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This week's editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Hay’at Tahrir al Sham’s gamble: the failure of blood

As HTS grows at the expense of others, opposition representatives will continue to lose negotiating power in the Astana and Geneva talks, leaving Assad and Russia only one option with which to end the war.

Contemporary border architectures where human and nonhuman join

The steel police cordon has most recently been sighted in Slovakia, testifying to the ironically global circulation of enclosure discourses and mechanisms.

UNESCO’s normative failure: the case of Gülmen and Özakça

In the face of institutional failure in defending democracy and basic rights, civil society action is the last line of defence.

Is the world finally breaking its silence on Turkey?

"Members of my staff are sad not just for their friends, but for their country. What will it take for the world to break its silence?"

The trauma of the attempted military coup as observed from a college campus in Istanbul

“However over-optimistic it may sound, I focused on a growth mindset and transferred it to focusing on creating a change in our emotional state.”

Fear and loathing in Turkish academia: a tale of appeasement and complicity

Can fear explain the loathing that the victims of this ‘academic cleansing’ are exposed to, often by their own colleagues? Could insecurity justify the complicity?

Can mosques and minarets be tools for democracy?

If anyone has doubts about the predominance of a strain of political Islam in Turkey, this week they should be watching Turkey’s mosques. Part two of three.

The governor is busy

No matter how large or crowded Istanbul becomes, the centralized government structure does not change. There is always a single governor... Part one of three.

Turkey’s fight against Gülen in the South Caucasus

The Turkish authorities’ fight against real and imagined enemies in the Gülen movement has now reached Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Legal recognition of transgender people in Turkey: will the court seize the historic opportunity?

A couple of months ago, a local court judge in Edirne filed a plea to the Court of Constitution of Turkey to revoke the compulsory sterilization requirement for the recognition of transgender people.

The 'success' of political Islam in the Kurdish context

We need to go beyond the dichotomy between radical and moderate Islam to see how Islamist movements impose hegemony at local, national and international levels.

Media in Turkey before, during and after the referendum

Would giving the No campaign equal media access have changed the results of the Turkish Constitutional referendum? We will never know, but the damage was already done.

“A homeland that wants to kill us”

"This hatred overdose and systematic lynch campaign is something that none of us were prepared for. We are civilian citizens whose only 'crime' is to demand peace." An open letter.

Turkey’s presidential referendum and the (not so) curious case of the Turkish diaspora in Europe

Maybe it is time Europe looked at itself in the mirror and started discussing why more and more people, including Europeans, are walking away from the much-vaunted “liberal European values”.

Turkey: the rigged referendum and implications for economic fragility

Following in the footstep of the rating agencies, investment banks were busy building up a self-fulfilling prophecy before and after the Turkish referendum of 16 April, 2017.

The Sultan is dead, long live “Başyüce” Erdogan Sultan!

Erdogan’s desire to install a presidential system in Turkey has been inspired by Kisakurek’s ‘Basyuce’ concept as the representative of the Sunni majority.

"It was women who made the color of the referendum purple and its spirit NO!"

The secondary position to which women were relegated was endorsed, not silently and privately, but publicly and vocally, by high-profile dignitaries of the AKP, including Erdogan himself. This helped violence.

Tunisi’s dream, Erdogan’s nightmare

“Our principles remind us that not justice, but oppression will inevitably result from an unrestrained one-man rule that is unaccountable, unchecked and unstoppable…”.

Turkey’s united front against Kurds and democracy

The political success of the Kurds – the colonized – has intimidated not just the authoritarian AKP and ultranationalist MHP but also the nationalist, secularist, so-called social democratic CHP.

The Ala-Turca presidency: old wine in new bottles in the Kurdish case

Erdogan may require a more pragmatic approach to the US and Russia, hence indirectly with the PYD and Assad, to open up space for himself in the region’s politics.

Why Turkification will never work

A country as heteregenous as Turkey can't be held together by an autocrat, so what to do?

The Turkish referendum and Bild

A tale of two deep states?

What went wrong with Turkey’s referendum?

As illiberal democracy is becoming more the norm than the exception in the world, Turkey’s referendum is another missed historical opportunity.

To be or not to be: the future of opposition in post-referendum Turkey

In post-referendum Turkey, it is not just Erdoğan and his supporters but the opposition as well who refuse to recognize their adversaries as legitimate – an explosive formula.

The masses have spoken, but not all hope is lost, for Turkey’s democracy

This inherent ability to cancel itself out is democracy’s paradox:  to “sow the seeds of its own destruction”, succumbing to the electoral will of the majority.

A hollow referendum

Instead of articulating a brand-new direction for the country, the referendum simply served to legitimize and solidify the powers that President Erdogan has held since July 2016.

Badly-timed, ill-conceived and fraudulent, yet Turkey’s opposition could be the one to gain from Erdoğan’s presidential referendum

The Turkish political system will have to reach a new level of democratic maturity, to challenge Erdoğan’s monopoly of office in a way that would bring forward positive change.

The making of a demagogue: how Erdoğan became Turkey's strongman

Ece Temelkuran’s Turkey: the Insane and the Melancholy (2016) chronicles Erdoğan's paranoid style of politics and his lurch into authoritarian populism.

Turkish referendum that is not

Even when it is obvious that a given regime is a dictatorship or a particular election an utter sham, one has to act as if it is not in order to reproduce the democratic system.

Turkey's 'special refugees'

In Turkey's story, the western gaze is searching for new victims. Yes, I fled Turkey with my three year old daughter, but am I that victim?

The passive revolution of Islamists in Turkey

It is sometimes said that theories are fishing nets in which to catch the truth. Let us apply Gramsci’s net to some daily debates taking place in Turkey.

Reconsidering Turkish military culture and secularism after the coup attempt

How did Turkish military culture transform under the rule of AKP? And what will be the impact of the failed coup attempt on the results of the upcoming referendum in Turkey?

Does Turkey’s ongoing purge resemble the 1933 Enabling Act in Nazi Germany?

In both cases, through democratic processes authoritarian rule is imposed on a previously fairly democratic country.

Injustice is the foundation of the new Turkish state

With the media focusing on Erdogan’s April referendum, it is easy to lose sight of, or cover up, the tensions and serious abuses in the Kurdish areas in the south-east of the country.

Time for the west to fight for the exiled

Today’s autocrats are displaying a growing audacity in their willingness to pursuing dissenters everywhere, blatantly disregarding national boundaries in the process.

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