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CIC Victoria: Economics, Earthquakes, Elections and the Challenges that lie ahead for Turkiye
April 19, 2023 @ 11:30 am - 2:00 pm PDT
This is an in-person event at the Union Club. Registration details for CIC Victoria members forthcoming.
2023 marks the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic. It was meant to be a year of celebration but recently Turkiye has experienced several major earthquakes that killed over 46,000 people and left 214,000 buildings identified as “collapsed, urgently to be demolished or heavily damaged.” 3.5 million people were also displaced in the earthquake zone. Even before the earthquakes, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in power since 2003, had seen his popularity dip amid a cost-of-living crisis in which inflation soared as high as 85%. Now the country is heading towards national elections in May and Turkish opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has emerged as the main challenger to Erdogan. Polls suggest that the election will be tight, with the opposition bloc running slightly ahead of the governing alliance. Perhaps shifting the balance in favour of the opposition will be Turkey’s pro-Kurdish HDP, the third-biggest party in the parliament, who said they may back Kilicdaroglu. Along with Turkiye’s questionable stance regarding the war in Ukraine, it all makes for a very tumultuous time ahead for the Turkish people and Turkiye, a pivotal nation sitting at the crossroads of Europe and the Middle East.
Our speaker, Reşat Kasaba is a Professor at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. He has written on economic history, state-society relations, migration, ethnicity and nationalism, and urban history in the late Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. His publications include volume four of the Cambridge History of Modern Turkey and A Moveable Empire: Ottoman Empire, Migrants, and Refugees. Professor Kasaba served as the Director of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies in 2010-2020.