Turkey

US-Turkey tensions mount over resolution on Armenian genocide

By Justus Leicht, 9 March 2010

While newspapers in Germany and other European countries have interpreted the adoption of the Armenian resolution by the US House Foreign Affairs Committee as a setback for Obama, the Turkish media see it more as an American-Israeli attempt to exert pressure on Turkey.

Senior military officers arrested in Turkey

By Justus Leicht, 26 February 2010

The arrest of a number of senior officers has brought the long-festering conflict between the government and the military in Turkey to a new climax.

Turkish foreign policy: growing conflicts with the West

By Justus Leicht, 20 January 2010

Tensions have been growing in the relations between Turkey and Israel for some time, and a major foreign policy crisis was only recently averted at the last moment.

Turkish Constitutional Court bans Kurdish party

By Justus Leicht, 16 December 2009

Turkey’s highest court has ordered that the Kurdish nationalist Democratic Society Party (DTP) be disbanded and has banned a number of its functionaries from holding political office.

Turkey: The Kurdish question takes centre stage

By Kerem Kaya, 31 August 2009

In recent weeks, the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government has taken steps—since dubbed the “democratic process”—towards addressing the Kurdish question through peaceful rather than military means.

Turkish unions agree to sell-out contract for public workers

By Sinan Ikinci, 10 July 2009

The Turkish trade unions have played a crucial role in the decline in living standards experienced by workers during the past 15 years.

Turkish economy in freefall

By Sinan Ikinci, 7 July 2009

The latest statistics reveal the devastating impact of the economic crisis on Turkey.

Dramatic decline in Turkish wages

By Sinan Ikinci, 30 June 2009

Figures recently released by the Turkish Statistical Institute reveal that in the first quarter of 2009, as Turkey was being hit hard by the global financial crisis, not only real wages but also nominal wages in industry decreased substantially.

Document points to alleged military plot against Turkish government

By Sinan Ikinci, 23 June 2009

On June 12, the daily newspaper Taraf published a new document, which allegedly reveals fresh plans by the Turkish military to discredit and destabilize the ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Turkish unemployment soars to record level

By Sinan Ikinici, 20 May 2009

Despite platitudes from the Turkish government seeking to assure the population that a recovery is “around the corner,” unemployment has soared to its highest level ever.

Massacre in Kurdish area highlights Turkey’s “village guard” system

By Justus Leicht, 13 May 2009

Gunmen from a local “village guard” killed 44 people at a wedding party in the mainly Kurdish-populated region of Turkey on May 4.

Turkey: Metal workers protest threat of wage cut

By our correspondent, 24 April 2009

Turkish steel workers have demanded details of contract negotiations from the leadership of the Türk Metal trade union.

Right-wing nationalists win Northern Cyprus elections

By Sinan Ikinci, 22 April 2009

The right-wing nationalist UBP (National Unity Party), led by Dervis Eroglu, won a landslide victory in Sunday’s early national elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC).

Obama visit signals increased role for Turkey and greater tensions

By Kerem Kaya, 17 April 2009

The recent visit by US President Barack Obama to Turkey confirms that the US plans to build up Turkey as a regional policeman to secure US interests in the Caucasus, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Obama pursues US strategic interests in Turkey

By Bill Van Auken, 7 April 2009

In his two-day visit to Turkey, President Obama sought to distance himself from the disastrous foreign policy legacy of George W. Bush while pursuing the same strategic interests of US imperialism that motivated the wars launched by his predecessor.

Turkey: Municipal elections reveal deep socio-political divisions

By Sinan Ikinci, 1 April 2009

Losses for the ruling AKP reflect a growing political polarisation in Turkey. The results represent the first electoral setback for the AKP since 2002.

Turkish municipal elections dominated by economic, political crisis

By Sinan Ikinci, 27 March 2009

Municipal elections scheduled for March 29 in Turkey are bringing into sharp relief the impact of the global economic crisis and the internecine warfare between two factions of the ruling elite, the Islamists and Kemalists.

