By Gilad Atzmon
Many of my friends do not like Erdogan and his regime. Some of my Turkish peers who are artists and intellectuals see the Erdogan regime as dictatorial. They complain that their elementary rights have been compromised. I understand their plight. Many of my western colleagues who comment on Turkey also do not like Erdogan. They criticize Erdogan's approach to Syria and Asad, and they do not like Erdogan's aggression toward Russia or his dealings with Israel.
Yet, despite the general condemnation of Erdogan within intellectual and artistic circles, the Turkish president is extremely popular in Turkey. Earlier today, the Turkish people heeded their President’s webcam call to take to the streets and defeat a well-orchestrated military coup.
This spectacular development demands our attention.
What is it about the Turks? These heroic Turks who just defeated an army with their bare hands, are they exemplars of Adorno’s description of Authoritarian Personality ? (Defined as a state of mind characterized by absolute obedience to authority.) Is it appropriate to follow Adorno's Jewish supremacist attitude toward popular movements? Or is it possible that the masses who yesterday saved Turkey see their government and their president as a continuation of their true selves? Maybe Erdogan personifies their Ottoman heritage and helps liberate the Turks from the pseudo western identity imposed on them by (some insist Jewish) Kemal Ataturk a century ago. Is it possible that Erdogan allowed the Turks to return to their status as a proud nation? Turkey has transformed from a source of cheap labour at the outskirts of Europe into a regional superpower. It is now a key player although it suffers from some serious problems.
Chomsky doesn’t approve of Turkey's transition into a great power. Soros doesn’t like it that Turkey has become a key player. The Israel lobby also doesn’t like Erdogan. I think it is crucial to ask, why?