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Turkey

Meydan Politics: Taksim in Flux after Gezi

Political engagement in contemporary democracies can easily be reduced to private individuals voting separately in anonymity. Yet, politics is a state of constant negotiation, preferably where individuals are in each other’s presence to articulate their public concerns. Perhaps, as a physical space, the meydan comes closest in this day and age to what Hannah Arendt calls “space of appearance” in the polis, where being in public is synonymous with politics.[1] Istanbul’s Taksim Meydanı is such a space, a product of the clash between citizens and authorities that have attempted to remake the meydan to reflect their political agendas since the founding of the Turkish ...

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The Light Bulb and the Oak Tree: Politics of Space Meets the Ballot Box

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Browsing the depths of social media for alternative and local takes on politics is not merely a form of procrastination but also, and more so, a great way to learn about unpublished concerns, rumors, and disappointments. And the fact that they are all untamed by political correctness is surely a big plus. Since the 7 June elections that ended the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) thirteen-year-long single party rule in Turkey, I have been heavily involved in such social media digging, mostly on Facebook, which offers more room for local-scale interaction. Following the election, as was the rule for the last couple of elections, my newsfeed and the activist ...

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New Texts Out Now: Kabir Tambar, The Reckoning of Pluralism: Political Belonging and the Demands of History in Turkey

[Cover of Kabir Tambar,

Kabir Tambar, The Reckoning of Pluralism: Political Belonging and the Demands of History in Turkey. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Kabir Tambar (KT): The book centers on Turkey’s Alevi community—a numerical minority that reportedly constitutes anywhere from ten to twenty percent of the country’s total population. As I was conducting the research for the book, I was struck by the fact that over the past century, the community has been both an object of extraordinary political violence and of ideological valorization by statist elites. I came to view these seemingly opposed experiences—of violent exclusion and of ...

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HDP’nin programina evet diyen muhafazakarlar, kadin, Alevi ve LGBTI’lerle esitlige de evet diyor

[Image via Wikipedia Commons.]

HDP’nin programına evet diyen muhafazakârlar, kadın, Alevi ve LGBTİ’lerle eşitliğe de evet diyor Bu seçimleri değerlendirirken en önce şunu söylemek gerekir: Kazanan her şeyden önce gönüllü müşahitlik yapan, oyları son dakikaya kadar koruyan, halkın iradesi tam olarak sonuçlara yansısın diye uğraşan, tabandan örgütlenmiş, genç ve kadın ağırlıklı sandık hareketleridirz. Seçim sonuçlarına güvenimiz tam, uzun yıllardır ilk kez ana gündem sandık çalmalar değil. Üstelik bu sandık hareketleri ne parayla, ne pulla, ne de ideolojik adanmışlıkla bir arada durdular. Hakiki bir gönüllükle, inançla tabandan demokrasiyi yarattılar. Teşekkür ederiz. İkinci kazanan Kürt halkı. ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (June 9)

[Image by Fatih Pinar.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] English June Elections Why Will AK Party Win Again? (1) - (2) According to Etyen Mahçupyan, the AK Party will again win because its pros outweigh its cons, it is the only party that promises a meaningful and appealing future, and it speaks to a newly emergent strata of people; while the HDP supports the “old Turkey” due to its anti-AKP politics. A ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (June 2)

[Protesters in Gezi Park, Istanbul, 31 May 2013. Image via kisa kuyruk / Shutterstock.com]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] English Anniversary of the Gezi Park Protests Is This Your Justice, Turkey? Melis Alphan summarizes the lack of developments in the court cases concerning those who died during the Gezi Park protests. Harvey: Gezi Park Resistance Still Continues Despite Leaving Park David Harvey’s statements from Istanbul on the second anniversary of the Gezi Park ...

