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A tank taken over by civilians in Istanbul, July 15 2016. EPA

Turkey’s New Year was marred by a terrorist attack, claimed by the so-called Islamic State (IS), that killed 39 people and injured many more at a famous nightclub in Istanbul. After nearly two years of deadly incidents and alarming political instability, Turks were once again left counting the dead – and wondering how much more their country can take.

In the last 18 months, Turkey has seen 33 bomb attacks that have claimed 446 lives, 363 of them civilians. Some commentators even claim that low-level terror is now almost the norm in Turkey.

To make things more complicated still, the latest attack comes only six months after a bizarre failed coup, undoubtedly one of the most significant events in Turkey’s modern history.…  Seguir leyendo »

The aftermath of clashes in Silvan, near Diyarbakir. Reuters/Sertac Kayar

Ever since the June 2015 elections, which thwarted the proposed presidential system that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has long craved, Turkey has been hurtling into one of its most turbulent periods in decades. And with a snap election called for November 2015, the country’s political factions are facing off in an ever more violent and bitter fashion.

Polarisation has been a problem for Turkey for a long time: right versus left, Kurd versus Turk, Alevi versus Sunni, secular versus non-secular. But now, the division between supporters of the AKP – Erdoğan’s party – and their rivals has become one of the country’s biggest fissures.…  Seguir leyendo »

Turkey’s social and political scene has long been subject to polarisation, protests and police investigations. Many expected the atmosphere of confusion to evaporate after last year’s presidential election was won by former prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. But as the country prepares for its general election ten months on, doubt still persists.

This election represents a fork in the road for Turkey. Which path the nation follows will rest on the success or failure of the pro-Kurdish, left-leaning People’s Democracy Party (HDP). A recent report by the Research Institute on Turkey – which relies on quantitative analysis of election surveys – showed that the outcome for the HDP in this election will have a greater impact on the future of Turkish politics than any other factor.…  Seguir leyendo »