Turkey: The Long View

A brilliant talk.

The Turkish Complex: Bigman, Hero, Traitor (The Video)

I was struck by a number of similarities [between Turkey in the 1970s and] present-day Turkey and wonder whether there are certain key culturally powerful concepts around which Turkish society and polity orient themselves — and that help to shape them — in every era, regardless of the current ideological labels.

The Turkish Complex: Bigman, Hero, Traitor, State

My new piece in The National Interest is an analysis of Turkish current events, seen from a slightly more anthropological angle than usual. I identify repeating themes and patterns that underlie Turkish society and politics.

The Ballot Queen and The People’s Cake

The situation in Turkey is so fluid and unpredictable, that all possibilities are on the table right now. PM Erdogan has been campaigning for months to become president, without actually announcing his candidacy. The opposition has floated a few candidates without any campaigning.

The Berlusconi Paradigm

On Wednesday, the Turkish parliament with a show of hands approved another blatantly anti-democratic piece of legislation. It authorizes the Director of Telecommunications (TIB) to block websites at will with no judicial oversight.

Was Gezi a Middle Class Movement?

Contrary to the AKP government’s claims, it seems that a cross-section of the population participated in or supported Gezi, including a sizable percentage of Kurds.

The Moral Physics of Gezi Eggs And AKP Fruit

He said, well, it’s a big party, so it’s not surprising that there will be some “waste”. “When you shop at the market often you’ll find in a couple of kilos of fruit a few rotten ones.” Hmmm. Compare that to the small tradesman in Istanbul who said this about the harsh treatment of the Gezi protesters: “If you have fifty eggs and you find that several are rotten, what are you supposed to do with the rest? You smash them too.”

Plugged In, Timed Out

The Wall Street Journal writes that Turkey has lots of potential, but has failed to turn this into a reality.

It’s Out!

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

Edhem Eldhem on Gezi

Click here for an very good interview with Edhem Eldhem about what the Gezi protests mean.