The state of emergency following the military uprising of July 15, 2016, revealed a process of multilayered and multi-actor crises in Turkey. The resistance and offenses of Kurdish, Islamist, and Socialist movements historically challenged the republic that situated them on the border of the constitutional order. In response, from the 1990s onward, classical state of emergency practices, which were ongoing for almost seventy years, evolved into antiterrorism policies as a technique of governmentality and politics of law. While it demolished the organized sections of the socialist movements with heavy-handed repression and politics of destruction, the Kemalist Republic, in the 2000s, gradually lost its traditions and institutional consistency as a result of the permanent and resilient resistance of the Kurdish and Islamist movements. The dissolving power relations and the political turmoil rooted in an inability to construct a new power bloc turned Caesarism in the person of Erdoğan into a process of political transition similar to those in Russia, Iran, and Egypt. Hence, the structural crises of the Kemalist Republic, merged with the historical crisis of Islamism, became embodied in the crisis of Erdoğan as a political leader. The traditional and creative political potential of Turkey further deepens the current crisis overdetermined by the concerns of a political future that remains uncertain and unpredictable.
Skip Nav Destination
Orhan Gazi Ertekin; The Rise of Caesarism, or Erdoğan’s Way. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 January 2019; 118 (1): 61–80. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-7281600
Download citation file: