[update below] [2nd update below] [3rd update below]
The above photo is borrowed from this great slide show on the Al Jazeera website, “The Taksim Square Book Club,” of standing men and women protesters reading books. Check it out. I’ve been very impressed lately by Turkish civil society and the forms of contestation that are being developed there.
Check out as well Jenna Pope’s pics in her blog post “The Turkish uprising: First-hand experiences from an American photographer.”
Claire Berlinski has an excellent article in City Journal, “Notes on the Turkish Troubles: America’s muted response is both confusing and disheartening.” Her critique of the US response to what’s been happening in Turkey is nuanced and on the mark.
See also Claire’s fine running commentary, on a site called The Tower, that carries the unfortunate title (not of her doing) “The Gezi Diaries: Can we still call Turkey civilized?,” in which, entre autres, she skewers
every single lazy journalist and policy wonk, professional sycophant, diplomat and idiot pundit who’s never so much as visited this place, the duly-funded social scientists and craven Western politicians and everyone else who for years swallowed Erdoğan’s nonsense and helped to manufacture the fantasy that Turkey was getting more and more democratic by the day.
I’m curious to know who some of these “duly-funded social scientists” are (perhaps I know one or two).
The policy wonks who have aroused Claire’s ire cannot include Michael Werz of the Center for American Progress, who, in a first-rate analysis, assures us that “Erdoğan is gone, way gone.” Inshallah.
On the FP website, Istanbul-based journalist Piotr Zalewski discusses “The Protocols of the Interest Rate Lobby.” The lede: “Whether it’s shadowy bankers, America, Israel, or Iran, there’s no end to the conspiracy theories spun by the Turkish prime minister’s supporters — and their opponents.” Make sure to watch the bit from the episode of the ‘Ekip 1’ TV soap opera he links to. One does not need to understand Turkish (which I don’t) to get the gist. It’s a doozy.
In this vein, see the piece in Al-Monitor by Istanbul-based writer Amberin Zaman, “Foreign journalists called conspirators in Turkish protests.”
ScienceInsider has an interview with Sabancı University astrophysicist Mehmet Ali Alpar, the head of Turkey’s new science academy, Bilim Akademisi—formed by scientists who resigned from the Turkish Academy of Sciences after the government took control of it in 2011—, who speaks out on the protest movement.
UCLA doctoral candidate Timur Hammond has an update from Turkey, “The past present: Turkey, Erdoğan, and the Gezi protests,” on the website of the journal Society and Space: Environment and Planning D.
On The Guardian’s ‘Comment is free’ site, Istanbul publisher Can Oz (pronounced ‘John’, for those not acquainted with the Turkish alphabet) says “I can never trust the Turkish police and government again. For years I did not speak up enough, but no more. I could lose everything, but I cannot live a dishonorable life any longer.”
And finally, in a post aimed at non-Turkish readers, blogger Ali Kıncal explains “Turkey’s protests: What really triggered them and why they will continue.”
My ongoing posts on Turkey will continue, you may be sure of that.
UPDATE: McGill doctoral candidate Michael Ferguson has a most interesting article in Jadaliyya on “White Turks, Black Turks, and Negroes: The politics of polarization,” in which he discusses Erdoğan’s politics of class resentment and its racialized metaphors, and how Erdoğan has denigrated the country’s Afro-Turk community while stoking up that resentment.
2nd UPDATE: Turkey-based journalist Alexander Christie-Miller has a very good article on The White Review website, “Occupy Gezi: from the fringes to the centre and back again.”
3rd UPDATE: Another interesting post by Zeynep Tufekci on the Technosociology blog: “‘Come, come, whoever you are’. As a pluralist movement emerges from Gezi Park in Turkey.”