Women Rights In Turkey

In its less visible, more subtle forms, gender-based violence threatens the physical and emotional integrity of millions of women living in Turkey, and billions globally

TURKISH - CHINESE RELATIONS SINCE 1971 AND THE EAST TURKISTAN ISSUE

Turkish and Chinese people have historical relations since the periods of the Hun Empire and Göktürks. These relationships are driven, sometimes friendly and sometimes went to war in the history

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Davos 2011: Doha round 'should finish by end of year'

The Doha round of trade talks needs to be completed by the end of this year if it is to be a success, a report by high level trade experts has recommended.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the report and said 2011 would be the "make or break" year for Doha.

The Doha Round was launched in 2001 to boost the world economy and to stimulate growth and wealth in developing countries through trade.

But the talks stalled in 2008 over disagreements over agriculture imports.

At a session on trade at the World Economic Forum in Davos, David Cameron urged the assembled leaders to tell their trade negotiators "not to hold back" so that a deal could be done this year. 

Peter Sutherland, the former World Trade Organization (WTO) director general, called for a deadline of December this year. 

If an agreement was not reached by then, he said, talks could run on "for some time to come" as electoral cycles, particularly in the US, would begin. 

He said what was on offer, particularly for the poorest nations of the world, was "really phenomenal". 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also challenged governments to conclude the global trade talks. "Decades will go by without this opportunity offering itself again."
 
The European Union - the world's biggest exporter - will host a dinner of trade ministers later at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Ministers from Brazil, China, India and the US, whose leadership Mr Sutherland said would be crucial, are expected to attend.

Insurance policy
 
The latest report is from a group of trade experts set up by the governments of the UK, Germany, Indonesia and Turkey to consider actions needed to combat protectionism and boost global trade.

In their report, they said an agreement this year would provide "an insurance policy against future protectionism" and would reinforce the WTO system.

Mr Cameron said: "We've been at this Doha round for far too long. It's frankly ridiculous that it has taken 10 years to do this deal."

"We simply cannot spend another 10 years going round in circles."

However, on Thursday WTO director general Pascal Lamy said the next stage of the Doha talks would be the first one "where some developing countries will pay a price in terms of market access in manufacturing, in agriculture, in services". 

BBC News

Mubarak dismisses government


Embattled Egyptian leader says he will name a new government on Saturday.

The Egyptian president has dismissed his government, saying that he will replace it with a new one on Saturday.

"I have asked the government to resign and tomorrow there will be a new government," Hosni Mubarak said in an address to the nation late on Friday after four days of deadly protests.

The president said that change can not be achieved through chaos but through dialogue.

Saying he understood that the people of Egypt wanted him to address poverty, employment and democratic reform, he promised to press ahead with social, economic and political reforms.

"We will not backtrack on reforms. We will continue with new steps which will ensure the independence of the judiciary and its rulings, and more freedom for citizens," Mubarak said.

He said new steps will be taken "to contain unemployment, raise living standards, improve services and stand by the poor."

Reacting to the protests that have erupted in the capital and other cities, Mubarak urged calm, adding that only because of his own reforms over the years, were people able to protest.

'Not enough'

Al Jazeera's Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Cairo, said many Egyptians calling for change would say the sacking of the government is not enough.

"Ultimately in Egypt, the power lies with the president," he said.

"On paper, you have an independent parliament and an independent judiciary but every Egyptian will tell you that at the end of the day, power is concentrated in the hands of the president.

"Very few institutions can challenge his authority so the sacking of the cabinet is not going to end the grievances of the people."

(AJE)

Friday, January 28, 2011

ASEAN Connected with China, More to Come…


ASEAN and China Foreign Ministers met in Kunming, China, yesterday to explore long-term strategic cooperation between the two sides. Connectivity, the 20th anniversary of ASEAN-China dialogue relations, ASEAN-China Free Trade Area, socio-cultural exchanges, cooperation to address non-traditional security issues and the East Asia Summit cooperation were among the key topics discussed.

The Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, said that emphasis had been put on the need to strengthen people-to-people interactions between the two sides to enhance mutual understanding. The Foreign Ministers, said Dr Surin, also stressed that ASEAN, especially the border regions of ASEAN Member States contiguous to China, needed to engage and cooperate with the border provinces of China.
 
