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

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Market and the Minaret: Turkey in 2014

By Justus Links

LEFTEAST - 31 December 2014 

Whether on the road from Istanbul or from Esenboğa Airport, a strange sight welcomes visitors to the capital of Turkey: an opulent city gate, dressed up in neo-Ottoman designs, spans the highway through which vehicles pass on their way to the central city.  Reminiscent of Türkmenbaşı’s gates of Ashkabad, these new monuments testify to the solidity and whimsy of Mayor Melih Gökçek’s twenty-year reign over Ankara just as do those gates to that of the natural-gas kingpin over his Central Asian country.
Gökçek has changed the face of Ankara scarcely less than Türkmenbaşı that of Turkmenistan.  Removing the classical nude statues from parks in the central city, he turned once-stately Atatürk Boulevard into a highway with tunnels and interchanges.  The string of shopping malls lining the main east-west thoroughfare into the city went up on his watch, as did a highway cutting through the campus of Middle East Technical University, whose construction sparked a battle between students and police in which part of the campus was set on fire.


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