Talking Turkey

by craig on June 2, 2013 6:24 am in Uncategorized

To simply say “protestors good, government bad” in Turkey is a symptom of the Blair delusion, that in civil conflicts there are guys with white hats and guys with black hats, and that the West’s role is to ride into town and kill the guys in the black hats. That is what “liberal intervention” means. The main aim of my second autobiographical book, “The Catholic Orangemen of Togo”, was to explain through the truth of the Sierra Leone experience how very, very wrong this is.

In fact civil conflicts are usually horribly complex, anent a variety of very bad people all trying to gain or retain power, none of them from an altruistic desire to make the world a better place. There may be ordinary people on the streets with that altruistic desire, being used and manipulated by these men; but it is not the ordinary altruistic people on the streets who ever come to power. Ever.

In Turkey the heavy crushing of a rainbow of protests in Istanbul has been going on for at least a month now. A week ago I was discussing it with my publisher, whose son lives in the city. A fortnight ago I was in Istanbul myself.

The Turkish people I was with were natural Erdogan supporters, and what struck me very forcibly was the fact that he has sickened many of his own natural allies by the rampant corruption in Turkey at present. Almost everyone I met spoke to me about corruption, and Turkey being Turkey, everyone seemed to know a very great deal of detail about how corruption was organised in various building and development projects and who was getting what. It therefore is hardly surprising that the spark which caused this conflict to flare to a new level was ignited by a corrupt deal to build a shopping centre on a park. The desecration of something lovely for money could be a metaphor for late Erdogan government.

The park is very small beer compared to the massive corruption involved in the appalling and megalomaniac Bosphorus canal project. Everyone talked to me about that one. The mainstream media, who never seem to know what is happening anywhere, seem to have missed that a major cause of the underlying unrest in Istanbul was the government’s announcement eight weeks ago that the Bosphorus canal is going ahead.

People are also incensed by the new proposal that would ban the sale of alcohol within 100 metres of any mosque or holy site, ie anywhere within central Istanbul. That would throw thousands of people out of work, damage the crucial tourist trade and is rightly seen as a symptom of reprehensible mounting religious intolerance that endangers Turkish society.

So there are plenty of legitimate reasons to protest, and the appalling crushing of protest is the best of them

But – and this is what it is never in the interest of Western politicians to understand – Government bad does not equal protestors good. A very high proportion – more than the British public realise by a very long way – of those protesting in the streets are off the scale far right nationalists of a kind that make the BNP look cuddly and Nigel Farage look like Tony Benn. Kemalism – the worship of Ataturk and a very unpleasant form of military dominated nationalism – remains very strong indeed in Istanbul. Ataturk has a very strong claim, ahead of Mussolini, to be viewed as the inventor of modern fascism

For every secular liberal in Istanbul there are two secular ultra-nationalist militarists. To westerners they stress the secular bit and try to hide the rest, and this works on the uncurious (being uncurious is a required attribute to get employed by the mainstream media). Of course there are decent, liberal, environmentalist protestors and the media will have no difficulty, now they have finally noticed something is happening, in filling our screens with beautiful young women who fit that description, to interview. But that is not all of what is going on here.

There certainly was no more freedom in Turkey before the AKP came to power. Government for decades had been either by the Kemalist military in dictatorship or occasionally by civilian governments they tolerated and controlled. People suddenly have short memories if they think protest was generally tolerated pre-Erdogan, and policy towards the Kurds was massively more vicious.

The military elite dominated society and through corruption they dominated commerce and the economy. The interests of a protected and generally fascist urban upper middle class were the only interests that counted at all. The slightest threat to those interests brought a military coup – again, and again, and again. Religion was barely tolerated, and they allied closely with Israel and the United States.

When Erdogan first came to power it was the best thing that had happened to Turkey for decades. The forgotten people of the Anatolian villages, and the lower middle class of the cities, had a voice and a position in the state for the first time. In individual towns and villages, the military and their clients who had exercised absolute authority had their power suddenly diminished. I witnessed this and it was a new dawn, and it felt joyous.

Then of course Erdogan gradually got sucked in to power, to money, to NATO, to the corruption of his Black Sea mafia and to arrogance. It all went very wrong, as it always seems to. That is where we are now.

Yes of course I want those pretty, genuinely liberal environmentalist girls in the park to take power. But they won’t. Look at the hard-eyed fascists behind them. Look at the western politicians licking their lips thinking about the chance to get a nice very right wing, anti-Muslim and pro-Israel government into power.

We should all be concerned at what is happening in Turkey. We should all call for an end to violent repression. But to wish the overthrow of a democratically elected government, and its replacement – by what exactly? – is a very, very foolish reaction.

Tweet this post

362 Comments

  1. someone from Turkey

    2 Jun, 2013 - 7:20 am

    This is the best English-language article about this event so far. I hope it’s read by many people. It’s pretty close to what I think as a liberal Turkish citizen.

  2. Steve Callerame

    2 Jun, 2013 - 7:30 am

    This is the only sensible and true commentary I’ve seen on recent events in Turkey. I’ve been living in Istanbul for 2 years now, and have always been amazed at the fact that it is virtually impossible to meet anybody with a sane grasp of Turkish history, or a genuinely progressive outlook on equal rights for minorities. The government has brought exactly the benefits and troubles you mention, but the protesters have no clear vision, and bring with them disturbing ideological baggage of their own. It is all very well to try to save a park, but the protesters themselves would all tell you that their goal is much more sweeping than that. They are against the ruling party’s corruption, but blind to the faults of the other party, which are mired in nationalist exceptionalism and a Disney version of history.

  3. conjunction

    2 Jun, 2013 - 7:52 am

    Thankyou for an interesting and nuanced piece. However to extend the perspective you seem to be striving for, is your picture of Ataturk really fair? Especially if you compare him with the ridiculous old Empire he replaced? From what I have gathered he was a hard man and far more effective than Mussolini but did he not have to be to get rid of centuries of religious – based government which didn’t even attempt to serve its people? The hardness as I understand it was to get the idea that secular was alright accepted. Without Ataturk or someone like him there might be no Turkish state at all.

  4. I think you’ve misjudged the geopolitics here. Erdogan is a NATO puppet of the Fethullah Gullen school of Islamization that allows the CIA to control client states like Turkey much as the Muslim Brotherhood is a CIA outfit to control Egypt after the synthetically triggered Arab Spring (A CIA colour revolution).

    All of this is detailed on FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds site or her interviews with James Corbett. It takes a day or two to digest all the information that presented but after that there’s no question how the region operates.

  5. I agree with Conjunction, your portrayal of Ataturk seems to be biased. He was truly a kindhearted leader, who has helped progress the country immensely.

    You are British after all, so I believe your bias may have roots from the First World War, where your nation clashed with Ataturk. And the outcome was not as feasible as it could have been for the British.

  6. Flaming June

    2 Jun, 2013 - 8:31 am

    Is B.Liar a pal of Erdogan’s? I bet J P Morgan are into Turkey. I know that the World Bank are there.

    This is his latest rant against Muslims – the extremist kind – according to him.

    “The Ideology of Rigby’s murder is profoundly dangerous, why don’t we admit it. Tony Blair launches a brave assault…”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2334560/The-ideology-Lee-Rigbys-murder-profound-dangerous-Why-dont-admit–Tony-Blair-launches-brave-assault-Muslim-extremism-Woolwich-attack.html

    TB: “When I return to Jerusalem soon, it will be my 100th visit to the Middle East since leaving office, working to build a Palestinian state.”

    LOL on the latter claim.

    Three Terms, Hypocrisy & Hubris: Thatcher, Blair And… Erdogan
    April 14, 2013
    http://thebackbencher.co.uk/three-terms-hypocrisy-hubris-thatcher-blair-and-erdogan/

  7. Flaming June

    2 Jun, 2013 - 8:38 am

  8. Read with pleasure, great analysis. Thanks, Craig. (Even if you seem to have a soft spot for Erdogan’s government, perhaps for its anti-Israel stand).

  9. “In fact civil conflicts are usually horribly complex, anent a variety of very bad people all trying to gain or retain power, none of them from an altruistic desire to make the world a better place.”

    While the statement might have truth, civil uprisings can often comprise as well as bad people those genuinely desirous of seeing a “better place”. It is when the CIA, MOSSAD and other secret political forces bribe and cajole bad people into causing mayhem against sitting governments with promises of future power and aid, that the evil of destabilisation occurs. In essence there are those in the west who see perpetual destabilisation as an aim in itself, as in Lybia, Syria and Iraq for example. When the factions finish fighting and are war-weary, the Zionists will march in.

  10. I agree that Erdogan has fought the deep-state kemalist establishment (see Ergenegon trial purging more than 100 kemalists from the army) that undermines the development of democracy in Turkey. But he is doing so to replace them with Gulenists? another secret unaccountable ideologically driven organisation with strong ties to economic centres albeit different to the kemalists’ ones (for now). It is a fallacy to think that this strengthens democracy in the long run.

    I am not a friend of kemalists either they are responsible for the disappearance of millions of Christians who did not fit into the “Turkey for Turks” doctrine. They filled the prisons with every man woman and child who does not share their idea of nation or politics, they gagged the journalists. But Erdogan has done little to address these kemalist crimes. Furthermore, he follows a Neo-Ottoman policy in the Balkans (why did he establish a Turkish naval base in Albania). Under his premiership the violation of Greek air and sea in the Aegean has increased exponentially. He cut communications with EU whilst Cyprus had the presidency, he has not removed one single Turkish infantry boot from the 30,000 that illegally occupy the north, not one of the 110,000 settlers.

    I think he emulates the kemalists by offering rights and democracy only to one part of the population that will be ideologically loyal to him not to the whole population. He also emulates the kemalists in his foreign policy.

    Good luck to all the peoples of Turkey, I fear not just for them but the region.

  11. willyrobinson

    2 Jun, 2013 - 10:50 am

    Well written, many thanks.

  12. ‘Look at the western politicians licking their lips thinking about the chance to get a nice very right wing, anti-Muslim and pro-Israel government into power.’

    I don’t believe this is at at all what Western powers want. It increasingly appears to me they want Arab states to come under the Muslim Brotherhood umbrella. Once they do, all policy can be controlled from the top by either Turkey or Qatar and will conform to Western needs. Muslim Brotherhood’s agenda looks democratic but then once in power step by step this changes. In Libya the instability at the moment is caused by the underhand machinations of the Brotherhood.

  13. Stephen Webb

    2 Jun, 2013 - 12:12 pm

    Very honest, thoughtful and thought provoking article on events in Turkey but on the whole I have to agree with Charles Frith that the issues are also mired in the complex geopolitical situation of the region as whole. To suggest otherwise I am afraid is also symptomatic of Blair delusion.

  14. Horseman Joe

    2 Jun, 2013 - 12:36 pm

    Of course, another cause of public discontent with Erdogan is his use of Turkey’s territory and resources to support rebel and terrorist groups contributing to the violence and chaos in Syria. Many Turks are unhappy at their government’s contribution to the suffering of their Syrian neighbours. Without Turkish support for the violence it’s very likely Syria would now be at peace.

    It’s ironic, now the ‘Arab Spring’ has finally caught up with Erdogan. The biter bit.

  15. Great article Craig, the geographical position has made Turkey. Its, in some cases ancient connections, the way it has dealt with its neighbours, the smuggling, political strife between the grey wolfs and more left leaning factions, the Kurdish PKK and the Kurds fight for a recognised homeland all have left indelible stamps on Turkish society.

    The Baba’s still rule and the military and corrupt middle class are still in charge.

    Turkey will not change unless a new younger generation wants it to change, there will always be smuggling in Turkey and the illusion of Turkey outside the EU, when we already have hundreds of ties, is wrong.

    Turkish organised crime is still controlling many of Europe’s heroin markets, for them the EU is already a reality, they also smuggle people and arms and these political definitions don’t exist, they will merely take advantage of the extra opportunities should Turkey join fully.

    Torture is accepted in Turkey and the military, tending to lean to the right, would be less immune from prosecution if Turkey would join, so there are upsides. I would be cautious, scale it in, because Turkey by its vital position as the trade valve for Europe to the middle east, bordering six countries, is also a monumentally important country in anyone’s global strategy.

    Well spoken.

  16. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    2 Jun, 2013 - 1:18 pm

    Good article, which shows once again that Craig Murray is aware that most matters are not black or white but different shades of grey. Would that the Eminences of his blog had the same awareness.

    Mostly interesting comments from others as well and all on-topic…except of course the one from the Premier Troll (aka April Showers/Flaming June) who uses her comment to talk about Tony Blair.

    Please do not spoil this thread – which is on an important issue and an increasingly important country – by importing pet obesessions which would be better placed on more appropriate threads.

  17. Noor-e-Hira

    2 Jun, 2013 - 1:33 pm

    Thank you Craig for giving us a fine account of Turkey uprising. I am very interested in the country but cannot find authentic resources to dwell on it much. Thanks again.

  18. Thank you so much for that clear analysis.

    I heard Erdogan wants to be President but he’s already had three terms as PM. That just being drunk on power like Putin.

    He’s stood up to Israel, had some independence in foreign policy and opted not to join the EU. That’s all good but I hear he has also supported corporate ‘interests’ (crony capitalism) and gone more ‘Islamist’. I am also, however, told the kind of Islamists that make up Erdogan’s AKP party would pass for liberals in Egypt.

    I gather than there have been some tiny demonstrations by fossilised old self-proclaimed ‘leftists’ against helping the rebels in Syria, nothing more.

  19. Good introduction to this growing, surprising crisis, but no mention of how the nationalist Ecevic government got in trouble with Clinton over Yugoslavia and ousted after the Izmit earthquake, how the moderate muslim Erodogan got in trouble with Washington by standing up to Mossad attacks, how the Pentagon-made earthquakes around Lake Van finally forced Erdogan to come to terms with the unpopular Kurds and join NATO’s campaign against Syria, etc.

    It’s a good example of how Washington gets independently-minded regimes to toe its lines, thanks to its space weapons, or face peril, and until populations in the West take note of what their mission is, they will be essentially blind about what is really going on.

  20. Seems to me that Kemalism, too, must be seen dialectically. As some commenters noted, it moved Turkey ahead, and strenghthened secularism – but by failing to liberalize and democratize, by continuing to suppress the Kurds and do little for the poor, it prepared the way for resurgent Islamism.

  21. I now have little trust in Erdogan since the “synchronization between Turkey and the United States” on Syria. Simply put, “..the corner stone of a political solution the formation of a transitional governing body through mutual consent, within a defined and agreed upon timeframe, to assume full executive authority, including all powers of the Presidency in addition to control over the armed forces and the security and intelligence apparatuses, for an agreed upon and defined timeframe for the transitional period,” this means the transition in Syria without Assad.

    I admit I never advocate constructive ambiguity as a tool of diplomacy and the sequence of actions defined by Geneva II must include President Assad in the process of establishing a new political regime in Syria.

    Any other way will incur the risk that Syria will become like Iraq, witnessing sectarian slaughter, violence and virtually ungovernable, with power falling into the hands of foreign controlled and foreign funded Islamic extremists.

    Without Assad, Russia’s restraining chains on UKUSIS preemption and predominance will have been fruitless, a wild goose chase, lost in the annals of history and certainly spearheading a strike on Iran.

  22. doug scorgie

    2 Jun, 2013 - 2:10 pm

    Horseman Joe
    2 Jun, 2013 – 12:36 pm

    “…another cause of public discontent with Erdogan is his use of Turkey’s territory and resources to support rebel and terrorist groups contributing to the violence and chaos in Syria.”

    Yes I agree but who plotted and carried out the bombings in Reyhanli?

    “In the worst example of the spill-over into Turkey, 52 people were killed when twin car bombs ripped through the border town of Reyhanli on May 11. Turkey has accused Syria of involvement in the attacks,”

    To me Syrian involvement is the least likely answer; more likely to be western-supported rebels trying to pull Turkey into an all-out attack on Assad’s forces.

    Is Erdogan playing the false-flag game, with the help of the Syrian rebels, to give NATO a reason to engage militarily?

    Also in the news, more support for the rebels:

    “On Saturday, influential Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi called on Sunni Muslims from around the Middle East to join the battle against President Assad.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22744286

    Yusuf al-Qaradawi, described here by the BBC as an “influential Muslim cleric”, has been banned from entry to the US the UK and France for being a “hate preacher”.

    “David Cameron… called for his exclusion from the UK, saying Qaradawi was a “dangerous and divisive” preacher of hate.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/feb/07/religion.politics

    Seems the BBC has taken a liking to Qaradawi now he supports “the rebels”.

  23. Horseman Joe

    2 Jun, 2013 - 2:14 pm

    “But to wish the overthrow of a democratically elected government, and its replacement – by what exactly? – is a very, very foolish reaction.”

    Be careful not to conflate overthrowing the state, which is what was done to Iraq and Libya, and leads to chaos, with overthrowing the government which could take the form of forcing resignation followed by fresh elections.