 “The Southwestern provinces of China, Yunnan included, are natural markets and joint investment areas between ASEAN and China private sectors,” added Dr Surin, commenting on the economic potential between ASEAN and China.

“The field is still open, the competition is relatively low, the opportunities and potential are still very much open as compared to the saturated markets of the provinces on the Eastern coastline,” he added.

A year ago, the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area was realised, opening up a combined market of 1.9 billion people, accounting for a combined GDP of close to USD 6 trillion and a total trade value of USD 4.5 trillion.
 
The ASEAN Foreign Ministers arrived in Kunming, China, after embarking on a historic road trip that set off in Chiang Rai, Thailand, on 23 January. They visited the construction site of the 4th Mekong Bridge linking Chiang Kong (Thailand) and Houey Xay (Lao PDR), crossed the Mekong River by boat to Houey Xay (Lao PDR), then travelled by coach to Luang Nam Tha Province. The Ministers stopped for briefings on Bokeo and Luang Nam Tha provinces as well as developments around Boten border checkpoint on the Lao side. They then passed the Mohan border checkpoint (China) and proceeded to Jinghong, before flying into Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province.

Inspired by this unprecedented trip, ASEAN Foreign Ministers looked forward to more such activities showcasing mainland, maritime and aviation connectivity within ASEAN and between ASEAN and its Dialogue Partners. They agreed to make the same journey next year westward to India. To complete the loop, the Foreign Ministers also agreed to explore the possibility of maritime connectivity trips.



(ASEAN)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fears of trade war stalk Davos meeting



Of the raft of global risks confronting business and political bigwigs at Davos, the threat of a trade war is one of the scariest.

Open markets and trade are the essence of the globalization that delivered rising prosperity for decades until interrupted by the credit crunch and economic downturn.

An initial unified global response to the crisis staved off the wave of protectionism that many felt was inevitable. But fears persist that stubborn trade disputes -- especially between China and rich powers like the United States, European Union and Japan -- could spill over into an outright trade war, not least because of tensions over exchange rates.

Trade ministers will hold two meetings at Davos this week to review progress on the renewed push for a deal on the Doha trade round this year.

A failure to conclude the round, already more than nine years old, would deal a body blow to the global trading system.

Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega, watching the appreciation of the real, said last September the country was in a currency war, and earlier this month warned that conflict was turning into a trade war.

"The threat of a trade war is real," Jean-Pierre Lehmann, a professor at the IMD business school in Lausanne and founder of The Evian Group trade and economy think-tank, told Reuters.

"We know that trade wars make everybody pay the consequences, but that doesn't prevent them from happening."

DISPUTE SETTLEMENT

The failure of 1930s-style protectionism to emerge in the downturn was widely ascribed to the multilateral trading system umpired by the World Trade Organization (a system set up in response to the economic tensions of the interwar period).

The WTO dispute system provides a respected channel for states to resolve differences by consultation or litigation.

Just recently the United States has proposed changes to a controversial method of setting anti-dumping duties, known as zeroing, to comply with WTO rulings.

China, a frequent target of WTO litigation, also makes active use of the system as a complainant.

According to former WTO Deputy Director-General Roderick Abbott, the recognition that supply chains nowadays are global militates against protectionism.

"Interrupting the chain by shutting out your neighbor can mean shutting down your main industry," he wrote recently.

In his regular reports to WTO members and the G20, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy has argued that the rules-based trading system has withstood the crisis. But late last year he warned that currency tensions could undermine that resilience.

The desire to hold down currencies has many causes, but defending domestic jobs by keeping exports cheap and imports dear often plays a role.

While many economists and policymakers are upbeat about overall economic prospects, few are bullish about the outlook for employment. The International Labour Organization forecasts another year of stubborn global unemployment over 200 million acting as a brake on recovery.

Lamy says a deal in the Doha round for a new trade agreement would bolster the WTO system as a bulwark against protectionism.

The converse, of course, is also true.

Weary trade negotiators say it is still not clear, despite ritual calls in G8 and G20 communiques, whether political leaders are ready for the compromises needed for a deal.

