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Oy Vey (İ)z-mir: The Turkish Elections and Erdoğan’s Options 26 mars 2014

Posted by Acturca in Middle East / Moyen Orient, Turkey / Turquie.
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Tel Aviv Notes (The Moshe Dayan Center)  Vol. 8, No. 6, March 26, 2014
Tel Aviv University

by Ahmet Kasım Han *

On the 16 th of March, T urkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended a grandiose election rally in İzmir, in advance of the forthcoming municipal elections. The rally followe d what has become the standard format in Tur kish politics: The PM rebuked his adversaries, tarring all opposition with the same brush and boasting that his campaign represented a new “War of Independence .” The common “rituals” of tear gassing the homes of those who protested against the AKP, exchan g ing insults, and street skirmishes followed. The occasion might have easily left one muttering the old Yiddish expression : “Oy vey ( İ)z Mir . ” The phonological resemblance is almost impossible to resist. İzmir, after all, was a town with a rich Turkish – Jewish heritage, populated by Sephardic Jews, al though of course their ancestral language was Ladino, not Yiddish.

* Dr. Ahmet K. Han is a visiting research fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University . He is a member of the faculty of International Relations at Kadir Has University in Istanbul.

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