tv Turkeys Political Future - Domestic Politics CSPAN January 4, 2018 4:56pm-6:37pm EST
sunday on cspan's q and ark. a. i propose action independent stead of words. now before it is too late. for the sake of a better world, but i say again and again and again that i propose it for our own american self-interest. >> henrik hank meyer with his book arthur vandenberg, the man in the middle of the american century. >> he finds himself in opposition when fdr is elected. the democrats in the early 1930s take majority in the senate. he's in opposition for the next dozen years. and that means that to get anything done, can which often meant resisting some of franklin roosevelt's initiatives, there needed to be b a coalition. he had the to reach across the aisle. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on cspan. next, part of a conference
on turkey. and the country's domestic politics. including the growing power of the president and his party. also, the role rival parties might play in this november's elections. good morning, everyone. i'm director of turkey studies at middle east institute. i'm very happy to welcome you all to our eighth annual conference on turkey. each year as we convene this conference we fine keen interest in turkish matters. 2017 was very dramatic and a difficult year for turkey for its neighbors and allies including the united states. so we appreciate if you are making time to join us in our discussion. our keynote speaker, is a leading voice on turkish affairs
in foreign affairs of the german parliament. she will provide a firsthand report on the challenges facing ankara and berlin. we have elected members of the turkish and european parliament on the program as well alongside a leader in u.s. diplomacy toward turkey and expert analyst. you will hear our guest speaking -- guest speakers on three panels. to begin we will examine turkey's internal dynamics. our panelist include recent member of the turkish parliament, political party representative and scholars who have been writing and following turkey. after our morning coffee break, we'll turn our attention to
turkey's economy with the help of three turkish scholars who teach at washington area universities and member of european parliament. after the midday break we'll hear from the keynote speaker at 1:30 p.m. we will follow with the day's final panel at 2:00 looking at turkey's foreign relations, particularly turkey's relations with the u.s., european union and russia. we will be joined by legislators from turkey and european union as well as u.s. deputy assistant secretary for state -- of state for southern europe and the turkish scholar in that conversation. as you can imagine, we are delighted with the program we have assembled. i really hope you'll find the discussion valuable as well. we are recording the events. so if you miss any part of the conference, don't worry about it. just go back and listen to it online. one final note on today's
program, for the last 71 years, the middle east institute has been dedicated to balance and nonpartisan programming and analysis. we work very hard so that you hear to ensure our invited speakers represent all sides of the ideological debate so you as an audience can hear diverse views and make up your own minds about controversial issues. so in that spirit this year, as previous years, we reach out to prominent figures affiliated with turkey's ruling justice and the party as well as think tankers, journalists, who are close to the government, and opposition parties and scholars. we are very grateful to all the speakers who agreed to appear today. i also would like to express my gratitude to mr. james holman. he's our board member, for his generous support to this conference. mei has the pleasure to work with the conference with
friedrich ebert foundation and michael meier for making it possible. i sincerely thank this partnership. it's my pleasure to ask michael to greet you and to introduce our opening panel. michael, the floor is yours. [ applause ] >> i was asked to put this name tag up. ladies and gentlemen, it's really a pleasure to be with you this morning. just come back from germany yesterday evening and the times
are not easy in germany as well given the coalition talks and all that. but -- but today turkey. turkey does not play a role yet in the coalition talks, by the way, but this will come up. as a german think and do tank active in turkey and the united states and more than 100 countries around the world, we have really high interests in raising this topic, and we are very proud to be able to organize this conference in crucial times incorporation with middle east institute. i would like to dwell on three areas where i think we also will get some interesting discussions today. one is concerning turkey's
domestic situation. after the coup, the rifts aggravated between -- within turkish society between turks and kurds, akp and opposition mr. erdogan and the followers, secularists and devoted muslims, country side and between generations. this is not the situation which should be welcomed by anyone. we should try to do as much as possible to keep the turkish society together and not to split them. so from my point of view no political force inside to bridge these dangerous trends. maybe we can come forward together to give some recommendations on that.
economically, as you all know, the turkish lira is on an all-time low right now. since 2000, economic development was very impressive. but now it seems to me that turkey is facing this middle income trap. in order to overcome such a middle income trap, goldman sachs identified years ago four areas, how you can overcome such middle income trap. one is macro economic stability, political maturity, openness of trade and investment policies, and an improvement in the quality of education. let's see if today's conference can identify areas where turkey has fulfilled any of these requirements. on foreign policy, turkey and eu relations are in deep trouble. the european commission assesses turkey doesn't fulfill the copenhagen criteria for access
into the eu. the customs union modernization is not on the agenda right now. the turkish u.s. relations are in trouble due to so many reasons that i want just to enumerate a few of them. different views on syria, syrian kurds, the zurich trial, the arrest of americans and the halt of visa services in turkey just to name a few. now let me come to the turkish-german relations. they are deeply in trouble as well. since the violation of basic rights, the jailing of germans, german citizens, journalists in turkey, the med lipping of turkish officials in the german
election campaign, "the refusal to german lawmakers to visit german troops on the nato base and the linked relocation of the units outside nato territory to jordan. this is unprecedented but it happened. ladies, we have a lot to discuss. i'm looking forward to that, your input and active participation.
i would like to thank middle eastern institute and mei and the friedrich foundation for making it possible. let me introduce the panel, from johns hopkins, well informed specialist. doctor, the floor is yours. >> thank you to all of you for coming. thank you for that kind introduction, thank you to middle east institute for inviting me and bringing us here. when you study turkey every day it's a fascinating day to be study iing and to be following what's going on. we have much to talk about. i want to briefly introduce our panelists as well. have you their biography in the brochure so i won't spend a lot of time on that because obviously we have lots to talk about. over here we have talabani chair of kurdish political study and associate professor at the university of central forward.
here we have giran ozcan. i'm going to use and abuse my role as moderator to make a point i always like to make everywhere i go. if you know me you know this. in the brochure people's democratic party apostrophe after people which means single people, if you think about republican people's party, one singular people. in fact the translation is peoples' after the s so means multiple people. it's a translation and political point i want to make as well. okay. i've now abused that power. over here we have ahmet kuru from san diego state and aykan erdemir, turkish parliament and senior fell or for defense of democracies.
