Populism on Steroids: Erdoğanists and Their Enemies in Turkey

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Perhaps the clearest indicator of one’s partiality towards a Laclauian approach to populism is the belief that it is a constitutive dimension of politics without which the latter ceases to exist. The presence of a frontier between the ‘people’ and its ‘other’ is the precondition of politics. But what if this frontier itself becomes the sole point around which those identities are articulated? Is it still possible to speak of politics when there is ‘too much’ populism? The article answers this question through an analysis of the extreme polarization in today’s Turkey over the hegemonic figure of the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Praises for Erdoğan government as a democratic model for the Muslim world withered away once the regime had decisively turned towards authoritarianism and begun consolidating Erdoğan’s personal control over state and society. A personality cult, named Erdoğanism here, has gradually materialised around his figure, overtaking all previous forms of political identity among his supporters and becoming one with ‘the people’. Those who display even a minimal reluctance to submit themselves completely to his will are excommunicated as ‘enemies’ of the people. Most interestingly, such an extremely polarizing discourse appears to have turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy, for it has been reciprocated by virtually all opposition actors in the form of Anti-Erdoğanism. The very survival of opposition in Turkey seems to have been locked into an anti-Erdoğanist corner, risking to run the whole political field into a zero-sum game between two polar opposites, a case of pure populism
Titel på gästpublikationPopulism on the Loose
RedaktörerUrpo Kovala, Emilia Palonen, Maria Ruotsalainen, Tuija Saresma
Antal sidor28
FörlagJyväskylän yliopisto
ISBN (elektroniskt)978-951-39-7401-5
StatusPublicerad - 2018
MoE-publikationstypA3 Del av bok eller annan forskningsbok


NamnNykykuttuurin tutkimuskeskuksen julkaisuja
FörlagJyväskylän Yliopisto
ISSN (elektroniskt)1457-6899


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