July 5 2020
Ever since it came to power in 2002, President Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) has sought symbols that would capture its very own ideology. Today as the AKP government is suffocating politically, it gave up on its quest for a symbol to present to the world.
The map drawn from the ÇED report shows eight spots through which the canal would cross. These passages have been determined. This provides clues to the land subdivision and transportation network that connects Istanbul, the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea.
The government has been concealing information over the “Kanal Istanbul” Project from the public. That is an attempt to make it impossible to envision the final product and prevent criticism from arising over its substance. One of the most important slogans in George Orwell’s “1984” is ‘’Ignorance is power’’. The government is consciously implementing this formula.
Following Kanal Istanbul, the biggest issue will be food and water, and all of Anatolia's crops will flow to Istanbul. However, an unproductive season will mean that the flow will be interrupted. New legislation about construction and development plans might require food and water storage in the basement of apartment buildings. We might even see the emergence of a “food mafia” and a black market for food.
On the one hand there is the tomb of Atatürk who brought secularism to the country, on the other hand the residency of one-man rule, an embodiment of the political greed of the Islamist and nationalist Erdoğan. The two buildings capture the struggle between secular and religious segments of Turkish society. But beyond a duality or struggle that reaches into the subliminality of society, it is a struggle between a dead and a living man.
The Chora edifice can no longer be called a mosque or a church. It is a testament to history. We should respect its storied character.
These fish sellers started to be featured the "must-visit places" lists of foreign travel books. How can I explain this—is it the irresistible charm of populism, Orientalism or kitsch?
Upon Ekrem Imamoğlu's victory at the Istanbul mayoral elections, I had predicted that the one-man regime would start hampering local administrations. That is precisely what is happening now. While the government invited bidding firms to two rounds of negotiations for the unused, empty spaces and warehouses of the Haydarpaşa and Sirkeci train stations, it did not invite the Istanbul Municipality to the second round.