Turkey’s New Left
Can the Peoples’ Democratic Party, the most successful left-wing force in Turkey’s history, avoid the fate of its vanquished predecessors? Cengiz Gunes describes the party’s trajectory, its roots in Turkish socialism and the Kurdish national movement, and the distinctive political appeal with which it has sought to overcome the tensions between them.
Making and Unmaking of the Greater Middle East
What longer-run dynamics underlie present realities in the Middle East? Kevan Harris traces changing state formations and social compacts, from decaying Ottoman and Safavid empires, through colonization and postwar corporatism to infitah, authoritarian retrenchment and military intervention.
Class and Politics in Turkey’s Gezi Protests
What social forces have been mobilized in the mass protests of recent years? Following Göran Therborn and André Singer’s contributions in NLR 85, Erdem Yörük and Murat Yüksel examine the class backgrounds and political ideologies of the Gezi Park protesters, finding that manual workers outnumbered ‘new middle classes’.
Turkey has been hailed in the West as a democratic model for the Islamic world. Cihan Tuğal takes a cool look at the Erdoğan government’s domestic and foreign-policy record, from ‘zero problems’ diplomacy to the blockade of Libya and dirty war on Damascus, airstrikes on Turkish Kurds and silence on Bahrain.
The Greening of Istanbul
Its population swollen by six million new arrivals in thirty years, Istanbul has sprawled outwards from the Bosphorus with dramatic speed. Cihan Tugal analyses the contradictions of an urban Islamism, wedded both to vote-winning populism and to financial markets.
Analysing the current hegemony of Erdoğan’s AKP in Turkey, Cihan Tuğal argues that the party has been the agent of a classic passive revolution, effectively shoring up the Kemalist state. Paradoxes of ‘Americanization with Muslim characteristics’, against the backdrop of Western military intervention in the Middle East.
The Turkish Bell Jar
Against a background of high unemployment and fragile economic recovery, the neo-Islamist AKP is submitting its supporters among the urban poor to the programmes of the IMF, Pentagon and Kemalist elite. Internal pressures on NATO’s Middle East bridgehead and EU candidate member.
The Other Mediterranean
“Since the Neolithic agriculturalist revolution, the shores of the Black Sea have been continuously inhabited by linguistically and culturally diverse peoples. In some places ethno-historical continuities are truly staggering, as in the inaccessible valleys of the Caucasus, sheltered from invasions, where natives can make credible—as well as totally . . .” read more
The Tragedy of the Turkish Left
“For twenty years, from 1960 to 1980, the Turkish left struggled to match its remarkable militancy, and not inconsiderable support, to the realities of its country and its time. Ultimately, socialists were able to garner 3 per cent of the national vote in 1979, a disappointing figure. Today . . .” read more
The Political Economy of Turkish Democracy
“Turkey occupies a highly distinctive position within the third world. Never colonized, the country inherited a rich political tradition from its imperial predecessor. Before ‘liberation struggle’ became the order of the day, its leaders were proclaiming a secular republic within a nation state constructed much along the lines . . .” read more
“Nazim Hikmet spent one third of his adult life fighting for a socialist revolution in his native Turkey, one third in jail and one third in exile. Now he is dead. Very few in Britain can have felt anything at the news. Very few can have known who . . .” read more