Amsterdam – On the eve of the elections - Turkey, quo vadis?

17 May 2011

A round-table discussion on Turkish politics, possible reforms and Turkey's future with Ümit Cizre (Istanbul Şehir University) and Gerald Knaus (Chairman, European Stability Initiative; Associate Fellow, Carr Center, Harvard Kennedy School)

17 May 2011

Zuilenzaal Felix Meritis, Keizersgracht 324 Amsterdam
Doors open at 7.30pm, start at 8pm


Istanbul. Photo: flickr/Tigermuse

Istanbul. Photo: flickr/Tigermuse

On June 12th, against the backdrop of an increasingly polarised political scene, the Turkish electorate will head to the polls. The upcoming elections will most probably see the incumbent AKP emerge victorious for the third consecutive time. However, the main opposition party, the CHP – under a new leadership and with a renewed commitment to social democracy – is likely to attract voters discontented with the AKP’s increasingly authoritarian course. Supporters of the nationalist MHP and pro-Kurdish BDP are also expected to make an impact on the outcome of the poll.

Ultimately, the election will set the stage for an overhaul of the present constitution, a relic of the 1980 military coup. What are the main issues at stake? What kind of a balance will the new charter strike between the state and its citizens? How will the political leadership reconcile diverging interests and accommodate the needs of Kurds and Alevis, the pious and the secular, women and sexual minorities? Poised between East and West, with the legacy of a dominant nation-state and a shared but contested demand for reforms, where is Turkey heading?

Professor Ümit Cizre (a renowned expert on civil-military relations and member of a constitutional reform commission organized by TESEV, a think-tank) and Gerald Knaus (Chairman, European Stability Initiative; Associate Fellow, Carr Center, Harvard Kennedy School), will join us in Amsterdam to discuss the dynamics of Turkish politics in the run-up to June 12th. Lily Sprangers, director of the Turkey Institute (The Hague), will moderate.

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Recording of the whole event. Audio: Turkije Instituut. All rights reserved.


This event is organised jointly by the Turkey Institute, ESI, and Felix Meritis, and is funded by the European Union.

Felix Meritis European Commission