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  • Author: Itır Akdoğan
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: In this report, we enquire into the issue of gender equality by investigating different sectors at once to offer recommendations for improvement. In this project, which is supported by the Swedish Consulate General in İstanbul, we first examine, in light of data gathered and disseminated by European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), the percentage of women high-level decision makers in Turkey’s politics, public administration, local government, civil society organizations, social partners, business, media, judiciary and education/science/research. We compare these rates in their historical transformation and with the rates of European Union countries, thus inspecting them in their wider quantitative context. Next, we conduct in-depth interviews with women (if not present, men) high-level decision makers in these areas to carry out a qualitative assessment of women’s participation in Turkey.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Gender Issues, Politics, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, European Union
  • Author: Aybars Görgülü, Mehmet Ünlü, Samuel Doveri Vesterbye, Zerrin Cengiz
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: Full membership to the European Union (EU) has been a major foreign policy aspiration for any government leading Turkey in the past three decades. Accordingly, Turkey has been a candidate for EU membership since 1999 and accession negotiations started in 2005. Despite this positive momentum, Turkey is pretty far from full membership perspective as of mid-2015. A decade after the start of the accession negotiations, both sides seem quite busy with their internal problems and the official negotiation process is left into limbo. Although the current political climate does not offer an optimistic look, Turkey’s full membership aspirations are still present. It is clear that Turkey’s membership is different from any previous accession especially due to the size and the demography of the country. However, it should be noted that Turkey deserves a fair treatment and evaluation from the Union if the membership criteria are fully met. Here we face the question of how to tackle socio-cultural prejudice and discrimination with regards to Turkey’s accession process.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, European Union, Discrimination
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, European Union
  • Author: Ceren Sözeri, Dilek Kurban
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: Media policy in Turkey has shaped the media-state relationship since the establishment of the first newspaper in the late Ottoman period. While regulations were often employed as an effective disciplinary tool against the press in processes of state formation and modernization, opponent journalists have constantly been suppressed by state and non-state actors who claimed to act in the name of ‘state interests’. The coup d’état in 1980 and the concomitant economic liberalisation changed the ownership structure of the media sector with the entry of new investors. Following the abolishment of state monopoly on broadcasting in the 1990s, big conglomerates expanding through vertical and horizontal mergers have dominated all fields of the media. The high concentrated market structure in the media was made possible due to the inadequacy of legal barriers to crossmergers, as well as the lack of measures that would prevent media conglomerates from participating in public tenders in other sectors of the economy. The shortcomings of the regulatory framework to promote press freedom and diversity in the media has encouraged big corporations to regard themselves as legitimate political actors that can bargain with the government. Media ownership was restructured following the economic crisis in 2001. Big media groups, which had investments in the financial and banking sectors, were particularly affected by the crisis; some being completely wiped out of the market, while others were seized by the state. Shortly after the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi- AK Parti) came to power in 2002, the mainstream media was reconfigured ideologically as either ‘opponent’ or ‘proponent’ to the government. Notwithstanding the limited positive effects of the EU accession process on media freedom, there are dozens of ECtHR judgments regarding freedom of expression and freedom of the press waiting to be executed by the Turkish state. Journalists who are powerless vis-à-vis the owners and political power are particularly affected by the political polarisation in the media. The structural obstacles to unionization and the lack of solidarity in the profession lead to labour exploitation, low quality content and violations of media ethics. The lack of a strong pro-democracy social movement; the ideological conservatism of the judiciary; the institutional weakness of the parliament; and the lack of democracy within political parties render the government – and future governments – too powerful vis-à-vis the society and the media. On a positive note, however, there is a growing awareness on the need for social monitoring of the media. In the absence of a widely accepted and established selfregulatory framework, various non-governmental organizations and activist groups started to watch the media in order to expand the culture of diversity and to reduce discrimination, racism and hate speech. MEDIADEM is a European research project which seeks to understand and explain the factors that promote or conversely prevent the development of policies supporting free and independent media.
  • Topic: Democracy, Media, Freedom of Expression, Journalism
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, European Union
  • Author: Aybars Görgülü, Enis Erdem Aydın, Mensur Akgün, Sabiha Senyücel Gündoğar
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: This report contains the results of a survey conducted on 6-14th December 2010 by KA Research that has been evaluated by TESEV Foreign Policy Programme. Based on a sample size of 1,000, the survey aims to understand the perception of foreign policy in Turkey. A first of its kind for TESEV, the survey includes striking findings that may be of interest to decision-makers in Turkey and those following Turkey around the world. This report finds many results for the opinion on the foreign policy vision of Turkey concerning the Turkish government, the US government, the EU and the Middle East.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Cyprus, United States of America, European Union