    The same argument about overthrowing applies to unelected governments too – replacement by what? If the government is very very bad, then it may be worth overthrowing it, elected or not. The best result for Turkey would be to force Erdogan’s resignation followed by new elections, assuming a viable and less corrupt government could be formed

  24. technicolour

    2 Jun, 2013 - 2:20 pm

  25. Horseman Joe

    2 Jun, 2013 - 2:21 pm

    Mark Golding

    I agree. President Assad still has a great deal of popular support and if peace could be magically restored and open elections held he would probably win. Foreign powers insisting he must leave office are interfering in matters which can only be for Syrians. Whether Syria holds multi-candidate elections or not, Assad cannot be excluded arbitrarily by foreigners who are motivated by hope for a more compliant successor, and also for a face-saving way out for themselves after their long-standing and incontinent demonisation of him.

  26. I find your throw-away piece neither interesting nor nuanced. In fact, it is very typical of the Churchill syndrome, who I’m certain you would list among your heroes. You start with assumptions that are neither necessarily true nor relevant to arrive shakily to your main assumption, which is to say Ataturk was a fascist. Who is saying government bad, protestors good. It is Politics 101 to assume that in any public protest there will be some with agendas that are outside the main. Are you even remotely aware of the events that led to the foundation of Turkish Republic? Erdogan is making every effort to turn Turkey into a proto-Islamic state. If there is no secularism, there is no Turkey. Electoral majority and population majority are different issues. Erdogan does not command 50 per cent of the votes in Turkey. The real culprits that caused his continuing rule are the awful, worthless opposition that can’t stop their infighting and achieve nothing other than dividing the rest of the population. It is offensive beyond belief to liken Ataturk to Mussolini.

    The real struggle is not about the white hats and black hats in Turkey. The real struggle is to protest against, nay stop, the forced rush into a non-secular government style that would divide the nation by making the term ‘Turk’ obsolete. There will be a Commonwealth of Anatolia, which will consist of different ethnic groups with only the Islam as the connecting bond. Khalifate is to follow. It is that ignorant, uncouth, corrupt street merchant that is the Prime Minister now who dreams of becoming the new Sultan. I don’t care what hat people are wearing. A democracy can stand any form of adversarial stance. However, no decent, halfway educated Turk will allow the rolling back of freedoms and the creation of a new State based on the shaky foundations of a book written 1,000 years ago, and badly at that. This is the struggle, this is the fire. Taksim, corruption, alcohol are just sparks.

    Do not presume to make assumptions about Turkey, sir, when it is clearly obvious that you have no clue. And, do not patronize us with your homilies.

  27. Havakkkrap (a shit is good): “Mostly interesting comments from others as well and all on-topic…except of course the one from the Premier Troll (aka April Showers/Flaming June) who uses her comment to talk about Tony Blair.”

    Like you then on ‘The Toils of the Historian’ thread, with your ‘Tony Blair’s recruiting!’ comment -

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2013/05/the-toils-of-the-historian/#comment-406132

  28. Samantha Cameron and Boris Johnson

    2 Jun, 2013 - 3:21 pm

    Meanwhile, the story about Samantha Cameron’s affair with Boris Johnson is about to break. (Mail, Telegraph, now Guardian.)

  29. Dan Iliescu

    2 Jun, 2013 - 3:25 pm

    Congrats! A lucid and well balanced point of view over the situation.

  30. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    2 Jun, 2013 - 3:29 pm

    Ruhi’s avatar seems to capture his frequent mood.

    I’m as educated and informed as the next dude, but I object to Craig’s continual habit of trying to broaden my knowledge inventory. Every time I think I’m getting a handle on cultural and political nooks and crannies, he reintroduces me to the learning curve, which for me is a gradual incline, but I’m still walking uphill. End of rant :)

  31. @Ben – if that’s what your rants are like, don’t give us a paean! :-)

  32. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    2 Jun, 2013 - 3:47 pm

    Good to see you back N__

  33. Thanks very much for this article. I wanted to dig deeper into your comments about Kemalism and Ataturk. So far, I have to admit, this has only amounted to a fairly superficial skimming of the Wikipedia pages for those topics. I’m aware that is not a very deep view, but with that caveat, so far I haven’t really been able to understand your points about Ataturk being the proto-fascist and Kemalism being very unpleasant (clearly it’s a form of nationalism with some unpleasant overtones, but your comments paint it as worse than that, I think).

    If you happen to get the chance to elaborate on these points in a followup post or comment, it would be very helpful to those of us who are coming to rely on your blog for a fresh perspective!

  34. Up pops Ruhi Yaman to validate the truism of “the worship of Ataturk”, and there’s no denying the truth of there being “a very unpleasant form of military dominated nationalism”.

    Only a few weeks ago, it was the Remembrance Day for some of the many victims of Kemalism;

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/142973061/19-May-The-Pontian-Greek-Genocide-Remembrance-Day-and-Mustafa-Kemal

    And the Armenians also know all about the fascism of Kemalism;

    http://www.armenian-genocide.org/kemal.html

  35. technicolour

    2 Jun, 2013 - 5:26 pm

    Personal accounts from the protests:

    http://artshift.ukycc.org/?p=3913

  36. technicolour

    2 Jun, 2013 - 5:27 pm

    (from above)

    the people who lived in the area began to leave out baskets of lemons to help soothe teargas. Old ladies lowered baskets of food from their windows by rope to support the people below – doing what they could to support those doing what they could not. Restaurants left bags of food outside their windows. The state’s violence was countered by the people’s kindness. Lovers led their gas-blinded lover through the smoke-filled streets to safety; strangers did the same.
    Turkish flags with their floating moon and star sprang up everywhere, and the bridge that you cannot walk across, was filled with 40.000 people walking in the space between two continents. What was 50 people in tents became 5,000, became the more than a hundred thousand that surrounded the park yesterday until they so outnumbered the police that they were let back into park, and the shade of the trees that were still standing.
    Today. In this small park, a great many conflicts are colliding. There is the tree that started this, and the fight for the rights of nature against the cold machinery of progress. There is the fight to protect the commons: to save one of the few public spaces that still exist from its transformation into a private space dedicated to the production of personal capital. There is the issue of democracy: that the people have the right to speak out, and the necessity to be heard by those they have empowered. This is history, after all, and people know that if they cannot speak their mind then it is not their story.

  37. Technicolour 5 27pm

    “…the fight for the rights of nature against the cold machinery of progress. There is the fight to protect the commons: to save one of the few public spaces that still exist from its transformation into a private space dedicated to the production of personal capital…”

    Where on earth is’nt that a large element of the human stories being played out at this time?

    Thanks.

  38. The obtuse weltanschauung of Turkish nationalists, are the stuff of the legends. The almost Disney fashion historical revisionism so prevalent with any nationalist movement goes into hyper drive with the Turkish nationalists.

    However Gene Sharpe and his pernicious doctrine are a continuously running thread holding the current unrest in Turkey together, and serves Erdogan right. He forgot the cardinal rule; when drinking soup with the devil use a very long spoon. Turkey is on the same list as the rest of the victim countries marked up for changes; in the reconstitution of the “new middle east”. Despite the copious material supporting this fact, Erdogan still went ahead and carried on supporting the all out assault on Syria.

  39. [ “…the fight for the rights of nature against the cold machinery of progress. There is the fight to protect the commons: to save one of the few public spaces that still exist from its transformation into a private space dedicated to the production of personal capital…”

    Where on earth is’nt that a large element of the human stories being played out at this time? ]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump#Scottish_golf_course_controversy

    If we include the selling of school playing fields to developers the answer is very close to home. Maybe we should’ve taken a inspiration from the Turks and protested a bit louder.

  40. Horace Swanson

    2 Jun, 2013 - 6:29 pm

    Good to hear Boris Johnson is living up to his surname again.

  41. Agree that a coup is not desirable but I’m not convinced the protestors are predominantly fascist. Large numbers are anarchists, socialists, communists and unionists. I’ve seen many ‘A’ (anarchist) signs. Where did Craig find evidence to support his claim that the protestors are mainly fascists? You should have evidence if you’re going to make this kind of claim.

  42. That’s a super post, Craig. It’s very complicated. FedUp’s correct, I think (6:10pm, today). The recent ‘discovery’ by ‘Turkish security forces’ of Sarin in the possession of Jihadist paramilitaries based in Turkey and involved in the Syrian conflict (which accords with the UN’s own findings as enunciated by Carla Del Ponte) when these Turksih security forces are likely to have known exactly where these substances were being held, may well be a sign that wrt the AKP’s attmept to turn Turkey into an Islamist state (attacking the judiciary, jouranlsits and all manner of civil societal institutions) and thereby erode the power of the military, the Army is drawing a line in the sand. Another military coup is not the answer, I agree, Craig. I do fear that now, having facilitated (as FedUp says) “The Devil”, and with a government whose own Islamist authoritarian agenda now is becoming clearer by the day, Turkey itself may be the next target for the overt (as opposed to gradualist until recently favoured by bodies like the AKP, Muslim Brotherhood, etc.) Islamist/Jihadist juggernaut. And so, the Hard Right Islamists will be pitted against the Hard Right Nationalists, the people, squeezed and bled to death in between. Civil war in Turkey? I hope not.

  43. Horace Swanson

    2 Jun, 2013 - 7:02 pm

  44. I wish you mentioned Reyhanli Bombs, censored media and government’s totalitarian and arrogant attributes, too. I appreciate your concern but unfortunately this article is missing very important points on Turkey’s current case. Sorry, but I couldn’t say this is a proper, unbiased examining.

  45. BoJo and Sam

    2 Jun, 2013 - 7:04 pm

    A guy on twitter and Youtube claims there is a video sex tape in existence of Boris and Samantha Cameron. Please nobody provide a link if true. Watching it might make me quite unwell!

  46. “Good to hear Boris Johnson is living up to his surname again.”

    Well, actually,

    “Boris’s great-great-grandmother, Margaret Johnson, changed the family surname forever. Had she not, the current Mayor of London would be Boris Kemal!”

    The irony being that his Great-grandfather, Ali Kemal was also a victim of ““the worship of Ataturk”;

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/whodoyouthinkyouare/new-stories/boris-johnson/how-we-did-it_1.shtml

  47. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2334731/Speculation-rife-internet-involved-No-10-secret-love-affair-PM-holds-crisis-talks-tryst.html

    Internet speculation rife over identity of mystery couple involved in No.10 secret love affair as PM holds crisis talks over tryst

    Identities of people involved or details of relationship cannot be disclosed
    They are middle-aged figures and the affair has now concluded
    Mr Cameron was ‘stunned’ when told the identities of alleged lovers
    He ‘immediately realised the importance of the story’, sources revealed
    ‘None of us could believe it when we first heard it’ said senior source

  48. “They are middle-aged figures…” Anon, 7:17pm, today.

    Does this mean that they are pear-shaped, or apple-shaped? Ths distinction can be important in terms of long-term, population-wide cardiovacular risk. In brief, it is better to be a ‘pear’ than an ‘apple’. In briefs, though, who knows…

    I, of course, am with the half-cut oranges (though I would hesitate to say that at a Celtic match).

  49. There are people putting up webpages that seem to be hinting at something… Can’t quite tell what, though…

    http://aangirfan.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/secret-love-affair.html

    M.

  50. A guy on twitter and Youtube claims there is a video sex tape in existence of Boris and Samantha Cameron. Please nobody provide a link if true. Watching it might make me quite unwell!

    Don’t worry, “You have been framed” does not show sex movies.

    =================

    In the other news:

    Man admits threatening to kill Prince Harry

    Homeless Ashraf Islam, 30, walked a police station in Hounslow and made the threats to officers on May 23 – a day after the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, south east London.

    He was arrested and pleaded guilty to the offence at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on May 25.

    A homeless, hungry man solves his destitution problems; a roof over his head, and three square meals a day. However DM reprots it as:

    A white Muslim convert threatened to kill Prince Harry just a day after the shocking murder of a soldier in Woolwich.

    Ashraf Islam, 30, formerly known as Mark Townley, confessed to police that he wanted to kill the third in line to the throne, who has served in high profile tours of Afghanistan.

    Islam walked into a police station in Hounslow on May 23 and told detectives that he wanted to murder the prince hours after soldier Lee Rigby, 25, was killed.

    ==========

    Back on topic;

    War-torn Syria says Turkey unsafe for travel

  51. In the wake of the recent episode where a former govt minister was wrongly identified/named by people on social media sites, leading to widespread litigation, I humbly would suggest people should be very careful indeed before they start speculating about/hinting at named individuals. The legal precedent has been set.

  52. If there is civil war in Turkey, it will destabilise the rest of Europe (both western and eastern Europe), big-time. It would be an utter disaster. There have been serious political crises and coups in Turkey before, of course. But the potential for wider destabilisation as a consequence of political/military turoil there is far greater now than it was during the Cold War. Furthermore, in the Jihadists, one has a large and disparate, highly mobile, pro-active and driven (yes, they’d do well in any corporate appraisal!) flexible and efficient military entity which has absolutely no compunctions of any sort and which aims primarily, instrumentally to create maximum chaos and destruction in target states/societies.

  53. technicolour

    2 Jun, 2013 - 7:52 pm

    “I’m not convinced the protestors are predominantly fascist. Large numbers are anarchists, socialists, communists and unionists. I’ve seen many ‘A’ (anarchist) signs. Where did Craig find evidence to support his claim that the protestors are mainly fascists?”

    It’s not the message I’m getting either, and although everyone thinks everyone is being manipulated by someone else, and they possibly are, Kempe and Kibo are right, and there’s a long long history of fighting for exactly this from the grass-roots communities themselves. Because, you know, it’s a clear issue.

  54. I have absolutely no interest in bonking stories and please stop posting about them. This is not a tabloid newspaper.

    Technicolour, I fear you are suffering from the comforting self-delusion of the left. You may note we have had a few Turkish nationalists turn up on this thread. Not a lot of Turkish socialists here, though. Or anywhere, for that matter.

  55. There are Turkish socialists, liberals, etc., Craig. there have been lots of demos all round the UK over the weekend. Of course, they will be taken advantage of. Nonetheless, theirs is a valid protest and it needs to happen. The AKP needs reigned-in by the people. Of course, as you suggest, the people may well not gain from it and the military may. But what would you have them do instead? Just accept the totalitarian bunkum sharia that the Muslim Brotherhood franchise known as ‘AKP’ is imposing? Accept the erosion of an independent judiciary? And yes, accept the demolition of the secular state?

  56. technicolour

    2 Jun, 2013 - 8:12 pm

    I’m not on ‘the left’, I’m on the ‘facts’ (which may well amount to the same thing) and I’m passing on reporting from the people on the ground. I thought your overall analysis was fascinating, and at the same time have enough experience of local protests to know that the genesis and support can be genuine – from Climate Camp to Occupy – and not necessarily serving anyone, although this is not to say that factions won’t try and take advantage of it. I don;t know if you read this extract from the first piece I linked to?
    “While many protesters are without a doubt staunch secularists who are motivated by opposition to the AKP’s increasing social conservatism, there is no indication that this is what ultimately brought thousands of people out into the streets. In fact, when CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, came to Gezi Park to speak, protesters sang over him, preventing him from being heard. It is clear that the movement thus far is about a conflict in visions for urban space between ruling elites and the people who actually live, work, and play in the city”

    So there’s a balance here.

  57. Flaming June

    2 Jun, 2013 - 8:12 pm

    The last 60 years have been so peaceful. NOT. I watched some of the footage from 1953 this afternoon. There were tens of thousands of men and women in the military march preceding the royal coach returning from Westminster Abbey. The commentator, when describing which contingent was which, said quite often ‘they have recently returned from the Middle East’ presumably meaning a presence in the aftermath of the strangely worded ‘British–Zionist conflict of Palestine (1945–1948)’

    20th century
    [..]
    Cold War (1946–1990)
    Malayan Emergency (1948–1960)
    Korean War (1950–1953)
    Mau Mau Uprising (1952–1960)
    Cyprus Emergency (1955–1959)
    Suez Crisis (1956)
    Brunei Revolt (1962)
    Dhofar Rebellion (1962–1975)
    Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation (1962–1966)
    Aden Emergency (1963–1967)
    Northern Ireland Troubles (1969-mid 1990s)
    Cod War Confrontation (1975–1976)
    Iranian Embassy Siege (1980)
    Falklands War (1982)
    Gulf War (1990–1991)
    Bosnian War (1992–1996)
    Operation Desert Fox (1998)
    Kosovo War (1999)

    21st century
    Sierra Leone Civil War (2000)
    War on Terror (2001–Present)
    War in Afghanistan (2001–Present)
    Iraq War and Iraqi insurgency (2003–2009)
    Libyan Civil War (2011)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_the_United_Kingdom#20th_century

    O lord God arise,
    Scatter our enemies,
    And make them fall!
    Confound their knavish tricks,
    Confuse their politics,
    On you our hopes we fix,
    God save the Queen!

