‘Be patient Republic! Democracy will come soon and rescue you from this mad lover’. I like the Genc Siviler – the Young Civilians – , the citizens’ group that always finds an uncomplicated and clear way to comment on political developments. Today they protested the decision by the Constitutional Court to cancel an amendment to the constitution passed by Parliament (more precisely the ruling AK Party allied with ultra nationalist party MHP) which would have allowed women to wear headscarves to university. The protesters used the image of ‘mad lover’, a pseudonym for the Turkish judiciary, which, by overturning a parliamentary decision, many judicial experts believe threatens the most basic foundations of the republic. Genc Siviler calls the judiciary ‘coup plotters who claim to love the republic’, but only love it if it stays exactly the way they shaped it. Nice metaphor, but it’s also a bit optimistic to say rescue is on it’s way. At least, I don’t see what they base their optimism on. This court ruling has also raised the possibility that in a few months time the ruling AK Party will be closed down by the same Constitutional Court, only making matters worse, so where can the rescue come from? Maybe in the long run from groups like the Genc Siviler. They comment on politics and society with humour and creativity, and most of all without taking an ideology-based side in the polarized landscape that Turkish society has increasingly become. That sort of attitude is exactly where the rescue can come from – in the long run…
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Podiumbouwer Maaike van Kempen made this website.