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Press Freedom on Trial in Turkey: A Statement from BirGun

[The following statement and call to action was issued by BirGün, an independent left daily newspaper in Turkey that is being prosecuted for covereage of then Prime Minister (now President) Recep Tayyip Erdogan.] On 2 June, a trial will begin in Caglayan Istanbul Second Criminal Court. Baris Ince, the editor-in-chief of the Turkish independent daily newspaper, BirGün, is being sued under Article 229 of the Turkish Criminal Code for “defamation of the President.” The newspaper printed an acrostic to spell out the phrase “Thief Tayyip,” referring to the then Prime Minister (now President) Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It is a slogan chanted on the streets by millions of ...

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Statement on the Anniversary of the Gezi Park Uprising

[This statement was released by the Taksim Gezi Park Association in May 2015.] Gezi Park Is an Indestructible Momumental City Park. Come and Breathe Freely Here As the symbol of the great Uprising of Turkey (2013), Taksim Gezi Park is a city park within the borders of Beyoğlu, a historically cosmopolitan urban district in Istanbul. Located between Taksim Square and Elmadağ, Gezi Park is well known as the first park of the Republican Era. Likewise, Taksim Square, bordering the park on the south side, is the first square that was designed as an open public space. The story of Gezi Park began in ...

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New Texts Out Now: Bedross Der Matossian, Shattered Dreams of Revolution: From Liberty to Violence in the Late Ottoman Empire

[Cover of Bedross Der Matossian,

Bedross Der Matossian, Shattered Dreams of Revolution: From Liberty to Violence in the Late Ottoman Empire. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Bedross Der Matossian (BDM): I have always been interested in the history of the late Ottoman period, in particular the era of Abdülhamid II (1876-1909) and the Second Constitutional Period (1908-1918). Most of the scholarship about the period in the past has been written from the perspective of the dominant ruling elite/political center. It is only in the past decade that we see new studies that provide a broader picture of the period by incorporating non-dominant groups. It ...

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67. Filistin ‘Nakba Gunu’ Etkinlikleri

67. Filistin “Nakba Günü” Etkinlikleri 15 Mayıs 1948; İsrail bağımsızlığının değil Siyonist işgalin yıldönümü 15 Mayıs 1948’de modern tarihin en önemli felaketlerinden biri yaşandı. O gün bir milyona yakın Filistinli, İsrail silahlı güçleri tarafından, tarihsel Filistin’deki evlerinden zorla çıkartıldı ya da kaçmak zorunda kaldı. Bu olayın öncesinde birçok köyde aynı güçler tarafından katliamlar yapılmıştı. Birçok Filistinli terk ettikleri evlerine bir süre sonra dönebileceklerini düşünüyordu. Aradan 67 yıl geçti, dönemediler. Büyük Felaket yani Nakba, Filistin’de ve dünyanın her yerinde Filistinliler ve Filistin halkının dostları tarafından her yıl lanetleniyor, ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (May 5)

[May Day in Istanbul. Image by Fatih Pinar.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] English Armenian Genocide Kurds Pay Respects to Armenians “Most of the massacres during the Armenian genocide were carried out in today's southeastern Turkey, often by Kurdish militias, but today Kurds commemorate the genocide in Diyarbakır,” Frederike Geerdink reports. In Turkey's Battle of the G-words, Gallipoli Wins Cengiz Çandar points to ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (April 28)

[Commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Istanbul, 24 April 2015. Image via @Can Candan, 2015.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] English Hundredth Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide Is the State Changing Its Attitude on 1915? Highlighting the advances the AKP has made in breaking “many national taboos,” Nagehan Alçı suggests that the government’s statements this year about the Armenian genocide were nonetheless harsh. Restitution of Armenian Property Remains Unresolved ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (June 30)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] English Election Results and Coalition Scenarios Psychological Barrier Bülent Keneş argues that the MHP’s fear of coming to power constitutes a psychological barrier to taking ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (June 23)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] English Election Results and Coalition Scenarios The AK Party's Dilemmas Burhanettin Duran claims that the primary challenge facing the AKP is the possibility that party elites will ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (June 16)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] English Election Results and the Prospects for A Coalition What's Next for Turkey? (1) - (2) According to Cengiz Çandar, the internal strife within the AKP and the seeming ...

