Dossier: Turkey and the EU

An opponent of the AKP government holds up two posters of Prime Minister Erdogan with the slogan "Big thief" (photo: Reuters)

Eleven years of Erdogan

Hard times for the "champion" of political Islam

As everything points to a clear victory for the AKP in Turkey's local elections, Turkish political scientist Cengiz Aktar takes stock of 11 years of Erdogan's rule. He says that Turkey's political and economic problems are home made and are caused by the fact that the AKP has been in power for too long and Erdogan's growing inability to enter into political co-operation. Nevertheless, he cautions against celebrating the downfall of political IslamMore

Teacher and pupils in a Turkish class (photo: Andrea Groß)

The Turkish language in Germany

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Turkish is booming at schools and universities

An increasing number of young people in Germany are taking Turkish at school. The German–Turkish Year of Science hopes to further boost this trend. At present, only native speakers can take the subject at schools, but this is about to change. By Andrea GroßMore

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

The Erdogan administration

Turkey's paradigm shift

Since coming to power 12 years ago, Turkey's Justice and Development Party (AKP) has launched the most far-reaching process of democratisation the country has ever known and facilitated an unprecedented economic upswing. According to Cemal Karakas, however, it has not all been positive; there have been some worrying developments too, particularly in recent yearsMore

Lale Akgün (photo: DW)

Interview with Lale Akgün

"Erdogan's Days Are Numbered'

Turkey's corruption scandal has put the prime minister's party under severe pressure. Lale Akgun, a German Social Democrat (SPD) politician with Turkish roots, says Erdogan fatally underestimated the Gulen movementMore

Egyptian supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi (portrait) shout slogans during a rally in support of the former Islamist leader outside Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque on July 9, 2013 (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Essay by Dani Rodrik

The Problem is Authoritarianism, Not Islam

Is Islam fundamentally incompatible with democracy? Time and again events compel us to ask this question. And yet it is a question that obscures more than it illuminates. An essay by Dani RodrikMore

Memorial for the unknown soldier in Ankara, Turkish flags in the background (photo: Tarik Tinazay/dpa)

Turkey's Foreign Policy

Return to Pragmatism

In the past month Ankara opened a membership chapter with the European Union after a 30-month hiatus, while intense diplomatic traffic is underway to end tensions with its Iranian and Iraqi neighbours. All of which is fuelling rising speculation that a major reset in Turkish foreign policy is underway. Dorian Jones looks at what lies behind the latest eventsMore

Turkey's Europe Minister Egemen Bagis (l.) and EU Commissioner for Enlargement, Stefan Füle (photo: Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images)

EU Accession Negotiations with Turkey

A Lack of Perspective

After a break of many months, the EU has resumed membership talks with Turkey and extended them to address a further issue. But despite the new momentum for negotiations, the erstwhile euphoria over Europe on the Bosphorus has long dissipated. Senada Sokollu reports from IstanbulMore

Gamze Kubasik sits on a beige couch and looks at the camera (photo: Andrea Grunau)

Turkish Victims of the NSU Murders in Germany

A Victim's Daughter Testifies

When she appears in court, Gamze Kubasik will testify in the presence of those accused of killing her father. She hopes for composure. She also seeks justice and a sense of "inner peace" that vanished in April 2006. Andrea Grunau reportsMore

Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

The Gülen Movement

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Erdoğan Is Not Turkey's Only Problem

In Turkey, the pious Gülen network has created what is effectively a state within the Turkish state, gaining a strong foothold in the police force, the judiciary, and the bureaucracy. The ultimate goal seems to be to reshape society in the movement's own conservative-religious image. By Dani RodrikMore

Turkey's prime minister Erdogan at a rally of his ruling conservative AK party in Ankara (photo: Reuters)

Interview with Cengiz Aktar

''Turkey's Problem is Erdogan, Not the AKP''

According to Cengiz Aktar, Turkey's long-time Prime Minister Erdogan has become an autocrat. "Changing his mind would, in his opinion, be a sign of weakness", Aktar says in this interview with Ada Pagliarulo. He will therefore find it hard to manage the country's crisis, the political scientist predictsMore

Supporters of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan watch a rally organised by the ruling Justice and Development Party in Ankara, 15 June 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

Protests in Turkey

Civil Society Versus Father State

For the first time in the history of Turkey, an increasingly confident civil society is peacefully calling for more freedom and, so far, the military has not got involved. This is a completely new experience for Turkey, writes Cemal KarakasMore

People run away from tear gas near Taksim square in Istanbul, 16 June 2013 (photo: BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

Gezi Protests in Turkey

A Libertarian and Unifying Movement

Parallels have been drawn between the Gezi movement, the Arab Spring and some Occupy movements in Europe. Nilüfer Göle looks at the causes of the Gezi protests and some of the protester's demandsMore

People beneath a Turkish flag vent their anger about plans to replace Istanbul's Gezi Park with a shopping centre (photo: Reuters)

Protests in Turkey

A Turkish Spring with a Leftist Bent

What began as a protest against plans to build a kitschy shopping centre on the site of a small park in the heart of Istanbul has escalated into a conflict of values. By Ian BurumaMore

Pinar Selek (photo: Getty Images)

Interview with Pınar Selek

''The Old Mindset Is Still in Place in Turkey''

Turkish sociologist and human rights activist Pınar Selek discusses her role in the democracy movement, ongoing legal proceedings against her, and the shortcomings of Turkey's political system. An interview by Ceyda NurtschMore

Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan and US President Obama at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul on 25 March 2012 (photo: Reuters)

Turkey's Relations with the West and the Muslim World

A Fine Balancing Act

Critics in the West maintained that Ankara's decision to improve its relations with its Muslim neighbours was motivated primarily by religious and ideological concerns. But Turkey's recent tense relations with Iran demonstrate this assumption's basic fallacy, writes Mohammed AyoobMore

People demonstrating for press freedom in Istanbul (photo: AP/dapd)

Repression of Journalists in Turkey

Fighting Press Freedom with Anti-Terrorism Laws

The detention of Ragıp Zarakolu, a past winner of the International Freedom to Publish Award, shows how Turkish anti-terrorism laws are being misused to curtail freedom of expression. By Semiran KayaMore

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