In between the pro- and anti-Erdoğan… - ALI BAYRAMOĞLU

In between the pro- and anti-Erdoğan…

Humans tend to view the generalities of their time in absolutes. They think that the divides and crises, or developments and debates, of their time are the first and the most in-depth, the likes of which have never been witnessed before. Doesn’t the same apply today as well?

Although in some respects we have actually been experiencing similar situations for years now. These are generally issues related to the prevailing mindset in the country, which encompasses the entire spectrum from left to right, and forms the essence of these domestic crises.  

The similarity between the comparisons made about Çoban Sülü (Süleyman Demirel), Takunyalı Özal (Turgut Özal), and Kasımpaşalı Erdoğan (Tayyip Erdoğan)… The continuity of coups witnessed in the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s, which in terms of their aim and backers, were based on a societal divide… Cultural divides based on contradictory demands for democracy and its violation… Class-based rage based on polarization of lifestyles… Zero sum utilitarian political debates composed of absolute benefits and costs deemed ignorable… an intellectual mindset that considered majoritarianism as deceptive, subject to the duality of good and bad…

All this is indicative of continuity.

This vortex is actually the external reflection of a societal fabric, which is unaware of itself, its diversity, its history; and one that that has not reconciled and integrated with itself.

It is a fabric in conflict with itself, and one that defines its own culture, history, religious, and all other elements, on the basis of short term utilitarian political functions. This fabric defines as politics the resultant clashes that arise among those elements, or in regard to those elements.

This fabric has its own unique versions of nationalism, leftism, Islamism and liberalism; and bears community- and identity-based characteristics. It feeds off an unending integration crisis, extreme politicization and utilitarianism.

It is perhaps slightly due to this that we fall apart, disintegrate, become polarized, and change alliances and places during every crisis and every “new” situation that arises.

The debates and perceptions regarding the identity of the individual, leadership, and regime in the climate created after the Gezi events (regardless of supporting it or being against it) is a situation we are acquainted with, considering all the references.

Let us say it is another period where the tendency to adopt a political position has crushed thought and the principle of a utilitarian stance, and conformity has drowned out individualism. To be faced with such aridity despite new sociological input in the country and the process of change that has been witnessed; and for such aridity to produce new generations, intellectuals and academics that adhere to it is painful, but true.

Based on this result, the relationship between “the community-based societal fabric and its manifestation which is a utilitarian mindset and a single truth-centered perception” and “those who say that cultural and societal groups can only exist adjacently, and could actually exist separately” should not be taken lightly at all…

We have always sought the same thing. We have wished to live with those similar to us and to produce people similar to us. That is why, even now, many of us, religious or secular, leftist or rightist, still live within one community, glorify it and will fight for that community. One could ask why even the fight between the left and the right in this country never became anything more than a fight over a system of values.

This is why one aspect of our understanding of politics is “to prevent any change in our own community and its values, and preserve it in its purest form.” On the other hand, we just associate politics with a battle. This is why our political issues are primarily based on the quest to expand the habitat of our own community by pitting it against other communities with respect to cultural values and financial capabilities…

We make “benefit” the central point instead of “principle” but are not even willing to admit this to ourselves…

We now find ourselves stuck in the middle of a new muddle between the pro-Erdoğan and the anti-Erdoğan (much more predominant) camp…

It seems like we will have to put up for a while longer with the headache of this patriarchal and radical culture, which has reduced modernity and democracy to “glorifying and seeking out those who resemble themselves, but judging and shunning those who are different.”

The important question for the upcoming period will be in regard to the extent to which the idea of freedom and common democratic values are regarded as core factors while resolving problems.

Yes, the mindset, fabric and continuity issue, and topics related to it…

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