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Letter from Istanbul Bakirkoy Women's Prison

[An October 2011 report on the so-called “KCK operations,” carried out in Turkey by Prime Minister Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party for the past two years, noted that the Erdoğan government has been using the judiciary, the police, and the media to penalize all civic activism in support of ...  Read More »

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My Lonely and Beautiful Country: Recent Work on the Cinema of Turkey (Part One)

Gönül Dönmez-Colin, Turkish Cinema: Identity, Distance, and Belonging. London: Reaktion Books and Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008. Asuman Suner, New Turkish Cinema: Belonging, Identity, and Memory. London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2010. Deniz Bayrakdar, Aslı Kotaman, and Ahu Samav Uğursoy, editors, ...  Read More »

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Turkey's Foreign Policy Towards the Middle East: An Interview with Asli Bali (Part 1)

This is Part 1 of a two-part interview in which Asli Bali discusses Turkey's foreign policy interests and obejectives with regards to the Middle East. In Part 1, Asli tackels the question of whether Turkey's foreign policy positions vis-a-vis the Middle East have changed with respect to what is otherwise ...  Read More »

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The New Kurdish Movie

Turkey’s decades-old “Kurdish Question” has recently changed its trajectory. There is a new movie playing in town. The Turkish state is determined to follow a new kind of politics in order to resolve the issues that have been haunting Turkish-Kurdish relations for almost a century. In this commentary, I would like to ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Ayca Cubukcu, On Cosmopolitan Occupations: The Case of the World Tribunal on Iraq

Ayça Çubukçu, “On Cosmopolitan Occupations: The Case of the World Tribunal on Iraq,” Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 13.3 (2011): 422-442. Jadaliyya: What made you write this article? Ayça Çubukçu: The origin of this article goes back to my fieldwork with the global network of activists ...  Read More »

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AKP's Passion For Kurds: Either You Belong to Me, Or to the Courts

The collective imprisonment of political figures who are expressing the desires of the Kurdish people is an old reflex of Turkey’s state tradition. Collective arrests that started in 1959 with the imprisonment of forty-nine Kurdish intellectuals turned into collective executions in the 1990s and now—in proportion to ...  Read More »

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Turkish Politics, Kurdish Rights, and the KCK Operations: An Interview with Asli Bali

Turkey recently has witnessed a massive police operation against activists, advocates, academics, and publishers who are pro-Kurdish on the grounds of alleged links to the outlawed “Union of Communities in Kurdistan” (sometimes also referred to as the Kurdish Communities Union), known by its Kurdish-language acronym, ...  Read More »

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Van Earthquake Exposes Turkey's Ethnic Fault Lines

The recent earthquake in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish province of Van not only caused loss of life and damage, it also exposed the country’s political and ethnic fault lines. In the last two decades, there were ten earthquakes with a magnitude of six or more in Turkey. In 1999, two powerful earthquakes struck the ...  Read More »

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Turkey: Arrests Expose Flawed Justice System

[The following statement is the latest from Human Rights Watch (HRW) on domestic developments in Turkey. It was released in both English and Turkish.] Turkey: Arrests Expose Flawed Justice System Academic, Publisher Held in Crackdown on Pro-Kurdish Party (Istanbul) – An Istanbul court’s decision on 1 November 2011 ...  Read More »

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Where the Truth Lies

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Turkey, 2011. Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Once Upon a Time in Anatolia opens with a scene in which the truth is buried; it is there in front of us but hidden. The first thing we see is an image that is shot from outside a dirty window. The camera remains outside, ...  Read More »

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Urgent Appeal: Stop Arbitrary Detentions in Turkey

The international public has so far been oblivious to the so-called “KCK operations” carried out in Turkey by Prime Minister Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party for the past two years. Under the guise of “fighting terrorism,” the Erdogan government has been using the judiciary, the police, and ...  Read More »

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مصر وتركيا تجاه إسرائيل ــ وحدود المقارنة بينهما

