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Turkey, the Erdogan Government and the Left Today


(Translation By Özlem Ilyas Tolunay; Turkish version here.)

Oguzhan Müftüoglu was born in Anamur, Turkey in 1944. He joined the Revolutionary Youth (Dev-Genç) movement while he was a law student at Ankara University during the 1960s.

Müftüoglu participated in activities of the People’s Liberation Party-Front of Turkey (THKP-C) together with its leader Mahir Çayan and his comrades, until the K?z?ldere incident of 1972. He was put on trial that year because of his association with Dev-Genç and THKP-C, found guilty and sentenced to prison, though he was released by the 1974 general amnesty after having served nearly three years. During the 70s, he played a crucial role in establishing the Revolutionary Youth (Dev-Genç) movement and then the Revolutionary Path (Dev-Yol). He was tried as the number one defendant during the main Revolutionary Path trial that followed the military coup of September 12, 1980. He was released in 1991 after serving 11 years in the prison. He subsequently played a part in the establishment of the Foundation for Social Research, Culture and Art (TAKSAV), of the Freedom and Solidarity Party (öDP) and of the daily newspaper BirGün. He is today a member of the öDP.

New Politics: Outside of Turkey and especially in the United States, Recep Tayyip Erdo?an is often portrayed as a leader who ended decades of military rule in Turkey, established a more democratic government, created economic prosperity, and allowed Muslims to practice their religion. Knowing that you do not share that assessment, how do you characterize Erdo?an and his government?