Gareth Jenkins

Gareth Jenkins is a writer and journalist resident in Istanbul, where he has been based for the last 20 years.

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Articles by Gareth Jenkins

TURKEY’S OVERHAULS ITS COUNTER-TERRORISM POLICY

On October 14 the Turkish authorities announced that the Turkish Interior Ministry would be restructured to improve coordination of Turkey’s counter-terrorism efforts (Radikal, Milliyet, Vatan, NTV, October 15). The announcement

TURKEY BITES THE BULLET

On October 10 the Turkish government announced that it was preparing to initiate a long-term dialogue with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in an attempt to increase pressure on the

TURKEY PRESSING AHEAD WITH SECOND NUCLEAR TENDER

On October 9 Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler predicted that the evaluation of the winning bid in Turkey’s first nuclear power plant tender at Akkuyu on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast would

AKP PUSHES AHEAD WITH NUCLEAR POWER TENDER

Despite calls for a delay, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is pushing ahead to award the tender for building the country’s first nuclear power plant. On September 24

DTP PRESENTS FINAL DEFENSE IN CLOSURE CASE

On September 16 the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) presented its final defense in the case filed for its closure at the Turkish Constitutional Court. Public Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya first

ALL THE PRIME MINISTER’S MEN?

Over the last week, the domestic political agenda in Turkey has been dominated by an unprecedented war of words between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Dogan Group, the

BASBUG MAKES HIS MARK

On September 4-5 General Ilker Basbug, the new chief of the Turkish General Staff (TGS), conducted a two day visit to the predominantly Kurdish southeast of the country, inspecting military

GUL ACCEPTS INVITATION TO ARMENIA

On September 3 Turkish President Abdullah Gul announced that he had accepted an invitation from Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian to attend the soccer match between the two countries in the

DEVILS AND DETAILS: AHMADINEJAD VISITS TURKEY

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Turkey on August 14 in the latest in a series of high level contacts between the two countries against a backdrop of growing international

TURKEY CAUGHT IN A DILEMMA OVER SOUTH OSSETIA

The outbreak of fighting between Georgia and Russia over South Ossetia has demonstrated the cost of Ankara’s often confused attempt at achieving a balance between becoming a regional player in

BASBUG APPOINTED CHIEF OF THE TGS

On August 4 Turkish President Abdullah Gul formally approved the appointment of Land Forces Commander General Ilker Basbug as the chief of the Turkish General Staff (TGS) to replace the

RELIEF BUT NO VICTORY FOR AKP IN CLOSURE CASE

On July 30, Turkey’s Constitutional Court narrowly voted to allow the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to remain open in the case filed for its closure by Public Prosecutor

A HAWK AND A DOVE SHARE THE DTP LEADERSHIP

On July 20, the embattled pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) elected Ahmet Turk (born 1944) and Emine Ayna (born 1968) as its co-chairs during a party congress in Ankara. As

ERDOGAN PAYS FIRST OFFICIAL VISIT TO IRAQ

On July 10 Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Baghdad in the first official visit to Iraq by a Turkish head of government since 1990 and only the

TURKEY PUSHES FOR D-8 LEADING ROLE

On July 6 Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan announced that Istanbul had been chosen as the site for the permanent secretariat of the Developing Eight (D-8) organization. Speaking after the

TURKISH POLICE DETAIN SENIOR RETIRED GENERALS

Early on the morning of July 1, the Turkish police detained 24 hard-line secularists during a series of raids in Ankara and Istanbul. Those taken into custody included retired General

GROWING INTERNET CENSORSHIP IN TURKEY

On June 18 and 19 Turkish lawyers, academics and Internet professionals met in the mountain resort of Abant in the Bolu mountains of northwest Turkey to discuss the increasing censorship

TURKEY’S LAST TABOO

On June 12 the public prosecutor in the Istanbul neighborhood of Beyoglu initiated a criminal investigation of two young women wearing head scarves who had told the host of a

NATIONAL PRIDE HAMPERS TURKISH BORDER SECURITY

National pride remains an obstacle to improved security at Turkey’s notoriously porous borders, according to a recent report by the Turkish Dogan News Agency (DHA). On May 21 DHA reported

AKP STRENGTHENS ITS HOLD ON THE TURKISH MEDIA

The May 12 sale of KanalTurk, the most fiercely antigovernment national television channel in Turkey, to an associate of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has consolidated a growing shift

Susurluk and the Legacy of Turkey’s Dirty War

On April 23 the Turkish Council of State ordered former Interior Minister Mehmet Agar to stand trial for allegedly “forming a criminal organization” in the dirty war against the Kurdistan

IS TURKEY PLAYING A REGIONAL ROLE AT LAST?

Turkey has played down hopes that it would soon be able to broker a peace agreement between Syria and Israel. “We are still at the very beginning of the process,”

IS THE END OF THE BSEC IN SIGHT?

