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The Evolution of Erdogan
Sultan Erdogan Acquires a New Palace

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is celebrating his party’s election victory by announcing plans to move into a sumptuous palace overlooking the Bosphorus in Istanbul. The Times of London reports:

A sumptuous palace built for the last Ottoman sultan is to become President Erdogan’s private Istanbul residence, a move that is likely to draw fierce criticism.

The Yildiz Palace, set in green parks overlooking the Bosphorus, was completed in 1880 by Sultan Abdulhamid II and comprises a residential palace and a series of buildings originally used as offices, factories and leisure areas.

After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1922 it was briefly used as a casino before being handed to the ministry of culture in 1978. For the past two decades it has been open to the public as a museum but will now be refurbished and renamed the Istanbul Presidential Complex.

Mr Erdogan, whose AK party secured a convincing election victory on November 1, has already attracted derision for his newly built presidential palace in the capital, Ankara, which has more than 1,000 rooms and cost $350 million.

The palace in Ankara, the Ak Saray, has four times the floor space of Versailles, and Erdogan uses it to greet foreign dignitaries with honor guards of dress-up Ottoman warriors. It was even rumored (probably falsely) to have a golden toilet. But it’s very modern; now, Erdogan will have a palace where the dress-up warriors will feel more at home.

As we’ve said before, when Erdogan wakes up in the morning, he goes to shave a Sultan in the mirror. Now, even the setting in the background will be accurate.

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  • Dhako

    He is, as I keep saying, a man for all season, where the history and the circumstances of Turkey is concern. In other words, don’t go on to apply too much of your “whiggish view” of history to places like Turkey. Or even, worse, borrow a leaf from the book of your colleague, Prof Francis Fukuyama, namely, the end of history (and the last man standing), when it comes to ascertaining how other folks, particularly, in Anatolia, reads their past, their present, and, most crucially of all, their destiny.

    Consequently, in Turkey, “secularism” (and what passed for liberal pretensions) are nothing but a beguilingly borrowed garb (or failing that, a “foreign skin”) in which Turkey in a particular moment in it’s history saw to it, to fit itself up with it. And therefore real enduring “social-contract” of Turkey as well as the retail politics it gives rise to, is not what was practiced in the last 90 years or so of the “Kemalist interlude”, which was under the barrel of the gun, since, the Turkish army had seen to it, that Turkey must be forced to act and behave, as if Turkey is just another France, with it’s “Social laïcité”.

    But, rather, what Turkey is, is the centuries of remembered history, with it’s normative values, its faith-based communal interaction, its social ethics, its political hierarchy, and finally, its sense of seamless Islamic history connecting as well as inculcating the vastness of the Ottoman past glory to what is possible in modern Turkey of today.

    Hence, in Erdogan’s historically-aware eyes, Turkey (or his version of it, at any rate) is not some ill-begotten child pluck it from unknown river, whereby, that child, could then claim his story, to be a “tabula rasa” in which he can write his own story as he sees fit. But, rather, Turkey, in his eyes, is a child of a “particular history, in which much of it, is a glorious Ottoman rule.

    And this history will have it, that modern Turkey, has had unfortunate brief moment of waywardness during its teenage years, whereby, it so happens that Turkey had fallen in with lots of bad boys. And, consequently, because of that “bad influence”, his turkey was seduced to run away from it’s history and pretend as if Turkey was just another western teenager of the kind any French Kid can be. And, therefore, his was persuaded that its fine dabble into a “nihilistic secularism”, where all belief-system are of equal value and of equal worth. And the politics must come with no eternal verities or even with no guiding principles safe for whatever man and his reason decides at any given day.

    But now, that he – Erdogan – is in power, he is will see to it, that, the “prodigal son” that is Turkey of his imagination, will return to his root. And chuck all of that “borrowed garb” into the dustbin of history, whereby, in turn, a modern Turkey, who will be at ease with its true Ottoman and Islamic history will come forth instead. And, all this will happen, while, Turkey will still remaining a mass democracy that will not privilege the ideological “secularism” of modern Europe in the manner the “Kemalist interlopers” (or it’s army top-brass) have done in the last 90 or so years. This is what Erdogan view of Turkey, and, considering how decisive his electoral victories has been, who is to say, that the majority of Turkey disagree with him.

  • Fat_Man

    One more reason to drop Turkey onto the I don’t care what Putin does to them list.

  • Attila_the_hun

    A secularist Turk opinion about Erdogan.

    ‘Turkey looks like the final days of the Ottoman Empire
    its leaders are so powerfully longing for: A near failed state whose
    leaders prefer to ignore and live in illusions of grandeur. Add the
    “palace fetish” and the picture would be more telling.’

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