Populism on Steroids : Erdoğanists and Their Enemies in Turkey

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/234492

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Gurhanli , H 2018 , Populism on Steroids : Erdoğanists and Their Enemies in Turkey . in U Kovala , E Palonen , M Ruotsalainen & T Saresma (eds) , Populism on the Loose . Nykykuttuurin tutkimuskeskuksen julkaisuja , vol. 122 , Jyväskylän yliopisto , Jyväskylä , pp. 53-80 . < http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-7401-5 >

Title: Populism on Steroids : Erdoğanists and Their Enemies in Turkey
Author: Gurhanli, Halil
Editor: Kovala, Urpo; Palonen, Emilia; Ruotsalainen, Maria; Saresma, Tuija
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Political and Economic Studies (2010-2017)
Publisher: Jyväskylän yliopisto
Date: 2018
Language: eng
Number of pages: 28
Belongs to series: Populism on the Loose
Belongs to series: Nykykuttuurin tutkimuskeskuksen julkaisuja
ISBN: 978-951-39-7401-5
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/234492
Abstract: Perhaps the clearest indicator of one’s partiality towards a Laclauian approach to populism is the belief that it is a constitutive dimension of politics without which the latter ceases to exist. The presence of a frontier between the ‘people’ and its ‘other’ is the precondition of politics. But what if this frontier itself becomes the sole point around which those identities are articulated? Is it still possible to speak of politics when there is ‘too much’ populism? The article answers this question through an analysis of the extreme polarization in today’s Turkey over the hegemonic figure of the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Praises for Erdoğan government as a democratic model for the Muslim world withered away once the regime had decisively turned towards authoritarianism and begun consolidating Erdoğan’s personal control over state and society. A personality cult, named Erdoğanism here, has gradually materialised around his figure, overtaking all previous forms of political identity among his supporters and becoming one with ‘the people’. Those who display even a minimal reluctance to submit themselves completely to his will are excommunicated as ‘enemies’ of the people. Most interestingly, such an extremely polarizing discourse appears to have turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy, for it has been reciprocated by virtually all opposition actors in the form of Anti-Erdoğanism. The very survival of opposition in Turkey seems to have been locked into an anti-Erdoğanist corner, risking to run the whole political field into a zero-sum game between two polar opposites, a case of pure populism
Subject: 517 Political science
Populism
Post-structuralism
Turkey
Political philosophy
polarization
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