Analysts predict a busy year for Turkey
The high-level graft scandal with widening corruption allegations and conspiracy theories, which is shaking confidence in the ruling elite, will take center stage in Turkish politics in the year ahead, analysts predict.
"2014 will be a very long year in Turkey," Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, Ankara office director of the German Marshall Fund, told SES Türkiye, referring to the country's entering an 18-month-long election cycle that will see local elections in March, presidential elections in August and parliamentary ones in mid-2015.
For many local analysts, like Unluhisarcikli, the next year's votes will be "key cornerstones shaping towards the post Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan era."
"There are domestic and foreign policy challenges that make the road ahead bumpy," he said.
Among the major domestic issues are the tension between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Hizmet movement of Fetullah Gulen, the corruption probe which many analysts believe is linked to the tension, the stalemate in the peace process with the terrorist organisation the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and questions over rule of law and media freedom.
Özgür Ünlühisarcıklı is the director of German Marshall Fund of the United States' office in Ankara.