Turkey Insight (III) – What capulists need: More than a single party


It is apparent that #direngeziparkı movement needs more than the parties we know. However, as understood by followers of the movement, – unfortunately – in intellectual and political sense, there is no other destination, at which goals and future objectives are embodied, than “Gezi Parkı”, which has been forgotten on the margin of Taksim. (09.06.2013)

Taksim and “Gezi Parkı” as a destination

Unfortunately, Taksim Gezi Parkı is merely a destination for today. Taksim Square, which always reflected different meanings for Turkey and was always associated with dark pages of our past, has got a brand-new  addressing once again. For years, Turkish Left has also tried to explain to many ruling parties why it has been attempting to rise at Taksim. Taksim and its vicinity, which has been one of the places at which Turkey’s reckoning with the past is felt most intensely, has gained a new meaning today.

What is the new addresing of today, then? The fifty percent, being Turkey’s new ‘other’, is seeking for intellectual movement and maturation of democratic organization that will facilitate construction of the future at “Gezi of Taksim”. It is living its freedom here, portraying unification and solidarity here, and striving to establish its media and proclaim its voice and representative from here.

This is why that followers of this new public movement cannot leave the park and its environ in emotional sense, even though their logic tells them “we’ll have to lift these barricades some day”, and they are feeling amiss each day they don’t show up at Taksim (or similar addresses that reflect the same movement in other cities of Turkey).

As a plain and sincere ideology (that is, provided it is not confused with acts of violence and is defined as an objective of building an autonomous society structure that defies all sorts of authority), to the people other than those who intend anarchism, it is a romantic approach to carry on the action at Taksim Gezi indefinitely. This romance manifests itself as an effort to transform Taksim Gezi from a protest zone into a modern agora.

Taksim Gezi is being passed into history as a movement that could not be defined by its original purpose and has undertaken an entire public accumulation, the burden of not being delegated. The most solid output of this situation of not being delegated, is People’s Assembly which has been recently established within the same park. Admittedly, however, this public assembly too, should attain a structure through which it will become organizational and yield an output as “voice”, provided its format abides.

Through where are we passing? Where are we?

The public movement of today (yes, despite all my addings, I believe this is a plain public movement, judging by its emergence) will face new whole-new demands tomorrow. Yet, these demands will surely come out of itself, not from outside. By and out of itself !

Taksim Gezi shall clarify its philosophy, mentality and demands tomorrow. This consolidation that is criticised – be it with smurfs’ village joke made by itself or despising ‘marauders’ (chapulists) statement made by its opposite  – , will have to create its own codes.

The man who demanded that election threshold be reduced to one percent (I don’t understand why he didn’t demand for its abolition for good !), the woman who describes herself as everyone in Turkey (to her surprise, dis-identity is not an ideal circumstance), the young man who suggested that education must be readdressed (he proposed the applications in America for it, which comprises a State mechanism) and session leader of the Assembly who asked the all the people to express their own ideas (which is to search for an organizational structure), will face the circumstance of sharing their wishes on a common ground, tomorrow.

I understand how difficult it is for one to try define the time he lives in (especially when he lives within it), as well as how jeopardous it is to define it. However, we all are pieces of our own history in the end, and, in a sense, must write down our own ideas and evaluations through the responsibility of being a piece. The worst thing that could happen to us  – provided that all harm is done to ourselves – is the wrongness of our evaluations. Yet, I can still hear the words of a respectable lecturer back in the first year I entered Istanbul University School of Press and Publication. He said “ Prestige of a journalist is defined by his/her intrepidity to narrate his/her own time; his/her proficiency, on the other hand, is measured thirty years later by the accuracy of what he/she told back then. Perhaps, it goes the same for researchers, too.

Starting from this approach, I would like to suggest that Turkey is undergoing a period of thirty years that is postulant to be recorded in its history.

Phase (1) – Reckoning (Re-establishment and infrastructure, for some) period (2003-2013),

Phase (2) – Period of altering social codes (or period of least common denominators and maturement) (2014-2023) and

Phase (3) – It can be defined as (new) Period of Democracy 2.0 for Turkey (2024+)

As I am trying to explain for the last three days, the second phase, which we are currently at its beginning, will be a period at which the public movement of – fifty percent – will search for a destination (and find it), try to form a common ground with those who come to that destination, strive to represent itself at this destination, even at rates of one percent.

The greatest issue we experience today is that this destination isn’t apparent yet. This new organization (without a nameplate for now) that formed its partisan (I am not using this word in a negative sense) infrastructure and , perhaps, its active delegation at Taksim Gezi and its extents, is currently at zero point. Even if this organization purports itself with one of today’s current parties tomorrow, my evaluation will essentially remain valid. In case that this situation comes to reality, this possible party will not be the same as it is today neither in delegation sense, nor in concept of representation, nor in political style . This evaluation of mine includes every party within and outside of the parliament today.

The impending arduous process : Unification !

The most difficult stage that lies before the other fifty percent of Turkey, is the process of unification that awaits in the aftermath of mass protests. Through applauses, the heterogenous lot assembled in squares is announcing its thoughts of freedom, equality, non-superiority, understanding for everyone and even the idea of embracing the opposing fifty percent, while arraying its “but”s outside of the square and within their own internal rendering.

Is this insincerity? Absolutely not. This is a process of internal reckoning that has already started today, a process of defining a minimal common ground, creating a list of the common, and adjusting the dosage of diversities. The union has begun to form the structure of its own internal democracy, specify the rules of its future mechanism and define basic value systematics and principles of its possibly organizational structure.

However, this process is going to feel the lack of a corporate body during the transmission to nation-wide proliferation (that is, opening the channels of agglomerative participation). At first, this corporate body is going to appear as a disorganized mechanism, yet having a common experience. All components of the structure that shape squares today are going to reassess its organizations, renovate them if necessary, and build organizations should they have none.

Here at this point, the diversities between oppositions, which stand as impediments before the new structure – its state of being agglomerative, as in squares – , will have to produce a common language. Turk/Kurd opposition will have its reckoning on both sides, and soften the radical nationalist attitude. Interreligious understanding will be moved from nonchalance to caring level. Liberalists and statists will reach an agreement on a common and hybrid economic plan – many other headline issues shall be moved from romance into reality.

Tomorrow, on a new day, we are going to emphasize on more tangible possibilities regarding instruments and requirement list for Turkey’s second and third phases.

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