish politics: divided as ever

The confidence that prevailed in Kurdish streets in the aftermath of the Kobane victory is now replaced by a growing sense of abandonment and misery, with nationalism its natural expression.

Turkey’s presidential transition, done the hard way

Erdoğan is successfully pushing the HDP further to the margins and the HDP seems to be taking the bait doubly pressed upon them by Erdoğan and the PKK.

The Turkey–EU refugee deal and how to really solve 'the problem'

Unless there is mobilisation to provide a better life for those in underdeveloped parts of the world, the 'problem' of people's desire to migrate in search of a better life will persist.

The EU-Turkey deal: unjust and short-sighted

Sending citizens who are fleeing one authoritarian regime to another authoritarian regime will only result in more anger, frustration and extremism in the years to come.

Bombings in Turkey – a blip on your newsfeed?

The world is closer together than ever, conflicts spilling over state borders and challenging their very existence. It is time for resistance and solidarity to travel across borders with the same fluidity.

Muros de odio y temor, en Europa

Necesitamos fronteras, pero éstas no tienen por qué ser barricadas. English

European walls of hate and fear

We do need borders – but these needn’t be barricades. Español

Zombie politics: Europe, Turkey and the disposable human

Who will think of the EU as a global actor with normative power, now that it finds itself in the role of rubberstamping and in fact facilitating Turkey's slide into the abyss?

Europe in despair: refugee crisis and press freedom in Turkey

Europe needs to show that it actually cares about the cornerstones of democracy by putting pressure on Ankara to restore the free flow of information and ideas. 

Extend-and-pretend comes to the refugee crisis

Erdogan is not doing this just for the money. Turkey is legitimately concerned about its security situation and needs European and American help to resolve it.

The gentrification-education cycle in Istanbul’s gated communities

Any encounters that exist between newcomers and long-term inhabitants end at the school gate.

The other "Turkeys"

There are as many Turkeys as there are people living within its borders. Is it really a good thing that we rely on proving the worth of other places and other lives by pointing out how similar they are to our own?

Nonviolent strategies to defeat totalitarians such as ISIS

Military might has little success against violent terror organizations. If nonviolent strategies seem impractical, it is an even greater naiveté to think armed solutions can be the answer.

Dispatch from the Balkans

It is guarantees of safe passage and access to asylum that are crucial, not border fortifications. We must respect the universal basic right to seek asylum.

Relocating IPSA 2016 from Istanbul: one right, two wrongs and many traitors

The declaration leaves Turkey alone with its knotty problem, putting it into the same basket with all the other countries unsafe from a western perspective.

Can the Kurdish question be settled by killing people in Sur?

"Allow us, let us take these people out alive. The state will lose nothing if a civilian group is involved."

Dams and democracy: has the last word been said on Hasankeyf?

That modernization will provide a remedy to all ills is a founding Turkish Republican idea that has proven to be also the most resilient one.

Floating or sinking? The state of democracy in Turkey and the rise of the HDP

This just serves to highlight the pessimistic state of Turkish democracy today. What is more, it should certainly not be assumed that the HDP are the great democratic hope of Turkish politics.

A turning point for Turkey’s Kurds and parliamentary democracy

Ultimately, the fate of Turkish democracy appears to be intertwined with that of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP).

Rise and fall of the dream called HDP

President Erdoğan's readiness to circumvent elections shows that promises to end the conflict were contingent on securing a mathematically permanent conservative-nationalist electoral bloc.

Cizre, don’t forgive us!

Nobody asks who those are in the basement, or why the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H) would open fıre on an ambulance which comes to pick up those wounded people.

In Turkey, the regime slides from soft to hard totalitarianism

The resemblances to interwar Italy are unmistakable, and the results are gradually turning out to be almost as fatal.

For expats in the Middle East

A quick guide on how to avoid accidental racism when discussing your problems or experiences living in the Middle East.

Holding a wake for the Turkish press

European leaders have mostly stayed silent. Neither Francois Hollande of France nor Angela Merkel of Germany have spoken out about major Turkish infractions of justice and free speech.

Turkey’s other ‘Gezi’ moment

There were two Gezi moments: one, a resistance to neoliberal authoritarianism; the other, a defence of representative democracy and ‘the national will’, for whom Gezi spelt the end of democracy.

What can we expect from the EU-Turkey deal over the lives of Syrian refugees?

EU and international organisations welcome the Turkish Government’s policy changes to curb the number of refugees entering Europe. But if this will work remains to be seen.

Unchanging state security policies in southeast Turkey

The region’s people already know quite well that any policies pursued in the region are military-related, and have not brought peace but only more conflicts.

Turkey alone can’t solve Europe’s refugee crisis

Just throwing money at Turkey while ignoring the systemic discrimination against refugees in the country will do nothing to help solve the crisis.

Emotion and protest in Turkey: what happened on 19 January, 2007?

Those gathering spontaneously after the assassination of Hrant Dink have been part of the Gezi movement — in a non-violent way, manifesting their desire to be the Subjects of their own lives.

Waiting in limbo: a human security perspective on the refugee crisis in Europe

After a long negotiation process, the European Union has hammered together a plan to admit 120,000 Syrian refugees. Yet there is still a lot of uncertainty about how the member states are going to integrate the newcomers.

The fateful marriage: political violence and violence against women

Pervasive and diverse, instances of violence against women can only be fully comprehended in the political contexts that give them purpose and meaning.

Turkey is doing the dirty work of Europe’s immigration control

The EU mini-summit held in Brussels on the November 29 agreed a deal to keep more refugees in Turkey and out of the EU. What does this mean for those already in Turkey, now excluded from the EU's protection?

Sur: urban renewal in the Southeast Anatolian war zone

While the Turkish government claims that all original residents will be able to return to Sur, it is likely that, similar to what happened in New Orleans, many of those who have fled will not come back.

Smear campaign against Academics for Peace

A peace manifesto circulated by many Turkish academicians against the political war being conducted by the Turkish Government in the Kurdish region of Turkey has prompted a severe reaction. 

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