Žižek, Turkey and Intellectual Frivolity

The spokesperson for the Turkish presidency, Ibrahim Kalin writes on Zizek's analysis on Turkey on the Al-Jazeera English.

In his criticism and eventual rejection of all the major methods used in the natural sciences, Paul Feyerabend had said that the only principle that allows progress in science is "anything goes".

Anything that gets the job done is welcome, he may have added. The motto became one of the defining elements of post-modernity: what defines things is not reason, truth, tradition or coherence but whatever you come up with as your version of reality.

While this anti-realist rule of postmodernism has lost much of its elan now, its frivolous voice pops up here and there. It looks as if the debate about Turkey among some Western liberal and leftist authors is underlined by a similar "anything goes" frivolity.

Slavoj Zizek's short piece on Turkey published in the New Statesman on December 9 is a case in point. Zizek claims that "the so-called 'war on terror' has become a clash within each civilisation, in which every side pretends to fight [ISIL] in order to hit its true enemy". This is probably the only meaningful sentence in his piece that borders on frivolity and bigotry.

Zizek accuses Turkey of supporting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), treating its injured militants, facilitating its oil go through Turkish territories and even insinuates that Turkey shot down the Russian warplane on November 24 because it was bombing ISIL targets. He then continues with his ranting against the European Union for agreeing to pay 3bn euros ($3.3bn) to Turkey for the Syrian refugees.

Zizek not only works on a fallacious logic but more alarmingly fails to get his facts right. He uses made-up stories spread by Iranian and Russian propaganda websites to attack Turkey. His "sources", including AWD News, are so false and so poorly selected that the editors of the New Statesman had to remove part of the piece in which Zizek attributed a totally false statement to Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkish intelligence.

His claim that Russia bombs ISIL targets along the Turkish-Syrian border has been disproved many times by all as credible sources. In fact, since it started its air campaign, 90 percent of Russian air strikes have targeted Syrian opposition groups and civilians who have nothing to do with ISIL.

There are no ISIL terrorists in the Turkmendagi-Jisr al-Shughr-Idlib area, and the number of civilian deaths under Russian bombardment has exceeded 700 so far. If Zizek cares, I will be happy to send him a map of Syria showing Russian bombings so that he can at least get his facts right about one thing.

The PKK is trying to conceal its terror crimes on the pretext of fighting ISIL. The fact is that Turkey does not bomb any Kurdish targets in Syria. It only goes after the PKK terrorists that put Turkish and Kurdish lives in danger.

Zizek's false claims about Turkey's discreet help to ISIL are a regurgitation of cliches uttered by Moscow these days. The funny thing is that Zizek - otherwise a staunch opponent of the Russian propaganda - takes sides with it when it comes to attacking Turkey.

As a philosopher who frequently talks about honesty and complains about its absence in political debates, Zizek should at least take the time to check the validity of such false claims which he quotes freely.....more here

Source: Zizek, Turkey and intellectual frivolity - Al Jazeera English


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