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Barack Obama called for quick approval of a free-trade deal with South Korea, but referred in passing to "global trade talks" only in the same breath as other pacts with Colombia and Panama and talks on a regional Asia-Pacific deal.

A preference for bilateral or regional deals over Doha can be seen as another crack in the multilateral trading system.

But for some, the importance of Doha goes beyond however many billions of dollars it would inject into the world economy.

The ability to clinch a new trade deal is a touchstone for the world community's ability to cooperate on other issues, from climate change and poverty to financial regulation.

The World Economic Forum identifies weak global governance as one of the main threats to the world today.
The unified approach of the G20 in the early stages of the crisis -- reminiscent of short-lived global unity after the 9/11 attacks -- has since fragmented.

"The world is probably less together than it was a year ago, when there was still a halo effect of everyone plunging in to deal with the immediate effects of the downturn," Mark Foster, global head of management consulting at Accenture, told Reuters.

By Jonathan Lynn, Reuters

NATO Military Committee meets in follow-up of Lisbon Summit


The first meeting of NATO’s Military Committee (MC) in Chiefs of Defence Staff (CHODs) session after the Lisbon Summit will take place on 26-27 January 2011. Under the chairmanship of Adm. Giampaolo Di Paola (CMC), top level military representatives of 66 countries will discuss in various formats the implementation of the New Strategic Concept, its military consequences and the evolution of NATO and NATO led operations.

Together with NATO’s two Strategic Commanders Adm. Jim Stavridis (SACEUR) and Gen. Stéphane Abrial (SAC-T), CHODs will debate the situation in Afghanistan and Kosovo and other NATO operations. Regarding Afghanistan, focus will be on Transition /Inteqal and the longer-term perspective for the country. Gen. David Petraeus (COMISAF) and Amb. Mark Sedwill (NATO Senior Civilian Representative) will update CHODs on the key issues. For the Kosovo session the Military Committee invited Maj. Gen. Erhard Bühler (COMKFOR) and Mr. Xavier Bout de Marnhac (Head of EULEX).

The Mediterranean Dialogue Partners and Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council members will exchange views on the practical consequences of NATO’s new Partnership approach and its aims as described in the new Strategic Concept. The MC will also meet in NATO-Ukraine Commission format to take stock of the on-going transformation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. 

Mindful of the Lisbon Spirit, during the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council Military Representatives (NRC-MR) special attention will be paid to the NRC Military Workplan 2011 and how to further broaden and deepen the ways of practical cooperation between the Russian Federation and NATO. 

More information on the NATO Military Committee can be found on: www.nato.int/ims

(NATO)

Gül Addresses PACE: “We should form a common European conscience”


During his address to the PACE, President Gül spoke of the challenges and threats within Europe, underscoring: “To overcome those menaces, we don’t need to create a unified European Army. What we need today is to construct “a unified European Conscience” for a freer, safer and more egalitarian and united Europe.”

President Abdullah Gül addressed the Winter Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

The President launched his speech by expressing his deepest condolences to the Russian people in response to the terrorist attack at Moscow’s Domodedova Airport yesterday and strongly condemned all kinds of terrorism. He later extended his heartfelt thanks to the member states for the trust shown to Turkey as they take over the Term Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, recalling that the Turkish Deputy from Antalya, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, is the President of the PACE.

“DIFFERENT GROWTH RATES LEAD TO A NEW DISTRIBUTION OF GLOBAL POWER”

President Gül, asserting that Europe is in a mood of deep pessimism on account of the current global economic crisis which has affected Europe more severely than other regions in the world, noted that for the greater part of the last four hundred years, the West has enjoyed a huge comparative advantage over the rest of the world.

Stating that only ten years ago, the industrial democracies dominated the world economy, contributing around 70 percent of global economic output, President Gül said that today, that share has fallen to just over 50 percent. In another decade from now, he predicted it would fall to around 40 percent. Then, the bulk of global output will be produced in the emerging world, he declared, arguing: “Different growth rates lead to a new distribution of global power. It is obvious that the centre of gravity is shifting towards other parts of the world, particularly towards Asia.”

