Note from the LeftEast editors: We reprint here with the producers’ permission the first episode of a new CEU podcast series on Attacks on Academic Freedom in Turkey and around the World. It is dedicated to Academics for Peace in Turkey, who have been facing trials for saying “We will not be a party to this crime”. In this episode, we will first give context to the movement. Then we will read sections of defense speeches from the academics who have stood trial. By translating them to English, we hope to make the powerful content of their speeches that calls for peace, freedom of expression and academic ..
People in Turkey are once again called upon to go to the polls on March 31. This time around local elections are on the agenda. The administrations of provinces, districts and neighborhoods respectively are to be elected. One would think that local elections certainly have some importance, but are hardly decisive for the fate of the country as a whole. This is particularly the case in a country where there is an antique provincial government system – the vilayet-system inherited from the Ottoman Empire – controlled by central government, which concentrates many important decision making processes such as gene ..
1.Has Turkey’s government taken an official position regarding the situation in Venezuela? If yes, what is the position? Turkey presents the peculiar case of a right-wing government with historically close geopolitical ties to the USA supporting President Maduro both verbally and commercially. Over the last year, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has developed an ever friendlier rapport with Maduro, visiting him in Caracas and receiving him in Ankara. Over the course of these visits the Turkish and Venezuelan governments concluded a deal by which Venezuela exports unrefined gold to Turkey in return for crucial food ..
‘If they have their dollars, we have our Allah’ – This is how the President of Turkey responded to the historic drop in the value of the lira in August this year before calling for boycotts of US products and discouraging the citizens from exchanging their liras into foreign currency in the name of defending the national economy against the so-called interest rate lobby and foreign powers. Only a few days later a swap agreement between the central banks of Qatar and Turkey was announced amidst an extreme hike in inflation and continual fall in the value of the domestic currency. There was a pron ..
In Turkey, the government of the nationalist-religious Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi—AKP) called early presidential and parliamentary elections for the 24 June. It was aware that its electoral base is gradually eroding, particularly in the big metropolitan areas like Istanbul. Therefore, it did everything in order to enhance the chances of being declared the winner of the forthcoming elections. By anticipating the elections, both president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and AKP hoped to increase their chances. However, not everything is going according to their plans. The ruling party had ob ..
This article originally appeared on N+1mag and was penned by an anonymous author. SUAVE AND SYMPATHETIC, Beyazıt Öztürk is known for making even his most troublesome guests feel at home. The veteran comedian was in the middle of his call-in talk show, the most popular program on Turkish TV, when he received an unexpected call. A woman’s voice, trembling but persistent, admonished him and his guests to remember the children. Are they aware that children are dying? Do they know what is happening in Diyarbakır as the armed forces hunt Kurdish insurgents and the civilians who failed to leave have become fair ga ..
In continuing the theme of the conflict between Russia and the West, which we discussed last week, now we turn to the broader issue of a leftist perspective on geopolitics. Even though most of the articles LeftEast publishes deal in one way or another with the transnational connectivities, we have been somewhat reticent about the whole issue of geopolitics. For two reasons. In the first place, because of our method of seeking authors based in or at least with deep knowledge of concrete societies, who would share that knowledge with our readers. If so much news analysis, even on the left, starts with some geopolit ..
Note from the editors: In the week following a non-violent demonstration on the campus of Boğaziçi University in Istanbul against a pro-government Islamist student group handing out sweets to celebrate the victory of the Turkish Army and its allied militias in the Syrian-Kurdish district of Afrin, Turkish police have repeatedly swept into the campus in pursuit of anyone suspected of involvement in the anti-war action. The ongoing wave of detentions on the Boğaziçi campus form part of a strategy familiar from earlier police action on university campuses in Turkey, and which intensified even before the Presiden ..
LeftEast interviewed sociologist and feminist Nazan Üstündağ on Afrin, Rojava and the social stakes of the resistance to Turkey’s current military intervention. First, we’d like to thank you for agreeing to this interview. These days, when the Turkish propaganda machine has gone into overdrive, and any voice for peace inside the country is automatically branded “a terrorist supporter” and treated accordingly, we all too often find even foreign journalists repeating the Turkish state’s talking points: the PYD = the Syrian branch of the PKK, “legitimate security concerns,̶ ..