we have an extraordinary esteemed panel for this discussion. i was thinking about what are the sorts of issues i want to bring up. of course i wanted to publicize the event, so i was trying to tweet about all the things we could possibly cover. i was thinking everything from kurdish issue to what's the state of the military following the purges to allegations of corruption to everything from things that touch on economy, things that touch on foreign policy. it's very difficult to understand kurdish issue without understanding syria and iraq. it's difficult to understand syria without understanding russia. it's difficult to understand russia's relationship if you don't understand the economy. there's a lot of connections among the panels we're going to be seeing. i tried to tweet about it. even with the extra number of characters that we're now allowed, i couldn't even get a quarter of those issues in. i want to see how many we can get in. we'll obviously leave a lot of time for questions. this is a great audience. you'll be interested to ask this panel your pressing questions. i actually want to start with a very, very general question and
then we'll kind of drill down into the specific issues. so i want to ask all of the panelists. obviously again thinking about things that are connected, it's very difficult to understand any of the atps domestic and foreign policies without understanding upcoming elections in 2019 and what are the motivations for domestic and foreign policy or potentially moving up those elections as some are now talking about. what i want to ask the panelists is, what do you think the akp or erdogan's greatest challenge in the upcoming elections, whether they be held in 2019 or moved up to 2008 will be and how do you think the party or he is or will try to address that challenge. okay. >> gunes, can we start with you. >> good morning.
so let me just like -- since this is going to be the first time image for actual elections it's a point to emphasize that. a link to kurdish question very quickly. the thing is that the main reason why kurdish in 2015 basically collapsed is because of the sacrament between kurdish and erdogan regarding erdogan's desire for a system. this does not work out. the question erdogan did not like it, ultimately -- erdogan looks for new allies. the new allies found in the party mhp. why, how the party wants to make a deal with erdogan so they will never have a chance to become part of a cause in government. ultimately establish a system basically means mhp never take ministerial seat. so it kind of sounds counter-intuitive if not basically self-destructive. you have to think about like,
again, kurdish nationalists, your nightmare in which the ruling party akp making a deal with kurdish nationals. this was a real possibility until summer of 2015. once this is happening, i think basically thought, well, if i can't basically take an action, then erdogan the ultimate goal it is better afford this deal to erdogan so i have more leverage. this is basically what happened last year and obviously ep log 2017 referendum, which was very controversial, by the way. for erdogan, the challenge coming back to your question is basically making sure the turkish nation is kept happy, so this becomes his prior concern, get this magic person in the next presidential elections next year or 2019. but then the challenge is obviously we have different like the party, whatever you want to call it english, sounds very nice, which basically means more
fragmentation in the turkish nation as well. this is going to be kind of a major challenge for erdogan which basically implies -- means he doesn't have incentive to take kurdish question because not his priority. it may change after the elections but not basically for the future. in a sense, let me make my point, look at the turkish politics, okay, huge polarization, secular guys, this has been going on since early
republican years. obviously more complicated. erdogan is very powerful, a strong leader. at the same time his power is a razor edge majority, it can swing either way very easily. not like puth, much more established institutionalized. in erdogan case everything depends on factors. he basically, from my perspective, he needs to sway turkish nationalism to make sure he wins the next elections. >> excellent. thank you very much s. >> just to add on what he said. i think the june elections is a good occasion to look back when trying to understand dangers for erdogan and adp. in the run-up to june 7 elections, we saw how the akp could -- it was towards the he said of the peace process just collapsed a couple months before the elections. we can see erdogan can be
dictated by policies. when we look at june elections and what happened with the peace process and how erdogan saw the peace process wasn't benefiting him numerically during elections and he could swerve into the national space we're talking about. i think for the elections, whether it will be held in 2018 or 2019, erdogan faces a huge -- a huge risk to whatever he does, not just whether the nationalist base will be fragmented, which probably will do with the e party, use the turkish word for the party. english it is a bit difficult. whether that is fragmented or not, erdogan will probably in terms of the country's economy for the first time, it will be at a stage where you probably won't be able to hide it as
much. i think you believe now certain cracks have been covered pretty well. i think we have to look at the case right now and how that could have a severe economic impact in the next few months. the run-up to the election that will be a huge factor. people are expecting that right now. that's probably going to be a crack too far. it seems to me, at least, erdogan is not going to be able to cover that crack as well as he's done before. and so even with an attempted coup, whether you go with conspiracy theories or not, whether erdogan knew about it or not, we saw objectively speaking
that attempted coup has strengthened erdogan's hand domestically in terms of consolidating his significant authority on all processes in the country. so even an attempted coup in turkey has helped erdogan on his way. so what that attempted coup couldn't succeed, the on coming economic crisis which everyone is pretty much expecting right now, especially if the case in new york, what kind of decisions come out there will probably be pretty significant for any election. that seems to be a little funny that something thousands of miles away in the u.s. will have a huge domestic impact in erdogan's campaign to be the first elected in the new system, the first elected president in the new system.
and so i think the challenges that are coming unfortunately aren't so much from inside the country. what that election will do, how much of an impact it will have in fragmenting that nationalist vote, i'm not too sure. no one expects her to make a huge gain or at least threaten any kind of authority or seat or anything in that regard from erdogan. the fragmentation erdogan has been severely trying since the peace process will be significant. i think the challenge, if any, i don't want to paint too much of a grim picture, if any, will come from outside turkey. >> excellent. again, showing it's difficult to extract domestic and foreign policy in turkey. >> thanks for the question. in that case i've been critical of my colleagues studying elections in central asia because they study something which does not matter at all. they say whenever you say someone you don't die before
finding your self in his or her shoes. i find myself in the same position discussing turkish elections which do not matter at all. because erdogan will never do with any electoral results. he will rig it, he will cancel it. he has the power. no one can challenge him. he has full control over the media. he has full control of the economy. he has full control of beaurocracy. so i don't think elections matter in turkey. what i think matters is economy. economically certain international policies, eu policies, u.s. policies may hurt erdogan's economic basis. the money floating from qatar may be restricted by qataris that may hurt him. but overall, i'm pessimistic about the possibility of power
change in turkey. erdogan is a very; isn't that right guy. he always look at the coming trends. for example, there was a nationalist trend coming, and i was expecting him to be damaged by this wave of turkish nationalism. but instead, he led it, became prominent turkish nationals in this course. in reality he has no basic backbone, basic ideological set of views. he's very pragmatic, opportunistic. so now, for example, i'm expecting a secular wave, a secular backlash. but he seems to be prepared even for that, returning to this, a very smart person looking to opinion poles and has no limitation whatsoever to use any discourse, any means. and in the turkish political
fabric, there is no actor who can at this point challenge him. the only factor, i want to say two things. one is economic gain, which matters. obviously, we are human beings having material needs. obviously if we have economic crisis, he'll find scapegoats, reproduce excuses, blame someone in the party. he may get rid of this. in the long run, what i think is i know akp people, many of my friends and families are members, political level, basic level, they are losing morality. turkey right now is under a very unprecedented ethical crisis. consider the corruption case, the basic line is that political morality is totally gone, which is surprising and disappointing and heartbreaking for me, which is happening with a constituency, which claims to be very moral because of certain religions and national ways they consider themselves moral people, but they don't consider morality at all when it comes to support a political leader. in the very long run, there may be a certain level of rethinking
in directing the question to you i wanted to pick up something ahmet was saying, elections don't matter. we have members of opposition, electoral opposition or representatives of them. does the opposition pose any sort of challenge for erdogan and akp or are other challenges much more worrisome? >> i think the opposition and the ballot box are necessary evils for erdogan. and his key strategy is also his key weakness. his key strategy that been to criminalize opposition. it has worked very well with adp, co-leaders, legislators, city council, party officials jailed. now the second stage is the chp. we already have one of the former deputy chairs of chp in prison.
