Studies in National and International Development


National and International Development

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Monday, October 31, 2016
Mac-Corry E 230, 2:30 PM until 4:30 PM (NOTE LOCATION AND TIME CHANGE)

Banu Helvacioglu
Department of Political Science, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey

Delightful Horror: The Failed Coup Attempt in Turkey and War Diplomacy in the 'Region'

Delightful horror is a notion Edmund Burke used to define the sublime, that is “capable of producing delight, not pleasure … [not indifference, not grief, but] … a sort of tranquility tinged with terror”. In its highest degree it is associated with astonishment. Defined as such, delightful horror runs in the background of this paper as a descriptive trait of the contradictory imperatives of an instinct for self-survival, individual freedom and subordination to various forms of power. In the first part, with regard to the so called failed coup attempt in Turkey on July the 15th and the 16th 2016, I focus on the implosion of a power struggle in every conceivable - institutional, political, religious, social, recreational and private - echelons of life. Such an immense implosion is incommensurate with any of the previous military interventions in Turkey since 1960. I wonder what is so civil in a civil war and where the F-16 war planes, that flew over my head, are heading now. In the second part, since the region alluded to, Syria and its neighbours, the Levant in colonial times, is also known as the place where the question of beginning originates, I only offer some limited pointers about the almost daily changing directions in an intransigent war diplomacy involving nation-states, armed wings of non-state groups, the supra-national organisations, NGOs, and infinitely rich, ancient differences among peoples that have been codified as ethnic and religious groups

Mackintosh-Corry Hall, Room E230

​Free and open to the public.