Analysis and Summary: Turkey at a Tipping Point

The December 2014 edition of Current History has a collection of articles on the Middle East by prominent scholars that give excellent analyses and updates for different countries in the region. Here’s my take on Turkey.

Islamic State Member Threatens Istanbul

One IS member threatens on camera that if the apostate Turkish government doesn’t turn the Euphrates water back on, which Turkey has blocked with its dam, IS will come to Istanbul and turn it on from there. He is quite explicit that this is a threat. Hello, Ankara?

The New Old Nationalist Extremism

This very creepy AKP election ad was recently rejected for use by the Higher Election Board because it misuses the Turkish flag. But the imagery itself is amazingly evocative in the worst possible way.

What Ban?

Rumor is (based on vehement pre-emptive denials by the people involved) that videos will soon be leaked that show PM Erdogan asking whether it is permissible in Islam for him to order the killing of a politician.

Option Three: To Hell In A Handbasket

PM Erdogan is ripping apart the fabric of society and fanning the blood-lust that has so many times dragged Turkey down the path of sectarian violence.

It’s Out!

Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks is out in Turkish translation, Müslüman Milliyetçiliği ve Yeni Türkler

Ergenekon Endgame

The shocker was the life sentence just given to General Ilker Basbug, who led the military between 2008 and 2010. He has been accused of leading a terrorist gang. The general has rejected all the charges against him and says it is farcical to accuse a military official appointed to his position by the state with terrorism against the state he is serving.

Letter from Istanbul: What Does The Turkish Flag Mean?

The Turkish flag — I realized that suddenly no one knows what it means anymore.

TC or Not TC

This is an example of clicktivism, a term I only recently learned (again from my students). Clicktivism means feeling that you are politically active by forwarding something on Facebook or following a social media trend to express support or disapproval (like changing your picture to TC in Turkey– or as in the US recently when 2.7 million people changed their image to a red = to voice support for same sex marriage in a case being heard before the [U.S.!] Supreme Court).

Talks and Translation

Good news. I just learned that my book, Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks, will be translated into Turkish and published by the well-regarded Iletişim Press. There have been quite a few reviews, quite positive ones I’m gratified to report. Most recently, a review in Al Jazeera (in Arabic). I’m also giving a few talks, in […]