Continuing the Struggle

All of the AKP’s provocations occur in a context where the state’s militarist strategy in Kurdistan is beginning to lose legitimacy even in the country’s west, where it used to help establish consent and stability by drawing divides between “terrorist Kurds” and “patriotic” Turks. One key element of the relative success of the AKP in making its own project hegemonic was to continue nationalist policies to bind these Turks against the “separatist terrorists,” while seeking to integrate the more conservative and religious Kurds into their project under the banner of Islam.

Turkey suspects Islamic State in blasts, but survivors blame government

Labor unions, other workers and universities throughout the country went on strike and led protests against the government on Monday, pointing to a nation dangerously polarized by unrest and violent spillover from Syria’s civil war.

Atlas Obscura: The Turkish Deep State: What Life Is Like When the Conspiracy Is Real

The origins of the deep state are usually traced to two traditions: secret organizations formed by the Turkish military, starting around the end of the Ottoman empire, and “stay-behind” counter-revolutionary forces, trained by Western intelligence agencies during the Cold War to act as a resistance if the Soviet Union ever invaded. Early in the 20th century, a Special Organization, connected to but not always governed by the military, gathered intelligence, fomented rebellions and conducted extralegal killings in the area still under control of the Ottoman empire; this group is linked, too, with the Armenian genocide at that time.

Turkish prime minister hints ISIS is responsible for suicide bombings that killed 97 in Ankara

Some members of the largely Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, or HDP, which stunned Turkey by winning enough seats in parliament in the June elections to stymie Erdogan’s ambitions, have gone so far as to accuse the Turkish president of failing to prevent the massacre.


Why is peace a threat to Turkey’s rulers?

At 40.9 percent, the AKP still won the most votes in the June election, but the HDP’s success denied the former ruling party an outright majority in parliament–and with it, Erdoğan’s plans to rewrite the country’s constitution to give the presidency greater powers.

When Prime Minister Davutoğlu failed to gain support from other opposition parties for a coalition government, new elections were set for November 1–and the regime immediately intensified political repression and state violence. Its aim is to create an atmosphere of chaos and crisis–both to win votes from the nationalist right and to reduce, by whatever means it can muster, the turnout for the left-wing HDP below the 10 percent threshold.