100 years of…
It’s not so very long since Turkish Review Vol-3/3 took a closer look at Turkey’s relations with the countries of the South Caucasus. In Vol-5/2, however, the focus is on just one of these neighbors: Armenia. April 2015 sees the relationship between Yerevan and Ankara come under the spotlight, and this issue explores the origins of the countries’ troubled relations.
An opinion piece from researcher Nareg Seferian examines the evolution of the Armenian Cause. He underlines that any meaningful, long-term resolution to the Armenian-Turkish issue needs planning that is equally meaningful and long-term. Meanwhile İstanbul Bilgi University’s Esra Elmas addresses the centenary that falls on April 24, 2015, and its significance, in particular for Turkey’s remaining Armenians. Elmas tackles this issue in the context of a recent publication by the Hrant Dink Foundation (HDV), “The sounds of Silence III: Armenians of Ankara Speak.” (More information on the HDV can be found in this issue’s NGO Watch, prepared by Turkish Review’s Esra Nur Eygören.)
Two Views this issue also looks at the centenary of the mass killings of Armenians during the Ottoman Empire. Yonca Poyraz Doğan presents strikingly different interpretations of events from Prof. Arus Yumul of İstanbul Bilgi University and former Turkish diplomat and head of the Ankara-based Center for Eurasian Studies (AVİM) Alev Kılıç. On a similar theme, Last Word features an interview with Turkish Review Editorial Advisory Board member Prof. Ronald Grigor Suny (University of Michigan, National Research University in Saint Petersburg, University of Chicago), who looks at the influence of the events of 1915 on the birth of the Turkish nation-state.
Remaining on the subject of Turkey’s minorities, an article from Sedef Erdoğan Giovanelli (İstanbul Bilgi University) examines the fate of Turkey’s Greek Orthodox Christians since the 19th century, with a focus on the Black Sea region’s Sumela Monastery. She also sheds light on the ways in which Ankara’s cultural heritage policies overlap with the thorny issues of nationalism and Muslim identity in present-day Turkey.
Returning to the current agenda in Turkey, journalist Noah Blaser looks at the ways in which the manic pace of national news has granted the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) reprieve from issues that are unpopular with its voters. Blaser focuses in particular on the president’s history of starting highly polarizing debates over Turkey’s most sensitive cultural disputes.
Finally the first opinion piece in the journal; writer and broadcaster Jonathan Fryer assesses the situation of the anti-Islamic State coalition in the light of recent regional developments.