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, which by law is not allowed to be used in political propaganda. PM Erdogan said he would “ban the ban”, showing yet again his contempt for law and the integrity of state institutions. But the imagery in the video itself is hair-raisingly evocative in the worst possible way.

The spoken text is from the national anthem:

Friend! Don’t let scoundrels into my country!

Shield with your body, let this shameless invasion stop.

Days which God has promised to give you will dawn;

Who knows, maybe tomorrow, maybe sooner than tomorrow.

This rhetoric was used against Erdogan in AKP’s early days, but during the Gezi protests last year, he began using ultranationalist language and conspiracy theories himself. Here is an article from Al Monitor analyzing the video (with another link to the video).

My personal reaction to the video was horror, deja vu (with an admixture of Islam), and that I was seeing ants, not citizens.

5 Responses to “The New Old Nationalist Extremism”

  1. Yes, you are so right, Jenny, about this disturbing image of the Turkish flag. I also had an awful creepy feeling of foreboding and horror on seeing this type of election propaganda. It wasn’t just about the flag but the crude and jarring way that it was hacked off its flagstaff and then floated around menacing – like a stealth bomber.

  2. At first it’s powerful stuff, even though the sight of mixing religion in with politics makes me feel completely uncomfortable at best. But later – would folks truly be swayed by such a vision, of human beings sacrificing themselves to become part of an ant hill? What an ill-advised, ill-conceived piece! It makes me wonder why they couldn’t do any better.

  3. PlayStation2, as my Turkish friends reminded me. I wonder how far he has to go in order to silence the last “Well, at least, you know, the Kemalists once …” mutter.

  4. sic: that’s the way it is. words are not enough.

  5. Just thought I’d point out that the image of people climbing like ants is totally stolen from “World War Z”


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