The protectionist political elite within the Turkish establishment collaborates with the interest groups mostly formed out of the ‘68 generation (as it is known in Turkey). The experiences of that generation resulted in ideological readings of reality – dogmatism, separatism, sectarianism, violent clashes and armed conflict – that still haunt and prevent the elite’s thinking from keeping abreast of the changing terms of social, economic and political realities in Turkey.
The statist, elitist, leftist, militant secularists, ultra- and neo- nationalists in Turkey failed to produce either political ideas or the tools with which ideas can be put into practice. They failed to deliver, in other words, not just an alternative point of view but also the means whereby it could be made practicable. They were unable to produce a political design that comprised instruments and models of transformation compatible with the historical, economic, and social context. Also, the effects of their actions at the systemic level did not enable cultural innovation or institutional modernization. That inability has reduced them to an ineffectual “opposition” in the Turkish Parliament and a minority voice in the wider society; their position and programs are mostly articulated and projected from within the Republican People’s Party, or simply “the left” in Turkey. These groups have contributed little to the development of reflexivity in the larger societal context or social cohesion. Their ideologies and action have become a means and source of polarization, segmentation and tension in Turkey.