Must try harder

Turkish Review - - CONTENTS -

ithout a shadow of a doubt, democ­racy in Turkey has made huge strides since the found­ing of the repub­lic in 1923. In the 21st cen­tury in par­tic­u­lar, ac­knowl­edge­ment that the coun­try is not a monolithic Sunni-Tur­kic en­tity is in­creas­ingly com­mon, bring­ing with it greater recog­ni­tion for mi­nor­ity groups. But the process of de­moc­ra­ti­za­tion from the coun­try’s au­thor­i­tar­ian roots to the mod­ern day repub­lic has not been un­in­ter­rupted, nor does its path con­tinue to run smooth. This is­sue Turk­ish Re­view ad­dresses Turkey’s demo­cratic re­port card, and finds much room for im­prove­ment.

An opin­ion piece from As­soc. Prof. Oğuz Dilek (Zirve Uni­ver­sity) ques­tions the ma­tu­rity of Turk­ish democ­racy, dis­cussing what he de­scribes as the “his­toric op­por­tu­nity for a more in­clu­sion­ary form of democ­racy” that has pre­sented it­self in re­cent years.

A re­port from re­searcher Lisa Rep­pell, mean­while, looks at Turkey’s track record with the Euro­pean Court of Hu­man Rights, and what it re­veals about the health of Turkey’s jus­tice sys­tem -- an in­dis­pen­si­ble el­e­ment of the coun­try’s demo­cratic ap­pa­ra­tus.

Mov­ing from Turkey to the greater re­gion, an ar­ti­cle by Prof. Howard J. Wiarda (Uni­ver­sity of Ge­or­gia, Cen­ter for Strate­gic and In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies) and Megan Louns­bury (Uni­ver­sity of Ge­or­gia) ad­dresses the pos­si­bil­i­ties for democ­racy in MENA, Turkey in­cluded.

Re­main­ing in the Mid­dle East, a re­port from Asst. Prof. Sotiris S. Li­vas (Io­nian Uni­ver­sity) re­views me­dia cov­er­age of Turkey there, and what it says about the evo­lu­tion of Turkey’s rep­u­ta­tion and sta­tus in MENA.

In De­part­ments, Staff Writer Yonca Poyraz Doğan speaks to Joost Lagendijk, colum­nist at Za­man and To­day’s Za­man, and lec­turer at Sü­ley­man Şah Uni­ver­sity, and Prof. Levent Köker of Atılım Uni­ver­sity’s Law Fac­ulty about Turkey’s demo­cratic cre­den­tials. The Last Word fea­tures Prof. Dr. Sami Selçuk (Bilkent Uni­ver­sity), who dis­cusses the re­la­tion­ship be­tween democ­racy and the rule of law.

And fi­nally, Staff Writer Asst. Prof. İsa Afa­can (Turgut Özal Uni­ver­sity) presents three re­ports on Turkey’s demo­cratic cre­den­tials for Think Tank Tracker: the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion’s 2014 Turkey Progress Re­port; a re­port from Carnegie Europe (a di­vi­sion of the Carnegie En­dow­ment for In­ter­na­tional Peace); and an ar­ti­cle within an edited vol­ume by Isti­tuto Af­fari In­ter­nazion­ali (IAI).

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