Turkish unemployment at record rates

By Sinan Ikinci, 18 March 2009

Unemployment in Turkey has risen to record levels, with many branches of industry in free-fall.

Turkey: 12 years since the last military intervention, new coup feared

By Sinan Ikinci, 2 March 2009

Twelve years after the Turkish military last presented an ultimatum to the Islamist-dominated coalition government, there are growing discussions in Turkey of the dangers of a military coup.

40,000 demonstrate against Turkish government as economic crisis deepens

By our correspondent, 18 February 2009

In a protest organised by the Turkish trade unions, some 40,000 people demonstrated in Istanbul February 15 against the AKP government. The unions themselves have lost membership and credibility.

Union bureaucracy victimizes militants at Turkish factories

By Sinan Ikinci, 30 January 2009

The Turkish trade unions have collaborated with management to isolate and victimize militants at factories as the economic and financial crisis has deepened.

Further slump in Turkey’s industrial output

By Sinan Ikinci, 13 January 2009

Unemployment figures and the decline in industrial output are reaching record levels as a slump grips Turkish industry.

Eyewitness report of metal factory occupation in Turkey

7 January 2009

We are posting a news report sent to the World Socialist Web Site by a reader from Istanbul.

Turkish trade unions collaborate in imposing poverty wages

By Sinan Ikinci, 29 December 2008

The Turkish trade unions have collaborated in setting a new minimum wage that fails to meet elementary requirements for workers.

Recession looms for Turkish economy as job losses accelerate

By Sinan Ikinci, 18 December 2008

Turkish economic growth slowed in the third quarter, hitting a six-year low. Gross domestic product expanded by only 0.5 percent. Worse is yet to come.

Turkey hit hard by international finance crisis

By Sinan Ikinci, 8 December 2008

Prime Minister Erdogan is expressing unfounded optimism about the Turkey economy, even as industrial output plunges and the jobless rate continues to rise.

Turkish economy heading toward recession

By Sinan Ikinci, 13 November 2008

Turkey’s industrial output declined for the second consecutive month in September, according to figures released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) on Monday. Factory after factory is halting production, both temporarily and permanently.

Turkey: Financial crisis hits textile industry

By Sinan Ikinci, 11 November 2008

The Turkish economy has entered a deep and protracted decline, hitting the textile industry particularly hard and threatening the jobs and living standards of millions of working people.

Turkish court provides explanation of its ban on headscarves

By Sinan Ikinci, 30 October 2008

Turkey’s Constitutional Court has provided a long-awaited explanation of its annulment of constitutional amendments that served to ban Muslim headscarves.

Turkey: Another political detainee tortured and killed in prison

By our reporter, 15 October 2008

Turkish police, prison officers and gendarmerie tortured and killed 29-year-old Engin Ceber, who had been arrested along with three others while distributing a legal magazine in Istanbul.

Turkish manufacturing sector hit hard by financial crisis

By Sinan Ikinci, 11 October 2008

On Wednesday, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) announced that industrial output, a leading indicator of economic growth, decreased in August at a 4 percent annual rate. In August 2007 industrial production in Turkey increased by 6.3 percent.

As the international finance crisis intensifies

Turkish economy falters

By Sinan Ikinci, 1 October 2008

Turkish prime minister and leader of the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a televised address to the nation on Sunday to inspire confidence in the markets and proclaim the resiliency of the country’s economy in the face of the ongoing global economic crisis.

Corruption scandal shakes Turkish building workers union

By Sinan Ikinci, 13 September 2008

A massive corruption scandal has erupted in the Union of Road Building and Construction Workers of Turkey, revealing that the union leaders have been pocketing huge sums of money and engaging in other corrupt activities.

