The introduction of the presidential system and the associated autocratic political system around President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan massively curtailed the scope of action for opposition activists, journalists, and academics in Turkey. Turkish civil society is increasingly vulnerable to political despotism, while state repression and the prevailing legal uncertainty continue to restrict democratic spaces and progressive forces’ scopes for action. Moreover, the currency and economic crisis has led to a massive drop in the value of the Turkish lira and, as a result, to dramatic unemployment and high inflation.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is pursuing an aggressive foreign policy, especially in the Syrian conflict, but also towards the European Union. Turkey has launched a number of illegal military operations against the Democratic Federation of Northern and Eastern Syria, founded in 2016. The regime in Ankara makes territorial claims against Greece in the Aegean Sea, resulting in repeated tensions in the Mediterranean.
Despite the state repression and ever-more “shrinking spaces” for democratic forces, it is evident that civil society continues in Turkey to occupy public space and that resistance to Erdoğan's policies is forming. In the context of these developments, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation supports civil society actors in organizing resistance and in their struggle for a just, emancipatory, and solidary society.
The foundation has been working on Turkey since 2005, although its work is managed by the foundation's head office in Berlin.
The activities of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and its partner organizations in Turkey focus on two major areas:
- Strengthening Civil Society and Activist Resistance
The policies of the ruling regime in Ankara primarily undermine the social and democratic rights of particularly vulnerable social groups. In order to nevertheless identify different forms of discrimination and violations of social rights and to be able to critically introduce them into public debate, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation supports civil society organizations in their work for a more just, emancipatory, and solidary society and in their demands for equal rights and self-determination. In doing so, the foundation works together with various actors in the fields of social, queer-feminist, trade union, and ecological struggles.
- Analysing Political Developments and Geopolitics in the Region
At the same time, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation contributes to a differentiated understanding of Turkey’s geopolitical and geostrategic role in the region and in relation to the EU and Germany. For this purpose, the foundation offers various educational, dialogical, and informational formats in Turkey as well as in Germany and promotes transnational cooperation in order to keep spaces for critical thinking and political alternatives open. The foundation works together with various diaspora organizations and representatives of civil society, academia, and the media in Turkey and Germany in order to strengthen transnational networks and give space to progressive voices.
|Senior Adviser and Project Manager Turkey|| Dominic Noll|
Phone: +49 30 44310 449