Tag Archives: Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Erdogan Gets A Degree from Jamia Millia Islamia and Everyone Else’s Father is in Prison in Istanbul

Everyone else’s father is in prison in Istanbul,
they want to hang everyone else’s son
in the middle of the road, in broad daylight
People there are willing to risk the gallows
so that everyone else’s son won’t be hanged
so that everyone else’s father won’t die
and bring home a loaf of bread and a kite.
People, good people,
Call out from the four corners of the world,
say stop it,
Don’t let the executioner tighten the rope
[ Nazim Hikmet, 1954 ]

Its best to stay as far aways as possible when two mafia dons meet to talk business. Especially when their deep state security detail has a disturbing tendency to shoot first and ask questions after. Today, Delhi’s roads are emptier than usual, even on a Sunday. And I am reading Nazim Hikmet, because a thug is coming to town.

Continue reading Erdogan Gets A Degree from Jamia Millia Islamia and Everyone Else’s Father is in Prison in Istanbul

The unbearable lightness of drowning in your own myth: Tamer Söyler

This guest post by TAMER SÖYLER is the third of a three-part series on Istanbul’s Taksim Square protests.

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This is the final segment of a three-part account of the unrest in Turkey. The first part of the commentary discussed the unrest from the perspective of the political life course of Erdoğan. According to the protestors it was the Prime Minister as the key political figure who set the cat among the pigeons. Neither the opponents and nor the supporters of Erdoğan can make sense of Erdoğan’s turn to authoritarianism on the eve of critical election season. There are two possibilities: First, Erdoğan could have lost his emotional equilibrium and started to react to the events carelessly. Since the Prime Minister surrounded himself with advisors and party members who cannot dare to challenge him, he lost his bearings. Second, as an experienced politician Erdoğan must have a political strategy. Even if he is emotional his emotions are closely related to the concrete problems he faces. Continue reading The unbearable lightness of drowning in your own myth: Tamer Söyler

For Erdoğan, you are with him or against him: Tamer Söyler

This guest post by TAMER SÖYLER is the second of a three-part series on Istanbul’s Taksim Square protests for Kafila.

“Kandils (Islamic holy nights) are the times for equality, unity and solidarity.” Anticapitalist Muslims   Note: “Kandil” refers to the celebration of one of the five Islamic holy nights. While Erdoğan was accusing the protestors to be drinking beer and having some kind of a youth festival, anticapitalist muslims who were against the Taksim project from the very early on, wanted to give their support to the protestors. It was an interesting thing to witness. Socialists and communists were creating space for the members of the Anticapitalist Muslims to perform a public prayer in the square. This is already evidence enough that this is not secularists vs. pious.
“Kandils are the times for equality, unity and solidarity – Anti-capitalist Muslims,” this banner reads.
Kandil refers to the celebration of one of the five Islamic holy nights. While Erdoğan was accusing the protestors to be drinking beer and having some kind of a youth festival, anti-capitalist Muslims who were against the Taksim project from the very early on, wanted to give their support to the protestors. It was an interesting thing to witness. Socialists and communists were creating space for the members of the Anti-capitalist Muslims to perform a public prayer in the square. Clearly,the Taksim protests were not about secular vs. religious.

The first part of this commentary argued that as a part of his political strategy early Erdoğan had embraced a kaleidoscopic approach in governance by including various perspectives coming from citizens situated in different milieus. Erdoğan had given the impression to the citizens that his government was willing to hear the views of the citizens situated in all kinds of milieus. A simple strategy of inclusion proved to be extremely efficient for Erdoğan. Citizens who were not ideologically close to Erdoğan were quick to feel flattered by the symbolic gesture and did not hesitate to support Erdoğan. Continue reading For Erdoğan, you are with him or against him: Tamer Söyler

Can late Erdoğan learn from early Erdoğan?: Tamer Söyler

This guest post by TAMER SÖYLER is the first of a three-part series on Istanbul’s Taksim Square protests for Kafila.

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Photographs by Tamer Söyler

The 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, is said to have remarked: being President is like running a cemetery; you have got a lot of people under you and nobody is listening. As is the case with any good politician, Clinton is known for his bamboo-like character. During his presidency whenever he looked the weakest, he proved to come stronger out of the chaos. Clinton’s remarkable flexibility provided him the ability to bend as much as he needed to achieve his goals without breaking. The Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, proved again that he does not have Clinton’s sense of humour, his presidency or his flexibility.

Turkey is a parliamentary representative democracy. Erdoğan has been expressing his intention to transform the country into a presidential system and become the first president of the country. The government plans to put the question of a constitutional referendum to a vote in the year 2014. The people of Turkey are suffering from a great anxiety related to a fear of finding themselves in an authoritarian, charismatic presidential system. Protestors worry that without adequate mechanisms to enforce the separation of powers in the constitution, Erdoğan can easily transform Turkey into an authoritarian regime.
Continue reading Can late Erdoğan learn from early Erdoğan?: Tamer Söyler