Georgian conflict poses dilemma for Turkey

The “Straits Question”

By Sinan Ikinci and Peter Schwarz, 9 September 2008

Given the proximity of Turkey to Georgia and its intense economic and political involvement in the region, the Turkish government’s reaction to the conflict between Georgia and Russia has been remarkably muted.

Turkish trade unions oversee sackings of tyre workers

By our Turkish correspondent, 20 August 2008

Just a month after the Union of Petroleum, Chemical and Rubber Industry Workers of Turkey (Lastik-Is) ended a two-week strike in northwest Turkey, the companies involved have begun discriminatory dismissals, targeting workers who are known for their opposition to the union leadership.

As inflation soars

Real income losses for Turkish workers

By Sinan Ikinci, 11 August 2008

On August 4, the Turkish Statistics Institute (TUIK) announced that in July Turkey’s inflation rate rose to 12.1 percent from 10.6 percent in June. The annual rise in inflation was only 6.9 percent over the same period last year.

Turkey’s economic indicators worsen

By Sinan Ikinci, 8 August 2008

On July 26, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Nazim Ekren announced that the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government has decided to establish a committee, comprised of government officials, representatives from the private sector as well as academics, to develop a long-term solution to the country’s longstanding current account deficit.

Turkish courts impose ban on YouTube

By Kerem Kaya, 6 August 2008

On May 5, all access to the popular video-sharing web site YouTube was banned in Turkey. YouTube was banned in connection with a video that allegedly insulted Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey. The ban continues up until today and is the longest ban of a web site in the history of Turkey.

Dormitory collapse in Turkey kills 18

By our Turkish correspondent, 5 August 2008

On August 1, at around 5:00 a.m., a gas explosion at a three-story girls’ dormitory in a remote district of Konya—a city in central Turkey—led to the death of 18 girls and the injury of many others. The building, which partially collapsed, was being used for a private, unlicensed Koran-study course.

Constitutional Court rules against ban on Turkey’s ruling party

By Sinan Ikinci, 2 August 2008

On July 30, Turkey’s Constitutional Court rejected the chief prosecutor’s demand to permanently shut down the ruling Islamist AKP (Justice and Development Party) and ban Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President Abdullah Gul and 70 other leading AKP members from political office for a period of five years.

On eve of court case to ban AKP

Turkish prime minister blames PKK for Istanbul terror attacks

By Sinan Ikinci and Stefan Steinberg, 29 July 2008

On Sunday, Istanbul, Turkey’s major city and economic centre with 12 million inhabitants, was rocked by two successive bomb blasts in the residential neighbourhood of Gungören at around 9:45 p.m., killing at least 17 people and injuring more than 150. Many of the injured are in critical condition.

Istanbul police attack municipal workers

By our Turkish correspondent, 19 July 2008

Some 2,000 municipal workers trying to stage a peaceful protest in Istanbul July 17 as part of a labour dispute were violently attacked by Turkish riot police.

Armed attack on US consulate in Istanbul

By Sinan Ikinci, 11 July 2008

On July 9, at about 10:30 a.m., a group of assailants opened fire on police in front of the US consulate in Istanbul. A gun battle ensued in which three police officers and three of the four attackers were killed.

Turkey: Coup plot arrests deepen political crisis

By Sinan Ikinci, 7 July 2008

With the arrests of 23 people in the early morning hours of July 1 on charges of involvement in an alleged coup plot, the bitter struggle within Turkey’s state apparatus has escalated sharply.

Strike by Turkish tyre workers ends with real wage losses

By our Turkish correspondent, 21 June 2008

On June 13, the Union of Petroleum, Chemical and Rubber Industry Workers of Turkey (Lastik-Is) ended a two-week strike at four factories of three multinational rubber companies. On June 14, 4,000 tyre workers returned to their jobs with substantial real income losses.

Turkey’s Constitutional Court re-imposes ban on Muslim headscarf at universities

By Sinan Ikinci, 9 June 2008

On June 5, Turkey’s Constitutional Court took another critical step towards unseating the governing Islamist AKP (Justice and Development Party) by annulling recent constitutional amendments permitting women students to wear the Muslim headscarf at universities.

