A fresh ottoman seasoning is poured into the populist discourse of the government –a discourse, getting more authoritarian in darker shades. While reproducing the legitimacy of the government, this seasoning is mixed not only into the foreign policy soup, but into everything afresh. The seasoning is fresh but as a genetically modified flesh.
As the government is creating and distributing the rent, creating if not favoring its own cadres, it operates within a very closed and a strict definition of “us”. It takes the distance to this “us”, a prerequisite for even sustaining a living. As the fresh ottoman seasoning enters the scene, this “us” appears to include everybody, appears to provide everyone with an opportunity for enrichment, or at least well-being.
In the recent wearetheottomans.biz tale, everyone is provided with a different point of attraction. There are versions for the democrats and multiculturalists; warriors, and the hedonists, and those who focus on the arts and sciences enjoy a tale of their own. It has intrigues, heroisms when wanted or inner peace cut out of Sufism when desired; and the background of the tale is glossy too –palace-like work offices, the smartest of all residences, and the space-age mosques exclusive to the elite.
The new geography of the tale offers new opportunities, not only for the nouveau-riche, but for the old-money as well. The news of incoming Middle Eastern money never stop, then the money picks up local partners, in the favorable markets all around, opens up greater fields, and plays ball. The international capital, tending to lay artificial turf in the Middle Eastern fields, to avoid any injury or pain, makes use of the ottoman seasoning in the most swollen kind. The African and Central Asian fields are not open for the games yet, but teams are lining up for training, time and again.
In this tale, the raider Malkocoglu is disguised as a fresh ottoman businessman; he twists his moustache and rigs the home and the away game. To lay low, he sends marcher lords from the scientist and the artists. Dialogue is established, bridges are built. Institutions and boards work on full force. Money is poured over the hard-working. A quiverful of exhibitions is opened, conferences are made, and journals are published. The fields are made legible and intelligible there and then.
Hence, the words of the government, the eye of the capital enter into the fresh ottoman orbit, looking how very nice, so contemporary, really modern and indeed scientific. In the away game, the name may not always be fresh ottoman. Sister cities, open cities, swollen meetings, alluring fairs never end. For those who put on the scarf and the leash, exchange and sexchange go hand in hand. When the fresh ottoman dressing is missing, the exotic is marketed; the eager marcher lords’ function does not change.
Those who govern sciences do not leave a space to breathe, let alone move the pinky of a hand. If the place itself is valuable, the buyer is already lined up on the front door of the land. The hodja, producing information for the market, receives support from the fresh ottoman as well. As new markets are opened for the privatized education, the chieftain of hodjas asks: “Would not it be nice to have a information village in Istanbul?” Indeed, “… it is tax-free, subsidized sweetly, customers ready in the Middle East, if not Central Asia… How about those customers in Africa?” The pretext is “filling the empty seats at schools”, yet the seats go to whoever pays for it. Those running from one field to another become a hodja on their own account, managing to remain shiny on the shop window. Some people of science remain on the verges; their share is to be made confused more and more.
The madams of arts and sciences raise to the bait of markets, opening in fields so vast. The depots, warehouses, foundations, platforms promise a bright future. Record-breaking prices in auctions make one want more. Some raiders go enthusiastic. The enthusiasts become militants as they take higher market shares, or as they become more famous, or more powerful. “Sharing knowledge and cooperation” is what is being said, but everyone’s interest, in this depot, is seamed together with a fake red thread. Such like platforms offer guarantees, if not here, then in Dubai for sure. Istanbul is the eternal capital of culture, paradise of science, finance/faith center. If Istanbul is not enough, contemporary art, and latest brand of culture is brought together with the tourist, under a unique history, along with the sea, sun and sand.
The “we” of the government is becoming more drastic. For those who do no buy, sell, tell, swallow the wearetheottomans.biz tale in any size and shape, no room is left to live. The dissidents who do not find a suitable role in a version of this tale, is left without a voice and a word to say. In the expanding fields, security is maintained with the latest and most scientific methods. In the name of markets, the government, with toolerance and dialogue, is controlling us afresh.
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