    Quite so.

  58. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    2 Jun, 2013 - 8:17 pm

    Suhayl; My best friends elder sibling is gay and settled in Turkey a few years ago, buying a condo. Is there a significant gay presence in the country? I’ve wondered about the wisdom of his choice.

  59. technicolour

    2 Jun, 2013 - 8:19 pm

    what on earth has that got to do with Turkey? will you please stop derailing threads.

  60. technicolour

    2 Jun, 2013 - 8:20 pm

    (above at ‘June’, but not sure what the ‘gay presence’ has to do with anything either)

  61. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    2 Jun, 2013 - 8:26 pm

    Well, if I must explain myself. No intent to derail. Finding some socialists in Turkey was part of the subject, and my question had to do with public tolerance for such. It was a personal inquiry.

    Now go bugger off.

  62. technicolour

    2 Jun, 2013 - 8:29 pm

    Now, now, play nice hippy, Ben, remember? And you could, of course, just ask your brother, As for socialists, Sophie, above, has it right – it’s a sad game when people just see the world as divided into the two cadres of ‘socialists’ and ‘nationalists’. They do not necessarily represent the old ladies helping the tear gassed protestors, either of them.

  63. Ben, re. the “gay presence” in Turkey, I have absolutely no idea – maybe you should ask your friend? I’d imagine there is a gay presence, as there is everywhere. Turkey is in the Council of Europe, etc. As for rights, that may be another matter, but then it took a struggle even in western Europe and north Amercia in very rcent times to achieve civil/human rights.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Turkey

  64. technicolour

    2 Jun, 2013 - 8:35 pm

    NB Ben, was not suggesting that you were trying to derail; was genuinely puzzled.

  65. “the old ladies” might be Communists, for all we know. Or Sufis. Or gay grandmothers. Or simply, grandmothers. Or gardeners. Who’s to say? Go back 40 years… and the old ladies were young ladies and the streets of Turkey were filled with lefties 9and righties, and in-betweenies). Anyway…

  66. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    2 Jun, 2013 - 8:40 pm

    It wasn’t my brother, and I play nice until you screw wit me.

    I apologize if the question was unseemly, Suhayl. I assure you nothing was implied.

    Now I’ll just shut the fuck up.

  67. technicolour

    2 Jun, 2013 - 8:40 pm

    Suhayl, quite true, thanks.

  68. OT sorry but it is from The Guardian…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jun/02/wit-wisdom-boris-johnson-review

    The Wit and Wisdom of Boris Johnson, edited by Harry Mount – review

    Comments are open at The Guardian on this article.

  69. I’d be interested to hear the views of a Turkish student from a working class background, or that of a younger generation, because whatever comes out of the next few years cauldron, will be inherited by them.

    Some are raising the spectre of a Turkish spring, a re awakening of secular thoughts, something the elites might want to steer and control.

    I wish Turkey well, they would be an exciting EU inclusion, if HR reforms stick and the military lets go.

    The Sarin gas incident is worrying, another sign of ancient connections and a manifestation that there is nothing that could not be supplied in Turkey.

    Turkey’s north eastern peaks are welcome NATO listening posts, still, and any attack on Iran proper would ideally be carried out via Turkey, with the back up of NATO bases, so Turkey is strategically hot stuff, with Insirlik airbase access representing the sprinkles.

    Israel will try its best to get rights to overfly and I can see the US waving its stick at Turkey to help this along, what it could do for Turkey to access the EU, etc., just let Israel use your airspace.

  70. OccupyTaksim

    2 Jun, 2013 - 8:52 pm

    You’re so full of liberal bullshit. The amount of violence both done and condoned by police and government support behind them would overthrow any democratically elected government of yours. Watch some live streams over ustream maybe then you’ll realise just because people are appointed by democracy doesn’t mean they are ruthless tyrants.

  71. Ben, no, no, the question was not unseemly at all. It’s an important subject. I just don’t know anything about the specific subject – good of you to think of me though, thanks, man.

  72. There was a protest in George Square, Glasgow this weekend, by some members of the Turkish community and supporters, including leftists, against what the Turkish Govt is doing. I’ll try and link to some pictures – from a leftist website/news source – if I can, later. I know there have been (bigger) protests in London, too.

  73. technicolour

    2 Jun, 2013 - 9:01 pm

    “Now I’ll just shut the fuck up” – Ben, not intention, see comment above.

  74. technicolour

    2 Jun, 2013 - 9:05 pm

    Helicopters fired tear gas canisters into residential neighbourhoods and police used tear gas to try to smoke people out of buildings. Footage on YouTube showed one protester being hit by an armoured police truck as it charged a barricade.

    ‘Extreme’ response

    Erdogan admitted there may have been some cases of “extreme” police action.

    “It is true that there have been some mistakes, extremism in police response,” he said.

    However, calling the protesters “a few looters”, the prime minister remained defiant, pledging to push forward with the plans to redevelop Taksim Square.

    Erdogan singled out the Republican People’s Party (CHP) for attack over a dispute he described as ideological.

    “We think that the main opposition party which is making resistance calls on every street is provoking these protests,”
    Erdogan said on Turkish television.

    (Al Jazeera: worth comparing Erdogan’s statements to comments above)

  75. doug scorgie

    2 Jun, 2013 - 9:09 pm

    Has Boris shafted Cameron?

  76. I didn’t think much of the scenery in Taksim square last year. But the buses ran from there, so I did pass through. However, I recalled that when we strolled through that park below the Topkapi, a bunch of youngsters entered with make up on to join in some international zombie thing. We found it quite amusing, and marvelled at how the internet was linking people culturally thoughout the world. But we were at the exit gate by now, and the kids were warned to play it subdued by the park keeper whom we reckoned didn’t know whether he was meant to allow zombies in the park or not. At that point we saw the clash of competing civilizations. A western crazy youth culture where anything goes. You see that in street fashion in all the free countries. And an old Ottoman state which was once the centre of the “civilised” world. So what is it to be in Turkey? Modern, liberal, free? Or the hijab?

    Tony Benn really gets it right when he makes much of the ability to get rid of those we elect.

  77. OccupyTaksim

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHyDaAXw8Ck

    Operation Solstice documentary on Battle of Beanfield

    “What we the ITN camera crew have seen today has been some of the most brutal police treatment of people I’ve witnessed in my career as a journalist…. The number of people who have been clubbed while holding babies in their arms has still to be counted. There must surely be an inquiry into what happened here today.”

    - Kim Sabido ITN – June 1st, 1985

  78. Flaming June

    2 Jun, 2013 - 10:08 pm

    Technicolour Try telling what you said to me to the posters of the Boris SamCam items which seem to be totally irrelevant here. Mine was about six decades of our wars, staged on several continents, and the terror and destabilization that ensued. Craig’s post deals with NATO to which we belong, Blair, Sierra Leone, etc etc.

    Get off my back. I have enough bother here to be going on with.

  79. David, 9:37pm, today: The gatekeeper/park keeper might just as well have been an old Kemalist secularist or just the guy in charge of keeping public order in the park in a major public/tourist part of Istabbul (and so it’s his job to keep some semblance of order).

    What you call the ‘hijab’ (i.e. Islamism) is a new, postmodern phenomenon. The old Ottoman state was an old land empire, last seat of the Caliphate, yes, and used religion as a political instrument. But it is important, I feel, not to confuse that with either secular Kemalist order and nationalistic/militaristic (sometimes OTT) pride and Islamism.

    Youth culture has been around in Turkey since the 1960s. Just listen, for example, to their rock music from the late 1960s, onwards. Some really good stuff, btw. ‘Zombies’ are nothing new.

  80. Turkish rock music – check it out on Youtube. Erkin Koray was a pal of John and Yoko.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatolian_rock

  81. “This is chemical war, this is violence! #occupygezi pic.twitter.com/dIBNjckMC5 #OpTurkey”

    https://twitter.com/YourAnonNews/status/341301528562388993

    Click on the photo for a bigger version

    (Turkish police spraying protesters)

  82. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    2 Jun, 2013 - 10:25 pm

    @ The Scourge (21h09 today)

    “Has Boris shafted Cameron?”
    ______________

    Are you unable to read? Or just unable to contain your excitement?

    Please read Craig’s admonition, posted at 20h02 today, which points out that this blog is not a tabloid newspaper.

    And stop playing with your keys.

    ****************

    La vita è bella, life is good!

  83. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    2 Jun, 2013 - 10:33 pm

    April Showers/Flaming June wails:

    “Technicolour Try telling what you said to me to the posters of the Boris SamCam items which seem to be totally irrelevant here. Mine was about six decades of our wars, staged on several continents, and the terror and destabilization that ensued. Craig’s post deals with NATO to which we belong, Blair, Sierra Leone, etc etc.

    Get off my back. I have enough bother here to be going on with.”
    —————

    Technicolour was quite right to reprimand you. You introduced Blair (again) in an earlier post and now you give us a list of wars (for about the umpteenth time on this blog). Please keep on-topic, otherwise I shall suspect you of being a troll.

    And in case you hadn’t noticed, Craig’s lead-in post is about TURKEY, not NATO, Sierra Leone and Blair.

    ****************$

    La vita è bella, life is good!

  84. technicolour

    2 Jun, 2013 - 10:34 pm

    Another view:

    “The determining factor in (Erdogan’s) political trajectory, however, has been its commitment to a full-blown neoliberal economic policy shaped around privatisations and trade liberalisations. Short-term effects of neoliberalisation have materialised in the decrease of the poverty trend by national standards (constant decrease from 2003 to 2006), fluctuations in the Gini index (2002: 42.7; 2005: 42.6; 2007: 39.3; 2008: 39) and a slight improvement in country inequality trend. By 2011, Turkey had become the 18th largest economy (measured by nominal GDP) after a disastrous financial crisis in 2001.

    This illusionary success story has conjointly reinforced a misplaced faith in free market dogmatism despite the fact that the social indicators of development—such as the number of people living below the national poverty line—took a downturn after 2008. While neoliberal policies have become part and parcel of Turkish economic administration since the 1980s, the AKP amplified the existing drive to an unprecedented extent. The implementation of $380 million of annual privatisation before 2003 has skyrocketed to a staggering $6 billion during Erdoğan’s three terms in office. Almost every remnant of the developmental state—from bridges to the tobacco monopoly (TEKEL), power stations to the state-owned banks—have been privatised or listed for auction. While the sweeping reforms have engendered wide-spread resistance including the long-fought struggles of TEKEL workers and grassroots coalitions against the construction of the Hydroelectric Power Plants (HES), the government has maintained its neoliberal onslaught on services, communities and the environment.

    http://adamdavidmorton.com/2013/06/the-gezi-park-occupation-confronting-authoritarian-neoliberalism/

  85. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    2 Jun, 2013 - 10:39 pm

    @ Rouge (15h16) :

    “Like you then on ‘The Toils of the Historian’ thread, with your ‘Tony Blair’s recruiting!’ comment -”
    _______________

    Not really.

    And I think that the TBA advert is something of a historic document actually. I shall certainly remember it.

  86. Yes, good post, Technicolour (10:34pm, today): Unfortunately, as suggested, both main parties in Turkey are neoliberal. Remind one of somewhere… nowadays, everywhere…?

    Nonetheless, to be fair, it has to be said that in spite of all that, the health, literacy, etc. parameters continue to improve, decade-on-decade, probably due to the hard work of people in civil institutions but also to deeper macroeconomic changes (so some of the capitalist chnages will be driving these in a positive direction at this stage of a country’s configuration), increased urbanisation, falling birth rates (increased literacy) and so on. It’as not yet on a par with the average in Europe, but it’s getting there.

    Usual prefixes:

    who.int/countryfocus/cooperation_strategy/ccsbrief_tur_en.pdf
    who.int/countries/tur/en/
    oecdbetterlifeindex.org/countries/turkey/

  87. Flaming June ignore the sour grapes ;)

  88. Look reality check time.
    Last Turkish general election 2011 – not that long ago.
    Erdogan got 50%, almost exactly.
    The main Kemalist, very right wing Republican People’s Party got 26%. That lot are well to the right of the BNP.
    The openly pro-military rule Nationalist Party got 13%.

    Identifiably “left wing” plus environmentalist parties got 3% between the lot of them. 3%. Let me write that again. 3%.

    Yes of course Turkish socialists exist. So do albino guinea pigs. But that is not what this is about.

  89. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    2 Jun, 2013 - 11:04 pm

    @ Doug Scorgie :

    re my comment of 22h25 above, it would only be fair of me to say that you have posted some good, thoughtful comments lately. So, on reflection, I’ll forgive you your vile suggestion :)

  90. There used to be a lot more Turkish socialists; it was one of the major forces in politics there inthe 1960s and 1970s. But then, there used to be a lot more British socialists, too and British socialist (or partly socialist) parties too (!)

  91. “People are also incensed by the new proposal that would ban the sale of alcohol within 100 metres of any mosque or holy site, ie anywhere within central Istanbul.”

    My understanding of this is that it is not a proposal, but a new law that has been passed that, among other things, bans the provision of NEW licences to sell alcohol within 100m of a mosque or school, rather than mandating the cancellation of already-attributed licences to sell alcohol. Which (if correct) is quite a big difference – although if alcohol purveyors have to regularly renew their licences and if this law prevents their renewal if they are near a mosque or school (I’m not sure on this), it would have the same effect over time.

  92. RP

    You may be right – my source is what I was told by restaurant owners while I was there. Certainly they believe they stand to be closed down. But it is still a stupid act of intolerance either way.

  93. “Ataturk has a very strong claim, ahead of Mussolini, to be viewed as the inventor of modern fascism.”

    In 2000, when cycling through the town of Vize, west of Instanbul, I was hungry and in need of something vegetarian but as I did not speak Turkish had some problems. A young boy called Dennis was brought to me (about 14 years old I guessed) and took me across the road from his father’s cafe where I was able to get some lentil-soup, yoghurt and bread before returning to his father’s cafe for a cup of tea. Dennis was a direct descendant of Ataturk and proudly showed the family-tree in black and white photographs on the wall. My own experience of the Ataturks was positive.

    This has been endorsed by a short on-line biography I have just read of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, obviously written by one who approves. It is difficult to see him as a fascist, certainly not in the Mussolini mould. If the biography is true he turned Turkey into a republic, gave voting and educational rights to women together with the right not to have to wear a veil. I am ashamed of some of the things the west does, especially with the abuses of human rights, but I think a republic is preferable to a country of Sultanates, like Oman and Qatar. He was almost certainly a product of the west but how can he be viewed as the inventor of modern fascism?

  94. John Goss

    “This has been endorsed by a short on-line biography I have just read of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, obviously written by one who approves.”

    Honestly, John having enjoyed your comments for many years I cannot believe you are so gullible, and know so little history. From that ludicrous biography you cite, are you honestly telling me you don’t know what his “series of battles with Armenian forces” really was, for example?

  95. I can’t pretend to know much about Turkey. Especially present day day Turkey … only visited Istanbul for a very short time some years ago for work. However, I was struck when there how the ordinary people that I met esteemed Attaturk. I was surprised at the time … it seemed to me that in the memories of people his secular reforms had trumped the military control.

    I suppose that’s the story that’s now being sold to we occidentals, secular=good. And, with our lack of knowledge of other societies and tendency to base our world view on on own totally different history and culture we swallow the bait hook, line and sinker much to the unadulterated glee of our political masters.

  96. “The main Kemalist, very right wing Republican People’s Party got 26%. That lot are well to the right of the BNP.
    The openly pro-military rule Nationalist Party got 13%.”

    I’m not sure right-wing is a useful term for the CHP (actually I don’t think left and right wing are useful terms in general, but I think “right-wing” is particularly inapt in this case). Much (though not all) of the party tends towards hard-line Turkish nationalism, but economically it is to the left of the AKP. Many of its supporters would regard themselves as “left-wing” or social democrats. Also while it is largely intolerant of demands for Kurdish rights for example, it is more sympathetic to Alevi demands than the AKP is; all of the parties are chauvinistic in their own ways, whether on ethnic or religious grounds (or both).

    I also don’t think that to describe the MHP as “openly pro-military rule” is accurate. It is an ultra-nationalist party but that doesn’t necessarily make it pro-military. It and the military were closer to being on the same page in the past (especially in the run-up to and the early years following the 1980 coup, when both regarded the left as the main threat) but I don’t think they are now. Though not an Islamist party, it derives much of its support from religiously conservative types, and if I remember correctly it supported the AKP on liberalising the university headscarf laws for example, all of which mean it is not a natural ally of the Kemalist military.

  97. RP

    “Much (though not all) of the party tends towards hard-line Turkish nationalism, but economically it is to the left of the AKP. Many of its supporters would regard themselves as “left-wing””

    Yes – absolutely the same is true of the BNP, of course. National Socialism, perhaps?

  98. Indigo,

    Absolutely right.

