Sponsored by The Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication, Penn DCC
TURKEY STANDS AT THE CROSSROADS OF THE MIDDLE EAST―caught between the West and ISIS, Syria and Russia, and governed by an increasingly forceful leader. Acclaimed writer KAYA GENÇ has been covering his country for the past decade. In Under the Shadow he meets activists from both sides of Turkey's political divide: Gezi park protestors who fought tear gas and batons to transform their country's future, and supporters of Erdoğan's conservative vision who are no less passionate in their activism. He talks to artists and authors to ask whether the New Turkey is a good place for them to live and work. He interviews censored journalists and conservative writers both angered by what has been going on in their country. He meets Turkey's Wall Street types who take to the streets despite the enormity of what they can lose as well as the young Islamic entrepreneurs who drive Turkey's economy. While talking to Turkey's angry young people Genç weaves in historical stories, visions and mythologies, showing how Turkey's progressives and conservatives take their ideological roots from two political movements born in the Ottoman Empire: the Young Turks and the Young Ottomans, two groups of intellectuals who were united in their determination to make their country more democratic. He shows a divided society coming to terms with the 21st Century, and in doing so, gets to the heart of the compelling conflicts between history and modernity in the Middle East.