What would Carl Schmitt say about Turkish politics today?


Date posted: February 13, 2014

 

BEGÜM BURAK

Carl Schmitt (1888-1985), a German jurist and political theorist, is seen as a major figure in legal and political theory whose works have inspired important scholars like Jacques Derrida and Jurgen Habermas.

Schmitt’s conceptualization of politics in his seminal work “The Concept of the Political” can give us a completely new perspective on the sphere of politics in today’s Turkey, I believe. Schmitt claims that main political distinction is that between friend and enemy. The distinction between friend and enemy, Schmitt elaborates, is essentially public, not private. For Schmitt, the idea of the enemy is more than an instrument of politics or policy. It is fundamental to the very existence of the state.

Although nothing in “The Concept of the Political” explicitly foreshadows the Nazi legislative and extra-legal steps taken against the Jews, Schmitt makes it clear that “under critical circumstances” a state must be prepared to create the “domestic enemy” and deal with this enemy by extraordinary means, such as “special laws.”

In contemporary Turkey, especially in the aftermath of the Dec. 17 corruption scandal, what we have witnessed in Turkish politics can well be analyzed from a Schmittian perspective. The ongoing judicial process after Dec. 17 has led the government to adopt an aggressive rhetoric towards almost any opposing group. In line with that, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has labeled the Hizmet movement as a parallel state structure trying to undermine the democratic regime in Turkey.

The Hizmet movement has been identified as a “domestic enemy” collaborating with foreign forces and legal and political channels were used as a tool to deal with this “enemy” after the corruption scandal became public. Thousands of policemen were reassigned and the government has taken important steps to place the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) under the control of the executive branch, which is totally at odds with rule of law.

As noted, for Schmitt, the idea of the enemy is more than an instrument of politics. It is key to the very existence of the state. And it is not surprising to see this in Turkey today when a major state crisis is going on.

Source: Todays Zaman , February 13, 2014


Related News

Opposing the majority

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will not back down from its decision to close prep schools, despite ongoing discussion on the matter and deepening polarization over the government’s move. Only 21 percent of people polled support the government’s move, according to a survey conducted by Mak Danışmanlık (Mak Consultancy).

Turkish coup attempt: who is Fethullah Gülen?

The Turkish government, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has pointed the finger at Fethullah Gülen – also known as leader of the Hizmet movement – as the mastermind behind Friday’s attempted coup by the country’s military. But who is Gülen? We take a look at the Islamic cleric and how he has affected Erdoğan’s presidency

Planned prep school ban [in Turkey] disregards basic rights as in single-party era

The government’s intentions to shut down private examination preparation centers [in Turkey] in spite of a strong backlash from educators, economists, students, parents and even terrorism experts brings back memories of the authoritarianism of the early years of the republic, when a single-party regime was in place.

A coup was launched from here? Intrigue in rural Pennsylvania

It is high summer in this rural corner of northeastern Pennsylvania – a time of blue skies, boating on the Delaware River, and, if Turkey’s president is to be believed, plots to overthrow his government.

Turkish opposition leader: No witch hunt in democracies

Leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has criticized Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his threatening remarks against the Hizmet movement, which the prime minister claims, without providing any evidence, is involved in a plot against the government.

Report claims government categorized schools linked to Hizmet

The Turkish government classified, categorized and monitored a number of educational institutions in some way linked to Hizmet, a faith-based movement inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, until 2010, a Turkish daily reported on Sunday. “After statements confirmed the document, not only did I feel shattered, I am left speechless,” Gülen said.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Principal of Gülen-linked school, businessman abducted in Malaysia

GYV says Gülen did not send letter to Erdoğan

One of his sons is with the PKK, the other is with the Gulen movement

“Here today, the Honorable Gulen’s vision is coming true”, says Malian Minister

55 students from 30 countries captivate İzmir residents with poems of praise

Children from all over the world embarked on Turkish voyage

Erdoğan confesses anti-Gülen witch-hunt has gone off track

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News