His majesty’s artists… Erdoğan’s own version of cultural hegemony building

On the one hand, the ruling government under the leadership of President Erdoğan accelerates its move towards Islamization of society. Introducing mandatory of Ottoman courses, religious education courses for the first year primary school students, thinking of ending co-ed education- not initiated yet-, opening mosques in every university campus just few recent examples). On the other hand, AKP continues to pursue allies within popular culture. AKP people had this intense inferiority complex that shows up every instance possible and being challenged culturally and despite 12 year rule not being able to create alternative cultural figures, AKP moves to transfer existing popular pop persona. Not too successful but still power and wealth can buy some. No need to say those who become pro-Erdoğan gets public resources and the others are excluded…

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Erdoğan and Yavuz Bingöl singing together…

The latest transfer is Yavuz Bingöl. As far as I know this has been the most “left” transfer Erdoğan could achieve. Mr. Bingöl is a relatively popular protest singer. He recently defended Erdoğan’s call to boo Berkin Elvan’s mother in a rally because some Occupy Gezi protesters swore at Erdoğan’s mother. I leave you the weird logic to you dear readers. Yavuz Bingöl will be one of the lead singers soon in a pro-AKP lead organization to celebrate Mevlana…

Fotoğraf: DHA

Turkey‘s one of the idiosyncratic intellectual Alev Alatlı recently christened Erdoğan while she was taking a Presidential Award. According to Alatlı’s weird logic Orwell, if he lived now, would applaud Erdoğan… Maybe this might be true but not in the positive sense Alatlı imagined.

Şafak Sezer, a comedian, was an early adopter. After being seen to support Occupy Gezi, he was quick to kiss Erdoğan’s hand and declare his support. In this photo Alişan, a singer, and another comedian, whose name I cannot recall now.

Hande Yener was a surprise. I don’t believe her style will be approved in future but for the moment she is good to function as a legitimizer.

Bülent Ersoy, far left down, has been a long term supporter of Erdoğan.

Metin Arolat, in the middle, later declared that he was there to explicitly declare his opposition but not very persuasive.

Hülya Avşar, another popular personality whose lifestyle cannot surive in a conservative future script…

Hülya Koçyiğit, a former actress, believes opposition hates Erdoğan. That’s the cause of all political criticism…

Yılmaz Erdoğan might be another leftist detractor….

Erdoğan and Acun Ilıcalı. Theirs is a love story.

 However, Turkey’s most prolific artists and intellectuals continue to oppose growing conservatism and one-party rule: 

Pamuk said his new novel ‘Kafamda bir Tuhaflik’ deals with the oppression suffered by women in Turkey
Positive discrimination a la Erdoğan and its political background

Erdogan’s controversial comments calling gender equality into question come at a time when women’s issues have become connected to the very idea of the Turkish state and civilisational values.

President Erdogan at the 2009 World Economic ForumErdogan – World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2009. Flickr/World Economic Forum. Some rights reserved

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