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Turkey’s Authoritarian Legacy (AKP, CHP, Gulen, HDP, Kurdish, PKK struggle)
The Cairo Review of Global Affairs (The American University of Cairo) ^ | Spring 2017 | Halil Karaveli

Posted on 09/30/2018 7:40:13 AM PDT by Texas Fossil

For years, explaining Turkey’s democratic travails seemed an easy task. There was the persistence of an authoritarian tradition, whose source was identified as Kemalism—the secularist-nationalist founding ideology of the Turkish republic—and which the military embodied. According to the conventional narrative on Turkey, with which anyone who has only casually followed international politics during the last decades will be familiar, the Turkish military had a mission—to “protect secularism”—which explained, so we were taught, its habit of overthrowing governments. All that was needed for Turkish democracy to flourish was the emergence of a force strong enough to end the tutelage of the military.

For several years, the rise of the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, seemed to be the answer. The general consensus among international observers was that Erdoğan was on a mission to make Turkey fully democratic. Disappointment and bewilderment have increasingly replaced that hope, particularly after an April referendum engineered by Erdoğan expanded the executive power of the president. There’s a scramble for explanations and definitions that will make sense of and conceptualize Turkey’s authoritarian drift under Erdoğan, the presumed liberal-turned-authoritarian.

The problem at the heart of the matter is that Turkey lends itself all too easily to simplistic dichotomies and to exoticism. The currency of these dichotomies, in turn, reveals an unmistakable, residual orientalism, as in Edward W. Said’s framing. Turkey is, invariably, a place where “East meets West,” where “secularism” and “Westernization” fatefully collide with “Islam.” Western scholarship has long since abandoned the modernization paradigm of the 1950s and 1960s that was applied to the Middle East by orientalists—of whom Bernard Lewis was a leading exponent—and into which Turkey was fitted as a model example of a “modernizing” Muslim country...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: akp; erdogan; kemalist; kurds
A good friend of mine in Syria called my attention to this article yesterday. It is not breaking news, but it reveals some background struggle in Turkey that I've not previously seen in print. I doubt my perspective and the author are alike, but I cannot fault the general perspective projected. If you are interested in understanding Turkey and it's neighbors, this is a worthwhile read.

I resist being wrapped up in Left/Right ism's defined explanations. In my opinion these struggles are not generally idealogical in nature, they are about power. I despise Totalitarianism in all forms, no matter what it is called; it is the enemy of freedom and liberty of all men.

Halil Karaveli is senior fellow in the Silk Road Studies Program of the Central Asia- Caucasus Institute where he heads the Turkey Initiative and is editor of Turkey Analyst. From 1991 to 2007, he was an editorial writer at Östgöta Correspondenten, a Swedish daily. He has contributed to the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, and National Interest.

1 posted on 09/30/2018 7:40:13 AM PDT by Texas Fossil
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To: BeauBo; Candor7; ColdOne; Navy Patriot; caww; huldah1776; dp0622; Gene Eric; Freemeorkillme; ...
Kurdish Ping (Turkey)
2 posted on 09/30/2018 10:09:53 AM PDT by Texas Fossil ((Texas is not where you were born, but a Free State of Heart, Mind & Attitude!))
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To: Texas Fossil

Sounds like Turkey is political and ideological twister alley!

Also, read a couple of headlines about Iraq’s Kurd election. Any word on what really happened?

3 posted on 10/01/2018 4:04:37 AM PDT by huldah1776 ( Vote Pro-life! Allow God to bless America before He avenges the death of the innocent.)
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To: huldah1776

No, not yet. Did see report that the election took place.

4 posted on 10/01/2018 5:08:45 AM PDT by Texas Fossil ((Texas is not where you were born, but a Free State of Heart, Mind & Attitude!))
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