Mustafa Domanic at PostGlobal

Mustafa Domanic

Istanbul, Turkey

Mustafa Domanic is an online activist and blogger. He contributes to several blogs on Turkish current affairs as well as global political issues including Close.

Mustafa Domanic

Istanbul, Turkey

Mustafa Domanic is an online activist and blogger. He contributes to several blogs on Turkish current affairs as well as global political issues including more »

Main Page | Mustafa Domanic Archives | PostGlobal Archives

November 5, 2008 3:24 PM

Long-Term Solution Not Likely - Yet

The continuation of indirect peace talks between Syria and Israel is vital in order to establish a much needed sense of trust between the two sides; but a long term peace deal is unlikely until Israel resolves her primary issues with Hamas and the Palestinian nation. Therefore, these talks are a long distance away from changing the current status quo in the region.

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May 22, 2008 3:18 PM

Internet Alone Won't Change Politics

The Current Discussion: Egypt has detained a number of its citizens for using the social networking site Facebook to organize anti-government protests. What online sites are most effective in influencing politics -- and is the impact positive?

When I first read Jack Fairweather's report on "Egypt's Facebook Revolution" a few days ago, I was immediately reminded of what happened in Turkey back in 2007. Around a million Turks had just joined the Facebook craze and it was the only subject heard in the streets besides, of course, politics. Obviously, it wasn't long before the two subjects inevitably merged.

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March 15, 2008 10:10 AM

Washington Post Gets PKK Wrong

One of the most important lessons you learn by living abroad is that, as the saying goes, "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". This was made most obvious to me when a Colombian friend of mine walked into my college apartment and was shocked to see a picture of Che Guevera hanging on my wall. He said bluntly that it was insulting to him that I had put up the picture of this man who had caused so much sorrow to his people. Upset, I tried to explain to him that I did not consider Che to be responsible for the pain Colombia had endured during FARC's brutal campaign; instead, it was the region’s social and political problems that had caused the unrest. For me, Che just stood for beautiful ideals of equality and justice.

Yet, when I recently came across a Washington Post article titled, A Kurdish Society of Soldiers, written by Joshua Partlow and accompanied by Andrea Bruce's dramatic photography, I chose to forget that bitter lesson and let my anger out by cursing at the Post for choosing to publish such a story. I was not alone in my reaction; the Turkish press caught on within hours, condemning the Washington Post and prompting readers to send protest letters to its editors.

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February 11, 2008 5:18 PM

Secular Turks In Denial

The Current Discussion: Turkish secularists say that allowing women to wear headscarves will result in the Islamicization and radicalization of the country. Do they have a point?

Let me start by stating straight-away that I am personally against the ban on headscarves in Turkish universities and I believe it should be removed for two main reasons: First, as a matter of moral principle, I cannot sympathize with any obstruction of liberties whether religious or political. Second, I simply don't think the ban has worked for the purpose it has intended to serve.

Yet I do believe that the Turkish secularists have a point when they warn against the gradual Islamization of Turkey, and I also believe that their arguments have not been clearly reported in the international media. Therefore, I think it would be best if I first report on the secularist arguments I have heard here, including those from most of my friends and family, as I understand their positions. Then I will explain why I have not been fully convinced to change my mind on the issue.

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January 23, 2008 2:03 PM

World to America: Stay Home and Rest

The Current Discussion: If countries around the world are doing so well economically, why are they still catching a cold when the United States sneezes?

I don't think the saying used in this latest PostGlobal question describes the current situation accurately and therefore, it should be reversed. The current recession fears in the United States can no longer be described as a sneeze; at this point it is a full blown cold. On the other hand, the reactions in world markets are merely sneezes. So the question should ask: "Why are world markets sneezing when the United States catches a cold?" Then the answer to this question would be fairly easy; because the common cold is highly contagious and the world markets are working in the same office! Unfortunately, we cannot ask the U.S. to stay home and rest.

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December 31, 2007 1:45 PM

2007, Turkey’s Breaking Point

The Question: What was the biggest news story in your country last year [in 2007], and why?

