Donald Trump’s election has rightly been acknowledged as a milestone in the political history of the 21st century. He joins an illustrious group of world leaders with a shared distrust towards ideals of liberty, equality and fairness who subscribe to the political ethos of authoritarianism and who are not afraid to use fear mongering, popular prejudices against various groups of people, threats and violence to gain and retain power. This increasingly powerful company, whose membership includes Vladimir Putin, Tayyip Erdoğan, and many others, can rightly be called the force of 21st century illiberalism – to u ..
The marriage between capitalism and democracy was one of convenience or interest, the product of a very specific period. A temporary reconciliation between capitalism and democracy seemed possible under conditions created by a capital accumulation regime that rested on the specific balance of power between social classes following the two world wars. The “logical contradiction” between capitalism and democracy that Lenin famously underscored appeared suppressed for a while, in a very specific time period. However, the bliss did not last long. This marriage, which was qualified as “the end of his ..
Note from LeftEast Editors: We publish this Call for Solidarity, written by a member of the HDP ( (Halkların Demokratik Partisi -The Peoples’ Democratic Party) following the arrests of the joint leaders of the HDP along with at least nine other MPs, in what has become the latest stage of an ongoing offensive by President Erdogan to eliminate every single oppositional voice in the country, under the excuse of the coup attempt on July 15th. More than 80,000 people have been detained since July 15, and about half of them are in prison now. Dear friends, I hope this message will find you all good a ..
Note from the LeftEast editors: we publish this statement by Rojava Solidarity NYC, a solidarity committee dedicated to supporting the revolution in Rojava, written in response to the recent Turkish operation in Syria, Euphrates Shield. RS-NYC seeks to publicize Rojava’s ongoing struggle in the English-speaking world, to promote the revolution’s radical communalist politics, and to provide direct, humanitarian aid to the people of Rojava. Past aid campaigns have included the provision of vital medical supplies and the collection of books for the Mesopotamian Academy. The committee has also published one ..
The rise and fall of the coup d’état in Turkey has disclosed a number of situational ironies, each of which indicates a difference between appearance and reality. A brief analysis of the two separate and contrasting levels of meaning embedded in at least six situations reveals some uncomfortable truths about Turkish politics and may also give a couple of hints about the prospects of democracy in Turkey. To begin with, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the leading figures of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), who declared their distrust in social media and blocked Twitter and Facebook several times, had ..
Urgent Call for Solidarity! Members of “Academics for Peace” and Education and Science Workers Union (Eğitim-SEN) have been removed from their positions in public higher education institutions permanently! In January 2016, 2,218 scholars from Turkey signed a petition titled “We will not be a party to this crime,” also known as the Peace Petition. Since then the signatories (“Academics for Peace”) have been subject to heavy pressure and persecution. Hundreds of them have faced criminal and disciplinary investigations, custody, imprisonment, or violent threats. Several academics have been dismissed or ..
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 ..
The Realness of the Coup “İçimiz dışımız darbe oldu.” 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 ..
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 ..