Süreyyya Evren

Words are under siege in Turkey and journalism has been taken hostage, writes Süreyyya Evren. When this era ends, he doesn’t know how long society will need to recover. But for now, it’s all about virtual private networks, among other forms of resistance.

There are magazines that mirror the cultural environment and those that open up new channels of expression – “canonizing” and “talking” magazines respectively. In the Turkish context, journals emerging from a leftist tradition and located outside academia create connections between the intelligentsia and the public, writes Süreyyya Evren. The development of the young anarchist journal Siyahi demonstrates how “talking magazines” can move beyond their niche audience to reach a broad readerships.

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Mahmut Mutman, in conversation with Varlik editor Süreyyya Evren, argues that the polarization between east and west misrecognizes underlying processes of cultural formation. Cultural polarization between east and west makes intelligible the chaos wrought by capitalism. But western critics of Turkey’s democratic deficit fail to acknowledge the role of western imperialism in hindering democratic development in Turkey. The Turkish left, meanwhile, is caught between waiting passively for EU alignment to bring democratic reform on the one hand, and a reactionary nationalism on the other. Genuine democratic reform will arise from critique that does not fall back on transcendental norms, argues Mutman.