The presentation aims to evaluate the Turkish case in terms of the newly emerging literature on anti-gender movements in Central and Eastern Europe. The literature which is mainly based on the Poland and Hungarian case, introduces and highlights some new concepts such as the polypore state and gender as glue. Turkish case seems to exhibit many striking similarities and commonalities with the European case. Yet, the main argument is that the Turkish case also has some crucial peculiarities emanating from the nature of AKP regime, the articulation of the gender question with the right wing discourses and mostly the saliency of the problem of rampant gender violence in Turkey. The paper will question whether the gender works as a symbolic glue unifying different segment of right wing discourses or it functions as divisive factor. It suggest that rather than acting a symbolic glue, gender question is rather the Achilles’ Heel for the new regime in so far as gender violence plays a central role in the whole gender debate.
Alev Özkazanç is a Professor of Political Science and Gender Studies. She has retired from Faculty of Political Sciences, Ankara University in 2016. She holds a BA degree in Political Science from ODTÜ Ankara, MA in Political Theory from University of Essex, and PH.D in Political Science from Ankara University. For more than twenty years she has taught various courses on Turkish politics, political sociology, political psychology, political theory, feminist and queer theory, crime and punishment and psychoanalysis. She supervised many MA and Ph.D thesis both in political science and gender studies. She was the Director of Graduate Programme on Gender and Women’s Studies in Ankara University between 2008-2016. She worked as an active member of KASAUM (Ankara University Women’s Studies Center) and has been one of the founding members of the Support Center Against Sexual Harassment. She has been at the editorial boards of academic journals such as Mürekkep, Toplum ve Bilim and at the supervisory committee for Fe journal: Feminist Critique, KAOS Q+ Queer Studies and Vira Verita: Interdisciplinary Encounters. Her academic interest focuses on the political sociology of neoliberal societies, mostly Turkey, biopolitics of gender, anti-gender mobilisations in the face of authoritarian populisms, gender violence in relation with neoliberal ad authoritarian regimes, radical democracy and feminist movements.
Her published books are: The New Right and After: Writings in Political Sociology (Dipnot, 2007), Neliberal Appearances: Citizenship, Crime and Education (Dipnot, 2011), Sexuality, Violence and Law (Dipnot 2013), Feminism and Queer Theory (Dipnot 2015). Also she is the co-editor (with Betül Yarar) of Bob Jessop: The Capitalist State (İletişim, 2005) and the translator of Jane Gallop’s book Feminist Accused of Sexual Harassment (2013). As a member of St Antony’s College-SEESOX, she is pursuing a research on gender and violence in Turkey in relation with neoliberal and authoritarian politics.