he's being tried for treason, which can bring life in jail. just a couple of days ago erdogan indicted the whole 60-seat party council, chp's governing council. so now he might, if he follows the same path as chp, chp might be en masse criminalized. i am exhibit a here, because those of you who have been following the news, as of last tuesday, a couple of years before usa case kicked off, and a couple hours before chp leader announced erdogan extended family's offshore accounts, istanbul prosecutor's office issued an arrest warrant against me, arguing i was a witness at the trial and that i was guilty of providing a fake document the new york southern district prosecutor's office. i think this is erdogan's main
challenge, means he needs to criminalize opposition. at this point he can only do it in a farcical. if you want to pay a few cents you can check court documents. the istanbul prosecutor's office is certainly capable of checking the witness list. i'm not there. even if i were there, even under turkey's state of emergency, being called a witness to a trial is not a criminal offense. what do you do in a democracy that's just a ballot box, where all the major players are criminalized. for example, just a couple days
ago, again, akp legislators said we should raise the house of chp leader and confiscate all of its belongings to look for clues of, i guess, treason. sure, erdogan can do it, continue to criminalize my other colleagues. there are still a few who haven't been indicted. when it comes to early elections, he will need to play this game with us. he's doing the same thing with party. accusations of e party being a front of terrorist organization fattah. if e party is criminal, chp both criminal, it really is a poor game to play. that i think is the main challenge, meaning how will
turkey, how will erdogan retain the semblance of even competitive authoritarians. competitive authoritarians requires an iota of possibility even if it means bloody campaigns and snap elections and regaining power. even that semblance is necessary, you know. but i think up to 2019, we might not have that. because there are these two diametrically opposite trends. strong trends. one is keeping the illusion going that turkey is not a relationship, not one-man rule. but at the same time there's a
very strong push for criminalization because that's what ensures the survival of the regime, survival of a ruler who has no exit strategy. my prediction is -- it's quite difficult to predict anything these days in turkey, but we will continue to in the run up to the election live in a progressively toxic environment, what i call post truth environment, where not only individuals like me who are turkish, middle class, mainstream from urban center but all of turkey's vulnerable individuals, kurds, atheists, lgtbi individuals, leftists, environmentalists, they will all be smeared and scapegoated and intimidated.
civil society, not just political parties. as we see, a very symbolic name, civil society will intimidate. then i guess in the last three months in the run up to the elections, erdogan has to come up with no matter how right, in prison, tortured, exiled, whatever, he has to come up some sort of opposition like looking actors so there can be a ballot box. look, i was not the only candidate. there are other parties, other candidates. that i'm waiting to see. my prediction is, coming back to mine, he will need it. no matter how strongly he cracks down on the opposition, he will need to find elements among the opposition parties who are more desirable.
this the sinister conclusion. this is for competitive authoritarianism, to maintain, there are always individuals in various political factions who might be welling to play what we call neo-nationalist game, hard-liner game, prone to conspiracy theories. who might say, yes, erdogan is not the best individual out there, but there is a global conspiracy, a global cabal, interest lobby, trying to undermine u.s., eu, americans, aliens. there are people who are willing to buy that, and i think we will see that farce in play. >> thank you very much. i want to turn back to giran, i want to pick up how adp and erdogan coming from using criminality trying to
marginalize opposition. i've written about name calling and shaming and all those sorts of things but obviously the jailing of the two co-chairs of the people's democratic party and mayors and members and so forth. we see this criminalization often as, a, kind of a backlash against someone or some actor erdogan feels has betrayed him. there was this coalition or understanding that the kurds and akp would partner together and potentially kurds would get some sort of cultural or other kinds of rights would be given to them and they would support presidential project. so if that is the response they have seen, once they no longer agree to support that, what, if anything, could the kurdish movement coming from pkk,
people's democratic party, what could they have done differently? should they have entered into that dangerous coalition? was there anything they could have done differently to prevent the scene we see now? gunes. >> i can't speak on -- >> as expert of kurdish movement. >> something from ahmet, more like a friendly argument, we live in a country with puppets, everything, basically completes resilience of social movements in turkey. obviously turkey is part of countries you don't basically see mass mobilization capacity with the exception of our uprisings. in turkey if you look more closely, basically go beyond the circles like ankara, basically see a vibrant, very active society. basically just a couple days
ago, she was imprisoned for many months. a terrorist in prison did not work out because society did not buy it. what i'm trying to say, of course there's a very strong authoritarian tendency but a strong resilience of society. i think it's important to emphasize that. otherwise you get the impression there's one guy and everything depends on what he thinks. it's not that simple, it's a much more complicated story. coming back to your story -- sorry, your question. so if you are basically kurdish movement, has many different faces. one is like the movement, pk obviously electoral party. one thing, these guys have been around a long time which basically means that whatever you think about the calculation do not reflect what they want to achieve.
because the primary goal is to survive very repressive conditions in the last 40 years. in one case they survive, have people willing to fight for insurgency, then they can basically have a portion to make a deal on negotiations. this is important to keep in mind. yes, you can make the argument that what happened in it 2013 was a missed opportunity but i'm not sure about that because i was very skeptical about that to start with. what are they going to do? they cannot fight until the end of the world. at some point they need to make some kind of compromise. they need turkish government willing to make compromises. they thought erdogan was willing to give them some small concessions.
