Wednesday, February 19, 2014


After ice-dancing pair Alper Uçar and Alisa Agafonova, representing Turkey in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, were eliminated from the short dance program competition, Turkish newspaper Haberturk knew just who to blame: The ice skating lobby.

Photo via @aylajean
Whether sincere or tongue-in-cheek, the paper's headline riffs on the seemingly endless succession of "lobbies" that have been blamed -- mostly by the government and its allies -- at least since the Gezi Park protests last summer for all manner of ills befalling Turkey. It's getting tough to keep track of all the would-be foes, but keep your eyes peeled for members of these undesirable elements:
  • Doğalgaz lobisi (Natural gas lobby) -- The chairman of the Kolin Group, a business conglomerate known to have close ties with the government, lashed out at this lobby after a Turkish court blocked construction of a coal power plant the firm was building near Yırca village, a project for which it had already controversially chopped down some 6,000 olive trees. Referring to the outcry over this action, chairman Naci Koloğlu declared: "Bu doğalgaz lobisinin işi." ("This is the work of the natural gas lobby.") [Added 29 December 2014]

  • Edebiyat lobisi (Literature lobby) -- Used by the pro-government newspaper Takvim in a claim that well-known Turkish writers Orhan Pamuk and Elif Şafak are pawns of an "international literature lobby" that is using such authors to attack the Turkish government. [Added 13 December 2014]

  • Ermeni lobisi (Armenian lobby)

  • Faiz lobisi (Interest-rate lobby)

  • İsrail lobisi (Israeli lobby)

  • Kan lobisi (Blood lobby)

  • Kaos lobisi (Chaos lobby) -- Previously cited by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as a foreign-backed force trying to harm Turkey's economy, the "kaos lobisi" was recently blamed by Food, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Mehdi Eker for price increases on beans, potatoes, and meat.

  • Medya lobisi (Media lobby)
  • Montrö lobisi (Montreux lobby) -- Identified as a force behind opposition to Erdoğan's Kanal Istanbul project, in reference to the Montreux Convention that guarantees free passage of vessels through the Bosphorus. [Added 14 December 2019]

  • Müteahhit lobisi (Contractors lobby)

  • Porno lobisi (Porn lobby)

  • Robot lobisi (Robot lobby) -- This new addition to the list was coined by PM Erdoğan, following the release of audio tapes allegedly implicating him and his son directly in an ongoing corruption scandal, to refer to those he claims are engaging in social media attacks against him.

  • Rum-Yunan lobisi (Greek lobby) 

  • Savaş lobisi (War lobby)*

  • Savcı lobisi (Prosecutors' lobby)*

  • Terör lobisi (Terror lobby)

  • Uluslararası lobi (International lobby)

  • Vaiz lobisi (Preacher lobby) -- Refers to Turkish preacher Fethullah Gülen, whose cemaat (community) is accused of engineering a wide-ranging corruption investigation targeting many government allies.

  • Yahudi lobisi (Jewish lobby)**

And drop me a line with any additions to the list that you've spotted in the news -- bonus points for source links (in Turkish or English).

* Thanks to @clevantine for the correction.
** Thanks to @Istanbultelaviv for the addition and link.


Niels Georg Bach said...

I searched this evening but haven't found it. But I thought I've read about the 'agrarian lobby' due to the price hike in food ?

The Turkish Life said...

I just added a reference to the Ag Minister blaming the "chaos lobby" for food price hikes.

There's also this mention of an agricultural imports lobby -- was that what you were thinking of?