Kaya Genç

Author of three books: An Istanbul Anthology (AUC Press, 2015), Under the Shadow (I.B. Tauris, 2016), and The Lion and the Nightingale (I.B. Tauris, 2019;paperback edition forthcoming in May 2024. His Substack is: https://kayagenc.substack.com



Cover for: Power over principle

Power over principle

Turkey’s skin-deep opposition

Power to the powerful, contempt for the weak: in replicating this rule of Turkish politics, the opposition CHP differs in no way from Erdoğan’s AKP. Indeed, in persecuting all critics of the Turkish state, the Islamists are simply re-enacting the republican legacy.

Cover for: An ode to Marmara

An ode to Marmara

What lies below the sea snot spectacle

Once the heart of a civilization, the inland sea connecting Europe and Asia has lost most of its astonishing wildlife and is suffocating under marine mucilage. Industrial pollution and reckless sewage policies feed the phytoplankton that took over the sea. Kaya Genç recalls the rich history of his beloved Marmara and identifies the culprits behind its rapid demise.

Cover for: Tearing down the ivory tower

Tearing down the ivory tower

Abusing the COVID-19 crisis to close the 'wokest' university

It took a while for even the faculty to realize that the Istanbul Şehir University has effectively been closed down. It had stood its ground against Erdoğan’s interventions for years, but the pandemic served as the perfect opportunity for a swift and silent takeover. Now the same can happen to any of the other independent universities in Turkey.

Cover for: Watching the watchmen

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?

Cover for: Talking a tightrope

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.

Cover for: In search of the 'New Turkey'

“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.

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