as long as the insurgent is there, the power, people kill and fight for insurgency, they have a leverage. now turkey manages the insurgency, if you look what happened throughout this year in terms of how many people get killed and how many attacks pk was able to stage. again, kind of a feasible insurgency going to stay there. create issues for turkish governments. before the system, my view is that the best, maybe most optimistic way for kurdish movement to be getting real concessions and basically being less violent in the long run is basically being part of a coalition government. there was a real possibility like in june 2015 after the first elections. but that possibility. now the system, there is no such possibility because only one president and he decides on support.
still you can basically have some kind of legislative presence in the parliament, which basically gives you some leverage. again, more than what used to be parliamentary system because then you have more like opportunities, more possibilities for being part of a coalition government. can you imagine a kurdish guy being interior minister or justice minister? it sounds very difficult now. there was some kind of real possibilities for kurdish people or kurdish politicians to become ministers as long as the peace process went through. it didn't obviously. basically na commands about referendum and maybe we can keep it for next time. >> thank you. giran. >> the first thing i would like to specify is that the criminalization of the kurdish calls in turkey didn't start with erdogan, obviously. this goes back a long time. comes back in the '90s members of parliament, activists killed on the streets in turkey. extrajudicial killing i'm sure
everyone knows. this the tradition or backdrop of the people's democratic party. and so i think that's important to specify, firstly. secondly, the grammatical correction, adp ills democratic party of all people in turkey. it has a pro kurdish element but not just a pro kurdish party. it's a progressive party for all the peoples of turkey. for lbgti, those individuals, other ethnicities in turkey, labor workers in turkey. i think once we define in that way, yes, the peace process was a huge opportunity for turkey. temperature hdp more than played its part during this time. when we came towards the end of that process, the choice was between, yes, all right, there was a possibility for turkey's kurdish question to be solved. a lot of people don't believe that, but there was a process.
there was dialogue. leader of pkk from his prison cell was able to send letters to celebrations attended by hundreds of thousands, if not millions. this is unprecedented in turkey. so i don't want to say there was nothing at all. there was. there was a serious process going on. again, when i first said the election arithmetics kind of determined the outcome of that process. now what could they have done differently? what they did do, firstly was prioritize the democratization of turkey more than anything else.
now, at one point there was the platform where, yes, the turkish problem could be solved but at what expense? erdogan wanted certain backing for his agenda. but could they have ever pursued a process whereby, yes, the kurdish question would be solved but turkey would be in a far worse situation democratically. i don't think it could have put itself through something like that, could have invested into that kind of process. >> it's a progressive party, for all the people of turkey. for lgbti individuals, for that resistance, for other ethnicities who live in turkey, for the laborers and workers of turkey.
the deterioration of democracy in turkey would not benefit any f f the peoples in the country. even the pkk was saying this. in that kind of atmosphere, yes, maybe a lot of kurds, let's just solve our issue. not tecare what happens to turk afterwards. but when it came down to this process, the kurdish question for a lot of kurds is tied in with the level of democracy in
the home of tech. so the two can't d separated from each other. this is what was decided on. the solution of the kurdish question is one that ties in with turkey's standard of democracy and that's taken a rapid nose dive. and that's why the hdp, yes, may be the only difference after the june 7th elections made or should have been made. a lot of people criticize them for not being open to a coalition with the akp. because of that closeness, the akp had to turn to the mhp, which i personally don't agree with. maybe that could have been done differently, if the hdp had set up straight after the election and come out and said we are
open to working with the akp, we are open to being in a coalition of some sort with erdogan, then some things may have turned out differently. but i think the hdp ultimately decided that the deterioration of democracy in turkey wouldn't benefit any of the peoples. not just the kurdish people. and that's why the divergence in the hdp's approach to the peace process, but also actually, the pkk's too. i think that's important to certify. yes, none of us are going to be able to talk on behalf of the pkk, but even the pkk's approach during that time was to prioritize the situation in turkey generally, because i think they agreed the two can't be separated. >> excellent. sorry to wrap you up, but i want to turn the question for a different perspective to ahmet. giran has talked about the hdp as this tent party, not just
pro-kurdish, supporting a lot of other interests. the akp is presenting itself as a welcoming party of the other population which is pious muslims. to what extent do you think islam is still important to election mobilization. do we see the policies the akp is putting through sort of to cater to a population or to actually construct a population they would like to see in the future? >> thank you for the question. let me bring the two issues together by another friendly disagreement. starting with the first issue. the fact that 200 strikers were relieved, excellent, wonderful. it wasn't a result of social resistance. it was a result of the regime's policy which makes it something mentioned in this conference that good things are happening
in turkey and an achievement of the regime that we are talking about as a positive thing happening in turkey. no, positive things are not happening in turkey. there's no strong civil society in turkey. 5,000 academics were sacked. 150,000 employees were sacked. >> why would you say there's no strong civil society in turkey? >> i'll explain it. 50,000 people are in jail for political reason. over 20,000 women are in jail. and about half of them i don't know the exact number, are housewives. and 660 of them have babies under age of 6 in jail. where is the strong civil society protesting the fact that 660 babies are in jail? so this is my disagreement. the second thing about the
kurdish issue. i think we're underestimating what erdogan did against kurds. turkish military never attack kurdish towns with tanks and artilleries before. that's unprecedented. that's happening first time. that cannot compare with the previous killing and torturing, et cetera. this is symbolically a first time happening in turkey. then, criticizing for not having a coalition with erdogan is totally wrong, because we have to understand erdogan's phenomenon. and i think the best thing was to refuse to have any political collaboration with erdogan, and it was the right choice because as john mentioned, the future of kurds is directly linked to the future of democracy. if he had compromised, it would be against the whole idea of
establishing a democratic turkey. so let me bring to your question and my first insight about the issue of morality. as i understand, more than half of erdogan's constituency, which means more than 25% of turkish voters are islamic conservatives. islam is important. islam is important, and erdogan makes the two almost the same thing. islam, islamism. the boundaries are in turkey. the educational system, there's strong emphasis on the schools. even the turkish police, we have seen videos on youtube, the turkish police are taking an oath referring to koran and allah and islam and et cetera. and akp people share these videos celebrating, and when they hear me criticizing, they say you're no longer a muslim. what kind of secular state is this?
