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Time is not on the opposition’s side

By Ergin Yıldızoğlu
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Yayınlanma tarihi: 17 Temmuz 2017 Pazartesi, 16:14

I had spoken of the CHP leadership and party organisation’s success, of the social opposition having reached a critical threshold with the ‘Justice March’ and the Maltepe rally, and had asserted that if this threshold was not crossed speedily, the violence of the counterattack by political Islam under the leadership of the AKP, which is unable to obtain the consent of half of society and whose tension and paranoia levels are rising, may go beyond an ordinary cause-effect dialectic.
The section that the Coup Investigation Commission has appended to its draft report, the speeches made by President Erdoğan at AKP headquarters and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey and the new wave of purges involving seven thousand people show that the counter attack has started sooner than I had expected.
The Coup Investigation Commission’s appendages and the said speeches aim to narrow a ‘regime of politics’ that was established de facto under the state of emergency and attained a de jure status through the referendum by expelling from the political arena that section of society that does not consent to political Islam’s will, and to proclaim its leading figures and representatives to be a kind of ‘homo sacer’ (in Rome: a person who was deprived of their rights, was banned and could be killed, but could not be sacrificed because they were worthless), and the activities of organisations like political parties and unions to be illegitimate. The situation is truly most dire and time is rapidly running out.
 
As the ‘regime of politics’ narrows
I use ‘regime of politics’ (deriving from Aristotle, Rancière andFoucault) with reference to the structure of the state as a concept having a wider sense than the concept of ‘regime’ that has to do with defining that which is political and the line distinguishing between those who are endowed with the privilege of raising demands over justice in society, and those who are not.
A regime of politics consists of discourse, mechanisms and examples that distinguish between correct and incorrect propositions in social life, forms of approving such distinctions and acceptable techniques and procedures for attaining the truth, and identifies those whose obligation it is to lay down what is correct and what is incorrect. Techniques and technologies that manage, discipline and punish bodies are also encapsulated under this notion.
The Coup Research Commission has, in the appendages it has made to its report, accused the CHP of being in unity of purpose with FETO - political Islam’s second object of hate (the first one is secularism), of using the materials served up by FETO on 17/25 December and of encouraging FETO on the road leading to the 15 July ‘coup’. The President, too, in his most recent interview with the BBC, in asserting that the Republican People’s Party (CHP) acts together with the PKK, the terrorist organisation and extremist margins, supports the commission’s appendages. Such accusations question the main opposition party’s legitimacy and target its leadership. The endeavour to define all coup opponents with recourse to the single concept of ‘believers’ renders meaningless opposition to the coup by all those external to political Islam (and their concerns over politics and justice). The aim of all of this is to expel those external to political Islam from the political arena and all things political.

The 15 July discourse, which the AKP has imbued with a ‘founding meaning’ over the form of the totalitarian state towards which it strives, is used to draw the bounds of the new ‘regime of politics’. In this context, the President’s pronouncement in the speech he made at party headquarters that ‘The chair of the main opposition party heads the gormless who do not understand 15 July,’ his describing the resort to the right to protest in the street as a threat directed at the state and his threat, ‘He should know full well that he will reach a situation in which he cannot go into the street’ place the CHP leader, individuals in the opposition and their physical and political identities in a place within 15 July discourse that is suggestive of the notion of homo sacer.
The explanation given by the President at the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey while courting support within the ranks of capital that the state of emergency had initially been used to eradicate the ‘strike threat’ from now on shows both that the state of emergency is permanent (the exception being normal) and that the regime of politics will exclude the right to strike and the working class’s concerns over justice.
It must be seen that, if the installing of this ‘regime of politics’ cannot be prevented, parliament and the 2019 elections will be rendered meaningless. The situation is truly this dire and time is not on the opposition’s side.

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Ergin Yıldızoğlu