Perspectives - Second Issue


Scholarship opportunities for graduate students

The Turkey Representation of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung has been supporting graduate students with a scholarship program since 2008 with the aim of supporting progress in rural development and energy and helping young people put together long-term policies in these areas as the decision makers of the future. We provide scholarships for a maximum of three semesters starting with the second or third semester to graduate students who have chosen rural development or alternative energy as the core topic of their research and who want to write their master on these topics.

Shifting foreign policy dynamics in the wake of the “Arab Spring”

For the third time since the end of the Cold War, the “Turkish model” was offered to countries undergoing change as the solution best adapted to Western interests. That Turkey warmed up to this potential outside its role as a “model”, that Erdogan, a devout leader, should, on his North African tour, state his preference for the secular state created favorable repercussions in the West. The AKP government of Turkey also established close links with Islamist parties poised to take power, helping them organize and generate practical outcomes.

By Soli Özel

Art: Backyard of the government

The haphazard modernization project that encountered three military coups, settled into a completely different course in the 2000’s. A new page was turned together with the AKP government. Many undebatable issues become openly debatable, liberalization found a political equivalent, representation of different segments comes into question, and most importantly, military tutelage is perceived as a risk factor for society and culture. AKP kicked off its mission by contributing to democratization in Turkey. Accordingly, this meant a period of economic stability through which public wealth would multiply.

By Tayfun Serttaş

Our revolt is written in the Taurus mountains

You may wonder who the Sarikecilis are: Sarikecilis are a glorious clan of the Oghuzes, who live in tents woven with goat hair, who herd and live with goats, who do not have a regular place to live either in the summer nor in the winter, who spend winter months around Mersin and the summers around the mid-Taurus Mountains, who love their mountains, forests, rivers, who protect their habitats, who love their country, and who have been maintaining a culture they brought from Central Asia to Anatolia one thousand years ago.

By Pervin Çoban Savran

How can I know why

Perspectives wanted the following: “An analysis on the Freedom of Speech Barometer and the number of detained within the last three months under the anti-terrorism code and the reasons for detention“. I can only answer the second part of the question in one way: “How can I know why?” I also think only the Ministry of Justice can accurately answer this question as the data are not accessible to the public. Never be blinded by the rather good “Law on the Right to Information”, enacted upon pressure by the EU.

By Şanar Yurdatapan

“What they care about is money”*

For those who think AKP is the biggest enemy to women as a religious and reactionary party, which has not changed in the last 10 years, this development is amenable to being perceived as the government unmasking their “true face”. The political result of such an analysis is a steady enmity against the AKP. It is true that there are many factors to nourish this enmity. However, we are faced with a party in power that managed to raise its share of the votes with every election in a way unprecedented in the history of the Republic and, probably, it deserves more than the adjective “representative of the most reactionary, the most bigoted sections of society”.

By Aksu Bora

The new constitution

Turkey has begun the process of drafting a new constitution. A new constitution means redefining the state and society and remaking basic political choices. Therefore, preparing a constitution is a turning point for a nation. Constitutions have two main functions: to restrict political power by rule of law and to safeguard fundamental rights and liberties. Democracies carry the risk of a political party acquiring power through elections then shifting to an undemocratic, oppressive regime by wielding power to advance its own political aims. Constitutions offer structural and institutional arrangements to lessen this risk.

By Rıza Türmen

KCK cases and the judiciary mechanism

The main subject of this article is providing information regarding the KCK cases and assisting in the determination and comprehensibleness of the legal situation

The goal is not seeking an answer to the question of how the Kurdish problem can be resolved.

Instead, it is to reflect upon the KCK cases and the criminal justice system in conjunction with the accusations put forth in the indictments.

By Fikret İlkiz

Climate change: Is a “U-turn” possible

The climate change brought about by men, which was scientifically uncovered with long-term observations, today manifests itself in the events we have encountered in the short run. The global record heat and flood-related disasters that took place in a number of countries in 2010 are some global examples of this. The melting of the ice cap in Greenland on 8-12, July, 2012 by 97 percent gave us a more vivid idea of what the speed of climate change in its current stage could be. The whirlwinds that happened in Turkey in the winter months, the flooding that took place in a number of towns and regions in the summer months, with Samsun ranking first, as well the heat waves are a few examples.

By Önder Algedik

Pesticides and food safety in the era of global warming

Worldwide, annual pesticide use is 3 million tons on average, whereas it is around 33 thousand tons in Turkey. Actually, this number does not mean anything; one has to delve further. Around 700 grams (Reference 1) of pesticides per hectare are used in Turkey. In comparison, the Netherlands, which has the highest pesticide use in Europe, uses nearly 13 kilograms and in Finland, the country with the lowest pesticide use, it is around 1.2 kilograms. From this perspective, the amount of pesticides used in Turkey seems quite low. However, this is not the case.

By Bülent Şık