my expertise is secularism. i encourage them to take the u.s. path of secularism rather than the french path to secularism. i'm very much disappointed to see turkey is taking an islamic populist path. the only hope for the future is that this 25% pro-islamic conservatives and it's expanding, maybe now it's more than that, one day realize that what they're doing is totally against any idea of morality. if the kurdish towns are bombed, if hundreds of babies are in jail, there should be some level of ethical principle and ethical concern among these pro-islamic islamic conservative constituents of erdogan, rather than worshiping and supporting a strong man. >> do you see it more as a strategic tool, something that's not necessarily genuine, or more
as a basic misunderstanding of the principles of islam? >> for erdogan, it's the political tool, an instrument. for the people it's a genuine thing, but understanding the religious lives because the whole discourse is as certain in foreign policy, at home, having a strong state, and this regime is more dangerous because it did not have religious legitimacy. never claimed that the opposition is infidels. it was a regime i criticized for many years, but right now, there's a regime in construction which combines the old ultimate understanding with the classical
islamic view that all apostates should be killed and the combination is very strong, very dangerous, and it will take maybe generations to really face this challenge. >> okay. so in thinking about how to face the challenge before we turn it over to the audience, because i know you're brimming with questions, i want to ask you about the possibility of potential coalitions, whether these are early elections or whether they're held in 2019, thinking about the outreaches that erdogan has made to the nationalists. the role of islam, of purges, what potential, we talked about the party, what potential do you see of maybe like chp/e party coalition, or what potential coalitions might we see? >> that's the million dollar question, meaning if there's going to be democratic transition in turkey, what would
that government look like? now, when we take a look at the polls today, and i have to warn you that the polls probably don't mean much, as a tool to predict what might happen in d mean much as a tool to predict what might happen in 2019, because we might be in a different political environment. we might have greater repression beyond our imagination. we might end up having kind of a not only hdp but chp basically, top cad dras. but let's assume that erdogan slows down a bit, because he desperately needs political actors to compete against and allows parties to run. based on the polls we now have, the challenge is this. chp plus e party, which i would call in the good old german
sense maybe a grand coalition, an e party that's trying to move a far right party to a center right position, and chp representing the center and center left. that could be a grand coalition to restore some, i'll pick my words very carefully, sanity, just sanity. i don't have great expectations. just restore some sanity to surk it turkish politics, but unfortunately the numbers come short. meaning in a four party parliament, you know, with hd a p and akp, we end up with june 2015 scenario. why? because turkey key challenge is to, of course, bring in the kurds. because ultimately the challenge back in june was how to deal with chp, mhp, htp maturity.
three pairts thrties that can n come together. people can do all this. similarly, in this case, again, in 2019 people can contemplate chp exhibit e party or coalition, but neither of those options give you a majority. and because of turkey's deep run cleavages, it's beyond, i guess, today's imagination that the three parties can come together. so this happens to it be erdogan's main advantage, that turkey is not only divided by class and rural urban, but also ethnicity and sect. and unless we see, i don't know how have, frks bbut an exhibi
in the presidential election, it's very difficult to imagine a transition. and allow me to end with a caveat. even in my grand coalition scenario, there is still the challenge. because almost 90% of the kurdish electorate would be out of such a grand coalition between chp and e party. e party has extremely little kurdish representation. chp has some but not enough. so if when you leave it out of a gra grand coalition, unintendedly you are leaving out 90% of the kurdish electorate. so let me say these are some of the turkey itch politics that end up pushing turkey father and
father into one more rule and kind of darkness. >> excellent. thank you. before we sort of transition to the question-and-answer period, for which we would like you if you have a question to please come to the mic. there is a couple of mics in the aisles here if you want to ask a question. while people are doing that, i'll fill the time by turning to my panelist on my right to respond to ahmet point that there is very weak society. so a lot of people will point to why there is. we can look at the reappreciation of the leftist in the koo. do you agree there is? >> i disagree with that. there is much repression in turkey but doesn't mean there is no robust civilization in turkey. these are two different things.
but also put things in p perspective. you can say erdogan did the turkey itch economy. it doesn't help to understand the complexes because you can make the argument that he still basically launches back. even coming back to this issue, erdogan is strong authoritarian tendencies, he basically individuals maybe the most ambitious by the turkish governments to try to resolve the most issue in the turkey. >> those are top down initiatives. in terms of bottom up? >> well, you can basically say lots of things about that, probably 70 years old, he
basically vowalk for more than 0 miles. so if you look at basically the country's potential for opposition, it is there. the question is there is too much oppression going on. i don't disagree with that. but it is also very important not to give the impression there is only single person in turkey and his decisions make the ultimate choice. lots of consents but he operates. and you also have to think about what happened? july of 2016, you talk about all this oppression, but unfortunately there is this huge attempt by certain forces in the turkish army that basically try to take over the country that result in that. but basically in the istanbul. if you think about that, yes, erdogan has all political responsibility what's going on in tush but there are other actors, like agencies and capacities which basically like
really have lots of influence in what is going on in turkey. >> very briefly before the audience. there was consideration maybe the left and kurdish movement and left in the chp might be able to come together. is that sort of off the table? or other actors that could fill that? >> i never like to say that's completely off the tablement. i mean, i don't want to think that. but you just talked about geza and what brought some people on the streets throughout the country, when you look back at 2012, 2013 and what the situation was about, a park with row toxin, and if you look at the situation now, we are in such a worse time, but yet nothing like that is happening. so i think i might tend towards ahmet's argument. >> weak civil society question?
>> that's taken a huge hit. i think we have to accept that. but obviously i would never say civil society is no longer a force in turkey. i don't think that's what he is saying as well. but i just want to add to his l after gizi, the kurds were there, the htp was there from the beginning. but i think with the kurdish side of things, there is it a huge disappointment that while in the west, when there is an uprising, the kurds are always there. but when something happens in the east of turkey, when cities are being completely destroyed, when thousands of people are being killed, when mothers and babies have been on the streets for days after being shot by turkish security services, why is not something happening in the west? and i think that creates? >> in the west of turkey.