PAYING TRIBUTE TO DIVERSITIES

The President further warned that if the present trends continue, Europe’s role and influence in economic terms would gradually decline. Nevertheless, he continued, Europe is not just about industrialization, technology or economic power, it is also a cradle of notions such as democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, he declared and further stressed that enlightenment and democratic revolutions were all original European achievements with historical global appeal. Europe, the President reiterated, although ruined by warfare for centuries and having experienced several tragedies in the 20th century, proceeded to produce humanity’s noblest works, proclaiming: “Tolerance, acceptance and mutual respect of diversity have become our shared norms.”

RESPONSIBILITY FALLING UPON EUROPE

Further underlining the fact that membership of such a community entails accepting certain obligations in respect of others and contributing to the development of a fair and cohesive society, President Gül promulgated that Europe represents a way of life based on shared common values and standards with universal relevance, saying: “A divided Europe has led to war and oppression, whereas a Europe without dividing lines based on the shared democratic principles has led to peace and prosperity.”

GUARDING THE COMMON VALUES

The growing pessimism in today’s Europe, the President said, is reshaping its political life, adding that there are growing manifestations of intolerance and discrimination in many societies.

“Over the past few years, our member states have been affected by weakening social ties. Radicalization and increasing gaps between different religious, ethnic and cultural communities have started to harm the social fabric of our nations. These contemporary trends challenge the cohesion of European societies and may even endanger Europe’s democratic acquis. Racism and xenophobia represent a major cause of concern in connection with the current economic crisis. They lead governments and political elites to take a hard line on immigration. Whether Roma or traveler, Muslim or Jew, in general, those who are different experience hostility and social exclusion in many of our societies. There is a rise in electoral support for political parties which portray immigration as the main cause of insecurity, unemployment, crime, poverty and social problems.

These are trends which should concern us all. Those pathologies are weakening Europe and decimating its
soft power in the world. We should work hard to defeat these problems to reassert Europe on the global scene. The Council of Europe has done and continues to do much for promoting peaceful co-existence and mutual respect between peoples of different origin, culture and faith living in Europe. Therefore, the Council of Europe has the duty to address and counter these new challenges. As the guardian of the European Convention on Human Rights, we have the obligation to defend our values which are preconditions for democratic security and stability in Europe.”

“FORTRESS EUROPE IS NOT A RATIONAL CHOICE”

European societies, President Gül forecasted, will eventually become more diverse, referring to the demographic trends. “We have also seen reverse migration among our member states due to differences in economic growth rates. For example, my country, Turkey is now experiencing immigration from Western European countries, whereas it was a source of migration beginning from the 1960s. Therefore, “Fortress Europe” is not a rational choice. It is an illusion. If our societies are becoming more diverse, we have to address the growing political and social consequences of that diversity,” he maintained.

The President also stressed that both migrant communities and host countries should do their utmost to avoid segregation, separation and parallel communities. For harmonious democratic societies, he argued, diversity has to be inclusive, touching upon the fact that European Muslims have perhaps been more affected than others by these tendencies, particularly after the terrorist attacks since September 11 in New York, Madrid, Istanbul and London.

“TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH ISLAM” 

Drawing attention to the fact that Muslims in Europe are very diverse not only in their geographical origins and cultural heritage, but also in their ways of interpreting and practicing their faith.

The perpetrators of such terrorist crimes have nothing to do with Islam, he promulgated and further stressed that those terrorist organizations are attacking many Muslim targets too, adding that they do not have achievable political objectives, but rather pursue their archaic and illicit utopian ideas. “Islam, like all other religions, teaches tolerance and respect for human beings of all faiths. It is the abuse of faiths for political purposes which leads to intolerance and exclusion.”

Underlining the fact that the European democratic institutions should promote human rights, tolerance, dialogue and social cohesion, President Gül continued as follows: “I have been advocating construction of a new political language for some time both at home and abroad. I believe the nature of the political language determines the outcome. The political language can be either constructive or destructive. With their choice of language, political actors can serve to foster a common understanding or division. Therefore, mainstream politics in Europe has to address these fears in a convincing manner while defending respect for diversity and human rights. We have to make the argument much more forcefully that the continent will not be safe with politicians who claim that Europe is at war with other cultures and religions.

