Turkish professor Busra Ersanli and publisher and human rights activist Ragip Zarakolu were arrested on October 28 as part of a government operation against the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), an organization banned by the Turkish government for its alleged connections to the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK).
In an effort to gain admittance to the European Union and comply with its pressure to eliminate legislation targeting religious minorities, Turkey will compensate non-Muslim minorities and return property lost since 1936, according to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The announcement to return stolen property to Greek, Jewish and Armenian groups - including schools, hospitals, cemeteries and orphanages- comes despite parliamentary opposition to the decree. Minorities will receive financial compensation in the event the property was stolen or seized.
A majority of Americans see democracy in the U.S. as weak and getting weaker, according to a national survey released by The Democracy Project, a joint initiative of Freedom House, the George W. Bush Institute, and the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.
The victory of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the June 2018 elections has cemented the long-term trend of democratic decline and authoritarian consolidation in Turkey. This consolidation has coincided with, and contributed to, a sharp divergence from Turkey’s traditional strategic alignment with the United States. This brief provides an overview of recent developments and looks at how U.S. foreign policy should respond to the “New Turkey.”
Turkey’s government is improperly using its leverage over media to limit public debate about government actions and punish journalists and media owners who dispute government claims, deepening the country’s political and social polarization.
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