Turkish tyre workers strike Bridgestone, Goodyear and Pirelli

By our Turkish correspondent, 5 June 2008

Approximately 4,000 workers—members of the Union of Petroleum, Chemical and Rubber Industry Workers of Turkey (Lastik-Is)—went on strike late Saturday, May 31, at four tyre production facilities belonging to the multinational corporations Bridgestone, Pirelli and Goodyear.

Turkey: Conflict escalates between government and judiciary

By Sinan Ikinci, 29 May 2008

The conflict between the Kemalist establishment and the elected government of the Islamist AKP (Justice and Development Party) led by Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan has reached a new peak.

Turkish youth hit hardest by unemployment

By Sinan Ikinci, 16 May 2008

A recent report by the UN’s global development network, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), entitled “Youth in Turkey,” paints a grim picture of the future prospects for Turkish youth. According to the report, of the 12.4 million young people aged 15-24 (almost 18 percent of the total population), only 30 percent go to school and 30 percent work. This means that almost 40 percent, or 5 million young people, have no proper education and/or are unemployed.

Turkish government pledges new attacks on workers

By Sinan Ikinci, 15 May 2008

On May 9, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) convened and completed the seventh review of its standby arrangement with Turkey, which was given final approval on May 11, 2005. The Letter of Intent for the review dated April 28 reveals that the AKP (Justice and Development Party), which heads the Turkish government, is preparing new attacks on the working class.

Turkey: May Day demonstration in Istanbul brutally suppressed

By our correspondent, 5 May 2008

On May 1, Turkish riot police savagely attacked peaceful demonstrators with clubs and fired pepper spray and water cannon to prevent them taking part in a May Day rally heading to Taksim Square, the central meeting place in Istanbul.

Turkish jobless rate increases dramatically

By Sinan Ikinci, 23 February 2008

According to recent data published by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), the country’s official unemployment rate once again neared the crisis level of 2001, rising to 10.1 percent in November 2007. One year ago, unemployment stood at 9.6 percent.

Turkey: Amnesty International documents attacks on democratic rights

By Sinan Ikinci, 8 February 2008

On January 14, Amnesty International published a memorandum addressed to the Turkish government highlighting serious problems regarding the human rights situation in the country. The memorandum underscores that not only do major problems remain unaddressed, but that the situation is deteriorating.

Professor sentenced for criticising Turkish founder

By Sinan Ikinci, 31 January 2008

On January 28, Atilla Yayla, a professor of political science at Gazi University and the president of the Association for Liberal Thinking in Ankara, was sentenced to 15 months in jail for allegedly insulting Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey. The charge arose from a speech made by Yayla in Izmir more than a year ago.

Turkey: Workers protest against betrayal by trade union confederation

By Sinan Ikinci, 11 January 2008

On January 2, a group of workers conducted a protest in the Turkish capital of Ankara against Turkey’s biggest trade union confederation, the Confederation of Labour Unions of Turkey (Turk-Is). Turk-Is is supporting the implementation of a woefully inadequate new minimum wage announced by the Minimum Wage Fixing Commission a week ago.

Turkey: 15-month strike ends with betrayal by union bureaucracy

By Sinan Ikinci, 28 December 2007

On December 18, the Union of Petroleum, Chemical and Rubber Workers of Turkey (Petrol-Is) and the management of German-Italian owned Fresenius Medical Care signed a contract covering some 300 workers at Novamed, a manufacturer of bloodline and kidney dialysis equipment located in the Antalya Free Trade Zone of Turkey.

US backs Turkish military attacks on northern Iraq

By Peter Symonds, 19 December 2007

With the backing and assistance of the Bush administration, the Turkish military has launched two attacks in the past three days on Kurdish villages in northern Iraq. While targetted against the guerrilla forces of the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the operations are threatening to provoke a broader conflict involving Turkey and Iraq.

