Revolutions never start under fig trees


Silvia NietoSilvia Nieto




Turkish journalist tells Ece Temelkuran (Izmir, 1973) in his book "How to lose a country" (Anagrama, 2019) that a member of the Justice and Development Party (AKP, for its acronym in Turkish) of Erdogan He suggested that he sweeten his political columns during a meeting in 2006. To live with placidity of his trade, he only had to shelter in the paternal embrace of Islamist power, willing to reward the prodigal sons with prebendas that would cease in their fighting attitude. «This movement is not about religion. To be honest, I also look at women, ”said the man, confessing his taste for“ power and money ”and letting his eyes drift over the breasts of the reporter, who until then had been silent. Temelkuran, boosted by the rock nerve that goes through his essay, reacted without being overwhelmed and began to bang on the table, while shouting several "how dare!" To his perplexed interlocutor. A heavy smear campaign punished his bravery.

Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk Remember in «The Woman with Red Hair» (Random House, 2018) that Turkey suffers from the tension that results from the two political poles that live in the country: the Ottoman and Islamist, embodied by Erdogan and his movement, and the layman, with the look set in Europe and today in retreat. Temelkuran, daughter of a "lay comadre" and granddaughter of a teacher who taught poor children, is heiress of that second tradition, but in its progressive orientation. The leftist bias, which not only does not hide but exposes with nakedness and pride, constantly appears, dazzling its references to the British Labor leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who entertains by ignoring his populist drives, but without preventing him from harshly criticizing Chavismo. A smile cannot be contained when he narrates a conference of the Venezuelan ambassador to Ankara. During the talk, held in 2007, the diplomat was forced to give the official version of the beginning of the "revolution," a story closer to the sacred writings of Buddhism – he said that Chavez and his supporters met "under a fig tree in on top of a hill ”before assaulting power – than a historical fact. "It really wasn't like that," the journalist snapped, after hearing his speech with the gesture "of a rational human being faced with a true believer."

Temelkuran's battling attitude does not obvious examination of conscience. The journalist has no problem pointing out the weaknesses of her side, that of the opposition, partly responsible for the advance of Islam in Turkey. In the slums of Istanbul where left-wing students once distributed food, AKP trucks now cover basic needs. Erdogan, who as a despotic sultan forbade businessmen to smoke in his presence, has made "basic social rights a matter of political charity of the party." The poor intellectuals who believed that the AKP would open cracks in the "system" from which "a better political movement" would be born cry today their sorrows, exiles. But "How to lose a country" slaps the defeatist verbiage. Temelkuran is clear: «There can be no understanding without action».

. (tagsToTranslate) temelkuran (t) turkey


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