On the contrary, if unchecked, the growing influence of such arguments will make Europe not only less tolerant and democratic, but also a more dangerous place to live in. European values are based not only on our achievements, but also on bitterly learned lessons. Let us not forget that the popular support for explicit anti-Semitism was only 5 % in the late 1920s. With a snowball effect, this poisonous minority paved the way to the Holocaust in the late 1930s. History does repeat itself, if we do not draw lessons from our past mistakes.”

“WE DO NOT NEED TO CREATE A UNIFIED EUROPEAN ARMY TO OVERCOME THESE MENACES”

The challenges from within Europe still exist, the President also pointed out and he evinced that to overcome those menaces, they do not need to create a unified European Army. What we need today, he continued, is to construct “a unified European Conscience” for a freer, safer and more egalitarian and united Europe.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

TURKEY STRONGLY RESPONDS TO ISRAEL’S MAVI MARMARA REPORT


Turkey's report documents that Israeli soldiers killed the injured, sexually harassed the women and tortured those onboard.

Turkey has given a strong response to Israel's Mavi Marmara report in which it aspires to clear itself of any blame. 

Ankara has made its own report public which it submitted to the UN in September. 

Turkey's report documents that Israeli soldiers killed the injured, sexually harassed the women and tortured those onboard. 

Turkey submitted on September 1st the report drawn up by its national investigation commission but its details were not divulged at the behest of the UN Secretary General. 

Israel came up with its own report five months later and leaked it to the press the day it handed it to the UN.
Thereupon, Turkey also made its own report public. 

The report by the Turkish investigation commission explains what happened during the Israeli raid on the aid vessel. 

The spokesperson of the Turkish commission Ambassador Mithat Rende said that if Israel had wanted it could have stopped the other vessels in the flotilla using hawser and have overpowered them but instead it resorted to actions terrorizing the passengers thus causing the occurrence of most undesired incidents. 

Witnesses say that the report bolstered by scientific and forensic findings also says that Israel could have stopped the vessel without using lethal methods but that Israeli troops started firing upon the passengers from helicopters even before they landed on the deck. 

Witnesses, to prove that Israeli helicopters were raining bullets on the passengers, cite the forensic findings which stress that some of those onboard the vessel were killed by fire opened from high above. 

Another point which merits attention in one of the coroner reports is that a woman shot in the hand was later killed with bullets which hit her head and breast. 

Turkey's report, underpinned by documents, also says that the Israeli soldiers who denied pregnant women access to the toilet harassed them by forcing them to undress and tortured almost everyone. 

Ankara is of the conviction that Israel backed into a corner because of international pressure prepared a defensive report five months after Turkey had submitted its report and considers the Israeli report subtle-witted but devoid of army legal substance. 

Turkey who says that it has no intention of demonizing anyone but wants justice alone asks Israel: “If you are not guilty, why did you cover up the 308 bullet holes?” 

Cyprus Talks in Geneva


 The Turkish Cypriot president said Friday he expected a trilateral Cyprus meeting scheduled to take place in Geneva would yield a result in the first quarter of 2011.

President Derviş Eroğlu said he expected the parties to work toward a result regarding the Cyprus issue during the trilateral Cyprus meeting set to take place on Jan. 26. The trilateral meeting will be held between United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Eroğlu and Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias.

"The Cyprus issue has been under discussion for 30 to 40 years. We should put a time limit on negotiations and we do not want negotiations to extend into the coming years," Eroğlu told reporters after meeting Christofias at the buffer zone in Nicosia that separates northern and southern Cyprus.

Eroğlu and Christofias debated the island’s administration and the sharing of power, and a number of issues regarding the European Union. Eroğlu said Ban would meet the leaders again in March and hoped the meeting would be the "last" one. "Negotiations cannot continue till eternity, and we expect Ban to assume an attitude in another trilateral Cyprus meeting to take place in the second half of March," Eroğlu said.

Eroğlu said the Geneva meeting would parallel the trilateral Cyprus meeting that took place in New York on Nov. 18, 2010, adding that expected the secretary-general to have more of an impact on the discussions.

Cyprus was split into a Turkish Cypriot north and a Greek Cypriot south in 1974 when Turkey intervened after a coup aiming to unify the island nation with Greece.