On April 17 the organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) held its 18th meeting of members’ foreign ministers in Kiev, Ukraine. The only countries to send their foreign

PARTY CALLS FOR A COMMITTEE ON SOUTHEAST TURKEY

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) members of Turkey’s Parliamentary Human Rights Committee have called for the establishment of a subcommittee to study the relationship between unemployment, poverty and radicalism in

THE AKP SCRABBLES FOR AN ANTI-CLOSURE STRATEGY

On April 7 the National Executive Committee of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) held a six-hour meeting to discuss the party’s response to the closure case filed with

GAZA RAID FURTHER STRAINS ISRAELI-TURKISH TIES

Israel’s recent military incursion into Gaza has further strained its already troubled relationship with Turkey and highlighted the two countries’ divergent attitudes toward Hamas. For many Turks, the contrast between

SOCIAL POLARIZATION DEEPENING IN TURKEY

As supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) stage sporadic protests in western Turkey against the ongoing Turkish military operations in northern Iraq, the government’s hurried attempt to lift the

TURKISH MILITARY SET TO WARN AKP OVER HEADSCARF

The Turkish military is expected to use the opportunity provided by the National Security Council (NSC) meeting on Thursday, February 21, to issue a strongly worded warning to the Justice

KURDISH PARTY PRESENTS DEFENSE, WARNS OF CIVIL WAR

On February 11, the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DPT) presented its initial defense in the case brought before the Turkish Constitutional Court calling for its closure. In its concluding arguments,

TAYYIP ERDOGAN: ONE MAN PARTY IN A ONE PARTY STATE?

In recent weeks, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been heavily criticized for focusing almost exclusively on trying to lift the ban preventing women wearing headscarves from attending

AKP PRIORITIZING HEADSCARF OVER EU

Hopes that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would attempt to revive Turkey’s stalled bid for EU membership appear set to be the first victim of the party’s efforts

KURDISH MPs CALL FOR FREEDOM FOR THEIR BELIEFS

As Turkey’s ruling moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) continues to try to find a way to lift the ban that currently prevents women wearing headscarves from attending university,

Back with a Vengeance: Turkish Hezbollah

In a recent report submitted to the country’s National Security Council (NSC), Turkish police warned that the most powerful militant Islamist group in recent Turkish history has now recovered from

ERDOGAN INADVERTENTLY REIGNITES HEADSCARF DEBATE

An off-the-cuff response by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to a question by a journalist has unexpectedly reignited the long-running debate in Turkey over the Islamic headscarf by triggering

TURKISH ALEVIS SPURN OVERTURES FROM AKP

In a sign of their continuing suspicions of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), representatives of Turkey’s Alevi religious minority spurned what the government claimed was an olive branch

Turkey’s Other War on Terrorism

On December 31, 2007, the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth quoted the claims of unnamed Israeli security officials that intelligence reports suggested al-Qaeda cells had infiltrated into Turkey in preparation for

AKP PREPARES TO ANNOUNCE NEW CONSTITUTION

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is finally expected to announce details of a new Turkish constitution later this month. A provisional draft has been submitted to Prime Minister

TURKEY TRYING TO GO LOCAL IN DEFENSE PROCUREMENT

Turkey has stepped up its efforts to secure as much as possible of its defense procurement requirements from local manufacturers. Turkey has long regarded the development of an indigenous defense

AKP TARGETING THE KURDISH VOTE

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will target Kurdish voters in the run-up to the March 2009 local elections, AKP Deputy Chairman Hayati Yazici has announced. Yazici said that

TURKISH OFFICIALS CALL FOR TURKIC COMMONWEALTH

Buoyed by its increasing engagement with Central Asia and the Arab world, Turkish officials have begun to discuss institutionalizing what they regard as Turkey’s growing regional influence. When Mustafa Kemal

AKP FORMING CLOSER LINKS WITH THE GULEN MOVEMENT

Reports in the Turkish press that the state-owned carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) had co-sponsored a conference in Istanbul on October 21-23, organized by the followers of exiled Islamist preacher Fettullah

EU REPORT TO PRESS TURKEY ON MINORITY RIGHTS

The European Commission’s annual Progress Report on Turkey’s candidacy for EU membership, which will be published tomorrow, November 6, will press Ankara to grant greater rights to the country’s ethnic

PRESSURE ON AKP MOUNTS AMID FEARS OF ETHNIC VIOLENCE

The public pressure on Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to launch a cross-border military strike into northern Iraq has continued to mount. Further public protests have erupted following

AKP FACING A CONSTITUTIONAL TRAP OF ITS OWN MAKING

An attempt by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to circumvent the country’s secularist establishment’s opposition to Abdullah Gul becoming president looks set to return to haunt it later

BUYUKANIT WARNS AKP ON CONSTITUTION, DTP ON PKK

On October 1, Turkish Chief of Staff General Yasar Buyukanit publicly warned the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) against weakening secularism in the new Turkish constitution, which is expected

THE END OF “TAK”?

For the first time in four years, the summer is drawing to a close without a major attack by Kurdish militants on the Turkish tourism industry. Since the Kurdistan Workers’

TURKEY REFUSES TO BACK DOWN ON IRAN ENERGY DEAL

The Turkish government has reiterated its determination to press ahead with massive investment in the Iranian energy sector, despite U.S. opposition. On August 12 Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler announced

TURKEY’S KURDS OPT FOR ISLAM OVER THE PKK

The results of the Turkish general election of July 22 suggest that Turkey’s Kurdish minority is looking increasingly to Islam rather than the secular nationalism of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party