Demokrasi in Turkey, though a word less seldom encountered in New Albany.


Words tend to be taken so lightly in New Albanian political circles that they might as well not even exist.

Rather, we might communicate by grunting and moaning sounds simply denoting lesser or greater monetization ecstasy, accompanied only periodically by Orwellian linguistic adaptations, such as the word “fundamentally,” which in New Albany implies surface sheen and not basic substance.

On to the post; first Turkey, then Krugman.

At least Turkey has some variety of awakening underway.

From Atatürk to demokrasi: a glossary of changing Turkey, by Elif Shafak (The Guardian)

As every writer, journalist or poet knows only too well, words are not to be taken lightly. Especially so in Turkey. Words can get you sued and put on trial, demonised by the government and their henchmen in the media, sent to prison or into exile. Critical-minded individuals can be branded as “traitors” overnight – just because of an article or a poem or even a tweet.

The surprise outcome of last Sunday’s Turkish elections, in which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) lost its majority, leading to the resignation of prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, has sent shockwaves around Europe and the Middle East. But to understand the political situation in a land as complicated as Turkey requires one to look not only at what is being said, but also at the deliberate silences. Here’s a glossary of key words …

In New Albany, these deliberate silences usually occur when someone like me asks someone like Democratic Party chairman (and redevelopment lackey) Adam Dickey how it’s possible that Dan Coffey is a Democrat.

The columnist Krugman sees a leftward shift for the Democratic Party in national terms, and in part, explains this by suggesting the party sees the futility of centrist positioning.

The problem locally is that many Democrats start from an ideological perspective so far right that merely moving to the center would require a seismic upheaval.

Democrats Being Democrats, by Paul Krugman (New York Times)

You see, ever since Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980, Democrats have been on the ideological defensive. Even when they won elections they seemed afraid to endorse clearly progressive positions, eager to demonstrate their centrism by supporting policies like cuts to Social Security that their base hated. But that era appears to be over. Why?