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About Oguz Alyanak

Oguz Alyanak, a McDonnell International Scholars Academy scholar, is pursuing his PhD in sociocultural anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. He previously served as the Managing Editor of the Istanbul-based journal, Turkish Policy Quarterly.

Articles by Oguz Alyanak

This week’s front page editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Ruminations on the political in post-referendum Turkey

Despite the state’s attempts to know and manage, there remain illegible elements, as exemplified by the people who support the No campaign or the women who join the Women’s Rally.

The Turkish stadium scandal: why we should be concerned about the decision to not grieve for Paris

That the AKP election victory comes in the aftermath of a tumultuous summer is disconcerting, for it makes fear and violence not only an acceptable, but also a rewarding tactic.

Turkey in limbo

Will the new election help take Turkey out of its impasse? Is there any hope that the results will be any different this time, amidst growing uncertainty about the future?

Erdoğan’s “New Turkey”: end of pragmatism?

President Erdoğan’s ego might not only harm the AKP in the long run, but also squander the Islamo-pragmatic political culture it was able to construct in the past 13 years.

The morphology of a peaceful Turkish protest

They demanded greater rights and fair treatment from Oyak-Renault and Türk Metal, but they argued that their movement had nothing to do with politics.

No more popular protests? Reflections on Turkey’s Domestic Security Bill

Accuse the government of illegal use of force by the police, and what you get in return is the government inventing ways to make it legal, by treating popular protests as potential acts of terrorism.

Welcome to the parallel universe: Richard Falk’s interview with PM Davutoglu

Through his references to things that are mundane, Erdogan speaks to people’s pockets. And through his references to God and the ancestors, he speaks to people’s hearts.

Tracing the impact of the Ferguson uprising in Turkey

It seems that the time has come for Erdogan to return the favour and make a similar phone call to Obama. He has an excuse to do so now, which can only spell more heartache.

Turkey's presidential election candidates

An overview of the strengths and weaknesses of Turkey's presidential candidates, and of the electorate's views, indicate that Erdoğan will be the victor of the upcoming elections on 10 August 2014.

Syrian refugees in Turkey: “They are everywhere”

What you cannot miss is all the stories in the media testifying to the fact that the Syrian has become a troubling part of everyday life in Turkey.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Almighty

This may be sheer populism. However, it is also the kind of populism that brings millions to the election rallies cheering with joy. Having taken Turkey out of economic crisis once, the AKP is seen as the miracle-maker. And who would want to lose their miracle maker? 

Politics makes biased fools of us all

With tapes of voice recordings of Erdogan being leaked, whether they are authentic or not, what we believe today is what we want to believe.

The inconvenient truth about child brides

It is easy for states to ratify all the necessary conventions and take all the necessary legal steps in outlawing child marriages. However, it is the very social system that produces child brides that should be put under investigation.

The many crises of Erdogan: have we come to an end-game?

This piece is an attempt to revisit some of the key crises afflicting the AKP and its leader, and in light of this analysis, investigate some claims that foretell the AKP’s doom. 

Hagia Sophia: between consecration and contestation

Should Hagia Sophia become a mosque? Or should it become a church?

Extreme measures: invoking moral order in Turkey

While our fingers point at cohabitation and house sharing, and our minds are troubled by the imposition of a particular lifestyle, we tend to overlook a larger project of social restructuring.

The two ends of Turkish democracy: opening up and covering up

About ten days after the democratic package was introduced, Turkey was tested, this time by a woman with décolletage. Turkey failed that test too.

Cashing in on the human rights regime

When all a politician needs to do is to pay the price of his/her misdemeanor and move on—which does not even come out of his/her own pocket but rather that of the taxpayer’s—would any politician prefer to take the blow personally?

Syria: a moral intervention

Who will be there to teach us about morality, and to speak of yet another moral intervention when pictures of brutality show up on our screens, this time committed by the coalition of the “morally righteous”?

Democracy's hall of mirrors in the post-Gezi world? A call for global dialogue

With the Ergenekon verdict, Turkey was to put behind it a history of coup d’états, and to open a new page by convicting generals (whose raison d’etre for the past 30 years was to fight terrorism) for participating in what is now officially a ‘terrorist organization’.

Why care about international prestige?

There was once a time when the Turkish Prime Minister was hailed for constructing a model country for the Middle East. Today, the picture is very different.

Testing what we learned in Gezi Park

In order for us to reach out to Diyarbakir, we needed a counter-narrative. Gezi was that teaching experience. But what was learned at Gezi had to be put to the test.

One day in Gezi Park

These various analytical approaches to Gezi fail to see the space, time and actors as “in process”; that is, not as being but as becoming. 

Hearing out Prime Minister Erdogan’s silent majority?

She had gone to the city hall and asked the authorities to tell her whether it was possible for her to protest too; she was told she could if she wanted to, and so she did.

A tale of two Turkeys

It was a relief to hear that others were also bothered by the divergence between the realities of Turkey and the ways they are talked about outside the country. Amnesty International, for example, in its Annual Report 2012 has outlined an expansive record of Turkey’s failures.

Turkey's social monologue

Turkey’s remedy to ethnic conflict claims to be social dialogue, however this so-called social dialogue can only be effective once a common vocabulary is deployed and the actors truly listen to one another.
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