Scores of migrants drown as boat sinks off Turkish Aegean coast

By Sinan Ikinci, 14 December 2007

According to the latest official data, at least 49 people drowned when a boat carrying dozens of migrants sank December 8 off Turkey’s Aegean coast. Some of the rescued would-be migrants stated that there were around 70 people in the boat. However, according to the information given by the Coast Guard to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number was 85. These people had reportedly set sail from a southern Mediterranean country en route for Turkey.

Turkey: Assaults on freedom of expression continue

By Sinan Ikinci, 7 December 2007

Ragip Zarakolu, owner of the Belge Publishing House and chairman of the Committee for Publishing Freedom, is facing up to three years in prison for publishing a book by a British-Armenian author, George Jerjian, entitled The Truth Will Set Us Free. The book deals with the mass deportations of Armenians in 1915 and chronicles the life of Jerjian’s Armenian grandmother who survived the genocide with the help of an Ottoman soldier.

Conflict between Turkey and the US intensifies

By Peter Schwarz, 17 October 2007

The conflict between Turkey and the US over the question of military intervention by the Turkish military in northern Iraq is intensifying.

Turkish government gives green light for military intervention in northern Iraq

By Peter Schwarz, 15 October 2007

The Turkish government has given the army a green light to cross the border and conduct a military action in Iraq. A crisis group chaired by President Abdullah Gül gave permission October 9 for the military to intervene against the separatist Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK) in neighboring northern Iraq.

Turkey: Referendum planned for direct election of president

By Sinan Ikinci, 6 October 2007

Just three months after the national elections on July 22, which resulted in a landslide victory for the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkey will hold a popular vote on October 21 on a controversial constitutional change allowing the election of the president by popular vote. Voting at Turkish border posts has already begun.

New Turkish government prepares assault on working conditions

By Sinan Ikinci, 21 September 2007

The program of the 60th Turkish government, formed under the conservative Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) and led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was approved in parliament on September 5. In the national elections on July 22, the AKP won a landslide victory and has now formed a single-party government.

Turkey: Abdullah Gül sworn in as president

By Justus Leicht, 6 September 2007

On August 28, the Turkish parliament confirmed former foreign minister Abdullah Gül as the country’s 11th president. Gül, from the Islamist AKP (Justice and Development Party), received the votes of 339 of the 550 deputies, 63 more than necessary. He only succeeded in a third round of voting, when an absolute majority was sufficient, having failed to gain the required two-thirds majority in the first two rounds.

Serious water shortage in Turkey

By Sinan Ikinci, 22 August 2007

Ankara, Turkey’s capital and home to more than 4.5 million people, has been in the grips of a serious water shortage for the last three weeks.

Turkey: Textile firms demand wage freeze, layoffs

By our correspondent, 13 August 2007

On August 8, the Union of Textile, Knitting and Garment Industry Workers of Turkey (TEKSIF) announced that it could not reach an agreement with the Turkish Textile Employers’ Association (TUTSIS). The union gave notice of its intent to call a strike by 11,000 workers at 17 companies.

Fifty-five years after founding, Turkish union confederation a bureaucratic shell

By Sinan Ikinci, 11 August 2007

Turkey’s biggest trade union confederation, Turk-Is, which was founded on July 31, 1952, is currently celebrating 55 years of existence. Any celebration, however, is largely limited to the corrupt trade union bureaucracy and ignored by the Turkish working class. The total membership of Turk-Is has fallen to a historical low of 450,000-500,000.

Washington, EU welcome AKP victory in Turkish elections

By Stefan Steinberg, 25 July 2007

Business, finance and political circles in the United States, the European Union and within Turkey itself reacted positively to the victory of the conservative Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan in national elections held Sunday.

