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Has Turkey changed?

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  • Has Turkey changed?

    Okay from what you read, see, hear, or even feel, do you think Turkey has changed? From the Ottoman times that is. Share your thoughts.

    I don't think it has... It can call itself a democratic nation, or whatever, but the way they see and do things is still very similar to the Ottoman times. Very unfortunate.

    Here are some of the reasons why...

    - They're still in denial about the genocide, now what is the difference between a murderer and his son who tries to defend him by covering up the murder? Now if it really had changed, It would've recognized the genocide and work towards better relations, not block the border!
    - Treatment of Mr. Pamuk.
    - Treatment of minorities, ex: Kurds.
    I'm not sure
    I don't care

    [CENTER][I][COLOR="Red"][B]"We must remind the Turkish Government that when they had Sultan Abdul Hamid, we had Andranik Pasha, Serob Aghbyur, and Gevorg Chaush. When they had Taleat pasha, we had Soghomon Tehleryan. New Hrants will be born, and our struggle will go on.” [/B][/COLOR][/I][/CENTER]

    [COLOR="Black"][CENTER][B]"Hrant Dink's murder is tragic proof that the Turkish government - through its campaign of denial, threats and intimidation against the recognition of the Armenian Genocide - continues to fuel the same hatred and intolerance that initially led to this crime against humanity more than 90 years ago."[/B][/CENTER][/COLOR]

  • #2
    In Arabic they say “No matter how long you churn the water it will remain to be a water” The same goes here “Turk is a Turk, will remain a Turk will die a Turk” Do you know why they called an “eshshag” an “eshshag”? Because it is an “eshshag”, you can not call it something else.
    So I will vote “I don’t care!!!!”


    • #3
      Well, to be honest it's a bit of a loaded question. It would be absurd to deny that in ways Turkey as a nation, as a society has changed since Ottoman times (you didn't specify the time period which you are referring to so I assume you mean since the fall of the Ottoman Empire). In many other ways it hasn't changed. Some issues of mentality have transformed. I base this judgement only on my past studies of Ottoman history, and what I have read from Turkish and international sources on studies done in present day Turkey. Has it changed? Yes it has, but I don't believe it has in the ways Tongue is referring to. I'll answer "I'm not sure". But if you want to get a more accurate poll, I think we could rewrite the poll question and the poll option answers and achieve that. Let me know if you would like my help...
      [url][/url] - [COLOR="Red"]Armenian[/COLOR] [COLOR="Blue"]Genealogy[/COLOR] [COLOR="Orange"]Forum[/COLOR]


      • #4
        Can I vote one more time?

        I just received this by e-mail today, and made me change my mind about my vote. Is it too late to change my vote?
        I was wrong I guess there’s some hope, maybe people in Turkey are waking up and seeing the truth after all.

        Elif Shafak, "1567 Words"
        25 September 2005
        The Washington Post
        Copyright 2005, The Washington Post Co. All Rights

        I am the daughter of a Turkish diplomat, a rather unusual character in the
        male-dominated foreign service in that she was a single mother.
        Her first appointment was to Spain, and we moved to Madrid in
        the early 1980s. In those days, the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation
        of Armenia, known as ASALA, was staging attacks on Turkish citizens,
        and diplomats in particular -- in Rome, London, Zurich, Brussels, Milan and
        Madrid; our cultural attache in Paris was assassinated in 1979 while walking
        on the Champs-Elysees. So throughout my childhood, the word "Armenian"
        meant only one thing to me: a terrorist who wanted to kill my mother.

        Faced with hatred, I hated back. But that was as far as my feelings went.
        It took me years to ask the simple question: Why did the Armenians hate

        My ignorance was not unusual. For me in those days, and for most Turkish
        citizens even today, my country's history began in 1923, with the founding of
        the modern Turkish state. The roots of the Armenians' rage in the
        massacres, atrocities and deportations that decimated Turkey's Armenian
        population in the last years of Ottoman rule, particularly 1915 were simply
        not part of our common historical memory.

        But for me today, and for a growing number of my fellow Turks, that has
        changed. That is why I am in Istanbul this weekend. I came to Bosphorus
        University to attend the first-ever public conference in this country on what
        happened to the Ottoman Armenians in and after 1915. As I write, we are
        fighting last-minute legal maneuvers by hard-line opponents of open
        discussion to shut the conference down. I don't know how it will turn out but
        the fact that we are here, openly making the attempt, with at least verbal
        support from the prime minister and many mainstream journalists, highlights
        how far some in my country have come.

        Until my early twenties, like many Turks living abroad, I was less interested
        in history than in what we described as "im! proving Turkey's image in the
        eyes of Westerners." As I began reading extensively on political and social
        history, I was drawn to the stories of minorities, of the marginalized and the
        silenced: women who resisted traditional gender roles, unorthodox Sufis
        persecuted for their beliefs, homosexuals in the Ottoman Empire. Gradually,
        I started reading about the Ottoman Armenians not because I was
        particularly interested in the literature but because I was young and
        rebellious, and the official ideology of Turkey told me not to.

