Category Archives: Essays

Open Democracy: Turkey and neoliberalism, a prequel to #occupyGezi – Kerem Nişancıoğlu

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The drive to reclaim a people’s right to their city led to the revival of Turkish civic identity and highlighted the growing importance of social capital. Why did it take so long for Turkey? Before the summer of 2013, Turkey was considered one of the few success stories of the post-2008 global political economy. Within the last decade the country [...] → Read the full article…

Al-Monitor: Does AKP’s ‘silent revolution’ silence women? – Pınar Tremblay

University students shout anti-government slogans during a protest against Turkey's High Education Board in Istanbul

Did you know there are legitimate and illegitimate lifestyles? That is what Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a Finnish reporter in Helsinki on Nov. 6. After suggesting the reporter was on a special mission to offend him, Erdogan went on to say that during his 16 years in politics, he has “never intervened in personal lifestyle choices.” Erdogan added that whatever the laws say, that [...] → Read the full article…

Hurriyet Daily News: It’s More than a Boy-Girl Story – Murat Yetkin

It started with a leak, too. The leak was from a closed-door session of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AK Parti) latest big event bringing MPs and party organizers together to assess the political atmosphere before the March 2014 local elections. It was exclusively reported by daily Zaman and as part of another political story, not a separate one. [...] → Read the full article…

The Guardian: Abdullah Gul hints at battle for Turkish presidency – Simon Tisdall

Abdullah Gul hints at battle for Turkish presidency

Gul not ruling out challenging authoritarian prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for presidency next summer. Growing divergence of views over the government’s handling of last summer’s violent street protests, and over what Gul calls Turkey’s “democratic deficit” and the “normalisation” of Islamic values within Turkey’s secular constitutional framework, has prompted suggestions that the two men, who together have dominated the [...] → Read the full article…

Cultural Anthropology: The What of Occupation, “You Took Our Cemetery, You Won’t Have Our Park!” – Alice von Bieberstein and Nora Tataryan

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Retrospectively it became a foreboding. Or, in other words, reality came to grimly echo the creative intervention of an Armenian youth group in Gezi Park. Shortly after setting up their association’s tent in the middle of the park during the first days of the occupation,Nor Zartonk stapled together two pieces of grey Styrofoam resembling a gravestone and marked with the line, [...] → Read the full article…

Cultural Anthropology: Masculinized Power, Queered Resistance – Salih Can Açıksöz and Zeynep Korkman

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On the morning of July 1st, exhausted from the first night of clashes with the riot police but still upbeat, the crowd of young male soccer fans with eyes red from tear gas chanted, “Go on, spray, go on, spray. Go on spray tear gas. Strip your helmet, drop your baton. Let’s see who is the real man!” This would [...] → Read the full article…

Radical Philosophy: Smells like Gezi spirit – Democratic sensibilities and carnivalesque politics in Turkey – Meyda Yeğenoğlu

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A small protest in Istanbul, which began by aiming to protect the urban greenery, was rapidly turned into a full-blown nationwide resistance. The protests should be regarded as the most important outcry of the Turkish people since the 1980 coup, and herald a new period in the history of Turkey. But it would be a mistake to try to understand [...] → Read the full article…

Jadaliyya: Gezi Resistance, Police Violence, and Turkey’s Accession to the European Union — Elif Babül

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Various governmental agencies that continue to plan, execute, and maintain impunity for violence have been receiving training on “good governance” from their peers in EU countries since at least 2004. Given that history, is it not time to look more deeply into the structure of “advanced liberal democracies” and their national security doctrines that lie at the heart of the [...] → Read the full article…

The Guardian: Erdoğan’s split personality, the reformer v the tyrant – Ian Traynor

Recep Tayyip Erdogan'

The Turkish prime minister revealed the iron fist in his velvet glove this summer, but of which is his true character built? All summer long, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been in a very bad mood. The public squares and parks of Istanbul and several other Turkish cities were taken over by protesters he angrily dismissed as “riff-raff”, turning the full [...] → Read the full article…

The Independent: How Turkey blew its chance to lead this troubled region

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By Patrick Cockburn World View: The country could have enhanced its influence and saved a lot of lives. It did the exact opposite Whatever happened to the idea that Turkey was the coming power in the Middle East, with its surging economy and stable democracy under a mildly Islamic government which might be the model for Arab states as they [...] → Read the full article…