PARIS – Worker’s Spatula spoke with some hip students and intellectuals in Rive Gauche cafés about the recent events in Turkey, including several bomb attacks and the assassination of the Russian ambassador, which followed over a year of extraordinary events that have by now become ordinary including, yet again, several bombing attacks, war in Kurdistan, a coup attempt, martial law, and so on and so on.
Among the jeunesse d’or of France there is a widespread admiration for the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, particularly in poststructuralist and deconstructionist circles. François, philosophy student at Paris VIII told us: «Ever since the death of Derrida we have been thinking about how to develop his theory. I mean, what does it mean to develop a theory? Is there progress? Is there progress in theory? What about practice? I am very impressed by Erdoğan, he is a legitimate successor to Derrida. Even Derrida has only rejected the notion of the possibility of stability. He deciphered stability as an illusion on a conceptual level. But Erdoğan has deconstructed the notion of stability in practice, by proclaiming the unstable situation in Turkey as the manifestation of his stabilising effect. A deconstructive genius, using the material to tear apart the abstraction.»
Sophie appears to be a student somehwere, although she preferred to play coy when asked her precise academic affiliations, replying that she was «a student of life». She largely agreed with François’s assessment: «We always used to say that reality does not exist and everything is language and so on… but, let’s be honest, we say that because it is the cool thing to say. But with him, with my dear Recep, he actually lives the idea that reality does not exist. We could say, following Judith Butler, that there is a performativity involved, a performative negation of the notion of reality and illusion, dissolved into an infinite series of differences in his speeches. C’est fantastique!»
Mourad, a sociology student and a close observer of the Middle East, expressed his fascination with the fluidity not only of political discourse in Turkey, but of the ideology of the ruling party itself: «Also,» he added, «if their constant attacks on the intelligentsia aren’t postmodernist, they’re at least Maoist, so either way, a refreshing new approach to politics in the region.»
Local KCK enthusiast and weirdo Joseph pointed out to us that Abdullah Öcalan was the first one to assess Erdoğan’s thought in this fashion, and the former only fails to be recognised for his theoretical contributions due to the anti-Kurdish sentiments prevalent among the Rive Gauche élite.
«They’re all ironic Kemalists as well, you see.»