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Could ISIS Take Over Turkey?
How Powerful Is Turkey?
Earlier this month, a terrorist attack at a peace rally in the Turkish capital of Ankara killed nearly 100 people. It was the deadliest attack of its kind in modern Turkish history. Many looked to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to unite the country in the wake of such a tragedy, but, as detailed in this edition of TestTube News, the Turkish leader remains a controversial figure. Erdogan has a history of corruption and scandal. Although Erdogan has been a popular figure at times, he is struggling to bring Turkey together today as it faces some extreme challenges.
One of the major issues in Turkey is the Kurdish population and its call for independence. Separatists have been fighting with the Turkish government for years, although tensions have become increasingly violent in recent years. Kurdish leader Selahattin Demirtas quickly blamed the deadly bombing on Erdogan's administration. Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been in power for 13 years. For a time, Erdogan seemed equipped to tackle some of Turkey's biggest challenges: balancing secular and religious communities, fighting inequality, navigating negotiations between Turks and Kurdish militias.
Now, the population is deeply divided between government supporters and anti-government movements. In addition to internal conflicts, Turkey is fighting against ISIS forces in Syria as well as Kurdish separatists. It'll be worthwhile to keep an eye on Turkish parliamentary elections, slated to take place in early November.
The End of the Erdogan Era? (newyorker.com)
"Whether abroad or at home, it's easy to get disheartened by democracy: sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But every now and then a moment arrives that wipes away our doubts and reaffirms our hopes in the wisdom of the democratic idea. "
A "Kurdish Reset": Erdo?an's Last Chance? (turkishpolicy.com)
"The recent resurgence of PKK violence, coupled by a noticeable lag in the constitutional reform process, has led critics to assume that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an's promises to the Kurds, Turkey's largest minority population, were insincere."
Erdogan's Rivals Accuse Turkish Government of Arming Radicals in Syria (vocativ.com)
"Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdo?an's government stands accused of funding Islamist militants in Syria-maybe even Al Qaeda-by backers of his political rival in the latest twist of a knock-down, drag-out war of accusations between Turkey's Islamist power brokers."
Turkey worst jailer of journalists for second year in a row (cpj.org)
"For the second consecutive year, Turkey was the world's leading jailer of journalists, followed closely by Iran and China."