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

What ‘struggle for power’? [Between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and the Fethullah Gülen movement ]

A “Fethullahist” parallel state is a conspiracy theory par excellence, exploited by secular as well as Islamist fundamentalists and particularly by the Erdoğan government which vindicates once again the dictum that “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

US-Based Muslim Preacher Leverages Influence Back in Turkey

Jerome Socolovsky SAYLORSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA — In 1999, a Turkish preacher who ran afoul of the military-backed secular government in Ankara left and sought refuge across the ocean in what was then a camp for Turkish-American children in the eastern U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The ailing 72-year-old Fethullah Gulen has remained influential in Turkey, however, and the […]

Who is Behind the Pennsylvania Protests?

Fethullah Gulen had suggested that the protestors should be listened to and not be treated harshly. This was an expression to show that the people’s voice and requests at Gezi should not be rejected.

Gülen says he supports broader press freedoms

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has said he advocates broader rights specifically in the arenas of freedom of expression and freedom of the press for journalists, including those who “unjustly” accuse him of conspiring against them. The allegations were recently voiced following the recent release of four journalists released pending trial in the OdaTV case, […]

Three political risks that Turkey might be exposed to

Economic indicators in Turkey cannot bear the political risk anymore. The currency rates go up whenever President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan makes a statement. Before the elections I had warned that Erdoğan’s election victory would bring instability, but nobody believed this. There are now three major fields of conflict and uncertainty before Turkey.

Hate speech and its impact on the movement (1)

It amounts to the otherization of a social group, cowing it into submission. It is a weapon used by the powerful to destroy the “others.” Hate speech is particularly dangerous when employed by those who exercise public authority as it leads to official discrimination. In a democratic country, it is one of the state’s basic duties to prevent the use of hate speech.

Latest News

This notable Pocono resident has been living here in exile since 1999

Logistics companies seized over Gülen links sold in fast-track auction

That is Why the Turkish Government could Pay 1 Billion Euros

ECtHR rules Bulgaria violated rights of Turkish journalist who was deported despite seeking asylum

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences in the Wake of the Western European Floods

Pregnant woman kept in prison for 4 months over Gülen links despite regulations

Normalization of Abduction, Torture, and Death in Erdogan’s Turkey

Turkey’s Maarif Foundation illegally seized German-run school in Ethiopia, says manager

Failed 2016 coup was gov’t plot to purge Gülenists from state bodies, journalist claims

In Case You Missed It

Biden says US courts to decide on Gülen’s extradition

Ex-ministers call on gov’t to abandon efforts to shut down Turkish schools

Islamic scholar Gülen calls for calm among supporters

CHP applies to Constitutional Court for annulment of dershane law

Gülen offers condolences for slain İstanbul resident shot at protest

What can Christians learn from a global Islamic movement?

Erdogan Delivers Ultimatum: Washington Has to Choose Between Gulen and Turkey

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News