Statue von Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in Üsküdar, Istanbul
Statue von Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in Üsküdar, Istanbul | Photo: Darwinek | CC BY-SA 3.0

Glücklich, wer sich nicht nur Türke nennt! Yücel verdankt dem Doppelpass die Freilassung

Die Freilassung Deniz Yücels nach einem Jahr Untersuchungshaft in einem türkischen Hochsicherheitsgefängnis ist Anlass zur Freude. Dass sich in diese Freude mehr als nur ein bitterer Beigeschmack mischt, haben zahlreiche Kommentare der letzten Tage zum Ausdruck gebracht: Gibt es einen Deal mit Ankara? Was hieße es, wenn Pressefreiheit zur Verhandlungsmasse würde? Welche Konsequenzen hat es für die vielen noch immer in türkischen Gefängnissen einsitzenden Journalistinnen und Journalisten, wenn es ein Jahr Geheimdiplomatie und Kampagnen in Deutschland braucht, um in Freiheit zu gelangen? Eines zeigt der Fall auf tragische Weise: die Umdeutung der Staatsbürgerschaft zum nationalistischen Treuschwur ist in der Türkei vollzogen.


A man carrying a flag on his way to a pro government protest in Cairo on 25 January 2014 | Photo: Sebastian Horndasch | CC BY 2.0

We Need to Understand Why States Object to the Presence of Foreign-funded NGOs

More and more countries restrict how NGOs operate, often by limiting their funding. The response is frequently to argue that these restrictions flout international law or amount to crackdowns on the opposition. Annika Elena Poppe and Jonas Wolff argue that the objections to NGO activity need to be taken seriously. In Egypt, for example, they are rooted in concerns about sovereignty and foreign interference.


Meral Akşener at IYI Party's first congress in October 2017
Meral Akşener at IYI Party's first congress in October 2017 | Photo: Yıldız Yazıcıoğlu (VOA) | Public Domain

What’s in a Name? IYI Party – Good for Turkey?

A new political party was founded in Turkey on 25 October 2017. Named the “IYI Party”, meaning “good party”, it claims to bring betterment for Turkey’s financial, judicial and also human rights situation. The inaugural speech of the party’s founder, Meral Akşener, leaves an impression of the “modern” face of Turkish conservative politics. The IYI Party presents itself as an alternative to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in times of a growing dissatisfaction with Turkish politics and reorientations in opposition parties’ political stance. Although the idea that the AKP era might come to an end is intriguing, the Akşener’s party seems to follow the well-known narrative of Turkish nationalism. For a truly pluralist democracy in Turkey, this is not enough.


Clashes between the police and the poeple of Warraq Island in Cairo, Egypt
Clashes between the police and the poeple of Warraq Island in Cairo, Egypt | Photo: dpa / Ibrahim Ezzat

Egypt’s New Stability: How Long Can an Exclusionary Order Be Sustained?

The Egyptian government raised the prices of fuel and electricity at the end of June 2017, marking the second increase in less than a year. These measures are part of an IMF-backed reform effort, initiated in November 2016, that seeks to abandon most currency controls and to cut fuel subsidies. This new round of subsidy cuts has accelerated Egypt’s annual inflation rate, leading it to reach the highest level in decades by July. Despite the deterioration of socio-economic conditions in Egypt, protests have not erupted to any significant degree and, at first sight, the overall situation seems to be stable. This text presents a few doubts as to why the current order is not sustainable – in spite of the lack of public contention


Attac Banner at a Demonstration in June 2015 in Berlin, Germany
Attac Banner at a Demonstration in June 2015 in Berlin, Germany | Photo: Attac

Germany Sets a Poor Example: The Case of ATTAC in Light of Globally Closing Civic Spaces

A non-governmental organization (NGO) that is critical of the government’s actions in the country at hand receives a letter from the local tax office, indicating that its public-benefit status has been revoked on the grounds of its involvement in political activities. The decision involves 90 percent of the organization’s revenues, which, as a result, threatens its very existence. After a court has reviewed and closed the case in favor of the NGO, the central government intervenes, insisting that the judgment should be reviewed. For the time being, the organization’s public-benefit status has been revoked.