Home Events Westminster Debates CEFTUS Westminster Debate ‘Turkey at a tipping point’
CEFTUS Westminster Debate ‘Turkey at a tipping point’
0

CEFTUS Westminster Debate ‘Turkey at a tipping point’

78
0

 

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Committee Room 8, House of Commons

Keynote speaker: Dr Jenny White, a writer and social anthropologist and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies and a professor at Boston University.

Chair: Dr Pelin Kadercan of University of Reading

This CEFTUS debate was kindly hosted by Diane Abbott MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington.

The Centre for Turkey Studies was delighted to have Dr Jenny White as a keynote speaker. Dr White gave an insightful speech in which she analysed the long standing background to the Gezi protests and its implications on the current politics. Her speech was followed by an engaging Q&A session in the packed committee room.

Please see below for Dr White’s full speech.

 

Highlights of Dr White’s speech:

Polarisation that Turkey is currently experiencing has not begun since the Gezi protests, but was present in politics before that, in the last ten years.

Laicism in Turkey, unlike secularism, is not the separation of state and religion, but “a secular lifestyle within a system of state sponsored Sunni Islam”.

Turkish identity is “religio-racial identity” that Turkish blood and being Muslim are crucial parts and non-Muslims remain outside the Turkish identity. Non-Muslims can be citizens, but not Turks. The rhetoric of inside and outside enemies of Kemalist discourse stems from this and despite PM Erdogan’s non-Kemalist stance, he applies the same rhetoric as seen especially during the Gezi protests.

Belonging to a community which could be a political party or even a football club is crucial and essential for social survival and social identity in Turkey.

Muslimhood is not Islamism and a pious leader governing a secular democracy is not contradictory according to Muslimhood ideology. Muslim nationalism roots itself to Ottoman imperial period and is based on culture rather than ethnicity. This nationalism has broken the taboos of the Republican past.

The Gezi protests was a step towards civic nationalism where protection of rights are based on citizenship rather than being a member of a certain group.

“Turkey is at a tipping point, held in the balance, almost 50/50, if you look at the polls, between those seeking losing the rings and those unsettled by the chaos of liberalism and desiring order. Just at the moment of greatest possibility of moving democracy forward, the balance in Turkey is being tipped back toward autocracy by men wedded to power and fortune who appear willing to jettison a decade of much heralded democratic reforms in order to maintain their hold.”

%%wppa%% %%slideonly=28%%

 

(78)

about

CEFTUS 2013-2014 Booklet

  Please click the link below to download the Centre for Turkey Studies 2013-2014 Booklet Download CEFTUS 2013-2014 Booklet (166) Related posts: Dr Pelin Kadercan CEFTUS 3rd Anniversary Interview with Keith Vaz MP CEFTUS 3rd Anniversary Interview with Kenneth Clarke MP CEFTUS 4th Anniversary Gala

CEFTUS 5th Anniversary Video

See here full video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbGIEmUhbLQ&feature=youtu.be (54) Related posts: Winners of the CEFTUS Community Achievement Awards 2014 CEFTUS 2013-2014 Booklet CEFTUS 4th Anniversary Gala 2015 Anniversary Message from Mayor Boris Johnson MP

CEFTUS is seeking a new Programme Officer

The Centre for Turkey Studies (CEFTUS) founded in 2011 with the support of former Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, is seeking a new Programme Officer to help with administrative tasks and event organisation, and to provide some research assistance. CEFTUS, which celebrated its 5th anniversary in October 2016, organises public forums and roundtable events, fundraising and […]

CEFTUS now offers internships

Internships The Centre for Turkey Studies (CEFTUS) offers internships throughout the year for people who are interested in gaining practical experience in relations between Turkey and the UK. Internships offered are in areas of communications, events organisation, press relations, fundraising and research. Duration and schedule of internships are designed according to availability and skills of candidates. […]