For all the observers who have followed Turkey regularly throughout the last decade, 2007 seemed like a 'two-hour-long season finale'. In January, Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink was shot dead in front of his office, prompting thousands to take the streets in protest. This was only a prelude to the massive secularist rallies of April and May, which were then followed in November by nationalist demonstrations in reaction to deadly terror attacks by the separatist PKK. Although all these crowds had seemingly different reasons to take the streets and different ideological and demographical make-ups, they all shared a common motivation; a strong feeling of insecurity and a desire to raise their voices in a way that would penetrate the cacophony of Turkish politics. That is why, instead of singling out one of these as the most important event of the year, I will try to explain their interrelatedness and the significance of 2007 as a breaking point in modern Turkish history.

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December 10, 2007 12:38 PM

Nuclear Capacity Needed to Deter America

The American intelligence reports’ recent assertion that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 does not change anything about the current situation as long as it does not fundamentally change the minds of American policymakers. Judging from President Bush's dismissive response, this doesn't seem to be the case. The truth is, Americans do not need a pretext to continue their bullying of Iran, which is precisely why Iranians want to and in fact should build nuclear capacity.

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November 24, 2007 10:03 AM

Turks Want Change, A Louder Voice, and Sympathy

We can summarize Turkish people's expectations for the coming year in three sentences: They want change. They want more of a say. And they want sympathy from the international community.

After five years of economic growth and unprecedented socio-political change, the Turkish people finally hit some rocks in 2007. Starting with the secularist protests that attracted crowds of millions, and the government's stand-off with the military in April, the political climate had become quite harsh by the time elections arrived in July. Although Turkish democracy came out stronger when the problem resolved itself through the reassuring election victory of the ruling AKP, the tensions did not ease and polarizations grew deeper. All this had slowed down the pace of political reform in the country, but it also accelerated the democratic awareness and the desire for change among Turkish people.

The re-election of the reformist AKP was a clear sign that the Turkish people were happy with the pace of reforms on all fronts and wanted to see the process gain momentum again. Turks are probably annoyed by the roadblocks but certainly are not tired yet. This is reflected in this moth's poll results showing that the AKP has increased its support to 51% from a 47% election victory. Currently no other political party, excluding the pro-Kurdish DTP, offers political reform at the top of their agenda. This is clearly why AKP's support keeps growing despite its widely-criticized security policies.

The latest in the string of events to add to Turkey's political turmoil were the deadly PKK attacks on military and civilian targets, which left Turkish people in an angry, nationalist outrage. Protests against the PKK, some of which bordered or perhaps crossed the line of racism, were common in Turkish cities last month. Almost all windows had a Turkish flag waving in a show of unity against the attacks. To many observers who were following 2007’s political tensions, Turkey looked like a country almost about to explode with political anger.

When I look at Turkey, my native country, I also see a country that is about to explode. Yet this is not an explosion of anger but one that resembles the breaking of a shell. Given the hot-blooded nature of our people, I believe the nationalist reaction will soon fade and yield to real demands that will result in change.

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November 19, 2007 11:12 AM

Energy Squeeze Could Mean War

While it’s true that all the current signals are pointing in the direction of a US-led slowdown in the world economy - relatively high oil prices and low credit availability, to name two - this is not what should be worrying the general public. Instead, the real worry is that current oil prices imply the threat of a looming energy squeeze.

The financial troubles of our day could well have been anticipated; U.S. consumer growth was in a six-year 'boom' and the time for the 'bust' phase of the infamous business cycle would eventually come. Therefore, there is no doubt that global markets can absorb this expected bust phase and recover without major disruptions to the financial order. Also, in recent years emerging markets have matured to a level at which a downturn in the US economy is no longer the end of the world. So a global financial doomsday is not what we are set for.

Yet a doomsday scenario based on the shortage of energy resources is not out of question. By many measures US$100 is not necessarily a high price for oil. In fact, it is still considerably cheap compared to global energy agencies’ projections made two decades ago. In the long run, as former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan openly explains in his memoir The Age of Turbulence, by 2020 the growing world economy will need more oil than can be produced, and a rally in oil prices is inevitable. The main drivers of this demand will be the economies of China and India. Come 2020, the power of those two giant economies will also have coupled with their political ambitions, which is an alarming development for world peace.

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PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.