(AA)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Political crisis in Belgium

Tens of thousands protested the lack of government in Belgium.

Although 7 months have gone by since the elections on June 13, Belgium still lacks a proper government. Tens of thousands of people joined the protest initiated by students. The demonstrators demanded a new government and unity of the country in capital Brussels. 

A group of students, who said they were tired of the ongoing political stalemate, led the protests.
About 20 to 30 thousand people who filled the streets of Brussels called on politiciants to urgently set up a government. 

The protestors also called for unity and solidarity. They said they don't want to see Belgium separated by the Flemish and Walloons. 

Carrying Belgian flags in one hand, the protestors also carried banners reading "less talk, more action", "we want government", and "shame on you". 

Since World War II, it never took this long to set up a government in any European country. 

Political crisis in Ireland

Economic crisis led the country into political deadlock in Ireland.

Irisih Prime Minister Brian Cowen resigned from the leadership of Fianna Fail party, following the resignation of 6 ministers from the cabinet earlier this week.

Cowen said he will lead the government until general elections in March.

However, the opposition and some deputies from his own party showed reactions to this manoeuvre of the prime minister.

The opposition defined this will of the prime minister as an insult to democracy. The opposition is planning to take the prime minister down from office in a vote of confidence to be held at the parliament this week.


6 ministers demanding the resignation of Prime Minsiter Cowen resigned from their posts in the cabinet.

TRT-World

Sunday, January 23, 2011

IRAN'S NUCLEAR TALKS BEGIN IN ISTANBUL

The new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program has begun in Istanbul between Iran and five permanent members of UN Security Council and Germany (5+1) on Friday.

EU High representative Catherine Ashton is chairing 5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany) delegation while Iranian delegation is headed by Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili during two-day talks.

The talks in Istanbul's Ciragan Palace are closed to press and will continue for two days.
396 press members are following the talks.

In August 2005, Iran resumed its nuclear activities in Esfahan, and stopped implementing the additional protocol of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 2006.

When Iran announced it made its first uranium enrichment (3.5 percent), the United Nations put economic sanctions on the country.

International reactions rose when Iran began uranium enrichment in a ratio of 20 percent in Natanz in February, 2010.

Turkey, Brazil and Iran signed Tehran Agreement in May, 2010. Under the deal, Iran agreed to transfer 1,200 kg of low-enriched uranium to Turkey within a month and in return receive, within a year, 120 kg of 20 percent-enriched uranium to use energy and medical areas. However, the agreement was not welcomed, and UN decided in June to extend sanctions on Iran.

Iran and 5+1 group resumed talks, which were interrupted for 14 months, in December in Geneva.

AA

Saturday, January 22, 2011

What factors affect voter turnout?

 It is obvious that there is a decline in public interest for elections in the world. There can be a lot of reasons for this, but three of them go to the fore.




Three Hypotheses on the determinants of voter turnout;
1-      Lack of provision of electoral security decreases the voter turnout.
2-      Noncompulsory voting decreases the voter turnout
3-      Disbelief in the efficiency of voting decreases the voter turnout

1-      Lack of provision of electoral security.
The 2009 presidential election in Afghanistan was characterized by lack of security, low voter turnout. The Taliban demanded that Afghans boycott the presidential elections and instead "free their invaded country" through holy war. Taliban and Mujahideen (holy fighters) threaten Afghan people. People`s life would be under the danger if they go to vote. Taliban said that "They must prevent people from attending the elections and one day before the elections all roads and highways must be totally closed to government and civilian vehicles, and they must inform people," (UNHCR, 2010).  

