When Leftists Ruled the Airwaves: İsmail Cem, TRT, and a Divided Turkey

Reuben Silverman

Milliyet021574

İsmail Cem was thirty-three in 1974, youthful and handsome, educated at the best schools in Turkey and Europe, president of the Istanbul Journalists Union and a famous columnist in his own right. He was also the author of several books on Turkish politics with a pronounced socialist-bent. He was, in short, an ideal candidate to head the Television and Radio Institution of Turkey (TRT) when the center-left Republican People’s Party (CHP) came to power, and under his leadership TRT did indeed embark on some of its most important and artistic ventures. Yet his fifteen months in office were also marked by bitter disputes, accusations and legislative maneuvering that reflected an increasingly divided society where opposing factions saw themselves as representing the popular will and their opponents as having no legitimacy at all.

CONTENTS

I. I: A History of Turkish Radio Television Underdevelopment

II. Mr.Cem Goes to Ankara

III. The “Sultan…

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Academia in the Age of Digital Reproduction; Or, the Journal System, Redeemed

On  the journal system of Academia.

The Disorder Of Things

It took at least 200 years for the novel to emerge as an expressive form after the invention of the printing press.

So said Bob Stein in an interesting roundtable on the digital university from back in April 2010. His point being that the radical transformations in human knowledge and communication practices wrought by the internet remain in their infancy. Our learning curves may be steeper but we haven’t yet begun to grapple with what the collapsing of old forms of social space means. We tweak and vary the models that we’re used to, but are generally cloistered in the paradigms of print.

When it comes to the university, and to the journal system, this has a particular resonance. Academics find themselves in a strange and contradictory position. They are highly valued for their research outputs in the sense that this is what determines their reputation and secures their jobs…

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