After the failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016, the AKP set about securing what Recep Tayyip Erdoğan referred to as ‘social and cultural power’. Nilgün Tutal studies processes of Islamisation in Ankara and Istanbul, showing how the political struggle in Turkey is about the imposition of a ‘legitimate’ cultural vision.
Yaşar Nezihe was the first Muslim woman to have her unveiled photograph published in the Ottoman press, the first socialist poet to compose a Turkish poem about May 1, and the first woman to write for the journal of the Communist Party of Turkey. Murat Batmankaya recalls her perseverance in the face of patriarchal oppression, material need and political adversity.
Post-truth: A new Faustian pact
‘In post-truth regimes, what has been lost is the moral or ethical principle that keeps expression faithful to the truth of what people see, think or feel.’ Nilgün Tutal discusses a famous work of performance art in communist Yugoslavia to show how harmless the concept of truth has become in the face of contemporary authoritarianisms.
‘Our space and our clothes are tight, but so what!’
Under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey has returned to its ‘normal’ state of emergency, in which freedom of speech is punished and where minorities bear the brunt. Armenian journalist and publisher Rober Koptaş looks to persecuted writers of the past for examples of strength and resistance.