It is the same case for the Iraqi elections in 2004. Lack of security is keeping Iraqi political parties from doing much campaigning before the elections in 2004. With political rallies and marches almost out of the question for fear of violence, most parties are restricted to using radio, television, and newspaper ads to convince the Iraqi people to vote for them.
2-      Obligatory/compulsory vote or not
In some countries voting is not compulsory. Noncompulsory voting decreases the voter turnout. For instance, under a voluntary system, voter turnout decreased in the Netherlands since it crosses from compulsory voting to noncompulsory voting in 1970. In the last compulsory voting in Netherlands, the voter turnout is 94.95% in 1967 elections, and in the first noncompulsory voting in Netherlands, the voter turnout is 79.08% in 1971 (IDEA, 2010). 
3-      Disbelief in the efficiency of voting
Political efficiency or the feeling that an individual can influence the political process is very important for the voter turnout levels. However, in some countries there is disbelief in the efficiency of voting. Some people still suspend disbelief and lack of efficacy of a single vote will dissuade all Americans from voting.
In this research, the few country studies and the most similar systems design (MSSD) are used to explain and test three hypotheses on the determinants of voter turnout which are lack of provision of electoral security decreases the voter turnout, noncompulsory voting decreases the voter turnout, disbelief in the efficiency of voting decreases the voter turnout. 

However, there are some critical points here which are when the testing of hypotheses, there is lesser in-dept analysis and it patterns that hold across these systems enable us to generalize. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

EXPLANATORY AND INTERPRETIVE RESEARCH OF THE DYNAMICS OF DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION: DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL FACTORS OF COUPS IN THE KYRGYZ REPUBLIC IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS, 2005-2010



Abstract

This research focuses on dynamics of regime changes with the intention of analyzing the domestic and international factors that cause coups in the countries through the example of the case of Kyrgyzstan. The answers of the questions of why democratic regimes collapse and why the coups take place in the countries is researched through the exploratory and interpretive analyses of the domestic and international causes of the Tulip Revolution of 2005 and the 2010 Kyrgyzstani uprising. Firstly, the corruption, increased living expenses, and effects of global financial crisis on the countries are examined as main elements of economic variables of the coups. Then, concentrating on the elements of the political variable of the coups such as authoritarianism, nepotism, bad relations between government and opposition and shifting elites. The research concludes with a brief analysis of hegemony of dominant powers on politically and economicly weak but geopolitically important countries in the region as an international variable.

    Introduction

The democracy is the best way for people as a political form of government because of its structure of supplying a better representation and more freedoms for their citizens than other political forms of government in the world. However, sometimes democracies may breakdown or there may be intervals or transitions in democracies. The problem is democratic breakdown in the countries. As a result of this problem, people suffer too much. The recent example of this is faced in the Kyrgyz Republic. Today, there are six independent Turkic states in the international arena (except Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus), and Kyrgyzstan is one of these six independent Turkic states since 1991. It has very important geographical position in the Central Asia. Although it is a landlocked and mountainous country, it is located or bordered by Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and People's Republic of China. Its capital and largest city is Bishkek (Frunze). However this country faced with two big coups in the last five years. Firstly Kyrgyzstan faced with so called the Tulip Revolution in March 2005. President Askar Akayev is forced to resign through this coup. Moreover, under the leadership of Kurmanbek Bakiyev, opposition leaders formed a coalition, and Kurmanbek Bakiyev became the new President of Kyrgyzstan. However, because of some reasons that I will explain in this research, demonstrations started in Kyrgyzstan. This affected whole country and Mr. Bakiev`s regime was overthrown and Roza Otunbayeva became the new President of Kyrgyzstan as a result of this coup in 2010. The coups are the main reason for the interruptions and transitions in democracies. On account of the fact, the main purpose of this research paper will be analyzing both domestic and international factors that cause coups in the countries through variables and some hypotheses with observations through the example of the two coups in Kyrgyzstan in the last five years. It is worth doing, because this research will provide the light for the general causes of democratic breakdown or problems in the democratic transitions through the example of Kyrgyzstan, and maybe this research can be a light for solving the problems in the democratic transitions and interruptions in democracies. In addition to this, the relationship between the independent variables and the dependent variables will be seen, clearly in this research by way of the economic, political, and international variables of the coups and their results on the topic. Moreover, the differences and contributions of this research on the literature and the preceding works on the democratic breakdown issue will be mentioned and examined.  Finally, the paper concludes by ensuring overview of the analysis, briefly, and important points that is mentioned in the research.

