It’s nothing less than the scandalous excesses of

Turkey’s new Islamist elite has acquired a taste for conspicuous consumption


A veiled woman holding Louis Vuitton shopping bags, looks at a shop window in Istanbul on August 13, 2018. The collapse of the Turkish lira has caused trauma as Turks see their purchasing power reduced but has been an unexpected windfall for foreign tourists visiting the country at the peak of the summer season. Tourists, mainly from Saudi Arabia and Designer Louis Vuitton Replica Handbags Asia, formed long queues outside luxury brand design stores like Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Prada when the Turkish high quality replica handbags china currency took a severe hit against dollar, falling over 16 percent on its value on August 10. (Yasin AKGUL / AFP) (Photo credit should read YASIN AKGUL/AFP/Getty Images)

Busra Nur Calar is the talk of Turkey, thanks to several stunning videos of her fabulous life. Here she is at the center of her amazingly over the top wedding. One is that Busra Nur wears a headscarf, prompting conservative Islamists to Perfect Quality Louis Vuitton Replica attack her for her fondness for the finer things in life. The other is that her husband spent part of his career working in the Ministry of replica louis vuitton bags Health. That has critics of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) asking how an ordinary civil servant managed to amass such wealth.

Yet social media shows us that Busra Nur is less of an exception than some might have thought. In President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey, it turns out, there is nothing unusual in the combination of ostentatious piety and extravagant consumption. A new Twitter account called “The Children of the AKP” took photos and videos to document the luxury attained by anyone who managed to get close enough to Erdogan to pose for photographs with him.

When he first came to power, Erdogan had refused to move from his modest pad in the outskirts of Ankara to the prime minister’s residence. Now he is marking his 18th year in power by boasting about life in one of the biggest single family homes in the world. When critics noted scornfully that he’d built himself a thousand room palace, he responded by saying, “Wrong it has 1,150.”

His wife, Emine Erdogan, who was once reluctant to shake hands with men, is now rich enough to wear a Herms bag priced at $50,000.

The majority of the Islamist nouveau riche got where they are today through state financed foundations and government contracts awarded to cronies of the Erdogan family. Safak Cak Designer Louis Vuitton Replica Handbags , the go to interior architect of Muslim high society, says that replica louis vuitton handbags Istanbul’s new Islamist elite love gilt thrones, Swarovski encrusted parquet flooring cheap replica handbags , gigantic screens tuned to the Kaaba, Louis Vuitton toilet paper and air conditioners that diffuse rose water.

Just like Erdogan, most send their children to study in America; the holiday destinations of choice are the Maldives or Dubai. The women cover their hair with Dior scarves and their outfits with Gianfranco Ferr trench coats; they swan around with Herms bags hanging from their arms.

Abdurrahman Dilipak is renowned for his radical Islamist stance. Last summer, the columnist for the Yeni Akit newspaper shared his views on a notorious “bachelorette party” video: “The so called ‘modern conservatives’ have reached new depths. They claim religious approval for wine, beer and champagne. Ladies wearing headscarves play card games at parties on yachts. It’s nothing less than the scandalous excesses of the Gulf countries. Relatives and cronies of politicians and civil servants also take part. Ill gotten gains lead you astray.”

Headscarf wearing women disagree. One such journalist reacted to conservative pressure in another Islamist newspaper: “Why should high quality designer replica handbags we expect young women to dress like their mothers?” She went on to wonder why the conservative male critics aren’t cheap replica handbags focusing on their own moral behavior rather than what other people are wearing.

Evidence is growing that Turkish Islamism, long regarded as an outgrowth of the provinces, is replica louis vuitton bags becoming increasingly urbanized, worldly and secular. Not even the remotest corners of society are immune to western tastes and passion for consumption. Political Islam, which once called on women to leave their homes to take part in election campaigns, is now having a hard time persuading them to go back.

Hence the peculiar situation of Busra Nur, whose ostentatious wedding and baby videos generated so much controversy. Dismissing the criticisms of Islamists and secularists alike , she says, “I’ve got no time to waste on them. I make more money on social media than my husband does, and I pay my taxes.”

Back in 2012, Erdogan pledged to raise a “devout generation.” But surveys conducted by Bekir Agirdir, a reputable pollster, show that the president’s efforts at social engineering have had the opposite effect.

His surveys reveal that the number of young people who pray, fast and cover their hair has steadily fallen over the past 10 years. While the percentage of young people who describe themselves as “traditionally conservative” or replica designer handbags “religious” continues to drop, the share of those who identify as “modern” has risen from 29 percent to 42 percent, a change Agirdir ascribes to urbanization rather than a weakening of religious faith. “The pressures of disgrace or sin prevalent in the provinces do not work in the metropolis,” he says. “Technology has altered the rhythm of life, 1:1 replica handbags too. There is less time for worship. That’s why, when it comes to matters moral and cultural, today’s young people differ starkly from the previous generation.”

Secularists feel threatened by the increasing visibility of women wearing headscarves. Islamists are alarmed Discount Replica Louis Vuitton Bags by the signs that wearing a scarf doesn’t protect women from the modern secular lifestyle. A new generation of Turkish Islamists is coming into being forged by the dual pressures of capitalist consumption and government sponsored religiosity.

Asli Aydintasbas: Turkey’s political map is shifting. Is the country ready to shake off Erdogan’s reign.

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