  99. “However, I was struck when there how the ordinary people that I met esteemed Attaturk. ”

    I would argue that one of the reasons so many Turks hold Ataturk in such extremely high regard is that there is a massive cult of personality surrounding him that is shoved down their throats at school from when they are very young.

  100. Not quite … I spelt Ataturk incorrectly!

  101. 1) Is it because a Byzantine church with a cross on it’s dome still stands alone in that square silently and it must overshadowed?.
    2) Is replacing the Ataturk cultural centre with something grandiose directed to the “foundation” rather than the facade?.
    And finally, what if the muezzin’s amplified voice turns out to be not the best and outlouds the tenor’s across the square?.

    Bottom line: If the author knows how to play backgammon he should know that it OK to “roll” dice with fingertips in the corner cafes of the country whereas the game is usually played by rolling them in a cup in the west!!.

  102. @RP

    As I said, my knowledge of Turkey is less than sparse but every culture – and it’s dominant political masters – inculcates its/their young with stories of simplified bogeymen and national heroes to serve its/their own nefarious purposes!

    Gove’s proposed history syllabus is a case in point!

  103. Well, yes, all massacres (genocides, ethnic cleansings) are terrible. All politicians are lauded whatever their faults. The vast majority of politicians are corrupt. And the evil that men do lives after them. Also the good that they do can oft be interred with their bones. I concede that the history of Turkey is not one of my strengths and in the pub quiz I would probably defer. Ataturk took over from Sultan Hamid so there was already antipathy between the nations. I am not defending Ataturk so much as pointing out the alternative could have been worse even for Armenians. I think most authorities would concede that Turkey has been better since it ceased to be a Sultanate.

  104. It seems Murray can’t get over the black eye Kemal gave the British in the middle east. Churchill gassed the Kurds, Brits used them as tools. Lawrence used Arabs as tools.

    One general/leader who outwitted them all was Kemal. By the way, RP should inquire how many Russians venerate Lenin/Stalin, compare it with Kemal’s veneration by ordinary Turks before he talks about things being shoved down throats. Usually this backfires. He is revered by almost all Turks, including most AKP supporters, because he defeated the British proxies, happless Greeks, against all odds. He also showed immense statesmanship afterwards. Try finding another general who was so magnanimious as Ataturk was, vis a vis, the British and ANZAC dead in Gallipoli. Good luck!

    <>

    Ataturk saw that Turkey could not hold on to Ottoman posessions, other than the historic center of muslim [Turkish/Kurdish] majority. Erdogan’s delusions of grandeur vis a vis Middle East may yet trigger a wider war. By the way, the chief of staff of the Turkish Army resigned in 1992, thus stopping Ozal [another US/British stooge] entering the Iraq war with Bush the elder. So, things are not as black and white as Murray and others may wish when it comes to what the Turkish army stands for. I could talk about the witchhunts Erdogan is conducting against the press, army officers, scientists, intellectuals, just look up the Ergenekon case, and also http://balyozdavasivegercekler.com/ for a good summary in English.

  105. Sorry, my quotes destroyed the formatting. Here’s Kemal Ataturk’s letter to invading army soldiers’ mothers. From the Australian war memorial site.

    Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side now here in this country of ours… you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.

  106. Great post and great comments. It’s really nice to see so many familiar names posting, I hope they continue posting. Clark if you’re around I hope your doing well. I know next to nothing about Turkey so I can’t add anything really, but I have appreciated reading the conflicting opinions, that is when this blog really shines, debate instead of slinging shit. Craig still making comments so long after first posting, it’s a treat.

    All the talk about Ataturk, Mussolini and how they are remembered made me think of a story that always makes me laugh. A good friend of mine was raised by his grandparents who had moved from Italy to Australia just after WW2. When my friend was around 13 he had to give a class presentation on WW2. So he goes home and talks to his grandpa about WW2 and his grandpa’s experiences under Mussolini. His grandpa is a wealth of knowledge and he quickly completes the assignment. So they day comes to give the presentation and my friend gets up in front of the class and starts talking about what a great guy Mussolini was and how he had improved the lives of the poor and modernised the state etc etc. I guess if you were a poor country boy like my friends grandpa was, it’s a pretty reasonable view of Mussolini. Needless to say the presentation went down like a lead balloon and my friend was sent home with a note. It’s a story that makes me laugh but also reminds me that often two completely opposite views can be based on their own truths.

  107. Kodlu,

    Wow yes Ataturk, great military genius, conquered the world, greatest thing since Tamerlane, blah blah blah. Thanks for illustrating exactly why dangerous fools like you should never be let anywhere near power and why the anti-Erdogan movement is so dangerous.

  108. Here are some clips from that demo in Glasgow. The AKP has shown itself to be a real and present danger to Turkish society and they are pursuing their internal coup right now, replacing people in civil societal positions, the judiciary, etc. with their own placemen.

    It must be countered by civil society rising up and refusing to accede, and to a democratically-elected government recognising that it cannot behave like a junta intent on demolishing democracy from within (democracy is not just about a ballot box; this is common Islamist fantasy). There must NOT be a military coup, otherwise there might an ‘Algerian 1990s’ situation and much else that is terrible.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXP2LNeVq_A

    “Erdogan’s delusions of grandeur vis a vis Middle East may yet trigger a wider war.” Kodlu.

    Absolutely. I made this point on this blog some time ago. One does not need to be an Ataturk disciple to realise this, btw.

    Incidentally, on a historical note, the British got rid of the King of Afghanistan, Amanullah in the 1920s because he was inspired by Ataturk’s secular modernism. So MI6 – I think Lawrence ‘of Arabia’ may have been involved in some way – invented pictures of the Queen’s head with a naked woman’s body beneath and circulated it among the tribesmen. So there is long history of the British ruling class hating independent strongman figures in the Middle East – the first Shah of Iran, Ataturk – from that period, and later, Nasser, for example, not because they were incipiently fascist in orientation and friendly towards Germany, but because they were independent and refused to be colonised. It’s important to look at the context.

    This is a slight tangent, but perhaps a relevant one.

  109. Family first. The Turkey I know are very proud they more than anything take care of yhe family especialy looking after, respecting older generations.

    Them loosing a green space I presume effects the family directly.

    It’s all bollox, fascist, sociolist, liberal crap.

    Think on. Our liberal society is de-generated to the filth and poverty, material and spiritual.

    When talking to ‘old heads’ and children. A strict, disciiplined, ordered, censored, school is happier and certainly has much less abortions….

    Point being: All considerations the liberal way; streamline for desired effect- enjoy outcome. Equals democracy.

  110. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    3 Jun, 2013 - 8:19 am

    “Wow yes Ataturk, great military genius, conquered the world, greatest thing since Tamerlane, blah blah blah”
    ——-

    Hold on a second – he didn’t do that badly against Venizelist Greece, did he. And, despite assiduous courting, the state he founded had the good sense to keep out of WW2.

    Having said that, the current Ergodan government is an improvement on (many) of its predecessors.

  111. Am as confused about the current situation in Turkey and the ‘risks’ involved as before the protests started. Appreciate Technicolour’s links (where do you find them?!) re the igniting points and hats off to the handful who stopped the Park being ripped up. Commiseration with the hundreds who are probably seriously ill as a result of the tear gas and other injuries.

    Also agree with Habbakuk that the TBA post referred above was perfectly valid. Now you seem to have a good sense of history. But i want to better understand the situation as it is now in the present moment — screw history — can anyone help? All this left-wing-right-wing stuff is all code to me and inadequately nuanced to understand clearly good and bad as in fair and unfair, just and unjust. Hope this thread can find some common ground to provide a focussed perspective.

  112. Flaming June

    3 Jun, 2013 - 9:32 am

    Helpful advice from Hague.

    Political situation

    Turkey is a stable democracy. Demonstrations occur regularly in major cities and in Kurdish areas. Taksim Square and Istiklal Street are typical gathering points in Istanbul. Demonstrations can turn violent and the police sometimes use tear gas. You should avoid all demonstrations and to leave the area if one develops.

  113. “he didn’t do that badly against Venizelist Greece, did he. And, despite assiduous courting, the state he founded had the good sense to keep out of WW2.”

    Actually under Venizelos, the Anatolian Campaign was successful, but Venizelos lost the election in December 1920; The pro-German King Constantine took personal command of the Army, appointing inexperience monarchists officers to senior commands. This coupled with British insistence for the reckless advance into the interior, but refusal to give any military assistance, in contrast to the Kemal’s forces, who will were receiving ample support from not just the Soviets, but also from France & Italy, which were all important contributing factors to the eventual victory of the Kemal forces.

    Turkey actually joined WW2 in the last months on the Allies side, but no Turkish troops saw any action.

    So dear Habby-Clown, your statement was rather misleading in many respects, but no change or surprise there.

  114. This week the Greek Consulate in Istanbul was again vandalised:

    http://www.newsbomb.gr/ethnika/story/313191/vandalismoi-diadiloton-sto-elliniko-proxeneio-stin-poli-foto

    Turkey is not a modern democratic state. It oppresses its people, it oppresses its neighbours. I wish the Western countries that claim to be so could swap location with Greece and Cyprus, (get a year’s sunshine in the deal) and live with the constant fear of a Turkish invasion and the prospect of yet more genocidal ethnic cleansing. This is a trauma every Greek lives with. This state is not interested in peace with its neighbours or peace with its citizens. In the name of Nato’s cohesion and stability this country’s crimes forever go unchecked both internally and externally.

    Please take a look at the case of Turkish activist Bulut Yayla. There are grave concerns about his wellbeing after his illegal abduction in Athens this week. He is currently in the anti-terrorism unit in Istanbul.

    http://www.enetenglish.gr/?i=news.en.home&id=1096
    http://www.enetenglish.gr/?i=news.en.home&id=1102
    http://international.radiobubble.gr/2013/06/turkish-kurd-asylum-seeker-abducted-in.html?spref=tw

    Thank you

  115. “Battles with Armenian forces” indeed! A new word was coined to describe the massacre of Armenian people in 1915, which was effected using starvation, extermination camps, and other means. That word was “genocide”.

    This enormous crime was committed by republican Turkish government forces under Kemal Atarturk.

    No decent reason exists for denying this, but all Turkish governments have done so up to the present time, even though many Turkish middle class people and even some politicians and government members have sought to make apologies similar to those written in ‘sorry books’ in Australia with regard to crimes including genocide committed against indigenous people there.

    Previous genocidal crimes included the 1770 Bengal famine. That was committed by forces of the British East India Company, a gang of British aristocrats, merchants, and financiers loyal to the British monarchy.

    Later, in 1943, monarchist British government and colonial forces were directly involved in causing another famine in Bengal, for which, if I’m not mistaken, no British government has never apologised. The position is unlike what it is for the great famine of 1845-52 in Ireland, for which Tony Blair did issue an apology.

    Such apologies are welcome. Reparations would be even more so.

  116. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    3 Jun, 2013 - 12:24 pm

    @ Macky :

    Don’t be a chump and calm down.

    “So dear Habby-Clown, your statement was rather misleading in many respects, but no change or surprise there.”

    Why misleading – because the Greek govt changed during the war? If you like, I’ll amend my sentence to read “He didn’t do that badly against {“Venezelist” deleted} Greece, did he?” and hope that makes you happy.

    “Turkey actually joined WW2 in the last months on the Allies side, but no Turkish troops saw any action.”

    Big deal! No skin off their nose to join in (as some South American countries also did, I believe) a couple of months before the end when the outcome was beyond any doubt.

    **********

    So, in what respects was my comment misleading?

    If you want to give me a kicking you’ll have to do a lot better than that. Go to the back of the class, boy!

    ******************

    La vita è bella, life is good!

  117. “So, in what respects was my comment misleading?”

    Sorry I do not waste time engaging with somebody who pretends to “debate”, but offers only fallacious & specious nonsense, that is in the rare occasions when not posting offensive abuse at other Posters; so let’s just say that factual accuracy is neither important or a strong point for Clownish Trolls, whereas sly misrepresentation & cheap sophistry are.

  118. It wasn’t just the Armenians that suffered at the hands of Ataturk. The Ionian Greeks were driven into the sea and Greece lost Smyrna, now Izmir.The burning of Smyrna i
    If you visit the villages around Izmir today such as Foca, the old fishermen still speak a bit of Greek and the houses still have Greek letters above them.The whole coastline used to be Greek speaking. There was a massacre on Chios and then Constantinople and Agia Sophia was lost forever.
    At the same time, modern Turks are friendly and hospitable and far removed from the young Turks.

  119. Well said, Macky. Everyone who has attempted engagement and discussion has found the same.

    ‘Social media is the worst menace to society,’ says Recep Erdogan after thousands take control of Istanbul’s main square

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/02/turkish-protesters-control-istanbul-square

    Apparently both Syrian AND Turkish forces have found Syrian rebels in possession of chemical weapons:

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/turkish-police-find-chemical-weapons-in-the-possession-of-al-nusra-terrorists-heading-for-syria/5336917

    Why isn’t Hague intoning gravely upon that, eh?

  120. Here’s another article which gives further details on Hague’s Syrian friends, caught with chemical weapons by Turkish police.

    “While widely reported in the Turkish press, the arrests Wednesday have been virtually blacked out by the corporate media in the US.”

    UK too, I’d imagine.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35150.htm

    And still no word from the ever principled Hague. In fact, I think he wants to give them more weapons.

    Is he just some cheap charlatan, or is there another explanation?

  121. Someone else from Turkey

    3 Jun, 2013 - 5:17 pm

    Incredible article. I am from Turkey and i couldn’t put it in a better way, incredible observation, i am so impressed that some one outside of Turkey could give such a clear picture about whats going on. I think some people misunderstood (or are too blind to see) that he has nothing against Ataturk, he is criticizing people who are Kemalist, who live Ataturk to the extreme. With this kind of people you DON’T have freedom of speech, because even if you want to say Ataturk has done one little thing wrong they will declare you as a disgrace to your country. I want to be able to criticize his bad actions and take a lesson from the past. One thing i admire about the West is actually any western country is able to do this with any of their leaders, we should learn this from them. I just want to say: Thank you thank you thank you for this wonderful article, from the bottom of my heart.

  122. I think we could compare worship of Ataturk to British adulation for Winston Churchill, responsible for 1-3 million deaths in the Bengal famine. I don’t need to mention the millions recently spent on the funeral of Margaret Thatcher, supporter of Pinochet and Pol Pot.

    From the BBC’s commentary on the Istanbul protests:

    ‘In another development, a public sector trade union confederation, Kesk, says it will begin a two-day strike starting on Tuesday in support of the demonstrators.

    The left-wing confederation accused the government of being anti-democratic and carrying out “state terror”.’

    It’s bizarre that quite a lot of the ‘fascist’ demonstrators are posing as anarchists judging by their signs.

  123. McBain The Real

    3 Jun, 2013 - 7:15 pm

    To put is sarcastically if Turks have killed all Armenians we would not have Kardashians today and the world would be much better place.However that whole area is a cesspool of historical conflicts and hatred that are somehow “always fresh” and renewable.To look at that problem with the eyes of average “happy consumer of the west” is sort of a joke.

  124. Greenmachine

    3 Jun, 2013 - 7:19 pm

    The article here: http://www.globalresearch.ca/what-is-happenning-in-istanbul/5337371 is from someone in Istanbul who attempts to explain why the demos. Adds to the excellent info here . Thanks craig

  125. technicolour

    3 Jun, 2013 - 7:21 pm

    Villager – thanks. All communications from the grass roots, via social networks (which need help to get their truths out), but checked before I repost. Suhayl’s take on this is as usual v cogent, seems to me too that this is “civil society rising up and refusing to accede” in the hope of “a democratically-elected government recognising that it cannot behave like a junta intent on demolishing democracy from within (democracy is not just about a ballot box; this is common Islamist fantasy). There must NOT be a military coup, otherwise there might an ‘Algerian 1990s’ situation and much else that is terrible.”

    Civil society rose up in Iran, of course, as well as Egypt and elsewhere, but in the first instance it was brutally crushed by the state and in the others co-opted by the US and allies.

  126. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    3 Jun, 2013 - 7:23 pm

    @ Macky :

    “Sorry I do not waste time engaging with somebody who pretends to “debate”, but offers only fallacious & specious nonsense,”
    ——–

    Perhaps not, but I note that you did have time to write a long paragraph, in which you accuse me of “misleading” (an accusation you can’t back up, of course).

    **************

    La vita è bella, life is good!

  127. Erdogan’s confident belief that Turkey’s problems are not the beginning of another Muslim Spring rests upon the assumption that he has done far more than enough to avoid another Pentagon-made earthquake.

    If there is still another one, either around Izmit or up in the mountains around Lake Van, his government is history, no matter how much aid the Americans and Israelis offer, and how eager he is willing to accept it.

    Then it would just be a matter of determining whether it was really another man-made one, or a ‘natural’ one, helped along by all the previous monkeying around with its plates.