As the Turkish military provocatively shells northern Iraq

Social tensions at the forefront in run-up to Turkish parliamentary elections

By Sinan Ikinci and Justus Leicht, 21 July 2007

On Sunday, July 22, Turkey will vote for a new parliament. The fact that these elections are taking place in July and not, as scheduled, in November is a reflection of the profound divisions in Turkish society. The Turkish army has sought to directly intervene and increase tensions in the run-up to the election by deliberately shelling Kurdish-occupied positions in northern Iraq on Wednesday. While the Iraqi government condemned the shelling, the Turkish government led by Prime Minister RecepTayip Erdogan has so far refused to criticise the military provocation.

Amnesty International report on Turkey: failure to punish perpetrators of torture

By a correspondent, 14 July 2007

A new report published by Amnesty International on July 5, entitled “Turkey: The entrenched culture of impunity must end,” clearly demonstrates that torture, ill-treatment and killings continue to be practiced with impunity by the security forces in Turkey.

Turkish army intervenes ever more openly in political life

By Justus Leicht and Sinan Ikinci, 11 July 2007

The Turkish army is intervening ever more openly into political life as the country’s July 22 parliamentary election approaches.

Turkish military flexes its muscles in northern Iraq

By Peter Symonds, 7 June 2007

Reports of a Turkish military incursion into northern Iraq yesterday have highlighted the escalating tensions between the two countries along the border. In recent weeks, Turkish leaders have repeatedly warned that the Turkish army would take action against separatist Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) camps in Iraq, if US and Iraqi forces failed to do so. The PKK has waged a guerrilla war inside Turkey for more than two decades.

Turkey: Political allies of military move to unseat moderate Islamist government

By Sinan Ikinci, 4 June 2007

Last week the leadership of the Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) publicly announced that its election strategy to unseat the ruling moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) would be based on criticisms of government corruption and the practice of parliamentary immunity. According to the declaration, the CHP leadership and its temporary ally, the Democratic Left Party (DSP), will emphasise that the AKP has failed to deal with these two closely interlinked issues, although they promised the opposite to the Turkish electorate before the 2002 national elections.

Turkey: Constitutional Court stops presidential election

By Justus Leicht, 3 May 2007

Following a thinly veiled threat of a coup by the military, the Turkish Constitutional Court issued a ruling on Tuesday halting the country’s presidential election. The head of the government, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, immediately responded by proposing new parliamentary elections.

Political tensions increase as Turkish presidential elections approach

By Kerem Kaya and Sinan Ikinci, 16 April 2007

As presidential elections approach, Turkey’s political tensions are continuing to intensify both domestically, between the Kemalist establishment and the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, as well as internationally, between the Turkish establishment and the Iraqi Kurds.

A damning report on attacks against free speech in Turkey

By our correspondent, 3 April 2007

On March 26, the Freedom to Publish Committee of the Turkish Publishers’ Union issued an alarming report on the state of free speech in Turkey. The report lists the large number of book confiscations and prosecutions of writers, editors and translators tried and sentenced in 2006 and the first quarter of 2007. The report is dedicated to the memory of Hrant Dink, a well-known Turkish-Armenian journalist who was killed by a 17-year-old fascist assassin on January 19 in Istanbul in front of his paper’s (bilingual Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos) office.

IMF and Turkish government agree to new attacks on workers

By Sinan Ikinci, 28 March 2007

On March 9, the International Monetary Fund issued an edict to the Turkish authorities signalling a new wave of far-reaching attacks on Turkish workers in both the public and private sectors.

Turkey: Kurdish nationalists and left groups move towards electoral bloc

By Sinan Ikinci, 21 March 2007

With national elections set to be held in Turkey on November 4, political parties on both the right and “left” are increasingly engaged in unprincipled horse-trading. Plans and proposals to form electoral blocs are floated frequently and get considerable coverage in the media. An indispensable part of this process is the mutual political recriminations between competing bourgeois factions.

