With presidential elections just three months away, Turkey’s May-13 Soma mine disaster, the country’s largest, has proven a huge political embarrassment for the government. Yet despite national protests, Ankara’s response stops short of addressing the larger issue of mine-safety.
The deepening Ukrainian crisis is placing Turkey in a difficult diplomatic position. At stake for officials in Ankara are Turkey's commitments to its Western allies and its cultural kin, Crimean Tatars, against its economic and political relationship with Moscow.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s apparent landslide victory in Turkey’s recent local elections is giving him a boost as he seeks his ultimate political goal – the establishment of a strong presidential system of government, analysts say. But amid allegations of government corruption, abuse of power and election fraud, will social unity be left curbside in the process?
The Russian-Ukrainian crisis over Crimea is forcing Turkey into a delicate balancing act: Ankara feels a need to be seen as a protector of the peninsula’s Tatar minority, yet it does not want to vex Russia’s paramount leader Vladimir Putin in a way that complicates Turkish-Russian economic arrangements.
Cyberspace is becoming a key battleground in a political struggle in Turkey connected to allegations of high-level government corruption. The latest casualty is the popular US-based audio-sharing website SoundCloud.
The escalating turmoil over corruption allegations against Turkey’s political elite is now threatening the ruling Justice and Development Party’s greatest achievement – Turkey’s economic growth. With national elections looming in the future, that threat could affect the party’s 11-plus-year hold on power, some local observers believe.
A senior Turkish minister’s call to turn Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia from a museum back into a mosque is stoking a dispute between Turkey’s Islamist-rooted government and the country’s Orthodox Christian community.