>> sorery, yes. >> one could say that about the west in general? that gets to the foreign policy panel. >> yes. >> thank you very much. so i want to start to take some questions from the audience. again, please do come up to the mics. please introduce yourself. please keep your question very brief. questions, not comments. let's start with you, please, and please direct your question to a member of the panel. >> i have two questions. and one is to mr. ozcan. and i want to know if, he kind of alluded to it, i traveled in martina few years ago, and the situation was very hopeful. the kurdish population was really excited about participating in the democratic process. then there was a quick downturn. and i want to know if you know one point where that occurred. for example, one theory is when the kurdish, hdp did not join the coalition, that's when it
was sort of the end of the game at that point. so i want to know if you can identify phi what might have caused this sudden shift from being positive to really being anti-kurdish region. and the second question i have is maybe professor crew could answer this, does he think that there is any effect of the television series, for example, this erdogan television series now available on netflix, that really romanticizes the preottoman and ottomans and islam and the righteous necessary ness of islam. and if there is any sort of plan or if this is some kind of plan to buildup that kind of feeling within the turkish population. >> thank you. let's take a couple questions actually so we can have our panelists d panelists deliberate. please introduce yourself. >> i'm with silk roads about turkey based in washington d.c.
it is very difficult to ask questions to a panel of cassandras, but i only have one question. can you answer what major rights were denied the kurds under the ac pa akbar regime and pointed many, many ministers of kurdish origin? >> and another question here. >> mu stuff an is my name. i have two questions. one is general. do you expect turkey to have a democracy civil society over night after 600 years of ot on man rule and under kemally there was an election. and in all western democracies it took years. and all elections so far have been held, people overwhelmingly
vote for the akp. so how do you think overnight it can transform into democracy? and second question is about the coup. when i was there i researched in turkey for several years that i saw supporters in all levels of society, the police, bureaucracy. and after the coup happened and everybody was i think 90% of turks believed the cia was involved. after 90% of the turks believed and they have the names. and that is no concern among the opposition about the coup. for the first time in turkish history that they did the coup. so how do you resolve the coup questions and get to the bottom of it? and widespread arrest how do you come to groups of the people
that they support all levels of society? >> thank you very much. >> all right. i think very briefly, because we talked about the what the turning points incurred it kurdt and how things went south. do you want to respond briefly. >> yeah, i think the main turning point was april 5th date where the last meeting with erdogan occurred who at that time the process was being, i mean, he was managing the process from one side. and on april, 5th of april when pkk fighters were slowly with drawing under erdogan's direction, on april 5th i think polls were going to erdogan showing that that peace process was just not having the impact he probably wished for when it came to the polls. and april 5th was a huge turning point. yes, there was huge hope, but
that april 5th date is very important. that's when erdogan decided this peace process isn't having the impact that i'm going for here. and it will be terminated from now. and that's when he did not accept -- there was some agreements being made, the pkk wanted certain guarantees that once it withdrew the fighting started again, fighters could safely withdraw into outside turkeys borders, but when erdogan said i reject this agreement, he said it openly, he even criticized his own ministers for actually being a part of such agreement. and, yeah, june 7th elections then were the manifestation of what erdogan was seeing in the polls. and so that, for me, that april 5th date is definitely the main turning point. >> thank you very much. akmed i'm someone fascinated in pop culture and politician and
how shows can be used by the regime can be used. how would you respond to the question about soap operas? >> when i was in turkey, they don't like ottoman that much. but i think the current tv series and previously the affiliated tv had some series about nationalism, and these are all negative things and complicated further turkey and kurdish question and romanticize the past that didn't take place in that context. and this is very problematic. and i refer to islam basis in turkey expanding the propaganda through tv series and political discourse. it's creating a fantasy, ottoman in wonder land. unfortunately that's going on. and the camelist i think are
unable to provide a really deep discourse to challenge it. when it comes to anti-westerner, they even fuel anti-westerner. it's surprising how there is ideological group people coming together when it comes to anti-u.s. anti-conspiracy. so i've been living in the u.s. for 20 years, for regular kurd in any ideological background, i'll easily be defined as spy. and my talked to very much is american conspiracy for most of the turks. it's really unfortunate. because i'm not. i'm not an american spy. you can laugh if you want. >> that's what they would say though. >> that's what i'm supposed to be. i'm paid for that. but the second question about the kurdish ministers in akp, but they are kind of taken, and they have always been kurdish politics. one of the most famous turkish
politician is about this. so it's not really something very progressive for akp having kurds in politicias. it's really a constant? turkish politics. the last thing about overnight change. it's not overnight. turkey has long history of parliamentary regime. 1877 was first ottoman parliament. 40% christian and jews. that's the truly religious parliament in the world whatsoever. even today, it's really difficult to find such a complex parliament. then 1908 christians already gone having their own independent states, some mess ha kerrs 1908. then still 55% turkish, 45% other ethnic groups, very diverse parliament. then 1950 we had the election.