Turkey: depressed prices sparking farmers protests

By Sinan Ikinci, 12 March 2007

Turkish hazelnut estimates for 2006-2007 show a significant excess supply, putting huge downward pressure on prices of the key agricultural and export commodity and threatening the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of farmers. This will be the second blow to Turkish farmers after excess supply last year led to hazelnut prices plummeting to around 2.5 YTL per kilo from the previous year’s level of 7 YTL.

The background to the murder of Turkish journalist Hrant Dink

By Sinan Ikinci, 27 January 2007

On January 19 Hrant Dink, the well-known Turkish journalist of Armenian origin, was murdered in broad daylight on the streets of Istanbul by a right-wing assassin. Dink’s murder is the tragic result of a wave of nationalism and chauvinism spearheaded by the Turkish military, supported by its “civilian partners,” which has terrorized the country over the last few years.

Freedom of speech under continuing attack in Turkey

By Sinan Ikinci, 27 October 2006

Last week, a court in Istanbul began hearings against the Turkish publisher, editors and translator of the book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman. The charges related to Article 301 and Article 216 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).

Turkey: A new military intervention in the making

By Sinan Ikinci, 20 October 2006

Two weeks ago the high command of the Turkish military, with the full support of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, launched a new campaign against the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. The campaign takes place within the context of US war preparations against Iran and a general increase of anti-Islamic propaganda in all Western countries. Without offering the slightest support for the reactionary AKP government, one must recognize that this military intervention represents a genuine threat to the Turkish population.

What lies behind the terrorist attacks in Turkey?

By Justus Leicht, 7 September 2006

At the end of August, five bombs exploded within 24 hours in three Turkish cities, killing three people and injuring more than 120, among them many foreign tourists. Besides Istanbul, the tourist destinations of Marmaris and Antalya were targeted by the bombers.

Mass protests by Turkish farmers

By Sinan Ikinci, 29 August 2006

On July 30, Turkish farmers held a 100,000-strong demonstration in the northeastern Black Sea city of Ordu to protest the policy adopted against hazelnut producers by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Turkey: Police brutality intensifies along with the political crisis

By Sinan Ikinci and Kerem Kaya, 25 August 2006

Last week, daily papers in Turkey reported widely the case brought by Cigdem Nalbantoglu before a Republican Court against the conduct of police officers, including women, in Istanbul’s Beyoglu district. She stated in her complaint that the police assaulted, beat and threatened her in the course of a random street search.

Turkey: Protests in Istanbul against Israeli aggression

Islamic organizations seek to dampen opposition to government

By our correspondent, 8 August 2006

On August 4, hundreds of Islamic fundamentalists took part in demonstrations at several Istanbul mosques, including the Fatih and Beyazit mosques, which are strongholds of radical Islamic organizations, following Friday prayers. About 500 people took part in each demonstration.

Turkey: privatised oil-refinery firm slashes 800 jobs

By Sinan Ikinci, 1 August 2006

On July 26 management of the recently privatised oil refining company Tupras (Turkish Petroleum Refineries Corporation) announced the first stage of its restructuring plan, which calls for the destruction of 828 jobs (16 percent of its total workforce) nationwide. Before the current retrenchment the company employed nearly 5,000 workers.

Turkey: Twelve dead and hundreds injured in Kurdish protests

By Justus Leicht, 6 April 2006

During the past week, violent protests and demonstrations have taken place in the predominantly Kurdish southeast of Turkey, particularly in the regional metropolis of Diyarbakir. On Monday, 12 demonstrators were shot dead by security forces, including three children. More than 300 people were injured, including over 100 policemen. Several hundred Kurds were arrested, and in Diyarbakir and other southeastern cities, the Turkish army intervened with armoured vehicles.

Turkey: public prosecutor accuses general of involvement in terrorist attacks

By Justus Leicht, 21 March 2006

A bomb attack carried out last November in the southeastern Anatolian city of Semdinli has provoked sharp conflicts within the Turkish ruling elite. The controversy centers on charges related to the attack brought by a public prosecutor from the city of Van against Yasar Büyükanit, the head of Turkish ground forces.

