Assignment: Four short papers
The following are four précis of the related article: “Civil Society, Islam and Democracy in Tur-key: A Study of Three Non-Governmental Organizations,”
Nongovernmental humanitarianism in turkey: the quest for internationalist virtue
In the article by Husrev Tabak, he questions about the international virtues of nongovernmental humanitarianism in Turkey. The last decade has been a golden age in the history of Turkey`s international humanitarian initiatives. But here is a lack of cross-border humanitarian engagement among charitable civil society organizations in Turkey and the existent organizations are mostly oriented around Islam. Since the majority of charitable organizations with cross-border engagement are of Islamic background and culture. This internationalist concern of faith-based organizations in Turkey could be explained with the presence of the cognitive frames molded by the consciousness of the Islamic community. The first reason for this is that these groups are incapable of or are not interested in translating present internationalist frames into international engagement on a humanitarian level. The lack of organizations with international missions would also be caused by the public's habit of making donations in Turkey. Not all faith-based organizations with cross-border humanitarian missions have big resources - many of them have fewer resources than non-faith-based charitable organizations operating in Turkey. Therefore, what really is missing is internationalist virtue. This gives us the answer for the first question.
Civil society organizations, as holders of religious identity, have extended the scope and extent of their humanitarian assistance in the scope of Islamic internationalism. Although Islamic identity civil society organizations deliver humanitarian assistance to various communities with diverse backgrounds and needs, the donations they generate continue to be made mostly with a religious motive, which needs to be diversified.
How democratic is Turkey?
The Gezi protests are the culmination of growing popular discontent over the recent direction of Turkish politics. The actual issue represents the way in which the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has slowly strangled all opposition while making sure to remain within democratic lines. Turkey under the AKP has become the textbook case of a hollow democracy.
The new political, cultural, and economic openness helped Erdogan won re-election with 47 percent of the popular vote in the summer of 2007, the first time any party had gotten more than 45 percent of the vote since 1983. This was unprecedented in Turkish politics.
The most obvious way this pattern has manifested itself is in the debate over the new Turkish constitution. Similarly, the AKP is undertaking massive construction projects in Istanbul, all of which are controversial and opposed by widespread coalitions of diverse interests. Yet in every case, the government has run roughshod over the projects’ opponents in a dismissive manner, asserting that anyone who does not like what is taking place should remember how popular the AKP has been when elections roll around.
Turkey has essentially become a one-party state. Successful democracies provide their citizens with ways in which to express their desires and frustrations beyond periodic elections, and Turkey has failed spectacularly in this regard.
The AKP and Prime Minister Erdogan might have been elected with an increasing share of the popular vote over the last decade, but the government’s actions increasingly make it seem as if Turkish democracy does not extend farther than the voting booth.
Democratic representation of pro-Kurdish political parties in Turkey
Political parties are vital organizations for the representation of different political groups. That’s why protecting the existence and rights of political parties is vital for