    Have to believe that Erdogan is keeping his fingers crossed, and saying a few entreating prayers somewhere.

  128. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    3 Jun, 2013 - 8:01 pm

    Sophie (Kibo) says, at 18h32 :

    “I think we could compare worship of Ataturk to British adulation for Winston Churchill, responsible for 1-3 million deaths in the Bengal famine. I don’t need to mention the millions recently spent on the funeral of Margaret Thatcher, supporter of Pinochet and Pol Pot.”

    __________

    She would do better to stick to her Private Eye-style diary or her Coleridge adaptations, because the above is nonsensical.

    1/. The comparison in the first sentence is false and meaningless : Ataturk is revered (and not worshipped) as the founder of the modern Turkish nation whereas the ‘adulation’ of Churchill was such that he and the party he led went down to a crushing defeat in the 1945 General Election.

    2/. In what way, exactly, was Churchill ‘responsible’ for the Bengal famine?

    3/. And what is the relevance of the cost to the public purse of Baroness Thatcher’s funeral to the question of Ataturk/Turkey?

    Beta double minus.

    ***************

    La vita è bella, life is good!

  129. Civil society rose up in Iran, of course, as well as Egypt and elsewhere, but in the first instance it was brutally crushed by the state and in the others co-opted by the US and allies.

    Is it not strange that you rightly find the “Arab Spring” (spring in the Arab lands is fruitless and barren. In fact the end of summer and beginning of the autumn are the time of plenty in the Arab lands, hence an Arab Autumn would have made a lot more sense to any Arab) as a US springboard for furtherance of its hegemony in the Arab countries that were in fact re-enacting the earlier Iranian revolution. Yet you then leap into the same narrative of the mendacious “West” that has never forgiven the Iranians for kicking out the Wests’ favourite poodle and vassal out of Iran.

    The “civil society” in Iran that your refer to, were no more than a Gucci Brigade and a bunch of rich brats objecting to the restrictions on their favoured life style of; sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Having talked to numerous people who were in the Great March (at least three million people turned out for this march in Tehran, that was not reported in any of the medjia in the West) in response to the “riots”, “where is my vote?” and “green make up”.

    These demonstrators were indignant about fact that; what about the votes of millions from around country that evidently did not count in the face of those claiming “where is my vote”? Tehran is only one city in Iran, and there are many more villages, towns, and cities with a heck of a lot more Iranians who are not into; sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

    There is a singular lack of understanding that Iranians prefer to live under the current arrangements there, otherwise they would have made a quick job out of the current bunch of their political leadership. Somehow everyone has a blind spot about their revolution, when the rest of the world has sat by and let their political leadership to oppress, and suppress their way into the current pitiful state of affairs; ideologically bankrupt, politically bankrupt, financially bankrupt, and morally bankrupt.

  130. The Syrian civil war is being led by a US carrot that maps will be redrawn, part 1/ creation of a bite out of Iraq for a larger, Sunni Syria and part 2/creation of a bite out of Turkey for a larger, Sunni Kurdistan.

    The US is lying, and it will definitely not deliver these 20 year old promises which have been salivating Sunni political Islam all this time. The present disruption in Turkey, following quickly after the peacemaking with Kurdish groups, makes it look as though the US is manoevering towards the promised plan.

    The other carrot is the lie that Islam’s interests lie with “”"”"Christian”"”"”, democracy and capitalism as opposed to “”"”"Atheist”"”"”" Russia. No, both the old EAST and WEST are under the control of Israel, whose objective in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Syria is to harrass and murder as many Muslims through their proxy jihadist groups as they possibly can.

    In my experience Turkey is deeply shafted by Sufi-Gulen-Masonism.
    I witnessed a bearded imam openly re-pray his prayers because he was dissatisfied with the monkey version of the official imam. I witnessed shock and concern at my own intention to join the mosque that read the whole of the Qur’an in the month of Ramadhan.

    That was so much more inspiring for me as a silent protest than the spiritually blind and politically illiterate massacrefest we have witnessed in Syria,Iraq and Afghani-/Paki-stan.

  131. The website Global Research which gets links, including from myself from time to time, exposes itself as completely false in an article about “Wahabism”. The briefest scan of the Qur’an will show that the worshipping of saints is absolutely and totally prohibited in Islam, yet this deceitful site reveals its malice against Islam by stating the following:

    ” Basically, Wahhab contrived the idea that, simply by the trivial act of offering prayers to saints, their Turkish brethren had forfeited their faith, and therefore, that it was permitted to kill all who refused to adhere to his reforms”

    It is not a trivial act to disobey the very essence of the Qur’an. This exposes Global Research as liars. Egodan is highly respected amongst Sunni Muslims for carrying the light of the Qur’an against Sufi error where his predecessors efforts had been overwhelmed by Attaturk Secularism. Whatever his political affiliations may be, his Islamic courage is humbling.

  132. Government is the bad guy here. No ifs or buts about it.

    In the second paragraph, you just described Erdogan and his elite’s rise to power in the last 10 years.

    You fell into the false notion of the propagandists which used this propaganda for the last 10 years. Lies and manipulations about the founding of Turkish Republic. Ataturk never advocated military fascism. Even his detractors, in the beginning of the campaign to stagger the power of the military often repeated that fact. He didn’t believe in military symbol for power. Like his stance on what happened tı Armenians in WW1. His opposition still today sometimes uses his words to advocate that Turkey should apologize for Armenian genocide. Poster guy for fascism ? Not really. It doesn’t match his m.o. either.

    This view of Ataturk has colored your view on the protestors who carry his symbols. And it’s very clear that you don’t know about the camps in the protest. Even Kurdish and Turkish nationalists are walking together. Tell me, does it look like there are ultranationalists in movement?

    There was more freedom before Erdogan.Because there was always a step central authority figures was afraid to take or they would move back from their hard stance positions on some issues due to criticisms.

    Erdogan doesn’t like backing down and he never backs down. he sidesteps the issue and always moves forward with his agenda. One way or the other. That’s the crucial difference. And you always miss that.

    Not to mention the arrests and other anti citizen rights initiatives which surpass even the coup ruling time measure in 80s.

    Your depiction of society before Erdogan is skewed and wrong. And the ones who replaced those “bad guys” in your depiction,they made peace with the old money and went onto collect profits for themselves in Erdogan’s time are not any better. In fact they are worse. And you, blatantly ignore this fact.

    Even your assertion about being allied with Israel is wrong. You are either extremely ignorant. Or too tied up in your own world views to see the facts for what they are. Or you just like akp too much.

    Anyway, you are wrong in almost every one of political talking points. Which is worrying because you like to talk about the issue.

    I’m not surprised. Many ambassadors have a flawed view of the world. Call it a disease related to the profession they chose.

  133. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    3 Jun, 2013 - 10:20 pm

    @ Fedup, who says :

    “There is a singular lack of understanding that Iranians prefer to live under the current arrangements there, otherwise they would have made a quick job out of the current bunch of their political leadership”
    ———-

    If the Iranian people were so good at “making a quick job” out of their political leaderships, how come the Shah held on for 26 years?

    The nonsensical nature of your “quick job” argument of course invalidates your first claim, which is that the Iranian people prefers to live under the current arrangements.

    *******************

    La vita è bella, life is good!

  134. Quickbuck
    Shut up

  135. technicolour

    3 Jun, 2013 - 11:00 pm

    Fedup: interesting, thanks. I know that large sections of the countryside (particularly the carpet weavers, wasn’t it?) supported the state, but is the below not also true, then?

    The mass uprising after the electoral coup of 2009, which came to be known as the Green Movement, involved a wide-ranging array of secular, left, liberal, and moderate religious elements. It was defeated mainly because of the unbelievably brutal suppression of the activists, which included killing, maiming, and raping arrested protesters. But the movement’s leadership also played a role. Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoobi were both establishment figures; while they sought reforms, they did not want to challenge the regime in its totality. And the fact that the members of street movements failed to link up with workers and employees who had the power to shut down factories and other institutions as they had done during the Iranian Revolution of 1979, also contributed to this failure.

    http://www.opendemocracy.net/saeed-rahnema/iran-grim-choices-for-president

    NB: Habbakuk, your leaping on a bandwagon to attack Mary once again serves only to make any right thinking person wish to defend her. Mary, I’m sorry if that sounded tetchy, but when a thread gets into a rhythm where opinions & facts are being exchanged, it feels very disconcerting to have something else apparently randomly inserted as a cut and paste into the middle. I was learning rather a lot (of course did not even bother reading the other stuff).

  136. ….which came to be known as the Green Movement,

    There you have it, yet another colour revolution, alongside the others that brought Yulia Tymoshenko in Ukraine, and Mikheil Saakashvili in Gerogia to power, the same bunch of crooks and liars who have since lead the most brutal and corrupt governments.

    The fact often missing from an debate is the amounts of money US had been pouring into creating a contrived opposition based on the thesis of Gene Sharp, and the ex Yugoslav franchise “Otpor”. This fact can be corroborated by the fact that the “green” regalia were ordered months in advance and imported through Dubai to Iran (BTW green is a sacred colour in Iran and those choosing the colour were fully aware of the nuances and knew how to get away with mock raking and causing mayhem in Tehran)

    ranging array of secular, left, liberal, and moderate religious elements

    The secular left have little or no traction in Iran, simple fact is Iranians are a religious bunch and they would like to adhere to their religious imperatives. Therefore secularism dose not attract many other than very few in the minority, who are mostly confused left so to speak. So far as liberalism goes, these adhere to religious imperatives too. However, this minority tends to aspire towards the goals that are very much dependent on shaky grounds of “International co-operation”, a pipe dream considering the four decades of none stop assault of the West on Iran.

    The religious moderates who were in the leadership ie Mehdi Karroubi, this character despite his “reformist” label that was bestowed upon him, had his own private prisons that housed anyone he deemed undesirable, and one of the reasons for his early demise was his extra judicial excesses during the early years of revolution. This thoroughly despicable character however has his own sponsors in the West. Musavi the leader of the “greens” is a crook, and the stories of his looting of the public funds are stuff of the legends.

    suppression of the activists, which included killing, maiming, and raping arrested protesters

    This kind of throw away remark very much applies to the years of Shah, during which under the close supervision of Mossad, and CIA the Iranian Savak was torturing the opponents of the regime through many inhuman methods that included sexual humiliation, and rape by insertion of coke bottles (the metal cap kind), and all manner of other implements including the use of animals that were specifically trained for such rapes.

    In the current Iran any rapist will face the death penalty by hanging, this law is applied to anyone who has raped regardless of their position, and standing (no fucking security services staff would even dare to think of it). Therefore rape is not a torture in the current Iran, and anyone talking otherwise are lying through their tiny fucking teeth.

    The killings which are constantly referred to are akin to the Venezuelan fiasco coup during which the opposition was firing on the population and pretending it was the police and the army. In fact their shenanigans were caught on videos. The same principle applied to the so called “green movements uprising”.

    Mousavi and Mehdi Karoob …. they did not want to challenge the regime in its totality

    In the case of Venezuela, after the failed coup, Condi Rice went on the telly and threatened the hell fire and brimstones that will be unleashed on Venezuela if the exposed US assets were to be harmed by Chaves and his government. In the Iranian case the failure of the half baked colour revolution is attributed to the leaders of the “green movement”.

    the members of street movements failed to link up with workers and employees who had the power to shut down factories and other institutions as they had done during the Iranian Revolution of 1979, also contributed to this failure.

    Finally an admission to defeat from the horses mouth so to speak. How can Gucci Brigade and rich brats army link up with any kind of workers movement? These were the minority rich that had the motivation to try and wrest control to enjoy their wealth in a more ostentatious manner. These had very little in common with any workers movement.

    I reiterate, Iranians were the people who rose against Shah and his oppression apparatus that had its tentacled Savak reaching every part of the Iranian society, with the most inhumane torture methods terrorising the population of Iran. The criminal scum bag Shah was feted as “His Imperial Majesty”, by his sponsors, and Iranians were left at his mercy. The same criminal protectors of banksters sponsored Pinochet, and any other scum bag such as Manuel Antonio Noriega. However now the same bunch of criminals are denouncing the Iranian “Regime” and are preaching human rights, whilst keeping quiet about the genocide in Palestine, and are intent on helping the mercenaries in Syria, less said about Gitmo Abu Ghraib.

    ON matters regards Iran take any Western piece of “news” with a huge pinch of salt, and don’t forget Iranian revolution is a model that horrifies the banksters and their sponsored politicians, and is the stuff of nightmares for these blood sucking leeches. Self determination among the oppressed nations of the south Asia and mid east would only mean loss of the Western assets and disruption of the flow of the petrodollars, and free money.

  137. Horace Swanson

    4 Jun, 2013 - 6:42 am

    Anony
    Thanks. You know more than I, but what I do know fits what you say.

  138. ayyas capulcu

    4 Jun, 2013 - 9:32 am

    This is a pro-erdogan article and i do not agree with at least half of what’s written here. Wrong observations. And yes, i know better than you it is wrong, i am turkish.

  139. Ayyas

    You are perfectly free to outline what is wrong.

  140. …. i know better than you it is wrong, i am turkish.

    I have a heart but that don’t make me a heart surgeon, I also have a pair of kidneys, despite the higher number of the kidneys I am still no renal surgeon, then there are 206 bones I have, but damned if I am an orthopaedic surgeon, ……. get the drift?

  141. ayyas capulcu

    4 Jun, 2013 - 11:14 am

    @Craig;

    “of those protesting in the streets are off the scale far right nationalists”
    How can you name people protesting on the streets far right nationalists? This is People’s movement. The hundreds of thousands that have been on the streets belong to all ethnicities, political parties( yes, even to the governing one), and ages. Wrong observation.
    “Kemalism – the worship of Ataturk and a very unpleasant form of military dominated nationalism”
    You might be worshipping Winston Churchill, or the states citizens might be worshipping George Washington which I don’t think so, but people who see Ataturk as a leader and founder of secular democratic system will not agree with your definition of worshipping. They only worship to Allah, their god, and they do not choose Ataturk over it. This is the image AKP has been trying to give foreigners for long time about the Ataturk followers.
    “to be viewed as the inventor of modern fascism”
    How in any way Ataturk was fascist? Because he saved his country from Brits, French and Italians? He did change the Alphabet. He gave women the right to vote and to be elected first in the world. He did not want to be elected as a president after the republic was established, but wanted Inonu instead, but people had elected him by heart.

    “Of course there are decent, liberal, environmentalist protestors and the media will have no difficulty”
    I assume you are talking about either foreign media or the social media we have been using to keep the world aware. The definition needs to be sharper in my opinion.
    “There certainly was no more freedom in Turkey before the AKP came to power. Government for decades had been either by the Kemalist military in dictatorship or occasionally by civilian governments they tolerated and controlled”
    I do not agree with the above sentence in the lightest way, and I don’t have any military personnel from my relatives or family. There was much more freedom of speech and expressing yourself before. The military coup that happened in 1980 (and two more times before). Three years later in 1983 Turgut Ozal with his party got elected and since then it’s been 20 years. However, it is a true statement that military had influence on the governing political parties if they would turn the steer from West, developed, modern countries, to East, Arabic, Persian countries. Because, we like Ataturk’s ideas of following the West where there are human rights (at least more than East), people have respect to each other, they are more educated, etc.

    “Religion was barely tolerated”
    This is not true. Religion has always been tolerated. Ataturk himself was a muslim. He even threatened to go down with his armies to Yemen in 1919 when the news of Yemenis were going to move Prophet’s tomb from its original place. There are also other many examples you can find that he was by the religion not against. Hence, the religion before AKP was not tolerated. Again, this is the image Erdogan wants you to believe. The only non-tolerance and if you accept it as a religious figure is, that black thing that covers the whole body and not the scarf but the turban. Previous governments, and none of them, accepted the idea of people wear clothing like this to come go to governmental buildings, schools, etc. Because we are not Iran. We don’t believe we can protect the women that way by wrapping them up. They wear what they want on the streets, that is freedom, but not in governmental places. On the other hand this is a two sided story; if we are talking about freedom of clothing, then I want to be able to go to parliamentary or to schools by bikini or shorts. Will this be allowed? If not, where is my freedom then? Hypocracy…

    “When Erdogan first came to power it was the best thing that had happened to Turkey for decades. The forgotten people of the Anatolian villages, and the lower middle class of the cities, had a voice and a position in the state for the first time.”

    Erdogan is the worst thing that happened to Turkey since Ottomans. He lied to people, there are videos on youtube showing how he lies, and you are welcome to watch anytime. As a matter fact, here is one; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H07y6R9rC2c
    People in Anatolia were not forgotten. How? Many of us have relatives in small cities, villages, or towns. This is the first time I hear such a statement since 70s and it smells like another Erdogan product to West.
    “very right wing, anti-Muslim and pro-Israel government into power”
    This is not a coup movement. It is not anti-muslim at all. It is not pro-israeli or very right wing either. I am wondering how you get these assumptions. This is people’s movement. All parties’ people, ethnicities, everybody is there.

