An interview with Ferhat Kentel: Postmodernity and the Arc of Turkish Identity

Postmodernity and the Arc of Turkish Identity

from Turkish Politics in Action by Ragan Updegraff

Ferhat Kentel, Professor at Istanbul Sehir University / PHOTO from the Balkans Project

The Balkans Project recently featured a fascinating interview with Ferhat Kentel, a sociologist at Istanbul Sehir University. Working on the construction of Turkish national identity, Kentel is examining one of the most controversial and heuristic themes in Turkish politics — in many ways, a theme that defines, and most certainly pervades, every aspect of political discourse, be it Turkey’s efforts to come to terms with its minorities (Muslim and non-Muslim), its attempts to reconcile Islam and the Turkish naton-state, its ongoing EU accession process, its confrontration with ultra-nationalist elements like Ergenekon, its international relations, etc. I have provided excerpts in this post, though I most definitely recommend reading though the whole interview.

Civilian court accepts indictment of military officers despite annulment
Today’s Zaman
Civilian prosecutors conducting the investigation into Ergenekon will continue as before, according to former prosecutor Gültekin Avcı. ?The decision will

Don?t make us laugh or insult our intelligence


Dear commander, It would be helpful if you were to understand this particular point. Perhaps the most fundamental of this nation?s problems is its military problem.

Coup plots trigger gov?t scrutiny of military budget

The latest coup plan, ?Sledgehammer,? disclosed by the Taraf daily, has once again shown that the military will not abandon its desire to maintain the status quo, at the expense of violating the law and the Constitution, resulting in serious turmoil in the country.

The dignity of a coup


What a coup really amounts to is the theft of a nation?s colors. The condemning of a nation to khaki, or a sort of colorless darkness. An attempt on others? lives made by a small group aiming for power who think they have found life somewhere in all that uniformity.

You scare me, pasha!

After arriving at the newspaper building yesterday morning, I once again watched a TV interview Habertürk?s Yiğit Bulut conducted with Çetin Doğan, a retired general who is among the members of the military who prepared the recently unearthed military action plot named ?sledgehammer.?

Coups in Turkey: none so blind…

The Sledgehammer Security Operation Plan, drafted only a couple of months after the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government came to power, detailed plans to trigger unprecedented chaos in Turkey, assassinations, clashes with Greece, the usurpation of Turkish and international resources and business interests, and the elimination and replacement of civilian authorities with subversive junta members from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). The ultimate goal of the military takeover would be a Baathist-type authoritarian and repressive regime in Turkey.

Gen. Başbuğ?s credibility problem

Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ broke his silence on Monday regarding a recently unearthed military plot which includes subversive plans to trigger chaos in the country with the ultimate goal of staging a military coup.

Distrust of Başbuğ

Statements made on Monday by Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ regarding a military action plan named the Sledgehammer Security Operation Plan have been met with skepticism by many who say the general failed to be convincing.

Gen. Başbuğ, an army exclaiming ?Allah Allah? and consistency

Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ on Tuesday felt the need to make a brief statement concerning the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plan, which produced much controversy and debate on the public opinion agenda all of last week.

Banging the table with an invisible sledgehammer by Ali Murat Yel

When I watched a speech delivered by the chief of General Staff to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Kazım Karabekir, a former general and war hero, the other day on TV, I decided I believed in the existence of the so-called Sledgehammer plan of the 1st Army since the chief of General Staff banged on the table in front of him every time he denied the accusations.

Journalist and writer

When the Taraf newspaper published a list of journalists mentioned as part of the Sledgehammer coup plan, it elicited a great reaction from members of our profession. And so the military sat down and thought up a coup plan.

Eskişehir Gendarmerie Commander detained in Ergenekon probe
Today’s Zaman
Recep Gençoğlu was detained yesterday as part of the probe into Ergenekon, a shadowy criminal network that has alleged links within the state and is

Squaring Off on Constitutional Amendments

from Turkish Politics in Action by Ragan Updegraff

The AKP is working on a new package of 22 constitutional amendments it might well put before Parliament in the next month. The package was drafted by the Parliamentary Constitutional Commission, headed by MP (AKP) Burhan Kuzu. The amendments have not been made public, and so it is unclear exactly what the AKP is planning on putting forward. On January 10, Kuzu had said that the AKP would not been seeking amendments to the constitution or to the election law, which stipulates that parties must receive at least ten percent of the total vote to enter parliament. I am not sure what changed, but so be it.

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