The key to understanding liberalism’s consistent presence at the core of otherwise illiberal governance in Turkey lies in the history of another word, muhalefet. It’s the word at the center of Christine M. Philliou’s brilliant new book, “Turkey: A Past Against History,” which stands as a novel reconception of the nature of dissent in Turkey.
On the margins of capitalism or in the furnace of communism, Turkic peoples have borne the brunt of modernity’s failures and experienced few of its successes. Ancient history, invented or otherwise, offers a refuge.
Calls within the EU to designate the Ülkü Ocaklari, also known by the moniker “Gray Wolves,” as a terrorist group are portrayed as a crackdown on Turkish far-right extremism. But it raises questions on broader issues about assimilation and inclusion of Turkish immigrants in Europe.
Arabs are of course not of a single mind on any particular issue, nor is it possible to gauge public opinion under tyrannical regimes. But it is indicative of the fact that these authoritarians no longer see the pan-Arab Palestinian cause and supporting it as vital to their survival.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Benjamin Netanyahu have become their countries’ longest-serving leaders by claiming to speak for silent majorities. In doing so, they have taken their respective countries in new directions.
Food nationalism started with the formation of nation states and the breakup of empires in recent centuries. Cuisine, like political borders, became an effective tool for marking new distinctions, used by chauvinists and genocidaires as a weapon.