Society, Politics, and Economy in Modern Turkey: Sociology of Turkey - Maintained by Tugrul Keskin
We are at a point in our work when we can no longer ignore empires and the imperial context in our studies. (p. 5)
― Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism

Friday, June 28, 2013

Erdogan against a European Turkey?

By Jean-Paul Marthoz

Open Democracy - 26 June 2013

Why did Erdogan miss his historic opportunity? Inadvertently? Due to exasperation? Or because, more consequentially, he does not identify with those 'European values' that would force him to respect a country that cannot be reduced to its Sunni, Turkish, conservative majority?

Last Saturday. Soft sunlight stroking Istanbul. Smiling cheekily, the simit vendor had returned to his usual spot a few steps away from my hotel to sell his sesame-sprinkled bread rings. In Istiklal avenue, the huge pedestrian boulevard in the 'European quarter', the shopkeepers rolled up the iron shutters as if the day were promising to be beautiful and munificent. A fresh scent of coffee filled the air in the lanes that hurdle down towards the Pera Palace hotel and the Galata bridge.

On the eve, in a bar in the 'bobo quarter' - the bohemian-bourgeois quarter of Cihangir - a Turkish friend confided his optimism to me. "By welcoming delegates of the occupiers of Gezi park, the Prime Minister has made a gesture", he said. "Who knows, after all, Recep Tayyip Erdogan may be capable of paying attention to voices other than those of his courtiers."

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