New powers granted to the ‘bekçi’ – Turkey’s auxiliary police force – have led to a spate of violent confrontations, releasing traumatic memories of the military coup forty years ago. The revival of this Ottoman relic consolidates Erdoğan’s centralized rule. But will it end up hastening his decline?
After the Gezi Park uprising in 2013, the idea that the Turkish nation can survive only through consensus between westernizers and traditionalists no longer dominates. Despite the subsequent crackdowns, dissent is still happening among those willing to brave the possible consequences, writes Kaya Genç.
“The Old Turkey is behind us, and its doors are now closed”, said Recep Tayyip Erdogan this summer, standing before a banner that read, “On the Road to the New Turkey”. A month later he was president. But what now? Kaya Genç wonders if in fact two countries continue to live alongside one another.