Radikal 2: the Fall of the Tower?
Radikal 2: the supplement of the Turkish daily Radikal, was acknowledged to be a forum for left-liberal intellectuals of Turkey. From AKP’s election victory in 2002 to up until nowadays, authors like Fuat Keyman, Ahmet Insel and Baskin Oran (all university professors) stubbornly backed up the AKP and put a lot of hopes on the possible democratic opening this party will bring in. Last week, Sungur Savran a critic of the left-liberal clique published an analysis of the left-liberals in the Radikal 2. According to Savran, AKP’s latest salvo during the May 1, once again illustrated that the AKP is indeed a system party, or a party of the 12 September. Savran also calls the left-liberals either to accept that their ideas were indeed short of reality, and begin an self-criticism or to show that their thesis are still relevant. Furthermore Savran calls the authors of the Radikal 2 for a Marxist discussion, or to discuss Turkey through Marxism.
This is indeed a thorough critic of the left-liberals and to face them with their former comments on the AKP. I would argue that the left-liberals, due to their extreme obsession with the “State”, are short of analysing Turkey not just a black and white – state versus society dimension – but as a state society complex. Due to this fundamental perspective upon which they built their theories they naively accepted AKP as a genuine civil society movement aiming to transform the 12 Eylüll regime and open up Turkey.
What they cannot see is that the 12 Eylül regime was not just a military regime, it was the attempt at a new hegemony with a culmination of Turkish-Islamic synthesis and Turkish nationalism mixed up with diluted Kemalism. Fruthermore, the internationalisation of the Turkish state, though externally determined and by and large imposed through arm-twisting methods, it attracted allies and collaborators within the Turkish society.
The AKP elite was another potential ally to be the flagship of this hegemonic project of neo-liberalism in Turkey. The left-liberals Sungur mentions had to be blind of euphoria not to see this, or to put it bluntly they in guise of critics intentionally or unintentionally backed the further erosion of social state in Turkey and contributed as organic intellectuals to guise AKP’s shortcomings. they helped AKP cement its legitimacy as a conservative-liberal force. Yeah yeah yeah once more illusion is there. What you wrote follows you… the Predicament of the Turkish left continues….
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