Fabricating illusions of people power in post-coup Turkey

Published on ROARmag, by Joris Leverink, Aug 28, 2016.

Post-coup Turkey has been one great celebration of the nation’s victory over the coup plotters who were out to overthrow the government. The slogan hakimiyet milletindir, meaning “sovereignty belongs to the nation,” is everywhere. It can be seen on posters and banners at countless bus stops, street lights and overpasses, on massive billboards and on TV screens in public transport … //

… The bet paid off. Despite almost 250 civilian deaths in clashes with the military, “the people” were victorious. Tens of thousands responded to Erdoğan’s call and flocked to the streets to confront the soldiers. Their active resistance played a decisive role in crushing the attempted coup … //


… The result of these practices is that certain groups within Turkish society feel emboldened to actively shape their social environment to their liking. Public space has been appropriated by pro-government supporters, and they feel entitled to control and police it in ways they see fit. In the immediate wake of the coup there were reports of groups attacking and intimidating Kurdish and Alevi neighborhoods, of women who are not dressed according to Islamic custom being harassed, and of threats uttered against individuals who refuse to engage with the nationalist frenzy.

One month after the coup, most of the “democracy watches” have ended. Cars no longer loudly honk their horns every night. Despite daily newsflashes of journalists, academics and civil servants being arrested, or schools, businesses and universities being closed, daily life can almost be considered normal again. Nonetheless, it is hard to escape the sense that something has fundamentally changed.

The mobs of AKP loyalists may have cleared from the streets for now, but everyone knows that with a mere snap of the president’s finger they will be out in full force. This is their country now — or so they are made to believe — and henceforth they will set the rules. Walk in line, think in line, speak in line, and you will do just fine. If not, the nation will gladly settle the score.

(full text).

(Joris Leverink is an Istanbul-based political analyst, freelance writer and activist. He is an editor for ROAR Magazine, columnist for teleSUR English and Turkey-contributor for the IPS news agency. He blogs at Deciphering Disorder).


Tax wars are looming and the US has fired a shot across the EU’s bows, on Left Foot Forward, by Prem Sikka, Aug 28, 2016: Prem Sikka explains why tensions are simmering between the two powers; Left Fot Forward on en.wikipedia;

Burkaverbot und Konserven im Keller, was sorgt wirklich für mehr Sicherheit? 42.10 min, von PolMed2016 am 28. Aug 2016 im Presseclub;

The Alternative: Can Britain’s progressive parties work together? on Left Foot Forward, by Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin, Aug 27, 2016: a new volume of essays makes the case for progressive alliances; Website: The Alternative, Biteback Publishing Bb;

Colombia One Step Closer to Ending One of the Longest Conflicts in the World, on The Progressive.org, by Barbara Miner, Aug 26, 2016;

Why the Pound’s devaluation says more about Britain after Brexit than the stockmarkets, on Political Scrapbook.net, Aug 26, 2016;

US: When Marriage and Social Security Don’t Mix, on The Progressive.org, by Mike Erwin, Aug 26, 2016;

Neue Heimat Ungarn, Auswanderer am Balatonsee, 6.26 min, von Gegen Hass am 10. Aug 2016;

UK: South East plots new infrastructure funding, on Transport Network.co.u, by Chris Ames, Aug 8, 2016;

More United is about replacing tribalism with common purpose – Caroline Criado-Perez, on Left Fot Forward, by Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin, July 25, 2016: the feminist campaigner is a convener of the UK’s newest political movement; Website: More United.uk;

Die Story im Ersten, Vertrauen verspielt? 44.28 min, von Gegen Hass am 11. Juli 2016;

DG competition working paper on state aid and tax rulings, Internal Working Paper, Background to the High Level Forum on State Aid, June 3, 2016;

Flucht vor Flüchtlingen: wenn Deutsche vor Flüchtlingen nach Ungarn fliehen, 7.26 min, von ARD am 25. Mai 2016 … (vorzugsweise am Balaton See);

We are biased and we have an agenda – Joris Leverink, on Bant Mag, Interview by 13melek, Illustration by Sadi Güran, not dated;

… and this:

Jimi Hendrix:

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