It's my Substack anniversary!
I can barely believe it, but today is Kültürkampf’s first anniversary.
Here’s a problem: what do I call this medium? Can something be a “newsletter” if it isn’t newsy? Can it be a “blog” if its primary way of circulation is email?
All I know is that a year ago, I was hammering away at my book manuscript, and there was a lot of material that wasn’t going to make it in. I thought I’d publish those pieces as standalone fragments online.
Lo and behold, Kültürkampf was born.
From the very beginning, writing here was a bit too much fun to count as work. I could write on Turkish politics without having to pitch to editors and explain every little concept. I wrote personal stories, translations, analytical memos, or whatever else I’ll wanted to experiment with. It was a low-guilt form of procrastination, the writer’s equivalent of fruit tart.
In December, I began sending out paid content. You see, despite my affiliations with think-tanks, I have very little fixed income (the lira’s precipitous decline isn’t helping). The paid subscribers on here have been an amazing help. They’ve allowed me to rent office space, spend less time writing applications and dead-end reports, and spend a lot more time reading, thinking and writing about politics.
I’m immensely grateful for that. It’s a privilege to have this direct connection to readers.
There’s a lot that I want to do in the year ahead. I’ve been writing about the culture of the far-right in Turkey, and I’ll keep doing that, but I also want to write more about the new left-leaning culture flourishing in the cities.
One thing that I haven’t written much about is political theory. I’m currently spending most of my time writing a PhD on Nietzsche’s political ideas. It’s a line of inquiry I embarked upon in 2018 (see here for a taste), and I’ve been developing it ever since. I don’t write about it here because I’m still developing it, but perhaps I’ll touch more on some of the relevant literature in the coming months and years.
All the while, I’ll keep writing plenty of cold, hard political analysis. It’s my bread and butter, and besides, I can’t help myself. These elections have been impossible to tune out.
Thank you for reading!
All the best,
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