    “But to wish the overthrow of a democratically elected government”
    A democratically elected government? There were power outages during the elections, and many vote boxes were found either burned or trashed in cities, and guess what, TVs then showed these incidents. There were hackers located in foreign countries that changed the results in favor of AKP. And yes, there were also people who were persuaded to vote for them by manipulating and using religion as a tool against them.
    “and its replacement – by what exactly? – is a very, very foolish reaction.”

    Again, people on the streets are not to overthrow anybody, but to express whole world that they are not free, they are oppressed for years, Erdogan does not hear or consider or even allow what they ever might have to say. He is a modern day dictator. Two days ago on TV he said he cannot show any respect to a male and a female that sits next to each other in a bench. What? Yes, you didn’t hear me wrong. And we are not even talking about the romantisicm here, such as hugging and kissing. Probably he would kill them. Hey, this is not our culture. But this is what he wants. He should explain all the corruptions that included his family, others around him. He should explain how it is explainable to jail hundreds of journalists, news people, generals, military personnels, etc. There is much more to write about him but you can help me save some time by doing some researches yourself too. I’d appreciate it.
    The west has to stop supporting and backing him up just because they want to change the balance in the middle east. You can still do this. But do it without him, because we are enough of him. Really. This is not Turkish spring and but want our freedom back!

  142. ayyas capulcu

    4 Jun, 2013 - 11:22 am

    @fedup;

    Thanks, I am aware of the drift. It was written in an upset way, however, I still defend what I said in this case. Your example is too general, mine is not an example. If I lived in the country, forced to read the history books, witnessed all political debates on TVs (since it changed from black & white to color) and from radios, I’d believe someone who had the same life time experiences could understand what I’m talking about better. Reading some books or journals or talking to government party people only about Turkey’s political history will not reveal the real and whole facts. Hear many millions of others in Turkey too. Thanks.

  143. I am aware of the drift.

    Don’t you see any of the shades of the “Cedar Revolution” (Lebanon), there in turkey?

  144. Ayyas

    I get very bored indeed by every single Kemalist, like yourself, comparing Turkish attitudes to Ataturk with British attitudes to Churchill. This shows just what a centralist dogma Kemalism is – you all use the same argument – and it is anyway bollocks.

    I am not sure when I last saw an image of Churchill. Not for six months, I think. I was just a week in Istanbul recently and saw scores of images of Ataturk. I only know of one Churchill statue in the UK. There are thousands of Ataturk statues in Turkey, some on Soviet iconography scale.

    “He did not want to be elected as a president after the republic was established, but wanted Inonu instead, but people had elected him by heart”. You really believe this bullshit. And you are fond of Inonu, the admirer of Adolf Hitler?

    Get over this ludicrous cult of personality. Have some thoughts of your own. Admit the fate of the Armenians, Greeks and others who were massacred by Ataturk in modern day Turkey. Do those things and then start to expect a sympathetic hearing from the West.

    I visited the graduation display by art students of the university. The female students were having fun together absolutely regardless of dress. A slight majority wore a headscarf, nobody covered their face. Who was wearing a headscarf and who wasn’t plainly had no impact on their social interactions and friendship.

    Until Erdogan came to power, the headscarf was banned. I was delighted to see a more liberal regime now. Of course it would be appalling to make the headscarf compulsory – and there are no plans to do that – just as it was appalling to ban it.

    I take it you still support the banning of headscarfs in universities, hospitals, libraries etc? And you pretend to be a liberal?

    You ultra nationalist social fascists might be able to get away to the mainstream media pretending to be social liberals. But not on this website.

  145. As a Turkish citizen, I can not understand why you imply that Erdogan couldn’t be a dictator because he was selected by receiving 50% of total votes. So was Hitler.

    He always says that he does not need to ask anyone’s opinion during the decision making processes because he was selected, so he can do whatever he wants, this authority was given him by the half of the population. Literally he says that in almost every case of opposition. What about the other half? What about the minorities?

    There is a journalist and political scientist, Nuray Mert, she supported Erdogan for along time at the beginnig, then when he started to become a dictator, she withdrew her support and stood against his despotism. Then of course she lost her job, they didn’t let her write on the newspaper anymore. She began to write again in the beginning of 2013 for a leftist newspaper, since nobody could dare to employ her, but only leftists. (Please note that leftists are not Kemalists in Turkey)

    And I would like to share one of her speech, which took place in a Kurdish organization. So I hope you wouldn’t claim that she is a Kemalist, too. Date of the video is January 2013. This speech is not about those protests, this is about the Kurdish movement but she also mentioned the democratisation process in last decade. So I think it would provide you a different point of view about how the democracy transformation shaped in Turkey during last decade. I believe this would help you to figure out why people in Turkey are stil in fear.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4uOvHW9UvU

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuray_Mert

  146. ayyas capulcu

    4 Jun, 2013 - 11:54 am

    Craig,
    From what you wrote, you are very rude and manipulative. You did not even comment on a quarter of what I wrote. We know who are the fascists, imperialists, using Erdogan as a puppet, pulling his strings until mission accomplished. You know what, you are not far different than him, because you cannot take criticizing. How much does AKP pay you to do their lobby in your country????

    I won’t write on your fascist, one sided web page anymore. Sorry for keeping it busy.

  147. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    4 Jun, 2013 - 12:36 pm

    @ Oske :

    “Erdogan couldn’t be a dictator because he was selected by receiving 50% of total votes. So was Hitler.”
    ———-

    I’m too lazy to look it up, but is it correct to say that Hitler received 50% of the votes at the last election before the foundation of the Third Reich? I had thought it was (a lot) less than that….?

  148. Best article I’ve ever read on Turkey.
    Brilliant job sir.

  149. Anony
    3 Jun, 2013 – 10:10 pm

    “I’m not surprised. Many ambassadors have a flawed view of the world. Call it a disease related to the profession they chose.”

    Anony interesting observation that. It has occurred to me earlier that it is a professional hazard amongst diplomats whereby they are very eager to present themselves as ‘experts’. But, the word expert is related to experience. Just as a little knowledge is dangerous, so a little actual experience gained through brief or even longer visits (visits nevertheless) is dangerous.
    ———
    According to Craig “Until Erdogan came to power, the headscarf was banned.”

    Can someone help me please? Is that statement correct? Or is it that it was banned only in the Public Sector and perhaps schools and universities?
    ———
    Also i saw the Turkish President on CNN say that there never was a plan to build upon the Teksim Gezi Park. Amanpour looked on disbelievingly. I thought i’ve heard Erdogan speak to the contrary.

    Lets get the facts straight. Its encouraging to see as many Turkish people comment here. Appreciate anyone’s help.
    There seems to be a lot of disinformation out there.

  150. Craig, You really don’t know much. Do you? And you used this “soviet” card to make yourself seem right.

    There are many places, which do not have the compulsory rules to put up Ataturk images. Yet, they do anyway. even your rebuffing of churchill parallel is showing your bias. really? Still talking of soviet traditions? What are you going to say about bombing of Dresden? Does it fit your criteria of Churchill being what he is? Or is he still too not soviet to compare with the regime in Turkey?

    Ataturk wanted to be the president. Yet, this doesn’t really show much. Because he was the leader even before the founding of the republic. Are you going to deny that too?

    Are you going to talk about the many aspects of western society who was also fond of Hitler? Or are you going to just base your argument on just one view of Inonu before the second world war? Then what are you going to say about Churchill who many times sat on the same table with Inonu?

    “Get over this ludicrous cult of personality. Have some thoughts of your own. Admit the fate of the Armenians, Greeks and others who were massacred by Ataturk in modern day Turkey. Do those things and then start to expect a sympathetic hearing from the West.”

    You don’t know much. Do you? It’s expected. But also disappointing. When did Ataturk ever have power to massacre Armenians? He was just a general in gallipoli or south at the time. I just read a hit piece by one of Erdogan’s campaign writers to badmouth the founding of the republic.

    Even those people can’t actually find any evidence to tie Ataturk to the Armenian massacre? Wihch is normal, because at that time Ataturk wasn’t even well liked by central authority figures in Istanbul or Germany!

    And massacre of greeks. Tell me, did you read about the orders of Ataturk to protect non muslim people in Izmir, otherwise be punished by death? Do you have any evidence of a rule by him or others to kill greeks? Or are you going to blame Ataturk because it’s convenient?

    And headscarves ban weren’t in place before 80s. Also, it’s very funny that you still don’t want to see the words or actions to build up a new turkish identity. One with head scarves.

    You really must be one of the “mentors” of our “real” ” liberal” people in turkey. Because those idiots have the tendency to call others who oppose headscarves, fascists too. Even though, the ideology associated with the cloth is much more repressive than nationalists’.

    I ,for one, don’t oppose headscarves in universities or when they get government services. But to call others fascists over it. Are you really that ignorant?

    Wow, and i thought only some far right leaning money hungry press in turkey thought that.

  151. The headscarf certainly wasn’t banned universally. (personal observation, 1995)and I saw quite a few ladies in the full black robe bit-in İstanbul. However, beards and headscarves were I believe banned in some if not all universities.

    People are fond of equating the far-right ultras with Kemal, but my feeling is that, certainly in the West of the country, his shakeout of the constitution, de-Arabising the language, ending the influence of the religious in government, etc, etc, were just about right, and the majority regard his memory with affection. Likewise, they genuinely regard deviations from his principles as undesirable.

    As fascists go, the Young Turks Jemal, Enver, and the revolting Talaat were truer to type than Kemal – he was a definite improvement on what had gone before.

  152. Anıny:
    Affedersiniz! Our posts crossed. Yours says it better.

  153. There should of course, be apologies for any Greek to have died in vain when Turkey was in war with Greece.

    “Anony interesting observation that. It has occurred to me earlier that it is a professional hazard amongst diplomats whereby they are very eager to present themselves as ‘experts’. But, the word expert is related to experience. Just as a little knowledge is dangerous, so a little actual experience gained through brief or even longer visits (visits nevertheless) is dangerous.”

    And those are the people who,Erdogan deliberately talks Turkey with. It really helped him with Eu affairs. Build up your political opponents as oppressor of people. And Craig fell for it. Even though, the guy was oppressing Alevis when he was just a local representative in municipality! He tore down Alevi’s cemevi (a mosque like place) yet he was for the people when he came to power. Give me break!

    “According to Craig “Until Erdogan came to power, the headscarf was banned.”

    Can someone help me please? Is that statement correct? Or is it that it was banned only in the Public Sector and perhaps schools and universities?”

    In 80s, headscarves were banned,then the issue was contested. Because central authority figures were afraid of Islamism; the were opposed to it. I think they were wrong. But they were right about the proponents of headscarves. We see that very strongly today.

    Then in the 90s, the islamist came to power then talked about having headscraves everywhere. And talked down to others, who drank just one glass of alcohol! Or they badmouthed secularism.
    That’s why headscarves were banned again.

    And now, head scarves are still somewhat banned,Erdogan is happy with that. Because if that issue persists, Erdogan will always have an issue to excite his base with it. And he will be able to make his base listen to his extremist ideas.

    Recently, his talk about alcoholics who gave permission to drink alcohol and his oppposition to public displays of affection is the cause of much anger in turkey. He doesn’t like that young people are hugging in public.

    “Or is it that it was banned only in the Public Sector and perhaps schools and universities?”

    That’s true.

    “Also i saw the Turkish President on CNN say that there never was a plan to build upon the Teksim Gezi Park. Amanpour looked on disbelievingly. I thought i’ve heard Erdogan speak to the contrary.

    Lets get the facts straight. Its encouraging to see as many Turkish people comment here. Appreciate anyone’s help.
    There seems to be a lot of disinformation out there.”

    Erdogan is lying. Even yesterday, he was saying that he was going to build it.

    You see, this is what we are against. A majority ruling party who lies to everyone including their own base. And their supporters in west like here.

  154. There should of course, be apologies for any Greek to have died in vain when Turkey was in war with Greece.

    “Anony interesting observation that. It has occurred to me earlier that it is a professional hazard amongst diplomats whereby they are very eager to present themselves as ‘experts’. But, the word expert is related to experience. Just as a little knowledge is dangerous, so a little actual experience gained through brief or even longer visits (visits nevertheless) is dangerous.”

    And those are the people who,Erdogan deliberately talks Turkey with. It really helped him with Eu affairs. Build up your political opponents as oppressor of people. And Craig fell for it. Even though, the guy was oppressing Alevis when he was just a local representative in municipality! He tore down Alevi’s cemevi (a mosque like place) yet he was for the people when he came to power. Give me break!

    “According to Craig “Until Erdogan came to power, the headscarf was banned.”

    Can someone help me please? Is that statement correct? Or is it that it was banned only in the Public Sector and perhaps schools and universities?”

    In 80s, headscarves were banned,then the issue was contested. Because central authority figures were afraid of Islamism; the were opposed to it. I think they were wrong. But they were right about the proponents of headscarves. We see that very strongly today.

    Then in the 90s, the islamist came to power then talked about having headscraves everywhere. And talked down to others, who drank just one glass of alcohol! Or they badmouthed secularism.
    That’s why headscarves were banned again.

    And now, head scarves are still somewhat banned,Erdogan is happy with that. Because if that issue persists, Erdogan will always have an issue to excite his base with it. And he will be able to make his base listen to his extremist ideas.

    Recently, his talk about alcoholics who gave permission to drink alcohol and his oppposition to public displays of affection is the cause of much anger in turkey. He doesn’t like that young people are hugging in public.

    “Or is it that it was banned only in the Public Sector and perhaps schools and universities?”

    That’s true.

    “Also i saw the Turkish President on CNN say that there never was a plan to build upon the Teksim Gezi Park. Amanpour looked on disbelievingly. I thought i’ve heard Erdogan speak to the contrary.

    Lets get the facts straight. Its encouraging to see as many Turkish people comment here. Appreciate anyone’s help.
    There seems to be a lot of disinformation out there.”

    Erdogan is lying. Even yesterday, he was saying that he was going to build it.

    You see, this is what we are against. A majority ruling party who lies to everyone including their own base. And their supporters in west like here.

  155. To be honest about military rule, military mindedness whatever you call it, it was something you got crushed with. On the other hand police rule, it is constant torture. It is big brother comes to life. You know, you walk in the street and need to behave when you see a policeman? Some police hits you in the face when you kiss your girl friend? You don’t see that from military, you get tortured when they get you. You get tortured when you are in jail, but again with the police, it is your normal life – daily amount of terror.

    I don’t expect military to jump back, hope not. Maybe someone will try to play some game, even Erdogan himself, but this is not really about politics, big plans – but the daily life we have.

    Don’t defend Erdogan just because it is economically/politically logical. Why do you think it is the young people putting the fight? In a simple clash, even the hard core union can stand only a few hours. These people are there for days now. It can turn into an orange revolution, a military invocation, but they will stand against the Tyranny, because freedom is that nice.

  156. How much does AKP pay you to do their lobby in your country????

    That is just scraping the bottom of the barrel. You are addressing a man who stood up to his government/employer and lost his job as an ambassador (ambassadorships don’t come in cornflake boxes, and are the result of fucking hard work, toil, sweat, and personal qualities) in protestation to the collusion in torture of the said employer. Bang went his job, his perks and his fucking pension. You then come and accuse this guy of taking the AKP lira ?

    This is emotional pap, and further height of being unfair, and moreover rudeness.

    The first step is to unlearn the bullshit that has been programmed into you. Churchill in UK these days is personified as the little puppet dog, who advertises insurance mate, anyway if he was so great why on Earth soon after the war he was tossed out on his ears by the electorate? There is no comparisons there, and fact that every Turkish nationalist talks of Churchill perhaps these ought to think of adopting him.

  157. ….It can turn into an orange revolution, a military invocation,

    No it is not, it is similar to “Cedar Revolution” all the “protesters” are waving their Turkish flag. The arc of instability finally reaches to Turkey through Turks own volition.

  158. How much does AKP pay you to do their lobby in your country????

    “That is just scraping the bottom of the barrel. You are addressing a man who stood up to his government/employer and lost his job as an ambassador (ambassadorships don’t come in cornflake boxes, and are the result of fucking hard work, toil, sweat, and personal qualities) in protestation to the collusion in torture of the said employer. Bang went his job, his perks and his fucking pension. You then come and accuse this guy of taking the AKP lira ?

    This is emotional pap, and further height of being unfair, and moreover rudeness.

    The first step is to unlearn the bullshit that has been programmed into you. Churchill in UK these days is personified as the little puppet dog, who advertises insurance mate, anyway if he was so great why on Earth soon after the war he was tossed out on his ears by the electorate? There is no comparisons there, and fact that every Turkish nationalist talks of Churchill perhaps these ought to think of adopting him.”

    The guy is doing a political hit job with his site. To be this like minded with the guys who gave Erdogan this much power, is bound to raise suspicion.

