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Turkish Parliament Faces Deadline on Draft Constitution

May 3, 2013

“The sun is about to set, we need to make a decision before it gets dark,” Cemil Cicek, speaker of the Turkish Parliament and member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said today [May 3], as the Erdogan government’s patience runs thin in trying to persuade the members of the parliament’s Constitution Reconciliation Commission (CRC) to forge a new contract between the state and the citizens — as the AKP sees fit.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/05/turkey-parliament-constitution-draft-deadline.html#ixzz2mS3hngp1

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Turkey’s Trouble at the Border

May 2, 2013

Two recent developments concerning the painfully long Syrian civil war illustrate how Turkey is challenged to keep order at its border. First is the issue of massive numbers of Syrian refugees continuing to flow into Turkey, and the second is Turkey’s dubious preparedness in the face of a potential chemical warfare threat.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/05/turkey-syria-border-trouble-security-deteriorating.html#ixzz2mS3CnF8G

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Turkey, Israel Determined to Leave Mavi Marmara Behind

Apr 29, 2013

Will Israel’s March 22 apology and the April 22 start of compensation negotiations for the deaths of nine Turks aboard the Mavi Marmara affect Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s approach to the Middle East?

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/04/turkey-israel-flotilla-incident-past.html#ixzz2mS2j7hpj

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Moral Choice Leads to Political Solution in Syria

Apr 25, 2013

Not that morality and national interests are contradictory and mutually exclusive, but morality is never prioritized over national interests in affairs of state. While it is understandable that the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) is expressing full disappointment for a lack of a firm decision even after the meeting of NATO foreign ministers on April 23, the oppositions’ unwavering stand in refusing to sit at the negotiation table with the Assad regime may also be found morally questionable. The issue is not how murderous Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is. The world is well aware of what he is capable of doing to his own people. The issue is that no one with a sound mind can actually guarantee that a foreign military intervention in Syria will resolve the crisis and end the bloodshed. The gravity of the crisis is way more complicated than a black-and-white approach in appealing for a foreign military intervention.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/04/political-solution-syria-turkey-moral-choice.html#ixzz2mS2LEuFO

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Turkey Relieved Obama Did Not Use ‘G’ Word

Apr 24, 2013

“Today, we commemorate the Meds Yeghern and honor those who perished in one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century,” President Barack Obama said today [April 24]. “Ninety-eight years ago, 1.5 million Armenians were massacred or marched to their deaths in the final days of the Ottoman Empire.” He then went on to say: “I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view has not changed. A full, frank and just acknowledgement of the facts is in all of our interests. Nations grow stronger by acknowledging and reckoning with painful elements of the past, thereby building a foundation for a more just and tolerant future.”

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/04/armenian-genocide-obama-anniversary-speech.html#ixzz2mS1yyQ3R

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Erdogan’s Many Positions on the Kurdish Issue

Apr 23, 2013

There’s been much debate in Turkey and abroad as to whether Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has the right policies to end the Kurdish armed movement. Erdogan’s statements tackling the issue provide the best indicators available to assess whether he has a clear mind in addressing it, and whether the process is as transparent as claimed.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/04/erdogan-kurdish-issue-flip-flop-turkey-peace.html#ixzz2mRwRiC3q

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Friends of Syria Deliver Nothing New

Apr 21, 2013

“Enough of the ongoing bloodshed,” Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said during the opening of the press briefing early Sunday morning [April 21] after a six-hour meeting of the Syrian opposition and its 11 main foreign supporters in Istanbul. But the question for the past two years since the Syrians took arms to bring down Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime remains unanswered: How will this bloodshed end?

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/04/syrian-opposition-radical-elements-wester-arms.html#ixzz2mRveTsVh

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Palestinians Doubt Erdogan Will Visit Gaza

Apr 19, 2013

Although Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the Palestinian issue his vehicle to move Turkey closer to its Muslim neighborhood, and earned an unprecedented popularity on the Arab street like no other Turkish leader, he may be risking for the first time losing the support of at least a part of the Palestinian population if he chooses to travel to Gaza toward the end of May, before the Palestinian rift between Fatah and Hamas can be reconciled. And it seems the chances of overcoming this separation by then are dim.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/04/erdogan-gaza-visit-hamas-fatah-maarouf.html#ixzz2R0nPCGdo

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Turkey’s Backward Freedom Agenda

Apr 17, 2013

In the last few days, two deeply troubling court decisions brought to light Turkey’s double standards in respecting freedom of expression and religion. While historic churches risk being converted to mosques in Turkey, world class concert pianist Fazil Say has been given jail time for insulting Muslims. Something seems to have gone terribly wrong in how the Turkish nation develops its sensitivity to freedom and democracy.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/04/religious-freedom-speech-fazil-say-turkey.html#ixzz2R0n5Z5XW

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Turkey’s Mixed Human Rights Record

Apr 16, 2013

Although it yielded no result so far, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), or Turkey’s main opposition party, submitted a proposal to the speaker of the parliament on Jan. 22 to inquire about the alleged torture suffered by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “We propose opening a parliamentary inquiry in order to determine when, where, and how the prime minister was tortured,” the CHP statement read, demanding that the torturers be identified and held responsible for this heinous crime.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/04/turkey-human-rights-mixed-record-trials-kurds.html#ixzz2R0mi2EtJ

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