The crisis of Representation and Authority

The nationalists taking part of the protests got stuck in laicism and Kemalism. However the militarist slogans didn’t come forward and there was no pro-army demonstration during the uprising. We saw a different use of the Turkish flag in the demonstrations.

The pro-government writers and journalists applied the conspiracy theories which have been invariably used by conventional right-wing politicians. They hid behind conventional defense mechanisms. According to them the uprising organized by the internal and external enemies of Turkey (Türk, 2013: 49-55). The discursive strategy based on the expression that AKP is the only liberating power in Turkey but it is obstructed by the sovereign bureaucracy is once again wanted to operate. Pro-AKP journalists continuously wrote that the uprising is an operation of the pro-coup mindset people. In that strategy the activists named as the ‘innocent young people’ who are under the impact of internal and external powers. Then they try to divide the activists. The government and the pro-government press stated that there were ‘innocent youngs’ but the uprising is the operation of provocateurs, marginal political groups and ‘çapucu’s’[1]. All these names are semantically transformed by the activists so the strategy of the government was frustrated by the creative intelligence of the activists. One of the impressive banners of the uprising days is express that perfectly. It was written that ‘in the first day we were terrorists in the second day we were provocateurs, in the third day we were demonstrators and in the fourth day we became a people’.

So many analyses occurred in the process out of those cited above. Negri and Hardt’s thoughts, which political thinkers in Turkey have been discussing since the beginning of 2000’s, are also used as a frame of explanation. Through this way of thought the people who are in the streets of Turkey was the potential democratic constitutive power that was described by Antonio Negri in Insurgencies. Gezi uprising was the appearance of the Multitude. They had come together through the common notions while preserving their singularities and they no more need the parasitic power operating over them.[2] Another remarkable idea based on some French political philosophers’ thoughts particularly Alain Badiou and Jaqcues Ranciere. Their works created a profound influence in Turkey in the second half of 2000’s. In this respect the Gezi uprising is the unpredictable, unnamed event which will transform the whole situation. Or with Ranciere’s concepts the uprising will create a new census.

Some political thinkers including cited above also wrote about uprising and translation of these work contributed to the discussion. For example Alain Badiou evaluated the uprising as awakening of history and warned the activists: Not to want to resemble the West! (Badiou, 2013, 140-147). Slovaj Zizek’s approach was inclined to think the uprising in the crisis of global capitalism and in the relation with Arabic World and Latin America (Zizek, 2013). Chomsky related Gezi uprising with Occupy movement.[3] Tarıq Ali suggested to the Turkish activists to create a new political organization like Syriza of Greece[4]. All of these suggestions have been already discussing in the park forums all over the country.

However the questions cited above are still standing unanswered. And we did not try to account for the event totally. But to understand the crisis created by the uprising we have to focus on two main themes. One of them is ‘the crisis of representation’ in Turkish political institutions. Other one is the crisis of ‘authorities’. Focusing on these themes provides some answers to question of politization of the apolitical critique in relation to crisis of representation and authorities.

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