#rp18 Speaker Ece Temelkuran about the New Political Ice Age
Photo credit: Sedat Suna
We are looking forward to Turkish journalist and bestselling author Ece Temelkuran. Her work oscillates between journalistic responsibility to the truth and literary synthesis. Political engagement and unwavering criticism are her leitmotifs.
Attorney Ece Temelkuran practiced law only once during her career, fully aware of the symbolism of the case: Defending Kurdish children in a class action lawsuit against the Turkish state. Giving a voice to the voiceless became a calling, for which she turned to writing. Once an editor of the national newspaper Cumhuriyet, she published her first novel “Bütün Kadınların Kafası Karışıktır” (“Women Are All Confused”) in 1996. Twelve more books would follow. Her last novel, “The Time of Mute Swans” was published in German and English in 2017. Published a few short months before the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, its depiction of the 1980 military coup felt almost prophetic. Portraying this conflicted country—at once progressive and static; in revolution, yet painfully trapped—is a running theme throughout her work. Her novel “Düğümlere Üfleyen Kadınlar” (2013) follows three women torn between tradition and modernity.
Temelkuran is currently working on a novel about the new political ice age, which will also be the topic of her #rp18 session: How To Lose A Country-The New Political Ice Age. Her thesis: Our political memory was wiped out in the 1980s and we’ve been drifting into immaturity ever since—also a reason for the resurrection of right-wing populism. To reverse this phenomenon and regain our moral and political strength, Temelkuran believes we need to remember the entire history of the last few decades.
Ece Temelkuran stands for honesty, criticism of the system, and courage. Not too long ago she shared a podium with Hillary Clinton to discuss the “rise of strongmen around the world” and soon she will be on stage at #rp18. We’re very much looking forward!