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First Thoughts on the Elections in Turkey: A Roundtable

On 7 June 2015, Turkey held a general election to elect the 550 members of the Grand National Assembly and form the Twenty-Fifth Parliament of Turkey. Those who have followed politics in Turkey have watched a tense, and even violent, political scene emerge over the past few weeks. The pre-election period was shaped by vehement election campaigns by the vying political parties, as they put forward their agendas. The period was also dominated by debates over the alleged unlawful use of public funds and ...

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Refugees in Turkey: Implications of Increasing Politicization

Migration has long been a securitized issue in Turkey, but with the upcoming parliamentary election on 7 June 2015, this might indeed be the first time that immigration into Turkey has been politicized to such an extent. For a brief moment in 2008, Turkey appeared to be moving away from its security-focused approach to immigration. A representative from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), who asked to remain unnamed, says that this is why Turkey was able to pass Law No. 6458 on ...

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Her Yerdeyiz!

HER YERDEYİZ! 27 Mayıs 2015 Yaşıyorsak ve hala nefes alıyorsak, bilinmelidir ki o güzel çocukların gülen yüzü hürmetinedir!     Herkes biliyor, son iki yıldır artık farklı bir ülkede yaşıyoruz. Havası, suyu,  sesi,  kokusu farklılaştı bu ülkenin. İktidarı, muhalefeti, meslek odası, sendikası, genci, yaşlısı, işçisi, işsizi, Türkü, Kürdü artık farklı… Kabul eden için de etmeyen için de hayat farklılaştı… Bu ülke GEZİ’yi yaşadı. Haziran’ın sıcağını ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (May 26)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] English June Elections Erdoğan’s Chance of Becoming a Super-President is Diminishing Serkan Demirtaş reports that sixty percent of the Turkish public is against the adoption of a ...

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The Armenian Genocide and the Politics of Knowledge

Ronald Grigor Suny, “They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else": A History of the Armenian Genocide. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015. In this centennial year since the Armenian Genocide, countless conferences, meetings, and commemorations are underway across the globe. While they have all been peaceful so far, they come at the end of a century of violence. I refer not just to the events of 1915-17, but also the waves of violence spurred by memory, recognition, and denial ever since. ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (May 19)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] English Kenan Evren and the Legacy of the 1980 Coup Turkey's Kenan Evren: The Last of the Cold War Coup Plotters Murat Yetkin discusses the controversial reputation and legacy of ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (May 12)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] English Armenian Genocide Armenians Refocus on Reparations after Genocide Anniversary Kadri Gürsel describes efforts by the Armenian government to reestablish diplomatic ties with ...

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On May Day, We Are in Taksim and We Are Everywhere!

[This statement, by Müşterekler (Our Commons), was first published in Turkish on 28 April 2015. The original version can be found here. It was translated into English by Cihan Tekay.] We Have Been Here for a Thousand Years! On May Day, We Are in Taksim and We Are Everywhere! Look there, there, under that tree There, under that tree We are the there, rising from nature in that square. Look closely there, at that square, and you will see... Because we have been here for almost a thousand ...

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Soykirimla yargilanmayi arzuluyorum...

Soykırımla yargılanmayı arzuluyorum… Bedi Tan, Diyarbakır Cezaevi’nde son nefesini vermeden önce koğuştakilere “unutmayın” demiş, “hiçbir şeyi unutmayın ve her şeyi anlatın.” Yahudi soykırımı ardından hayatta kalanların yazılarında da aynı vurgu vardır. Hepsi ölenler tarafından anlatma yüküyle donatılmıştır. Anılarında isimsiz, kimliksiz, tüm Yahudi halkının adı olarak anlatırlar. Hiçbir anlatma halinin yaşananın bütününü ifade edemeyeceğini bile bile, kendilerine anlatma mirasını bırakanların ...

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