Nationalism and Religiosity, like nothing I have ever seen…

Turkey Chooses Erdogan

Life in Turkey seems to be, even more now than before the recent failed putsch, thoroughly immersed in two “layers,” that of religiosity, of Islam, and that of nationalism, in Turkey’s case nationalism meaning a kind of blind adherence to an all powerful state.

In this country Donald Trump would similarly immerse us in the same two stifling cultural baths, those of religion and patriotism. And this alone explains the much talked about Russian connection between Trump and Putin, both men freely and cynically making use of God and country as the principal means, not for the benefit of their respective nations, but for their own personal enrichment.

Erdogan Supporters Gather In The Streets
ISTANBUL, TURKEY – JULY 18: Supporters of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan wave flags as they gather in Istanbul’s central Taksim Square on July 18, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey.  (Photo by Kursat Bayhan/Getty Images)

Christopher de Bellaignue, in a NYReview of Books article, Turkey Chooses Erdogan, writes: “Since a group of senior military officers, backed by thousands of armed soldiers, came close to toppling him on the night of July 15, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sought comfort in the bosom of his angry, exhilarated people. The country has spent the past three weeks in a state of collective hyperventilation. The combination of nationalism and religiosity is like nothing I have seen in twenty years of following Turkish politics.”

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