Turkey: Court drops prosecution of writer Orhan Pamuk

By Justus Leicht, 6 February 2006

An Istanbul court last month ended the trial of Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk on technical grounds. In many similar but lesser- known cases, however, journalists, writers, human rights activists and politicians have been prosecuted and convicted to prison sentences or fines.

EU in crisis over Turkish membership

By Justus Leicht, 18 October 2005

Negotiations for Turkey’s accession to the European Union began officially on October 3. The diplomatic wrangling in the run-up to these negotiations and the implications of Turkish membership show clearly that the EU represents neither the genuine unification of Europe nor a social and democratic project.

Turkey: trampling on free speech continues

Novelist Orhan Pamuk faces jail terms

By Kerem Kaya, 8 October 2005

The prominent Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk will be tried on December 16 and faces up to four years imprisonment on charges of “public denigration” of Turkish identity for publicly speaking out about the Armenian genocide. It is estimated that more than one million Armenian were killed between 1915-1918 during World War I when the Ottoman Empire—the precursor of the Republic of Turkey—was crumbling.

Turkey: corruption scandal erupts in Tek Gida-Is trade union bureaucracy

By our correspondent, 8 September 2005

Tek Gida-Is, the Union of Tobacco, Alcoholic Beverage, Food and Related Industry Workers of Turkey, has been shaken by allegations of corruption. Amid claims of widespread corruption in the central office of the union, the chairman, Korkut Guler, has resigned, citing the allegations as the reason.

Turkey: poverty increases with economic expansion

By Kerem Kaya and Sinan Ikinci, 11 June 2005

Despite the expanding Turkish economy, the figures recently released by the State Institute of Statistics (DIE) point to growing poverty in the country. According to DIE figures, in 2003 the number of individuals living in poverty exceeded 20 million. This represents close to a third of the population (29 percent) and an increase of 5 percent—close to a million people—in the number of poor from the previous year.

Turkey: IMF plan demands new attacks on working people

By Sinan Ikinci, 30 May 2005

On May 12, Turkey signed a new three-year, $US10 billion loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

Turkey: military’s nationalist campaign conceals rapprochement with US

By Justus Leicht, 18 May 2005

During the past seven weeks a wave of chauvinism has swept through Turkey. Initially aimed against the Kurds, its real target is the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and its orientation towards membership in the European Union (EU). The nationalist hysteria has not emerged spontaneously from the population, but has been manufactured by a faction of the state apparatus, especially the military and security forces, supported by organized fascistic bands.

Turkey: union leadership intervenes to end paper workers’ struggle

By our correspondent, 15 March 2005

The 51-day workers’ occupation of Turkish Cellulose and Paper Factories (SEKA) in Izmit, northwest Turkey, came to an end March 11, after some 700 factory workers accepted an offer by the Turkish government.

Turkey: union bureaucracy works to sabotage paper workers’ occupation

By our correspondent, 10 March 2005

On March 4, in cities across Turkey, tens of thousands workers from several industries remained at their workplaces to demonstrate their solidarity and support for the SEKA paper workers, who have been occupying their factory in Izmit, northwest Turkey, since January 20. The SEKA workers took action to oppose the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government’s plan to shut down the plant and turn it over to the local council.

Turkey: paper workers occupy factory

By our correspondent, 25 February 2005

More than 700 workers together with family members have occupied the Turkish Cellulose and Paper Factories (SEKA) in Izmit, northwest Turkey, since January 20. The SEKA workers oppose the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government’s plan to shut down the plant and turn it over to the local council. There is also strong community support for the action undertaken by the SEKA workers.

Turkey’s train wreck: a tragedy rooted in the drive for profit

By Sinan Ikinci, 2 August 2004

A new express train linking Istanbul to Ankara derailed on the evening of July 22 in the country’s northwest, killing 38 and leaving 80 injured.