In a Voice of America Speech of Prof Dr Ahmet Sözen on the 2018 National Election of Turkey

In a Voice of America Speech of Prof Dr Ahmet Sözen on the 2018 National Election of Turkey:

Turks go to the polls Sunday (June 24) in one of modern Turkey’s most important national elections with both parliament and the presidency at stake at the same time, a first in Turkish history under a new constitution.  It will also be a verdict on the 15-year rule of controversial President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been given new executive powers.

Mr. Erdogan must capture more than 50-percent of the vote to avoid a July 8th runoff.  His ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) must take also take more than 300-seats in the 600-seat parliament to avoid a coalition partnership.  Ahmet Sozen is a political science and international affairs professor at Eastern Mediterranean University on Cyprus.  He told VOA’s Victor Beattie

“the outcome is crucial because Turkey matters to the world, it is the second biggest army in the NATO; So who rules Turkey really matters; So the test this time is going to be between whether people are happy with a decades and a half long rule by Erdoğan and Justice and Development Party; Or, whether the Turks are ready for change; But of course the election is going to take place under extraordinary law, the state of emergency which is continuing in the last two years after the coup attempt in the summer of 2016; Erdoğan’s party is holding the upperhand when it comes to the media coverage because majority of the Turkish media is mostly very friendly with Erdoğan;under control of people who are supporters of Erdoğan; so, the opposition is entering into this crucial election in a disadvantaged position.

Will this election turn on the first time young voters?

I think so, because Turkey is a country with a huge population which is relatively young, definitely the young voters are very important; we will see how many of them or what percentage of them will actually go to the polls; The voters turn on in Turkey has always been much higher.

Do you expect a run off July 8th?

If the elections are going to take place in a fair and just vote let say, that is my expectation, We have several candidates running in the presidential election, especially not in the parliamentary but presidential election, the more candidates we have, the more votes will be distributed among them, it would be very difficult for one candidate to get more than 50% of the votes in the first round.

How important is the outcome of this election to Turkey, its allies, the European Union, the US and Syria?

I think that this is very important because especially in the last three years Turkey has been ruled in a way that there is a high polarization in the country; between those who support Erdoğan, for the matter of stability, on the other hand, we have those who believe that this tension and polarization in Turkey is very dangerous, that we need to reestablish democratic rule again, we have to uphold rule of law and democracy in Turkey and go back to the parliamentary system, rather than handing substantive executive powers into the hands of one man.”

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The Normative Role of the EU in North Kosovo by Dr. Rok Zupančič

This seminar explored what does the “Brussels Dialogue”, one of the cornerstones of current EU peacebuilding activities in Kosovo, mean for the Serbs in the North of Kosovo. As argued by many, the EU-brokered dialogue, which led to the signing of the Brussels agreement (2013), is to be regarded as a “success” of EU peacebuilding. However, such positive assessments usually overlook the consequences for the locals and their perception of “success”. By linking the theory on the EU as a normative power with the academic literature on the local aspects of peacebuilding, this project argues that despite the supposed success, these concrete EU peacebuilding efforts had, among others, certain negative social psychological implications for the Serbs in the North of Kosovo and contributed to the worsening of intra-ethnic relations within this community. These processes, in turn, question the EU peacebuilding “success”, and the overall perception of the EU as a normative power in this territory.

Prof. Dr. L. Marvin Overby Department of Political Science – University of Missouri “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: American Politics in the Era of Donald Trump” May 17, 2017 (@BEA4, EMU)

overby

A panel titled “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: American Politics in the Era of Donald Trump” was organized by the Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Cyprus Policy Center and the Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Political Science and International Relations. The panel took place on the 17th of May 2017 at the Old Senate room of the International Relations Department in EMU. Following the opening speech of Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sözen, Prof. Dr. L. Marvin Overby has given a seminer that addressed the politics of the US President Donald Trump which would affect Cyprus and its region.