so turkey, so i have already said negative things, and let me conclude with the positive one, turkey has a great history of parliamentary and participatory politics. that's why i'm deeply disappointed that i cannot accept the current station is very similar to some other turkish companies which no such history whatsoever. >> before i take the question about the rights that have or have not been given to the kurds, i want to sort of move this question of the speed which we can expect democratic transition in turkey to icon. so we have institutional history and experience with democracy in turkey. so how would you respond to the question how can we expect this to happen overnight? >> i think the key issue is let's key our eye on the trajectory. that is is turkey moving toward rule of law, due process, pluralism, democracy, social
inclusion? or is turkey descending into authoritarianism, capitalism, one man rule? and if that is our kind of guiding light, i think the answer is simple. the demand here is not overnight democratization of turkey. turkey with certain periods was moving what i would consider the right target, you know, as expressed maybe in the european convention on human rights. and there are other periods, such as this one, where turkey is descending into a really a brutal bloody darkness. and it's as simple as that. so i think the goal -- the key challenge for us is not to find benchmarks, like iran or north korea, which will always make turkey look better, you can always say compared to some
others, syria, turkey is doing okay. because the best years of turkish republican history are those years when we had high bhen sha benchmarks, looked at the european court of human rights, when we looked at convergence with the eu standards. so if we start looking at syria, russia, you know, iran, north korea, china as benchmarks, that's horrible. plus if you look at earlier periods of turkish history, we can say there was massacre. are they better than that today? i hope so. why? because the challenge is tingly the race is particularly tough one right now. because the world is not staying
still. i know there is arise in populism here and there. but the issue is this. take a look at the world. per capita income is rising. average years of schooling rising. a lot of people in absolute poverty are being brought out of absolute poverty. so in this fast paced earth in "today's" world turkey needs to pick up steam. >> so the point is that turkey needs to move forward but we can't necessarily expect it to do immediately. and i think the benchmark is important. >> i think if we emphasize overnight reform, we are destroying the real task. the real task is incremental, step by step, are we moving forward or back. >> excellent. thank you. then really quickly on this question of what are the rights the kurds have not been given or those that have been contentious. really quickly. >> so does anyone know who among
all the in the middle east give more generous agreement to the kurdish movement in history? >> saddam in 1970 in iraq. what i tried to say is that this is all basically an argument, we give kurds to this p aand to th. but the fact that i thought interesting millions of people kurdish party and tens of thousands of people that kurdish of turkey who basically join the insurgence to kill turkish soldiers. so basically obviously from these people's perspective kurdish policy has not been satisfactory. and another thing for the sikh, i actually did a study about scholar for going back 1980 and
for governors going back until 1950 tan look at the actual numbers. talk about thousands of ministers. well, there is it real no increase in the number of kurdish origin ministers in there. it is basically very similar to what was the case in 1990s, for example. so you look at the numbers and don't see a huge increase. and last point is, yes, obviously the akp government has lots of kurds initiatives with some real gains. but look what happened in the last two years many of the gains are lost. now people can't speak kurdish in prison. and can't basically write kurdish letters. >> thank you. >> i want to say akp bashing, it's very easy to be, we can all sit here and bash the akp, that's very easy right now. and we do have to accept, yes, in 2002 there was certain initiatives, but i think the gentleman might be for getting, that only comes up to the stage
where if the kurds are like in 2009, score an election success, i think the gentleman might be for getting the very significant photo of handcuffed tourkurdish politicians two weeks after that success where tens of thousands of kurdish activists and elected officials were imprisoned. so i mean i don't want to go and agree with the premise that the kurds are ungrateful ones in turkey. >> thank you very much. let's take a few more questions. over here. >> browne university. i'll be asking two questions, if i may. i am a secular and i don't see a question about the june elections, june 2013 being a missed opportunity.
but a question going unnoticed. during the time i was living with turkish partner who voted for dem a toss. once the election failed we were unable to set up a coalition government. within a few months, the stadium that i went to to watch games, the park blew up thanks to kurdish militants. ts busy took to military got blown up at the bus stop. so i don't think my partner would ever be able to vote for akp in good conscious. she did that once and has buyers remorse. i am seeing her tonight. i would like to leave here with an argument to make on your behalf. because i think it's impossible for turkey to take a right direction without solving the kurdish problem. so i think your party has to make to the urban seculars which
rooepg reached out to your party and feel buyers argument. i hope i can leave tonight with that. and the question about akbar party, one of the issues in the turkish political structure is the election threshold. and if she performs in the way she seems to be performing, it seemed like erdogan is going to get less votes but more seats exactly in the way he came to power in 2002. because he had one-third of the votes, two thirds of the seats. do you think that we would end up winning at the ballot but losing more seats at the parliament? thank you. >> thank you. and one more here. >> hi, i'm an economic and political analyst in washington d.c. my question has to do with enduring popularity of mr. erdogan. now there has been all kind of talk here of him being all
powerful and controlling. everything. i wonder if that has to do with his consolidation of power across the bureaucracy and across the media? or is it also because or is it mainly because he also speaks to a certain segment of the population or even the majority of the population, you know, picking up on certain themes that perhaps no one else is available to address as effectively? and part of my motivation for asking that, i got asked by my european friends all the time about why he's so popular in europe as well. you know, among the turkish population. so i think there is similarity there. and secondly, i also have always wandere wondered, you know, how everything seems so positive in the early 2,000s with the demock
raization, rule of law, establishing civil rights and liberties, establishing civilian control over the military. they didn't make electoral sense back in the early 2,000s to move forward with this agenda. and what changed in the 2010s to give this impression that turkey or akp is headed in the opposite, exact opposite direction with the authoritarian tendencies? thank you. >> thank you. we have one more here. >> my name is andrew, i'm an economist covering turkey. looking at what could be a projected direction for politics for the government, is the
soorsarab case be the smug on erdogan that prompts people to lose faith in him if it shows the direct corruption that goes directly up to him? and following up on that, if there is a post erld world is that coming from a split or outside one of the alternative parties right now or a new party? i know there was much more talk about split within the akp a few years ago. bull is that still a possibility especially as the corruption, evidence of corruption mounts? >> excellent. very quickly, please. >> sure. my name is de-mitra, speaking today. one of the consequences of one man world in the world is instituti institution just becomes control of the one individual. do you see that happening in turkey and if yes what are the long-term consequences maybe in
a decade? >> that's a lot of interrelated questions in terms of institutional constraints and erdogan role and what might happen in terms of division and decent. let's quickly do the buyers remorse question. what can they say about people voted and are disappointed? >> first i want to say that they approve of that kind of violence anywhere in turkey. whether it's from the pkk or state security forces. but what i would want you to -- actually tell yourself, too, is there was a process where by that kind of violence was side lined for more than two years. and so in order to ensure that that kind of violence doesn't return, we need to empower the
htp. we need to open the path it is of legitimate political representation in turkey. and so i think the htp's role in that is in positive terms more significant than the other way around. and so what i'd like your friend to know is the htp is working really hard to ensure that that kind of violence just does not return to turkish politics or society, anywhere in the country. and the responsibility there, i would argue, forms more with the government who has, again, imprisoned who your friend voted for. the cochairs of that party. that is closed those channels again. and who are now, it's not that stadium bombing was i think last year, but right now there are clashes going on in eastern turkey on almost a daily basis. and the one thing i'd say is that the empowerment of them,
