CRS Seminar: The Making of a Totalitarian Surveillance Machine: Surveillance in Turkey Under AKP Rule

November 2, 2017 @ 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Ross S752
4700 Keele St
Toronto, ON M3K 1P3

Guest Speaker: Özgün Topak 

Assistant Professor, Criminology, Department Social Science, York University

This talk examines surveillance practices under the rule of Erdoğan’s AKP in Turkey and their culmination in their current totalitarian form following the declaration of a state of emergency in July 2016. Rather than being established overnight, the AKP’s totalitarian surveillance machine has been long in the making. The AKP first tested and mastered surveillance methods over its key opponents and dissidents in the process of capturing the state apparatus. It later generalized the use of these and similar repressive methods to govern the entire society. Despite its growing coercive capacity, however, the AKP’s surveillance regime fails to reach to the level of what Arendt (1976) terms ‘total domination’, for it faces significant resistance.

Özgün Topak is an Assistant Professor of Criminology in the Department of Social Science at York University. His research interests include surveillance studies, migration & border studies, citizenship studies and human rights. His current projects include border surveillance in the Mediterranean and state surveillance in Turkey.