DIFFERENT FREEDOMS: POLITICS OF REVOLT IN TURKEY

One of the striking things about the revolt in Taksim Square’s Gezi Park is the combination of formally opposed political groups. The secular nationalist Atatürkists have joined with the leftists/Kurdish rights supporters. This alliance was impossible until recently.

 

 

Leftists and Kurdish rights supporters used to view the nationalist Atatürkists as the oppressive rulers of Turkey. The Atatürkists used to view Kurdish rights supporters and leftists as a dangerous fifth column in Turkey.

Now these various groups are united in one goal; to oppose the Islamist AK Parti and Prime Minister Erdogan.

However, do these historically opposed groups trust each other?

No.

When pressed leftists and Kurdish rights supporters state that the Atatürkists are former bourgeois who have lost their position of leadership to Erdogan’s Islamists. Many leftist Kurdish supporters are afraid of Atatürkists and what the Atatürkists might do if they come back to power.

And yet the arrogance, pride and domination of the Erdogan led police/judicial state has brought these two groups into a working alliance.

Imagine two former enemies with knives in their hands. Presently the two former enemies are fighting a mutual enemy. The two former enemies work together but they will not trust each other. Both are afraid of being stabbed in the back by the other.

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Love In Istanbul is a resident of Istanbul.

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