    Maybe he still likes to think he is relevant,when his tlaking points is 5 years old and used up. If you come with this kind of thinking to protestors in Turkey, even the ones who will agree to some of his points, will laugh at him. Because it’s past time to talk about drivel of Erdogan’s demoracratically elected government.

    Also no one really likes Churchill, he was involved with the government of Lloyd George. That’s reason enough.

  159. “The headscarf certainly wasn’t banned universally. (personal observation, 1995)and I saw quite a few ladies in the full black robe bit-in İstanbul. However, beards and headscarves were I believe banned in some if not all universities.

    People are fond of equating the far-right ultras with Kemal, but my feeling is that, certainly in the West of the country, his shakeout of the constitution, de-Arabising the language, ending the influence of the religious in government, etc, etc, were just about right, and the majority regard his memory with affection. Likewise, they genuinely regard deviations from his principles as undesirable.

    As fascists go, the Young Turks Jemal, Enver, and the revolting Talaat were truer to type than Kemal – he was a definite improvement on what had gone before.”

    Yabancılar bunu anlamak istemiyorlar. Her gün ülkelerinde yabancı düşmanlığı yapılan Avrupalılar hala insan yargılamakla meşguller. Güzel yazmışsınız.

    A brief summary of the situation.

  160. is doing a political hit job with his site.

    More emotional pap, in defence of the earlier outburst.

    Because it’s past time to talk about drivel of Erdogan’s demoracratically elected government.

    What is the demography of Turkey?
    What percentage of the electorate are supporting his reforms?
    What is the relevance of the Ghost of ata Turk to the current Turkey? That man dislocated the whole of the Turkish nation to the extent of ignoring and destroying the wealth of inherited literature by introducing the Latin Alphabet?

    Ever heard of: “the last Bastion of any scoundrel is Nationalism”?

    Finally, why on Earth do Turkish Kemalists keep going on about the fucking booze sodden fat bastard constantly? If no one likes Churchill.

  161. Yabancılar bunu anlamak istemiyorlar.

    Says Yabancılar, yabancı düşmanlığı …..

    Not ultras at all, not at all, not at all

  162. “is doing a political hit job with his site.

    More emotional pap, in defence of the earlier outburst.

    Because it’s past time to talk about drivel of Erdogan’s demoracratically elected government.

    What is the demography of Turkey?
    What percentage of the electorate are supporting his reforms?
    What is the relevance of the Ghost of ata Turk to the current Turkey? That man dislocated the whole of the Turkish nation to the extent of ignoring and destroying the wealth of inherited literature by introducing the Latin Alphabet?

    Ever heard of: “the last Bastion of any scoundrel is Nationalism”?

    Finally, why on Earth do Turkish Kemalists keep going on about the fucking booze sodden fat bastard constantly? If no one likes Churchill.”

    Funny. Not going to talk about the legitimacy of Turkish government with you. Sorry, that’s your emotional pap. And i’m not going to let someone else projects let their feelings onto me.

    If you have a talking point to back up Erdogan’s current position.Use it. Otherwise, it’s all air. Like the pm said.

    “Yabancılar bunu anlamak istemiyorlar.

    Says Yabancılar, yabancı düşmanlığı …..

    Not ultras at all, not at all, not at all”

    Aaaand. You just lost, any chance of a real conversation with me. Thanks for the laughs.

    By the way, yabancılar means foreigners,people not of Turkey origin. Notice s/he added “düşmanlığı”, which means prejudice or hatred. That’s the propaganda we are against in Turkey.

    To use that to imply i’m an ultra “anything” is just grasping at straws. Sorry, but not interested.

  163. @Fedup

    “all the “protesters” are waving their Turkish flag”

    Maybe that’s where you are mistaken. They don’t, simply they don’t. Mostly they are using it to protect themselves from police or to cherish the unity with all people.

    I think we didn’t get our fair share of foreign involvement and have enough legacy to find our way out of this. Money also needs to flow. I think it will be nice at the end but through struggle.

  164. That’s the way, we expose propagandists; we use any words they could use in our messages they can latch onto. S/he used just 2 words without translation to call me an ultra.

    Thanks for proving my point:

    This is the video of police using gas, even though people are calling on them not to. People are saying there are children and they can’t breathe. Yet they keep firing:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-hND9jXY-NI

  165. Some Anarchist

    4 Jun, 2013 - 2:39 pm

    It’s all about Realpolitik here flavored with some historical conservatism.
    The question is not whose ruling and how he got into power, but to think about how power of privileged people over the rest can come to an end, getting replaced by free association of the people without governments, states and borders. So the question is how people can manage to prevent getting ruled permanently.
    Therefore any uprising will fail which does not realize this. Crying for another ruler or new elections is surely not the way to change anything…

  166. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=899d2F0i0kE

    That’s what’s happpening.

    Keep talking to me about demographics in Turkey.

  167. @Habbabkuk (La Vita È Bella!)

    As I said “So was Hitler” I meant Hitler was a selected leader, too, no matter of rates*. I mentioned the rates because Craig listed results of the last election above. I just meant that should the vast of election rates give the governments endless, undisputably power and control on any process in the country-in our case including justice? What about the rest of the population? What about the minorities? (Trust me we have so many different minorities in terms of religion, race, political views etc.)

    In any case of dispute, he always uses his card of being selected by huge crowd.

    When this protests began Erdogan gave a speech and said “No matter what you do, we gave our final decision.” then people who were really sick of his totalitarian arrogant behaviours went to support this small environmentalist group. Then police raised the excessive use of power. And the day after crowds became more angry. Then, The government censored the broadcasting. Then it become a fight for freedom of speech., because just a few weeks ago Reyhanli Town(very close Syrian border) was bombed and dozens of people dead. I can not give the exact number because after the bombing the government banned the national s about this incident. Because people were protesting the Erdogan and call resignition of Erdogan during the Live broadcasting in Reyhanli. Thanks to social media, we received many videos weshare them. We realized what the distatorship is because you know people are dying in that moment but none of the press member could dare to broadcast it. You have to watch BBC or other international canals to learn whats going on in your own country. I think the Media pressure about the Taksim is one of the biggest reasons that triggered that social explosion.

    You may see how this protests began, day by day http://showdiscontent.com/

    These protests are about freedom of speech, suppression of the government, brutality of Police-People dead and many people lost their eyes since police aims the protestors’ heads when they are firing the gas bombs. Our previous governments were always oppressive. But today’s biggest difference is the social media. Thanks to social media we hear about the facts without censorship.

    You may find some links about the censorship in Turkey, as

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9IiXIciZLg
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22753542

    And this beatiful young muslim lady says she supports the protests,

    she says : these people are not extremist these are the people who are oppressed, ignored etc. Prime Minister should ask their opinion, too. If he is a PM, he must ask.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=456476781108221

    And the other muslims support the protests as you may see

    https://twitter.com/isyanveislam

    In a nutshell, these protests are not about politcs, religion or regime.
    This movement is about freedom of speech, being heard and democracy.

    * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_federal_election,_July_1932
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_election,_November_1933
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_federal_election,_March_1933
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_election_and_referendum,_1936

  168. UnicornKnight

    4 Jun, 2013 - 2:51 pm

    o değil de hafız senin sipariş yazıların vizitesi nedir şimdi? benim yeğenin ingilizce dönem ödevi var da, hani ampullerle anlaştığın gibi fiyatta anlaşabilirsek sana ihale edelim diyorum, olar mı?

  169. Occupy Wall Street activist talks about the demonstrations from Istanbul:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=NR1S_U3636w

  170. That’s what’s happpening.

    I have seen it over and again, and no it is not shocking any more, after Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Libya, these are small beer.

    Don’t skirt the issue, and answer the questions;

    What is the demography of Turkey?
    What percentage of the electorate are supporting his reforms?
    What is the relevance of the Ghost of ata Turk to the current Turkey? That man dislocated the whole of the Turkish nation to the extent of ignoring and destroying the wealth of inherited literature by introducing the Latin Alphabet?

    ==================

    yabancılar means foreigners,people not of Turkey origin. Notice s/he added “düşmanlığı”, which means prejudice or hatred. That’s the propaganda we are against in Turkey.

    Well I never!

    Propaganda, is what you are busy forcing as the main stream view in Turkey mate.

    ================================

    Maybe that’s where you are mistaken. They don’t, simply they don’t. Mostly they are using it to protect themselves from police or to cherish the unity with all people.

    Yeah that is what the Lebanese were doing too. Gene sharp and Otpor ought to be pretty proud of themselves for the results and justification of these for earning millions for their meagre living.

  171. Erdogan is doing it his way, and, like Ecevit, not explaining anything for most covert reasons.

  172. Komodo and Anony, thanks for your replies.

    Just to repeat, i saw Gul, the President go on CNN and say they never planned to rebuild over the Gezi Park. He was lying through his teeth wasn’t he? Its the principle.

    Anony what is a far-right ultra stereotype? I’m trying to educate myself for context.

    People keep lapsing back into deep history. How helpful is that, other than to academics?

    Fedup wants to know “What is the relevance of the Ghost of ata Turk to the current Turkey? That man dislocated the whole of the Turkish nation to the extent of ignoring and destroying the wealth of inherited literature by introducing the Latin Alphabet?”

    Get over it.

  173. “yabancılar means foreigners,people not of Turkey origin. Notice s/he added “düşmanlığı”, which means prejudice or hatred. That’s the propaganda we are against in Turkey.

    Well I never!

    Propaganda, is what you are busy forcing as the main stream view in Turkey mate.”

    Of course, you would never do that. Think,i didn’t notice the tactic of giving examples of failed reforms and revolutions in the near past? It’s very well used on tv of government leaning people or groups in Turkey.

    There’s no mainstream propaganda because there is no mainstream to oppose the regime. The media can’t even be unbiased towards protesters!

    “Don’t skirt the issue, and answer the questions;

    What is the demography of Turkey?
    What percentage of the electorate are supporting his reforms?
    What is the relevance of the Ghost of ata Turk to the current Turkey? That man dislocated the whole of the Turkish nation to the extent of ignoring and destroying the wealth of inherited literature by introducing the Latin Alphabet?”

    No, you lost the opportunity to have a meaningful conversation when you called me an ultra without any evidence.

    I refuse to give you openings to use as talking points. You think electorate supports erdogan when he wants to demolish parks, scold teenagers? even the biased author here, is talking about how Erdogan’s own supporters are against him and are out on the streets protesting him.

    You want answers? Change your tactic of persuasion. You want info? There are links(videos and such) i and many people provided here. Go,check them out.

    Alphabet “issue” is frankly comical. In turkey no one but far far right talks about such an “issue”. And has nothing to do with protester’s rights or the author’s smear. And the fact you had to resort to it, shows your inability to come up with anything but “emotional pap” argument.

  174. “Alphabet “issue” is frankly comical. In turkey no one but far far right talks about such an “issue”. And has nothing to do with protester’s rights or the author’s smear. And the fact you had to resort to it, shows your inability to come up with anything but “emotional pap” argument.’

    Our posts crossed i reckon. Thats my observation too.

  175. “Komodo and Anony, thanks for your replies.

    Just to repeat, i saw Gul, the President go on CNN and say they never planned to rebuild over the Gezi Park. He was lying through his teeth wasn’t he? Its the principle.

    Anony what is a far-right ultra stereotype? I’m trying to educate myself for context.

    People keep lapsing back into deep history. How helpful is that, other than to academics?

    Fedup wants to know “What is the relevance of the Ghost of ata Turk to the current Turkey? That man dislocated the whole of the Turkish nation to the extent of ignoring and destroying the wealth of inherited literature by introducing the Latin Alphabet?”

    Get over it.”

    Gul has been a party-first president since he was elected. He was so pro akp,he stopped reading the laws he was supposed to approve, so they can become official. Once, he approved a law required to arrest people who weren’t guilty. If only,he read it before signing it !

    Far-right ultra. Hates Alevis, hates secularists,hates ataturk,hates modern women,hates non muslims, hates armenians and greeks. Once they accused the head of main opposition party being of armenian origins.

    They like sultans of ottoman empire, caliphs and make up stories of their own convenient to their ideal world. They hate alcohol even though one of their favorite sultans, Abdulhamid, drinked alcohol. They hate opera and theatre, Abdulhamid built a opera house just for himself.

    Recently they named the third bridge,which costed us many trees, after selim the grim. One who killed tens of thousands of alevis.

    According to west, these conservatives were “okay”,like you see in this writer’s blog, because far-far right hates secularist and nationalistic military which were no saints but didn’t support the invasion plans of Iraq directly.

    ‘”People keep lapsing back into deep history. How helpful is that, other than to academics?

    Fedup wants to know “What is the relevance of the Ghost of ata Turk to the current Turkey? That man dislocated the whole of the Turkish nation to the extent of ignoring and destroying the wealth of inherited literature by introducing the Latin Alphabet?”

    Get over it.”‘

    They can’t seem to get over it,unfortunately. Because they know their like minds are in power, they expect us to see it as a legitimate issue. sad but funny.

  176. “Erdogan is doing it his way, and, like Ecevit, not explaining anything for most covert reasons.”

    If only, he was as open minded as Ecevit.

    Erdogan’s problem is that he got too much power too easily. He never had to deal with coalitions. Then he had kiss ass people supporting him to select judiciary members single handedly. Which is unbelievably idiotic.

  177. Get over it.

    You fucking get over it.

    ==================

    No, you lost the opportunity to have a meaningful conversation when you called me an ultra without any evidence.

    Don’t tell me, what a great loss? I won’t sleep for a week now!

    Alphabet “issue” is frankly comical.

    You find this funny? The Europhile Kemal dislocating the whole of the nation, by destroying the heritage of that nation overnight (those who control the past, control the present, and those who control the present control the future), and then sending his “alphabet inspectors” to pick random citizens and test them for their knowledge of the new alphabet with a beating awaiting those citizens whom failed the said test. There is revisionism and then there is down right blind mendacity.

    nothing to do with protester’s rights or the author’s smear.

    They don’t need any help, they are doing just fine on their own.

    Finally for the third time:

    “Don’t skirt the issue, and answer the questions;

    What is the demography of Turkey?
    What percentage of the electorate are supporting his reforms?
    What is the relevance of the Ghost of ata Turk to the current Turkey? That man dislocated the whole of the Turkish nation to the extent of ignoring and destroying the wealth of inherited literature by introducing the Latin Alphabet?”

  178. Fedup
    4 Jun, 2013 – 3:57 pm
    “Get over it.

    You fucking get over it.”

    Is that all you could come up with you pathetic little twit. As Anony alluded you are scraping the barrel. I don’t for the most part bother to read your lengthy senile diatribes. Given your response to me, i think it serves as a fair warning to others.

  179. most part bother to read your lengthy senile diatribes.

    Good! I never intended my comments to be read by the bastards the likes of you, so far as others go, let hem make their own minds up. Now fuck off and stop ever addressing me you little prick.

  180. Anony, thank you very much for elucidating.

    As for so-called ‘far-right ultras’ hating non muslims, as you said and which i would expect and understand. How does that sit with Craig’s remark(?):

    “Look at the western politicians licking their lips thinking about the chance to get a nice very right wing, anti-Muslim and pro-Israel government into power.”

    ???

  181. “Get over it.

    You fucking get over it.

    ==================

    No, you lost the opportunity to have a meaningful conversation when you called me an ultra without any evidence.

    Don’t tell me, what a great loss? I won’t sleep for a week now!

    Alphabet “issue” is frankly comical.

    You find this funny? The Europhile Kemal dislocating the whole of the nation, by destroying the heritage of that nation overnight (those who control the past, control the present, and those who control the present control the future), and then sending his “alphabet inspectors” to pick random citizens and test them for their knowledge of the new alphabet with a beating awaiting those citizens whom failed the said test. There is revisionism and then there is down right blind mendacity.”

    Wow,beating. Now, THAT’s revisionism. I love it when you guys spaz out.

    Calm down and kindly get over it. Unfortunately for your thesis, Kemal had to persuade many to agree to his reforms and presidency before he changed the alphabet. Anyone who wants to look at the past, can learn the old scripture and talk about it. No one is against that. No one destroyed the past. Before the alphabet change, approximately %5 of the people knew how to read and write. No one lost anything. Because most of the people who could read, didn’t read regularly or mostly just literate. We lost the educated masses of the Ottoman empire in the war before the reform. So, not a loss the you theatrically describe.

    I like the new alphabet. Get over it. Old alphabet? That’s your issue. And nothing to do with the fact without any evidence you called me an ultra.

    Which is both useless and baseless for your own side, and by proxy the ambassador’s..

    “They don’t need any help, they are doing just fine on their own.”

    As a protester, i say you don’t decide that. Don’t smear the movement.

    For the third time? Your concerns were answered and laughed at. Get over it.

  182. Of course, you leave out what they both had to do with their American partners.

    Ecevit was too independently minded when it came to dealing with Yugoslavia’s Milosovic, so Bubba buried him with the Izmit earthquake.

