Turkey elections: Elections, Rappers, Media, Micro-Party, Rigging, Iraq

My latest thought on the Turkish election and its context at the group blog Notes On Liberty

Notes On Liberty

The Turkish State’s War On Rap

The election campaign has not slowed down the Erdoğanist state in its efforts to punish anyone who deviates from Erdoğan’s ideal of obedient, socially conservative, and conformist citizens. One of the best known Turkish rappers, Ezhel, with very leftist and counter culture lyrics, has been arrested recently for ‘encouraging drug use’. A prosecutor ordered his detention, which was implemented after he voluntarily went to the police station to answer a ‘complaint’, with no warning about detention. Onur Dinç (known as Khontkar), and Young Bego have also been detained. They can all be found on Spotify and YouTube. Listening on Spotify generates a little income for people who deserve a bit of solidarity at the moment.

İnce’s Presidential Campaign

An interview on HaberTürk TV with the leading opposition candidate for President of Turkey, Muharrem İnce (from the secularist, centre-left Republican People’s Party), has…

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Latest thoughts on Brexit: Its Decay, Italy (and Ireland), Cars, and Giving up British Citizenship

Latest thoughts on Brexit: Its Decay, Italy (and Ireland), Cars, and Giving up British Citizenship

Notes On Liberty

The slow decay of Brexit: a Rule-Taking Country

I don’t mean that the UK will stay in the EU. I fully expect it to formally depart next year. If the poor performance of the UK economy compared with the Eurozone continues, I also expect the UK to rejoin in a few decades, when the growth divergence is not just in figures, but felt in everyday life, such as when people find it too expensive to travel in Europe or buy goods from Europe; if they do travel they notice that everything seems expensive and there are more nice things abroad than at home, while European tourists will seem to have huge amounts of money to throw around.

It might or might not work out like that, but the point here is that the UK, behind headlines about soft versus hard Brexit, is moving towards an ‘alignment’ with the single market…

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More on the Turkish Elections

My second piece of the group blog Notes On Liberty, on the elections in Turkey

Notes On Liberty

This is a sequel to my recent post Turkish Elections: Some Hope, so is best read after reading its predecessor.

In the last post, I covered the National Assembly elections on the 24th June. The first round of the presidential elections will take place on the same day and there will be a run-off between the two main candidates on the 8th July, if no candidate gets more than 50% on the first round.

As by far the strongest personality in Turkish politics over the last 15 years, Recep Tayyıp Erdoğan was no doubt expecting to win in the first round easily. He did so in 2014 when he was first elected to the presidency at a time when the president’s powers were much smaller. The two largest opposition parties of the time (CHP and MHP) put up a joint presidential candidate little known to the public and who…

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Me on Foucault and 2 Types of Neoliberalism in a Turkish Journal

‘Foucault on Two Types of Neoliberalism: ORDO Liberalism and Anarcholiberalism, along with European Historical Roots’ (in English) in Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi Edebiyat Fakültesi Dergisi, latest issue. See linked pdf, my article starts page 187. It represents early work for a project on Foucault and liberty (also nodding towards work on philosophy of Europe).


Michel Foucault is well known for writing on Neoliberalism, but the richness of his approach should be better understood, along with its place in his work as a whole. Foucault does not refer to Neoliberalism as one thing, but as divided into two types: Ordoliberalism and anarcholiberalism. That is between a more institutional version allowing for some state direction and a more anti-statist version. This overlaps with a distinction between Europe and the United States. It also connects with Foucault’s interests in the relation between the roles of Germany and France in European history with regard to state sovereignty and law. The interaction of France and Germany has produced various conflicting and coalescing ideas of liberty and the state up to the way Neoliberal ideas have circulated. In the context of Foucault’s own development, his investigations into Neoliberalism build on work on Enlightenment liberalism, bringing in Phenomenological anti-naturalism as a way of understanding the difference. It also builds on work on the development of political economy from its earliest texts to the work of Marx. The discussion of earlier political economy emphasises its place in a philosophy of history and humanism, which is recontextualised in Foucault’s work on Neoliberalism. Foucault’s work on the inevitability of blindness and subjectivity in epistemology, along with the role of subjectivity in ethics, also develops through the encounter with Neoliberalism.

Leaving the EU imposing double burden on UK citizens abroad

Brexit Britain. UK nationals living outside the UK in the EU are applying for citizenship abroad to retain rights they lose after Brexit. Some of these countries forbid dual citizenship so UK citizens are renouncing UK citizen ship. The Home Office takes the opportunity to raise fees for renouncing citizenship, though evidently its revenue is already increasing because of charges for renouncing citizenship. Didn’t Brexiteers tell us Brexit would reduce state bureaucracy? See this item in the Independent.

Turkish Elections: Some Hope

I’m back blogging at the group blog Notes On Liberty, I hope to blog more at NOL and here over the summer.

Notes On Liberty

What with being rather exhausted by an accumulation of projects in recent months, I have been extremely absent from Notes On Liberty. Teaching is over for the summer and I hope to make up for lost ground across a few areas, but first I must address the current situation in Turkey.

There will be early elections on 24th June for the National Assembly and the Presidency. If no candidates win an overall majority for the presidency, there will be a run off between the two leading candidates on 8th July. The National Assembly is elected through proportional representation (d’Hondt system, if you’re interested in the details). The elections were scheduled for November next year, so they are very early. The reason offered by the government is the need to complete the transition to a strongly presidential system in view of supposed administrative uncertainty interfering with government until the last…

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Coup and Counter Coup VI: Presidential Authoritarianism in Turkey

The last post in my series on the political situation in Turkey for the group blog Notes On Liberty. However, there will be an appendix on political thought related to the Ottomans, Atatürk and so on.

Notes On Liberty

(Previous posts here, here, here, here and here). The state of emergency proclaimed by President Erdoğan in Turkey on 20th July last year, in response to the coup attempt of five days before, is not a situation that will come to an end in a return to normality. It is the model for the presidential system that Erdoğan has been pushing for since 2007, when he was still admired by many liberal minded people inside Turkey (though not me) and abroad. One of the key provisions of the state of emergency is that the President can issue decrees with the force of law. There are doubts about the constitutionality of this form of ‘law making’ but two members of the Constitutional Court were arrested after the coup attempt and the chances of the court starting up to executive power are now extremely remote. Judges and prosecutors…

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