Why Democratic Regimes Collapse and Why the Coups Take Place in the Countries?
  •      Economic Variables of the Coups
o   Corruption
o   Increasing living expenses
o   Effects of financial crisis
  •     Political Variables of the Coups
o   Nepotism
o   Authoritarianism
o   Bad relations between government and the opposition leaders
o   Shifting elites
  •    International Variables of the Coups
o   Hegemony on the politically and economicly weak but geopolitically important countries by dominant powers

                                                                                                                        Isa Burak GONCA

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

FROM STRATEGIC COOPERATION TO REGIONAL RIVALRY: CHANGING TURKISH – ISRAELI RELATIONS, 1996-2010


Abstract
          This research focuses on changing dynamics of Turkish-Israeli relations from signing a five-year agreement renewable annually thereafter on military training cooperation between the two nations in 1996 to “one minute” crisis at World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos in 2009. It reviews recent developments in relations between Turkey and Israel through the exploratory analyses of military, strategic and diplomatic cooperation between Turkey and Israel, and regional rivalry between the two countries. Firstly, the research presents a brief historical account of events. Then, it focuses on the questions of why they cooperate and compete with the intention of understanding the relationship between Turkey and Israel in the Middle East. Finally, it concludes by the narrative of how the two non-Arab countries of the Middle East first became partners, then rivals. 

1.     Introduction
          The State of Israel and the Republic of Turkey has some special relations. `Turkey was among the very first states that recognized Israel.  Upon official recognition on March 28th, 1949, diplomatic relations was established at the level of Legation in 1950`( Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2010). Actually, the people of today`s Israel have some relations with Anatolian people historicly. Jews were one of the peoples of the Ottoman Empire since many Spanish and Portuguese Jews expelled from Spain in the late 15th century. During the Second World War, Germany`s fascist Nazi soldiers started to kill Jews and some of Jews accomplished to escape from Nazi Germany. Even, some of them came to Republic of Turkey, especially some scientists worked in Turkish Universities at that time. Moreover, there were Jewish citizens in the Republic of Turkey who came to Anatolia mostly in 15th Century. However, 1942 Varlık Vergisi (Wealth Tax) affected the non-Muslim people of Turkey, economicly. They were still controlling the largest portion of the economy in Turkey in 1940s. With this tax, non-Muslim citizens had to sell their properties on the cheap and the control of the economy transit to Turkish or Muslim citizens of Turkey. This situation also affected Jews, and they started to emigrate. On the other hand, the Republic of Turkey became among the first countries to formally recognize the State of Israel. Turkish-Israeli relations started to develop in important fields such as political, economic, technological, scientific, and militarily. The major improvements started in 1990s. The relations are at the zenith in 1990s. However, in 2000s, the relations worsened. Because of this, this research focuses on changing dynamics of Turkish-Israeli relations from signing a five-year agreement renewable annually thereafter on military training cooperation between the two nations in 1996 to “one minute” crisis at World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos in 2009. Firstly, it will try to examine the factors that form the infrastructure of the cooperation between Turkey and Israel. Then, it will analyze the causes of that so-called `one minute crisis` between Turkey and Israel through the real examples. Moreover, the literature and methodology is also included. In the conclusion, it will ensure overview of the analysis, briefly and it will try to mention about current situation in the relations.
1.1.         What are the reasons behind the developing the relations between Israel and Turkey in 1990s? 
The proverb of the enemy of my enemy is my friend is the best tool for explaining the relations between Turkey and Israel in 1990s.
 Possible Reasons  
  •             Rising PKK terrorism against Turkey in 1990s 
  •                         Iraq`s and Syria`s logistic support to PKK  against Turkey 
  •                        Historical rivalry between Turkey and Iran 
  •                        Need Jewish lobby in U.S. Senete against Armenian genocide claims 
  •                        Iraq, Syria, and Iran are possible enemies of Israel 
  •                        Need a strategic partner to reduce loneliness of Israel in the Middle East 
1.2.         What are the reasons behind the worsening the relations between Israel and Turkey in 2000s? 
  • ·         Turkey`s new foreign policy
o   Desire of being regional power
o   Zero problems with neighbors
o   Getting energy corridors
o   Winning minds and hearts of majority (Arabs) in the Middle East
  • ·         Ideology
o   Close relations with Muslim Arabs
o   Anti-Israilism (Not Anti-Semitism)
  • ·         Effects of aggressive politicians
                                                                                                                          Isa Burak GONCA
     

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