By cancelling the Istanbul elections, Erdogan has annulled a core tenet of democracy in Turkey. But it’s not an act of power: it’s an act of weakness, over-reach and exposes his increasing vulnerability
Louis Fishman is an assistant professor at Brooklyn College, City University of New York and writes on Turkish, and Israeli/Palestinian affairs. His upcoming book is on Ottoman Palestine. He has lived most of his life between the U.S., Israel, and Turkey. Follow him on Twitter: @IstanbulTelaviv He blogs at: http://louisfishman.blogspot.com.
Both Turkey and Israel face elections, and both leaders are playing from the same ethno-nationalist political playbook. But in Turkey, the leftist opposition is still alive and kicking - even from jail
Opinion Istanbul's 'Fake Auschwitz': What Happened When a Turkish Movie Gala Recreated a Nazi Death Camp on the Red Carpet
The 'Cicero' movie premiere's red carpet led past a makeshift death camp, with SS guards, barking dogs, barbed wire and Achtung! sign. The backlash, which came not just from its tiny Jewish community, tells us something about Turkey today
In its breathless hunt for grisly, sensational details, the Western media is embracing evidence-free, state-curated ‘scoops’ from the same Erdogan-obedient sources that spread lies and hate towards Turkey’s own journalists and political dissidents
Erdogan can now crush Turkey's democracy – but not the deepening dissent with his rule. His only real means of assuring his pre-eminence is the further imposition of punitive and oppressive measures on civil society
For years, Turkey's opposition has been fractured and defeatist while the president consolidated power. But the opposition now has a wildly popular, charismatic and sharp-tongued leader – and a lackluster Erdogan doesn't seem invincible any more
The verbal volume of Erdogan’s attacks on Israel reflects genuine Turkish popular support for the Palestinians. But in a perilous election season it’s also cover for Turkey to maintain essential economic ties with Israel
'If one day our nation says 'enough,' then we will step aside.' Erdogan's gaffe opened the gates of Turkish social media derision and gifted a slogan to a re-invigorated political opposition. But he won't give way without a fight
One iconic but solitary Israeli poet celebrated Ahed Tamimi’s heroism: The backlash he endured means there'll be even less mainstream dissent in the future
Turkey's LGBT community is a tangible, visual challenge to Erdogan's vision of an Islamically 'pious generation' – and now he's cracking down on them, with enthusiastic support from other Islamists and ultra-nationalists
If Turkey hadn't directly provoked the U.S., reports of its human rights violations would be collecting dust. Now, with red lines being crossed and Americans targeted, Congress is upping the ante
This week, one million people in Istanbul demanded civil rights, law and justice. As Erdogan's purges intensify, can a fragmented opposition sustain that momentum?
It's too early to declare the Turkish Republic dead and buried. The president's popularity has maxed out at 50 percent of the population, and the anti-Erdogan opposition won't be silenced
What could have been a contained crisis spiraled out of control once it hit a perfect storm of election fever, with both sides competing on the basis of 'If they go low, we go lower.'
The delegitimization, if not criminalization, of any opposition – political, media or cultural – by Turkey's ruling party coincides with a crucial referendum on expanding presidential power even further.
The grotesque sight of parliamentarians being dragged into police cars, mouths covered by the hands of the security forces, is the latest sign that Erdogan’s Putinization of a once proudly secular democracy is reaching a point of no return.
Rather than speak up for those targeted by the ongoing arbitrary and excessive post-coup purges of the media, business, academia and local government, Turkey’s main opposition party allowed itself to be co-opted by Erdogan.
Despite a show of almost unprecedented unity at a recent rally – and newfound Turkish nationalism following July’s bloody coup attempt – the purges hark back to a bleak pattern in Turkey’s past.
It was a wild, confusing night of gunfire, unscheduled calls to prayer and sonic booms in Istanbul. But with an nontransparent government, a media that's state controlled or under pressure, and wide-scale purges, Erdogan's narrative will be hard to challenge.
The country is in a dire situation, and needs to get its act together and fight the real terrorists while holding talks with Kurds.
Rooted in the AKP's staunchly anti-Israel past, often tainted with blatant anti-Semitism, rooted in internal Turkish politics, Erdogan has always treated Turkey's relations with Israel with disdain. What changed?
By methodically eroding liberal democracy, Netanyahu and Erdogan could endanger their states' domestic and international legitimacy. At least if the current diplomatic moves bear fruit they’ll have each other.
Turkey needs to realize that Israel's debate is only remotely related to ties with Ankara, but rather holds a special place in the broader debate about the Holocaust and Jewish victimhood.
His government violates human rights on a massive scale, closes down media critical of his actions, and has openly sanctioned anti-Semitism. Is Erdogan trying to co-opt U.S. Jewish leaders to launder his reputation?
The ruling AKP party, used to sanctioning extreme anti-Israeli rhetoric and even blatant anti-Semitism, has condemned the anti-Israeli hate tweet of a party activist after the Istanbul bombing. It's is a sign of how actively Turkey is now courting Israel.
The government's seizure of Zaman, the largest Turkish daily newspaper, is the latest episode in a state-sponsored campaign to silence dissent. And PR stardust won't be able to cover it up.
The university professors who protested the Turkish government's repressive military activity in the country's Kurdish southeast now face the same precarious and intimidating future as journalists who dare defy President Erdogan.
Non-stop headlines - from the downing of a Russian plane to the assassination and arrest of journalists - have accompanied the first days of the new/old Turkish government. Lurking behind them all are the reverberations of the Syria crisis.
The election results are a shocking blow to voters of the country’s major opposition parties worried about Turkey’s future as a democracy after the hyped-up nationalism of the winning party’s campaign.
After its worst ever terrorist attack, many in Turkey suspect the government didn't do enough to prevent the Ankara bombing.