Turkey: the Political Balance of Forces in Three Interviews

Andras-Juhasz

The full version was published in Serbian on Masina. The attempted coup of July 15th caught me in Istanbul. What that night of adrenaline, shocking and confusing news, the sounds of machine-gun fire and low-flying military aircraft left me with was a desire to better understand what happened. Being so close to the Bosphorus bridges—a site of much of the action on that night–and witnessing first hand the masses responding to Erdogan’s call did not by itself help. What shed more light on the moment were three conversations I had with Turkish participants in our summer school: with Saygun Gökarıksel, w ..

Sofia: the European Center of Information Outsourcing

Note from LeftEast editors: This article is published in collaboration with the regional portal Bilten. Slogans about the “knowledge economy”, “innovation”, “entrepreneurship”, “creativity”, and the “post-industrial” and “information” society are widespread in the EU, and Bulgaria makes no exception. Information technologies are posed as the universal solution to all social ills, a panaceia able to fix everything from lack of economic growth, consumption deficits and ineffective public services to election frauds and corruption. Throughout the last decade, Bulgarian governments of all stri ..

Turkey: Urgent Call for Solidarity on the Closure and Storming of the Daily Özgür Gündem

On August 16, 2016, Erdoğan regime’s attack on the media and press since the July 15 abortive coup took a different turn by the closure of the daily Özgür Gündem on court orders, and the storming of its Istanbul headquarters by special operations police. The quarter-of-a-century-long history of Özgür Gündem represents all there is to know about the militant censorship of information and press under the state of emergency lawnessness in the context of the Kurdish conflict in Turkey. It also represents a venerable and dedicated press tradition of struggle and solidarity for the right to information and fre ..

Science, Crimea and prison bars: persecution of teachers and researchers

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Note from the LeftEast editors: this article first appeared on Commons Journal. It has been reprinted on LeftEast with the permission of the authors. by Viktoriia Muliavka and Alona Liasheva Translated from the Ukrainian by Valentyna Kolesnik. The use of science and education for political purposes in Ukraine has become the norm. How has it happened and why is it a terrifying trend? The conference in Yalta For Ukrainian teachers, participation in a scientific event in Crimea resulted in dismissals and monitoring by The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU). The annual international applied science conference on Russi ..

Belgrade: From necessity to aimlessness, or who for whom and what kind of city

Belgrade, 25. May 2016 - "Ne da(vi)mo Beograd" before the Parliament (Skupstina) in Belgrade. Image: TANJUG / TANJA VALIC / bb

Note from the LeftEast editors: This article originally appeared in the Serbian publication Masina on 10.06.2016. It was composed in the months following a series of nocturnal demolitions in the Belgrade neighbourhood of Savamala. The demolitions, conducted by unidentified workers in balaclavas, are widely perceived to be the vanguard actions of Belgrade on the Water, a controversial ‘urban renewal’ project that has been the focus of continuous protests led by the civic initiative Ne da(vi)mo Beograd (a name that simultaneously means: ‘Let’s not give Belgrade away’ and ‘Let&# ..

Neither NATO, nor Moscow (II)

putin-nato

Note from the LeftEast editors: The July 8/9 NATO summit in Warsaw was not much more than the usual spectacular propaganda advertisement with which the Atlantic Alliance countries wanted to show the world their strength and their common commitment to “security and peace”. In fact, beyond the usual internal conflicts between members of the Alliance, the summit took no “historic” decisions, reflecting the diplomatic and military choices of these days. We have previously published an article by Ilya Budraitskis who reported on the NATO summit through the eyes of anti-war activists and oppone ..

Turkey: the coup inside out

Photo: Saygun Gökarıksel, 31 July 2016, Istanbul

The Realness of the Coup “İçimiz dışımız darbe oldu.”[1] From toes to head the coup absorbed us. The coup has produced many pedestrian-experts, trying to gauge the coup’s hidden internal and external dynamics. This hermeneutics of the secret owes much of its power to a monumental failure… The failure of what could have turned out to be a horrible coup has exposed what it takes to engage in such a level of coordinated military and civic action leading to a coup. There are so many speculative theories and analyses, often bordering on conspiracy theories: rumors, unfinished scenarios, newly reveale ..

Turkey in July: a Tale of Two Coups

AFP photo/ Ozan Kose

Within days of the failed military coup attempt, president Erdogan announced his “good news” to the Turkish public: a state of emergency for three months. It’s been exceedingly difficult to identify with any of the protagonists of the last couple of weeks in Turkey. Essentially, what happened were two coups in quick succession: one—abortive military, the other—successful civilian and still ongoing. Given Turkey’s experience of military coups, the former augured nothing good. The days of progressive officers overthrowing autocratic governments and introducing democratizing reforms—a la Nasser, Hafizu ..

Interview with “Prasvet” editor Tania Chyzhova

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Tania Chyzhova, editor and author of the Belarusian marxist journal of left critique Prasvet (prasvet.com) and resource of wide-left orientation Left.by. Studied philosophy in the Belarusian State University, then was an academic researcher in social philosophy and political science (marxism, theories of social agency, protest actions in Belarus). Mattia Gallo talked to Tania about the regime type in Belarus following the economic crisis of 2008 and the Ukrainian power shift. From most parts Belarus is defined as “the last dictatorship in Europe.” Do you think it is a right definition? What is the cu ..