Marvin Overby is professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Missouri. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma, while serving as a fellow in the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center. Before joining the faculty at Missouri in 2002, he held appointments at Loyola University Chicago and the University of Mississippi, as well as visiting appointments as a Fulbright distinguished chair at the University of Szeged in Hungary and at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies. His research interests include legislative careers (in the U. S. Congress and elsewhere), legislative rules and procedures (such as the discharge petition in the U. S. House of Representative, the filibuster in the Senate, and free votes in various parliamentary settings), minority politics, and Southern politics. His research articles have appeared in such leading disciplinary journals as the American Political Science Review, the American journal of Political Science, the journal of Politics, and Legislative Studies Quarterly.

Overby’s seminar suggested some consequences which would likely come to pass in the near feature. The republicans would continue to stick with their leader to further their interests on taxes, military and other policies. However this support would prove to be shortlived once the public support starts to decline. However this support would prove to be shortlived once the public support starts to decline. Another question which seems to work against Trump was the foresight in him which fails to sustain a good name to pessimistic views from the people. In conclusion the presentation was very good and insightful but also it gave room for people not to underestimate overreaction which is common through the media. In a nutshell the final remarks pictured Trump as not being goal oriented but rather wanting to come on top of the situations all the time.

Dr. Sophia Dingli International Relations Department, University of Glasgow ‘A Depoliticized Peace’ March 9, 2016 (@BEA5, EMU)

dingli 2016

Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Cyprus Policy Centre (CPC) held a seminar on May 3, 2017 on the subject of ‘Apolitic Peace’. The seminar’s opening speech was made by Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sözen and Glasgow University academic staff member Sophia Dingli was the speaker. Sophia Dingli is a lecturer in International Relations at the University of Glasgow. Her work explores the concept and phenomenon silence in International Relational theory and practice and its implications for political order and peace. Her work has appeared in Politics and the European Journal of International Relations, among other publications.

The aim of this seminar was to examine the extent to which contemporary peace theory exhibits the characteristics of depoliticisation, the significance of this and the alternatives available in light of these findings. During the seminar the extent to which the Contemporary Peace Theory shows depoliticization characteristics, its importance and alternatives in the light of findings were discussed. EMU International Relations Department students actively participated in the seminar, relying information about their own countries. Dingli formerly participated in a seminar in EMU on international relation theories and their implementation as well as the notion of “Silence” in 2015 upon the invitation of CPC. Among, Dingli’s academic publications is her work published in “Politics and the European Journal of International Relations”.

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Limor Yehuda Human Rights Lawyer and Researcher – Association for Civil Rights in Israel “The Emergence of ‘Collective Security’: Lessons Learned from Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Cyprus” March 22, 2017 (Rauf Raif Denktaş Kültür ve Kongre Sarayı @EMU)

Limor

On March 22, 2017 Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Cyprus Policy Center (CPC) organized a conference on “The Emergence of ‘Collective Security’” at the Rauf Raif Denktaş Palace of Culture and Congress. Following the opening speech of Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sözen, Human Rights Lawyer and Researcher Limor Yehuda gave her seminer. Limor Yehuda is a jurist with a special interest in human rights and social justice. After legal internship as a prosecutor with the district attorney’s office in Jerusalem, Limor spent six years at Israel’s Supreme Court as a legal assistant and member of Chief Justice Aharon Barak’s legal team. Following her work at the court Limor joined the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) where she directed the department for human rights in the Occupied Territories and litigated human rights cases before Israel’s High Court of Justice. Limor is currently a research fellow and PhD candidate at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her research focuses on the requirement for collective equality in the resolution of ethno-national conflicts. In addition to her academic work, Limor is a founding member of “Two States, One Homeland”, a movement focused on offering a new paradigm to the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on a modified confederacy model.

Yehuda’s seminar focused mainly on collective equality. This phenomenon has been put forward as a result of different conflicts in the world particularly on countries like Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Cyprus. Among the root causes of the emergence of collective equality was self determination and territorial integrity. In line with conflict in these areas, scholars view these conflicts as no solution conflicts that means there is no room for remedies to these problems such as the Israel-Palestine conflict. As a result of this position, Yehuda suggests collective security as alternative to these conflicts. Yehuda also outlined that the human rights concept would not be enough to solve these problems but also collective equality measures should be implemented in both social and political terms.

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