Friday, May 23, 2008

Ananda Coomaraswamy Essay Prize

The heavily Traditionalist and Maryami Philosophy and Religious Studies program at La Trobe University, Bendigo, Australia, has announced an Ananda Coomaraswamy Essay Prize.
  • Two winners will collect books and postage to the value of $200 from Fons Vitae Publishing and $200 from World Wisdom Books (the in-house publishers of Frithjof Schuon).
  • The prize calls for "essays that explore . . . the meaning of traditional symbols." Examples given include the drum of Śiva, the Rainbow Serpent of the aboriginal peoples of Australia, the shofar, and the hijab "in the mystical traditions of Islam."
  • There are academic and non-academic alternatives: the prize has two categories, postgraduate and "open."

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Alexander Dugin's Networks in Turkey

Key points from Marlène Laruelle's paper on "Russo-Turkish Rapprochement through the Idea of Eurasia: Alexander Dugin's Networks in Turkey," given at the Jamestown Foundation in Washington, DC, Tuesday, April 29, 2008:
  • The concept of concept of Eurasia (Avrasya) was developed independently in Turkey, and its exponents were initially critical of Dugin's Eurasianism.
  • This, however, has now changed. In 2003, the Turkish translation of Dugin's Geopolitics was published as Rus Jeopolitigi Avrasyaci Yaklasim, and according to Laruelle "seems to have gone over well with part of the Turkish military"--especially among "army officers disillusioned by Turkey’s loss of clout in NATO and shocked by the Iraq war."
  • Notable Turks who have participated in events or projects of Dugin's include
    • Suleyman Demirel, formerly president of Turkey
    • Rauf Denktash, at that point president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
    • Kurtulus Taskent, Turkish ambassador to Russia
    • Abdulkadir Ates, representative of the Turkish delegation to the OSCE
  • Dugin's main supporter in Turkey is the Turkish Workers’ Party (Turkiye İşçi Partisi), a "small communist-leaning party."
  • Nothing concrete has yet come of this, though one day it might. A continuing aim is "an interparliamentary Eurasian assembly, including not only Russians and Turks, but also representatives of Iran and the Arab states."