Democ­racy in 140 char­ac­ters

Turkish Review - - FRONT PAGE -

s Turkey leaves be­hind a tur­bu­lent year of es­ca­lat­ing ten­sions and mul­ti­ple elec­tions, Turk­ish Re­view ad­dresses the new ge­og­ra­phy of the coun­try’s democ­racy, in par­tic­u­lar the grow­ing role of so­cial me­dia as plat­form for civil so­ci­ety ini­tia­tives and an al­ter­na­tive news source.

This is­sue in­cludes two pieces from con­trib­u­tors to re­cent ses­sions of Talk­ing TR -- a monthly se­ries of talks and dis­cus­sions from lead­ing an­a­lysts and academics on key is­sues for Turkey and the re­gion, filmed in front of a live au­di­ence. The first comes from Akın Ün­ver of Kadir Has Univer­sity, who dis­cusses Turk­ish democ­racy, how it should be con­cep­tu­al­ized and how peo­ple are con­nected to pol­i­tics through democ­racy. Next comes a con­tri­bu­tion from Erkan Saka of İs­tan­bul Bilgi Univer­sity, who ad­dresses the in­ter­twined is­sues of dig­i­tal rep­u­ta­tion and on­line in­for­ma­tion ver­i­fi­ca­tion in so­cial me­dia.

For Two Views, staff writer Yonca Poyraz Doğan in­ter­views Can Pürüzsüz, an editor at al­ter­na­tive on­line news plat­form 140journos, and Sev­can Çam­lı­dağ, a vol­un­teer for Oy ve Ötesi (Vote and Be­yond), a civil so­ci­ety ini­tia­tive that has mo­bi­lized hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple to mon­i­tor elec­tions across Turkey. Pürüzsüz and Çam­lı­dağ share their thoughts on the de­moc­ra­tiz­ing in­flu­ence of so­cial me­dia and its role as a “fifth es­tate”. Mean­while, the muz­zling of both con­ven­tional and so­cial me­dia in Turkey forms the fo­cus of staff writer İsa Afa­can’s Think Tank Tracker.

Other key top­ics on Turkey’s agenda also re­ceive at­ten­tion this is­sue. Daron Ace­moglu of the Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy talks about the Turk­ish econ­omy for Last Word (a longer ver­sion of the in­ter­view is avail­able on­line at www.turk­ishre­view.org), while the on­go­ing Syr­ian refugee cri­sis is ad­dressed in an opin­ion piece from Metin Çora­batır of the Re­search Cen­tre on Asy­lum and Mi­gra­tion (İGAM). This is­sue also in­cludes a piece on the 50th an­niver­sary of the iconic Anadol, Turkey’s first pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle to go into mass pro­duc­tion, from Eric Bryan. And fi­nally, the photo pullout of­fers a sum­mary of 2015 in pic­tures, pre­sented to read­ers with­out com­ment.

Turk­ish Re­view wishes its read­ers all the best for 2016, in the hope that the year to come will be a less trou­bled one.

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