وسط غضب المصريين لمقتل جنودهم فى سيناء والإبقاء على السفير الإسرائيلى فى القاهرة جاء قرار الحكومة التركية بطرد سفير إسرائيل وتجميد العلاقات العسكرية معها، وأثارت المقارنة حسرة فى النفوس. ولا شك أنها شكلت جزءا مهما من خلفية أحداث التظاهر أمام السفارة الإسرائيلية يوم «جمعة تصحيح المسار». غير أن علينا حين نفكر فى ...  Read More »

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The UN Palmer Inquiry and Israel's Attack on the Mavi Marmara

The UN released its report, "Secretary-General’s Panel of Inquiry on the 31 May 2010 Flotilla Incident" on Friday, 2 September 2011. The report addressed issues relating to Israel’s attack on the Mavi Marmara – which left 9 Turkish civilians dead, and some 55 others wounded – and concluded, amongst other ...  Read More »

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Legal Brief: Flotillas and the Gaza Blockade

[This legal brief is the latest from Diakonia on the Gaza blockade and the use of flotillas.] Legal Brief: Flotillas and the Gaza Blockade (July 2011) The Gaza Strip is currently under a continued naval and land blockade.[1] New flotillas are trying to reach Gaza to provide assistance to the people of the Strip. ...  Read More »

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Egypt's Path Could be Distinct from Turkey's and Iran's

It is striking that as Egypt turns a new page in history, voices as diverse as Financial Times, Le Monde and the New York Times want it to follow the Turkish model. But is the process in Turkey really repeatable? And who would stand to gain if it were taken as a model? It seems that liberals in the West and elsewhere ...  Read More »

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Another Credible Israeli Investigation

A state's investigation of its own armed forces and their conduct is not absurd--or at least it shouldn't be. In fact, the practice is encouraged in international law, which seeks to balance a state's sovereignty with universally applicable laws so to speak.  However, in the case of Israel, which has empowered ...  Read More »

About Turkey Page

Jadaliyya’s Turkey Page features exclusive and in-depth coverage by contributors on the ground in Turkey as well as outside observers, from a wide range of perspectives. We aim to enrich the coverage of Turkey throughout the English-language media, to generate new critical conversations, and to translate work being published in Turkish for an English-language audience. We welcome submissions in both English and Turkish. If you wish to contribute to this page, send your material to or click below:




Turkey Map and Stats

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Population (2016 est.): 80,274,604
Government: Republican Parliamentary Democracy
Year of independence: 1923
GDP: $856.8 billion (2016 est.); $1.698 trillion (2016 est., purchasing power parity)
Unemployment: 10.9% (2016 est.); Youth Unemployment (ages 15-24): 24.5% (est. Jan 2017)
Internet Users: 53.7% - 42.681 million (July 2015 est.)
Exchange Rate: ~ 3.5 Turkish lira per US dollar (2016 est.)
GDP Growth Rate: 2.9% (2016 est.)
Military Expenditures: 1.69% of GDP (2016) (World Rank: 35)
Health Expenditures: 5.4% of GDP (2014) (World Rank: 103)
Population Growth Rate: 5.4% of GDP (2014)
Age Structure: 0-14 years: 25.08% (male 10,303,153/female 9,833,713); 15-24 years: 16.11% (male 6,605,634/female 6,329,921); 25-54 years: 43.15% (male 17,541,137/female 17,094,141); 55-64 years: 8.36% (male 3,335,021/female 3,374,965); 65 years and over: 7.3% (male 2,603,655/female 3,253,264) (2016 est.)
Literacy: 95% (Male: 98.4%; Female: 91.8% [2015 est.])
Religious Demographics: Sunni Muslim 80-85%; Alevi Muslim 15-20%; Christian (various denominations) 0.13%; Jewish 0.03%
Ethnic Demographics: Turks 80%, Kurds 18%, Arabs 1.4%, Armenians 0.1%, and other (Assyrian, Greek Orthodox, Georgian, Circassian) 0.5%
Languages: Turkish, Kurdish, Zaza, Arabic, Armenian, Greek, Albanian, Neo-Aramaic Laz, Ladino
Area: 301,159 square miles

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