Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

December 28, 2013

Ahmet Tonak on the AKP-Gulenist confrontation

Filed under: Islam,Turkey — louisproyect @ 12:10 am

Last night I interviewed Ahmet Tonak, a Marxist economist and long-time activist, about the current political crisis in Turkey that pitted the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) against the Gulenist movement led by Fethullah Gülen, a cleric who lives in the United States.

The interview was structured in part as a commentary on points made by Berkeley sociologist Cihan Tugal in an article titled “Towards the End of a Dream? The Erdogan-Gulen Fallout and Islamic Liberalism’s Descent” that appeared in Jadaliyya on December 22nd. Ahmet agreed with some points in the article and disagreed with others.

In addition, Ahmet touched upon the status of the Kurdish struggle that is now facing challenges in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. He concluded with an assessment of the opportunities facing the left in a period when both Islamism and Kemalism in Turkey are on the defensive.

On a technical note, apologies for the poor lighting. Next month I am buying proper lamps for the next time I shoot indoors after dark.

1 Comment »

  1. Gulen runs 100 + creepy charter schools in the U.S. They are mostly administrated by Turks which I’m sure is a violation of any kind of equal opportunity law. The principal who recruited me wrote in broken English and seemed like he would fail a GED essay test. They recruit middle class and/or good students, and generally place the schools in car-only areas. They therefore have high test scores but are not public schools in any sense of equal access. Pure cherry picking. Their teacher handbook has a long litany of requirements focusing on female dress. The pay is 20% less than surrounding public schools.

    It has the looks of an appalling charter school scam, but the fact it goes unchecked makes me think this guy has some understanding with the U.S. government.

    Comment by jeff — December 28, 2013 @ 5:11 am

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