Former Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has become a target of harsh criticism from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan because of a statement he made on a TV program about the revival of the “Kurdish initiative." Arınç had said on television that he believed Erdoğan was aware of the understanding reached in a meeting at Dolmabahçe Palace between Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan and members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples'
Many people in Turkey accuse me and my colleagues of suddenly becoming aware of the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) mistakes only after it started pressuring the Hizmet movement. These people include some liberals, some democrats, some leftists and almost all Kemalists. They keep claiming that we did not criticize the AKP when the Hizmet movement had good relations with the AKP. What we have been trying to tell them is this: Until 2011 when the AKP wa
Five years gone, and -- as a pundit put it -- still no “critical mass” in sight for any party involved in the nightmarish Syrian conflict, higher risks are just around the corner. Aleppo's fate is key for what will take place in the coming months. At the moment, the orchestrated campaign by President Bashar al-Assad's forces and the Russian military has produced further mass exodus, giving the civilian dimension the highest priority.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has visited Turkey and met with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu three times in a short period. Turkey has been receiving Berlin's love in doses that it would never expect to have had. Yet the reason for this "heightened" interest is no secret: the refugee crisis. If Aleppo is seized by Iran and Hezbollah forces with Russian air support, it is a known fact that hundreds of thousands of refugees will flock to the T
Let's start with the “şark” (east). Here we are, some 90 years later, returning to the infamous “Reform Plan for the East” (Şark Islahat Planı) of 1925. The “Master Action Plan for Rehabilitation and Struggle Against Terror,” revealed by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on a visit to Mardin, involves forced relocation, reconstruction and city planning, military reinforcement, assimilation efforts and fines. These strategies are
It looks like instead of a pivot to Asia-Pacific, Washington is unwillingly stuck in a Cold War paradigm that keeps repeating itself in relations with Russia. The White House decided to request a fourfold increase in military spending for operations in Eastern Europe, presumably in support of its NATO partners against increasing tensions with Russia. The move is hardly surprising. The Obama administration has long been criticized by its critics for appeasing Moscow
After some data on the education level of people originating from Turkey and now living in France and especially their children (French-Turks) shared in my first article (http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist/sami-m-akgonul/who-are-the-french-turks-article-1-education_411684.html) I will now focus on their professional lives. I remind that this d
Dear European tour and travel operators, While putting pen to paper to make my usual pre-typing handwritten notes, I decided to go online and search for the details of a particular bomb attack that occurred in London back in 1983. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) had planted a device that led to the deplorable deaths of six innocent people and resulted in a further 90 being injured at landmark department store Harrods. The timing was no coincidence, either: mid-Decem
My recent research into America's Muslim community showed that when asked the question: “If you recently moved somewhere new in the United States, how would you find a faith community for yourself?”, the answer widely given by Muslims, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, or social status, was, “I would go to the nearest mosque.” In general, mosques have a crucial place in Muslim communities. While mosques play political, economic
Article 23 of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) says: “Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. Everyone who works has the right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented,
A series of serious domestic problems has led Turkey to shelve the entire EU accession process for a while. But the immigration crisis and the responsibilities pushed onto Turkey in light of this crisis have brought about a chance for the re-enlivening of the accession process, even if in a forced way. Through the letter sent by EU Commission head Jean Claude Junker to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, it emerged that a decision had been made to open up a n