the opening of the channels where by they can actually conduct its politics is going to be significant for that kind of violence not to return to urban centers of the rest of the country. >> okay. so we only have about nine minutes left so why don't we have the three panelists group the questions what you would like to answer to. >> i think the question about institution is very important. i agree with that. you can basically make the argument there has been a huge iteration in turkey in the last five or six years, but not just because of that, but for a long time they basically just like have their followers in the different parts of the judiciary and always engage in all this like very class dndestine operations. and we can discuss their role but from my perspective, there was a huge major role played by
them and question is whether that played a role. i don't know. but at the same time, like the institution is also caused by the actions, along with that nowadays. and one may be more controversial topics, like the urban background, typical turkish guy, i think it's important to say you have to take responsibility. and of course nobody can say it's not about that. but it's a deep question for the kurdish whether you are the person, it all basically pitfalls or you put all your eggs in single basket which is turkish democratization. and the problem if you basically do that, basically conflict, especially the arms under mines the tur itch democratization
from part of the kurdish movement. because ultimately even if you kill soldiers or police, people will upset and blame them. and this is what they will encounter in turkey. >> did you want to speak to the popularity of erdogan or post erdogan politics? >> of course. basically always the case, i live there, and we have a lot of deplorable's, so you can make the argument that deplorable's vote for erdogan and trump in this country. but it doesn't make sense. it is an expression. i think we have to say in erdogan case, you have to look at how he took over the country in 2002, and for many conservative people in the country. for their perspective huge gains. because i think from their
perspective they see improvement in their lives over the 15 years. i think this is the major factor more than anything else. but doesn't change the fact he's a very polarizing figure. people who love him and people who hate him. >> and talking about the tangible benefits that people might vote for the them. a lot of that will have to do with the economic panel we have following this. so we'll loo eve that for that panel. do you want to comment ton that? >> about popularity erdogan he was expecting to get more than 50%. he couldn't. now he's taking it by firing them. but he doesn't have 50% popularity in turkey, he still has popularity among islamic including in turkey and germany. so this has been based on some material progress. some ideological progress, and i
think preparing, and also based on very propaganda. it's a propaganda machine, very successful. and then the last thing about the possibility about the impact of sarab case, i think in the short term it will not have any impact because of the fact there is propaganda. even the erdogan media is sensoring the case and not reporting accurately. and then the future, i have two scenarios. one diverse. the other best. should i say negative one first? >> either one you want. leave us with something positive. >> the negative one is erdogan will stay, the regime will stay, after him his son-in-law will continue. then eventually in the long run there will be secular backlash, it will be like young coming
after them. the best scenario possible is each and every group in turkey will take lesson from the mistake from the crimes from immoral things they have done. and this will turn into a learning process. and turkey will become an electoral democracy again. >> thank you very much. your thoughts. >> okay. my response to mr. his question. yes, i have done a couple of seat projections based on thes first two polls available for e party. and my own simulations also show that in three party and four party distribution scenarios, akp manages to retain either a racer thin majority or in the three party scenario, a super majority, giving tt possibility to single handedly dictate a new constitution, if there is still a need to tweak with that.
and my comment on this is, this is silver lining for e party because erdogan now has a technical reason for e party to survive. so he can choose not to crush this new party because it can be kind of a safety for him to guarantee parliamentary majority. quick response to the institution's question. i think, you know, in a decade or two h when we look back and hopefully some of this insanity will be behind us, the lasting legacy of 11 years of erdogan guy lana lie ance from 2002 to december 2013 will be haloed out institutions. and haloed out institutions i this i will remain in turkey citizens beyond the life term of these two individuals.
and ultimately many of the structural difficulties, turkey citizens will have to live on day by day. i'm not blaming everything on that alliance. but i'm saying the haloing out of the institutions will matter significantly and will have lasting effects. and very quickly, the last comment, what change in 2010? i think what really changed was september, what changed turkey was september 12th, 2010. that is the day of the referendum where erdogan alliance and with the support of the european union as well pushed this referendum. many of my liberal friends, some of my marxist friends, most of my e urks colleagues, they said this is the best thing after sliced bread. they said, oh, yes, it's not good enough but it's a good step.
whereas i and a few of my regressive colleagues, we fought hard, nail and tooth against this referendum. and warned everyone, no this will lead to such a consolidation of power and destroy turkey. but we were the crazy old secular elite. i think what changed that was on december 13 from the point of erdogan the point was over. the seculars were defeated once and for all never to be recovered again. so the question was no longer how to destroy the stupid seculars but the question was how do we share the cake. because now the cake is ours. maybe lucky for us seculars, they didn't agree on, you know, equitable distribution of the cake. and since that payday they started fighting for how to slice up the cake. so i think what changed in turkey is once you destroy poll
ar can i, you know, i'm not saying pluralism or democracy, poll ar can i, the fact there are certain differences in power, once you destroy that which i believe was destroyed in referendum, then it was all doomed to be a downhill journey for all of us. so the next important stage in turkey political history is how to reconstitute poll arky again. how do we move from one man rule, with a few tactical alliances, to a turkey where there are multiple semi autonomous centers of power where not out of ben i have lens and respect but simply that we choose not to torture and kill and kind of destroy one another. >> thank you. and i think it's excellent to end on looking at some of the
points that we might not necessarily consider as crucial in turkey's path forward. i think the 2010 referendum is one of them. if you remember one of the things that changes in the 2010 referendum those involved in the 1980 coup can be prosecuted and you saw that moving forward in the trials in that. so thank you for highlighting that. thank you very much, again, so many of the things we talked about are intricately related to foreign policies, so you want to stick tarnd to those panels. thank you for my panelists and for your questions and participation. thank you. the next panel will start at 11:00. here's a look at our prime time schedule on c-span
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this weekend the city tour takes you to springfield, missouri, in southwestern missouri. saturday at noon eastern on book tv, author talks about the conflict occurring along the kansas missouri border and the struggle over slavery in his book, the border between them. >> in 1858 comes back to the territory and he begins a series of raids into western missouri during which his men will liberate enslaved people from missouri and help them escape to freedom. in the course of this they'll kill a number of slave holders. and so the legend or the not ryety of him grows as this struggle that people locally
understand is really the beginning of the civil war. then sunday at 2:00 p.m., on american history tv, we visit the nra national sporting arms museum. >> theodore roosevelt was probably our shooting his president. he was very, very avid hunter. first thing he did when he left office was organize and go on a very large hunting sa farry to africa. now, this particular rifle was specifically prepared for roosevelt. it has the presidential seal engraved on the breach. and of course roosevelt was famous for the bull moose party, and there is a bull moose engraved on the side plate of this gun. watch c-span tour of spring field, missouri on c-span 3 working with our cable affiliates as we explore
america. c-span where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as public service by america's television companies and is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. next, former u.s., canadian and mexican ambassadors discuss the potential consequences of the u.s. exiting the north american free trade agreement nafta, including every daikon consequences and u.s. global leadership. this is hosted by the center for strategic and international studies. >> just got the thumbs up. we'll begin. thank you for being here this morning. welcome to csis. and we appreciate you being here bright and early on monday morning for this important event. my name is scott miller. i'm a senior adviser and hold the william chair in international businesst