[Marxism] Video: Elif Batuman Explains a Hit Turkish Television Show : The New Yorker

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Feb 17 12:56:41 MST 2014

Turkey’s renewed interest in its Ottoman past is often associated with 
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose “neo-Ottomanist” political 
program has tried to rehabilitate figures like Sultan Süleyman, who 
ruled the empire from 1520 to 1566. Part of the ongoing ”Ottomania” is a 
hit Turkish television show, “Magnificent Century,” which follows the 
lives of characters in S üleyman’s court. As Elif Batuman explains in 
this week’s magazine, the show “has accomplished one of Erdoğan’s main 
goals: making a powerful, non-secularist, globally involved version of 
Turkey seem both plausible and appealing.”

So why isn’t Erdoğan a fan? In this video, Batuman reviews scenes from 
the first episode of “Magnificent Century” and explains why a show 
fascinated by the past is a problem for Turkey’s political present.


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