    Erdogan only learned of Washington’s potential when he too struck out on his own, especially with Israel and the Kurds, only to get buried around Lake Van.

    In learning that Washington was more willing to punish troublesome allies rather than alleged enemies like Syria, Erdogan went all out for its agenda, only to learn that he was doing too much, as Kerry is now demonstrating.

    Being Washington’s ally is a most difficult task, unless you are someone like Uzbekistan’s Islam Karimov who can always write his own agenda because he has written the book.

  183. Brilliant performance the lately-arrived Fedup! :-) Wow, what an intellectual we have amongst us here. Of course others will make up their own minds but i have no difficulty in helping you to help them make up their own minds. Do you know the meaning of ‘of course’? You’re right on course. Carry on.

  184. Wow,beating. Now, THAT’s revisionism. I love it when you guys spaz out.

    Unfortunately for you there are oodles of archived footage, interestingly enough with the accompanied commentaries; showing the “alphabet inspectors” going about their appointed duties of testing and dishing out beatings.

    This is the crux of it all, for a nation that has been dislocated, after facing the trauma of defeat, then occupation followed by a wholesale destruction of their cultural, and scientific heritage. It should come as no surprise to find the levels of historical illiteracy on display.

    However, you maintain:

    For the third time? Your concerns were answered and laughed at. Get over it.

    You have been playing hopscotch and singularly failing to answer the questions put to you. followed by the childish attempts in coercion and bullying; “and laughed at. Get over it”

    I reiterate the questions for the fourth time, read these and only answer them, and not in the cock and bull fashion you are so used to.

    “Don’t skirt the issue, and answer the questions;

    What is the demography of Turkey?
    What percentage of the electorate are supporting his (Erdogan) reforms?
    What is the relevance of the Ghost of ata Turk to the current Turkey? That man dislocated the whole of the Turkish nation to the extent of ignoring and destroying the wealth of inherited literature by introducing the Latin Alphabet?”

  185. “Anony, thank you very much for elucidating.

    As for so-called ‘far-right ultras’ hating non muslims, as you said and which i would expect and understand. How does that sit with Craig’s remark(?):

    “Look at the western politicians licking their lips thinking about the chance to get a nice very right wing, anti-Muslim and pro-Israel government into power.”

    ???”

    He is talking about right now, a low numbered, small kind of far right group, who is also nationalistic.But secularist in name only.

    They are out numbered by a factor of 2 or 3 by current religious far-right conservatives. Even though they aren’t a real enough threat to be elected as the sole majority or even the main opposition , craig falsely equates them with ultra far-right religious conservatives.

    Craig doesn’t know how to read the politics in Turkey, his summary of Erdogan’s early rise to power is proof of that. We suffered due to that kind of non-knowledge types judging Turkey. Turkey isn’t similar to Egypt, that may be the cause of his mistake.

    This “anti-muslim” speak is also prevalent in the far-right societies in turkey, they got a guy sympathizing with them from the west. How wonderful! Somehow, those anti muslim guys, always had religious education in public schools!

    As for pro-israel comment. I’m not going to talk about current politics because it’s a mess.

    The origins of that, is this: Turkey couldn’t buy weapons buy from USA for a period of time. Israel was after the money, Turkey bought from them. Then a rapport was built because of this relationship, it was a frenemy,one would put if seen by us politicians, relationship.

    Then Erdogan came to power, he first tried to rent a big piece of property to Israel in Turkey for farming. Wow, see how anti israel he was? He was also for invading Iraq. Also anti-israel! If you believe it.

    Opposition which the author smears stopped that.

    People conveniently forget these events. Just because Erdogan shouted at an Israeli politician doesn’t mean that Erdogan’s actions doesn’t line up with Israeli interests in the area.

    If the ambassador disputes that,I’m open to discussion on the Israel subject,then to summarily prove him wrong.

  186. “Unfortunately for you there are oodles of archived footage, interestingly enough with the accompanied commentaries; showing the “alphabet inspectors” going about their appointed duties of testing and dishing out beatings.”

    Show the footage. I would want to see that. Show me source, recite names. Otherwise,be laughed at.

    “This is the crux of it all, for a nation that has been dislocated, after facing the trauma of defeat, then occupation followed by a wholesale destruction of their cultural, and scientific heritage. It should come as no surprise to find the levels of historical illiteracy on display.”

    Of course, my friend. Now you use the “but we were defeated!” card. Well,does the end point change? No. Either way, you are wrong. People were uneducated so the reform didn’t harm anyone.

    And changing of the alphabet so that you can improve literacy was being thought of well before Kemal Ataturk. It’s not like there was no historical basis. A nation before the war considered it, a nation after the war had lost all its ties to the past, had no reason to not do it.

    “You have been playing hopscotch and singularly failing to answer the questions put to you. followed by the childish attempts in coercion and bullying; “and laughed at. Get over it””

    And who resorted to name calling? smearing? or “emotional pap” talk? Don’t make me laugh.

    “I reiterate the questions for the fourth time, read these and only answer them, and not in the cock and bull fashion you are so used to.

    “Don’t skirt the issue, and answer the questions;

    What is the demography of Turkey?
    What percentage of the electorate are supporting his (Erdogan) reforms?
    What is the relevance of the Ghost of ata Turk to the current Turkey? That man dislocated the whole of the Turkish nation to the extent of ignoring and destroying the wealth of inherited literature by introducing the Latin Alphabet?””

    Alphabet talk is irrelevant. Or would be if you had grown up from these childish fantasies of the far right.

    And you have no right to state what I’m used to, Mr. “emotional pap, ultra” guy.

    Look the demographics of Turkey up in wikipedia. A general outline even if incomplete.

    And here we have the ballot box argument guys. Do you really think the supporters of the gezi park care about what turkey thought 2 years ago? Now we think about our people who died recently, worker rights and gezi park.

    And the last question was both answered and laughed at. Sadly for you, get over it.

  187. Fedup, i thought you said “Finally for the third time:” ?? Stick with it! Or we’ll get Habbakuk to give you the Six of his Best :-)

    And then your ” followed by the childish attempts in coercion and bullying; “and laughed at. Get over it” “. Are you playing victim now? Go on Fedup let loose another round of abuse, get it off your chest. After all you are Fedup aren’t you? Fret some more about history and the old alphabet.

  188. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    4 Jun, 2013 - 5:10 pm

    @ Aniny (13h30)

    “And massacre of greeks. Tell me, did you read about the orders of Ataturk to protect non muslim people in Izmir, otherwise be punished by death? Do you have any evidence of a rule by him or others to kill greeks? Or are you going to blame Ataturk because it’s convenient?”

    ——–

    Well, I was going to keep out of this, but….

    Well, someone certainly managed to kill a lot of Greeks in the city of Smyrni and environs; perhaps it was the evil Brits?

    Interesting to learn of Ataturk’s orders – would you happen t-o know how many Turks were actually ‘punished by death’ for killing Greek civilians there?

    Lastly, regarding the lack of any ‘evidence of a rule by him..to kill Turks’, that reminded me a little of the revisionist historian David Irving, who always makes a big point out of challenging people to find evidence that Hitler ordered/was aware of the Holocaust.

    Yout post had deserved the Habbabkuk accolade, viz :

    ***************

    La vita è bella, life is good!

  189. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    4 Jun, 2013 - 5:23 pm

    @ Fedup and Villager (above):

    You both seem very angry and are insulting each other. Short fuse time!

    I bet you wish you were debating with the intelligent and polite trolls called Habbabkuk, Kempe, Resident Dissident and so so rather than with each other, don’t you :)

    ****************

    La vita è bella, life is good!

  190. “Well, I was going to keep out of this, but….

    Well, someone certainly managed to kill a lot of Greeks in the city of Smyrni and environs; perhaps it was the evil Brits?

    Interesting to learn of Ataturk’s orders – would you happen t-o know how many Turks were actually ‘punished by death’ for killing Greek civilians there?

    Lastly, regarding the lack of any ‘evidence of a rule by him..to kill Turks’, that reminded me a little of the revisionist historian David Irving, who always makes a big point out of challenging people to find evidence that Hitler ordered/was aware of the Holocaust.

    Yout post had deserved the Habbabkuk accolade, viz :”

    There are 4 possibilities:

    - Armenian nationalists were plotting to burn the houses. Many foreign resources know that there were gas can in the houses.

    - When pulling back,greek forces torched the place but didn’t account for the wind.

    - Turks did it out of revenge with no political party backing it.

    - Ataturk ordered it.

    The last option was well thought of in Turkey in the past 10 years. Many who were the mouth of the propaganda to to build up a new identity for Turkish Republic, wrote on it without really providing evidence for it. Because there wasn’t any.

    “Interesting to learn of Ataturk’s orders – would you happen t-o know how many Turks were actually ‘punished by death’ for killing Greek civilians there?”

    Investigators decided that it was sabotage. And couldn’t find the culprits. But i don’t know if there were singular incident involving greeks who died due to Turkish attacks.

    If that is so, Apologies should be issued. But that is no basis to involve Ataturk with Armenian massacre then point it out as if it has relevance to oppose gezi park protesters. This is a logical fallacy.

    “Lastly, regarding the lack of any ‘evidence of a rule by him..to kill Turks’, that reminded me a little of the revisionist historian David Irving, who always makes a big point out of challenging people to find evidence that Hitler ordered/was aware of the Holocaust.”

    You meant Greeks,I think.

    Regarding the godwin’s law,afaik and remind me if I’m wrong, there were Hitler’s orders to put Jews out of their homes and to work. No such order here.

    Btw, don’t take it personally and i have no hate or prejudice against Brits, but those “evil brits” did do horrible things to their Turkish Prisoners of War.

    So ones living in glass houses,.. you know the saying =)

  191. Habbakuk : “Well, I was going to keep out of this, but….”

    For a moment i though you were going to blame me. Perhaps you did but then stopped short? ;-)

    As for keeping out of anything, when did you start becoming all shy?

    And the ” the Habbabkuk accolade”! I like that Habba; give it to you for your sense of humour :-)

    Now don’t get too lost in history, what do you make of what’s going on there in Turkey.

    I think its refreshing that you have a substantially Muslim state with a deep culture, a modern vibrant youth in a country that doesn’t have Islam as its state religion. Laudable in this day and age! That simple.

    Finally commiserate with the injured in the protests — that tear gas stuff should be reclassified as chemical weapons imo.

  192. @ Habbabkuk (La Vita È Bella!)

    What is your motivation to write here? Are you happy because innocent people are killed or touchered by their government?

    Do you think this generation is guilty because of the incidents, 100 or 30 years ago happened?

    why are you arguing about races? Whay can’t you see people do not hate, kill each other, but the governments do.

    You talk about Turks, Greeks, Armanian, then you call the protestors as fascist Kemalists. Who are the fascist here?

    Come on, accept this genoicides are made by the governments not by people.

  193. Oske

    I do not blame today’s Turks for the massacres of Armenians, Greeks and others under Ataturk. Those that nonetheless still identify themselves with Ataturk I distrust profoundly. Those who write that the Armenians were killed by canisters of gas they had stored in their homes, just as those who write that Ataturk did not want to be President but was pushed into it “By the heart of the Turkish people” I find distinctly scarey. I am however grateful to them for indisputably proving my point about how wary we have to be of a very great many of the “secularists” whom the Western media are promoting and for which much of the western left are falling hook line and sinker.

  194. “I do not blame today’s Turks for the massacres of Armenians, Greeks and others under Ataturk. Those that nonetheless still identify themselves with Ataturk I distrust profoundly. Those who write that the Armenians were killed by canisters of gas they had stored in their homes, just as those who write that Ataturk did not want to be President but was pushed into it “By the heart of the Turkish people” I find distinctly scarey. I am however grateful to them for indisputably proving my point about how wary we have to be of a very great many of the “secularists” whom the Western media are promoting and for which much of the western left are falling hook line and sinker.”

    You are weird. And dishonest. Then why don’t you just delete all my comments? Wow. Why go to the trouble of twisting my arguments, blatantly lying about them?

    I didn’t say armenians were killed by the canisters they stored in their homes. My point was describing Izmir fire not armenian massacre.It was a plot which was discovered.

    Armenians in the east, were killed by the actions and inactions of the central government. In ottoman empire era, during the world war 1. Not during Greco-Turkish war.

    I read about the plot to torch Izmir in Lord Kinross- Rebirth of a Nation – Ataturk. Look it up. It had nothing to do with Armenian massacres. Did you actually read all of my posts? Just one?

    Wow, i still can’t believe it, you just proved all my points by trying to snipe just one piece of one argument which had nothing to do with it.

    I have seen many intellectually honest blog writers who did it as a hobby.

    For shame. You are really cut from the same cloth from all these politicians.

  195. Show the footage. I would want to see that. Show me source, recite names. Otherwise,.

    There you go again; “be laughed at”

    The onus is not on me, to “show” you the footage! You want to see it; you go and find it (now that you know it exists), it will be good for you, and will help you to overcome your historical illiteracy, that is so prevalent among the Turkish nationalists.

    People were uneducated so the reform didn’t harm anyone.

    Don’t you find this line of thought so obtuse and redundant? What about the future generations, how could they find out about their own history? Their own culture?

    Ah but I forget, “anyone is free to go and learn the scriptures”! Although meanwhile the history taught in Turkey is more of a fanciful bunch of stories than elsewhere.

    … nation after the war had lost all its ties to the past, had no reason to not do it.

    You have only reiterated the proposition put to you; dislocation of a nations imperatives, and sensibilities through wholesale vandalism of its cultural and scientific heritage.

    And who resorted to name calling? smearing? or “emotional pap” talk? Don’t make me laugh.

    Oh my, you are laughing again (lame attempt in bullying)! Slap my thigh Mr. Darcy I declare I am bilious; smelling salts please. “Name calling” you have led a sheltered life, have you not?

    Alphabet talk is irrelevant. Or would be if you had grown up from these childish fantasies of the far right.

    So far as an obtuse outlook goes; certainly!

    However, to the more enlightened it is a glimpse to the authoritarian regime of a man who hated his own and Turks’ imperatives and sensibilities and set about systematically disassembling these. Turks did not need enemies to come and destroy their cultural and scientific heritage as US has done in Iraq, and ziofuckwits do in Palestine. Mustafa Kemal was there to do the job even much more comprehensively than the enemies of the Turks. Surprisingly the Turkish nation reeling from the post traumatic disorder came to prove the Stockholm syndromes validity, by devoutly worshipping Kemal.

    Look the demographics of Turkey up in wikipedia. A general outline even if incomplete.

    Clearly you are aware of the implications of the question put to you, and the reticence to admit the pupating shades of opinion, that is gradually gaining distance from the habitual worship of ata Turk.

    And here we have the ballot box argument guys. Do you really think the supporters of the gezi park care about what turkey thought 2 years ago? Now we think about our people who died recently, worker rights and gezi park.

    The latter points forwarded are confirmed by this statement; continuation of “martial law” regardless of the aspirations, beliefs and imperatives of the majority of the people.

    So far as your “laughing” goes, have you ever asked yourself why certain fuckwits on this board are for ever pouring scorn on all things Muslim?

    Clearly you are not going to answer the questions put to you, after all, so go ahead and “laugh” some more, cuz so far as you are concerned; ignorance is bliss, isn’t it?

    PS why should I get over it? Do you think I am Turkish? I know the other fuckwit and its hive imperatives, compel it to hate Islam. Thus its futile attempts to forever hang onto the tired, irrelevant, and defunct notions of “Caliphate”, however I cannot make out as to what is your beef?

  196. Craig,

    why is being secular so bad and evil? I couln’t call myself as a fan of Ataturk, I am more inclined to accept the history as it is. I won’t argue about Ataturk and his acts&revolution with anyone, because my concern is not about Ataturk and his so-called dictatorship which was 80 years ago. My concern is the dictator of today because my friends are dying because of Erdogan right now. As far as I know, 3 people died, 3 people lost their eyes, a young boy lost his testicles, and none of them was accident. Police intentionally aims people’s head and men’s genitals when they are firing gas bombs. Police is trying to hurt protestors not to stop them. And our Prime minister didn’t deign to warn police about the excessive use of power. Instead, he left country. He is in Morocco now. And he shows no mercy to protestors just because they are opponents.

    My concern is my people’s safety, our freedom of speech, our civil/constutional rights. I just kindly request you to respect the lives of people in Turkey, and focus the problem we have today. Because people are dying or being tortured at this very moment.

    Do you think the censorship, police brutality could be an act of democracy?

    I shared many videos to show this movement is not about religion or politics. If you really want to see, you may see muslims, christians, Kurdish, Turkish, leftists, nationalists, feminists, gays, union labors, artists, students standing side by side for their freedom of speech. I shared many links above.

Powered By Wordpress | Designed By Ridgey | Produced by Tim Ireland | Hosted by Expathos