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’

103
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%%

 

(103)

about

Membership

Would you like to become a member of CEFTUS or donate? We provide a voice for the entire Turkish-speaking community in the UK at a governmental level, and we have helped raise the profile and improve the perception of the community. We foster lively debate around issues affecting Turkey and the diaspora, challenging preconceptions. Our […]

We need your support

The Centre for Turkey Studies is a non-profit organisation that organises monthly speaker series, panel discussions, round tables and dinner events in the UK Parliament, think tanks, academic institutions and the City of London.   Founded in 2011, the Centre has achieved a lot in 5 years, establishing itself as a cultural leader in Turkish, […]

Support CEFTUS Events on Crowdfunder

The Centre for Turkey Studies (CEFTUS), as a not-for-profit organisation, would like to organise future Debates and Community Gatherings where anyone interested in Turkey may benefit. CEFTUS is a civil society organisation and we would like to do more of what we have done so far; organise debates and community gatherings with keynote speakers from […]

CEFTUS 5th Anniversary Video

See here full video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbGIEmUhbLQ&feature=youtu.be (84) 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