        Yet it was not until I came to the United States in 2002 and started getting
        involved in an Armenian-Turkish intellectuals' network that I seriously felt the
        need to face the charges that, beginning in 1915, Turks killed as many as
        1.5 Million Armenians and drove hundreds of thousands more from their
        homes. I focused on the literature of genocide, particularly the testimony of
        survivors; I watched filmed interviews at the Zoryan Institute's Armenian
        archives in Toronto; I talked to Armenian grandmothers, participated in
        workshops for reconciliation and collected stories from Armenian friends who
        were generous enough to entrust me with their family memories and
        secrets. With each step, I realized not only that atrocities had been
        committed in that terrible time but that their effect had been made far worse
        by the systematic denial that followed.

        I came to recognize a people's grief and to believe in the need to mourn our
        past together.

        I also got to know other Turks who were making a similar intellectual
        journey. Obviously there is still a powerful segment of Turkish society that
        completely rejects the charge that Armenians were purposely
        exterminated. Some even go so far as to claim that it was Armenians who
        killed Turks, and so there is nothing to apologize for. These nationalist
        hardliners include many of our government officials, bureaucrats, diplomats
        and newspaper columnists.

        They dominate Turkey's public image but theirs is only one position held by
        Turkish citizens, and it is not even the most common one. The prevailing
        attitude of ordinary people toward the "Armenian question" is not one of
        conscious denial; rather it is collective ignorance. These Turks feel little
        need to question the past as long as it does not affect their daily lives.

        There is a third attitude, prevalent among Turkish youth: Whatever
        happened it was a long time ago, we should concentrate on the future
        rather than the past. "Why am I being held responsible for a crime my
        grandfather committed -- that is, if he ever did it?"they ask. They want to
        become friends with Armenians and push for open trade and better relations
        with neighboring Armenia . . . . as long as everybody forgets this
        inconvenient claim of genocide.

        Finally, there is a fourth attitude: The past is not a bygone era that we can
        discard but a legacy that needs to be recognized, explored and openly
        discussed before Turkey can move forward. It is plain to me that, though it
        often goes unnoticed in Western media, there is a thriving movement in
        Turkish civil society toward this kind of reconciliation. The 50 historians,
        journalists, political scientists and activists who have gathered here in the
        last few days for the planned conference on Ottoman Armenians share a
        common belief in the need to face the atrocities of the past, no matter how
        distressing or dangerous, in order to create a better future for Turkey.

        But it hasn't been easy, and the battle is far from over.
        Over the past four years, Turks have made several attempts to address the
        "Armenian question." The conference planned for this weekend differed from
        earlier meetings in key respects: It was to be held in Istanbul itself, rather
        than abroad; it would be organized by three established Turkish universities
        rather than by progressive Armenian and Turkish expatriates; it would be
        conducted completely in Turkish.

        Originally scheduled for May 23, it was postponed after Cemil Cicek,
        Turkey's minister of justice, made an angry speech before parliament,
        accusing organizers of "stabbing their nation in the back." But over the
        ensuing four months, the ruling Justice and Development Party made it clear
        that Cicek's remarks reflected his views, and his alone. The minister of
        foreign affairs, Abdullah Gul, announced that he had no problem with the
        _expression of critical opinion and even said he would be willing to participate
        in the conference. (As it happens, he has been in New York in recent days,
        at the United Nations.)

        Meanwhile, the Armenian question has been prominently featured in Turkish
        media. Hurriyet, the nation's most popular newspaper, ran a series of pro
        and con interviews on this formerly taboo subject, called "The Armenian
        Dossier." The upcoming trial of acclaimed author Orhan Pamuk, charged
        with "denigrating" Turkish identity for talking about the killing of Kurds and
        Armenians, has been fervently debated. Various columnists have directly
        apologized to the Armenians for the sufferings caused to their people by the
        Turks. And stories have been reported of orphaned Armenian girls who saved
        their lives by changing their names, converting to Islam and marrying Turks
        and whose grandchildren are unaware today of their own mixed heritage.

        All this activity has triggered a nationalist backlash. That should be
        expected but organizers of the Conference on Ottoman Armenians were
        nevertheless surprised last week by a crafty, last-minute maneuver: a court
        order to postpone the conference pending the investigation of hardliners
        charges that it was unfairly biased against Turkey. The cynicism of this
        order was clear when we lear! ned that the three-judge panel actually made
        its decision on Monday; it was not made public until late Thursday, only
        hours before the conference was to begin.

        Organizers said they would try to regroup by moving the site from
        Bosphorus University, a public institution, to one of the two private
        universities that are co-sponsors. We were encouraged by the immediate
        public reaction: Not only did some normally mainstream media voices
        denounce the court order, but Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in
        televised interviews, repeatedly criticized it as "unacceptable." "You may not
        like the _expression of an opinion," he said, "but you can't stop it like this.
        Foreign Minister Gul, in New York, lamented what effect this would have on
        Turkey's quest to join the European Union: "There's no one better at hurting
        themselves than us," he said.

        Whatever happens with the conference, I believe one thing remains true:
        Through the collective efforts of academics, journalists, writers and media
        correspondents, 1915 is being opened to discussion in my homeland as
        never before. The process is not an easy one and will disturb many vested
        interests. I know how hard it is -- most children from diplomatic families,
        confronting negative images of Turkey abroad, develop a sort of defensive
        nationalism, and it's especially true among those of us who lived through the
        years of Armenian terrorism. But I also know that the journey from denial to
        recognition is one that can be made.

        Author's e-mail: [email protected]

        Elif Shafak is a novelist and a professor of Near Eastern Studies at the
        University of Arizona. She commutes between Tucson and Istanbul.


        • #5
          Thinking that Turkey hasn’t changed shows an ignorance, nothing else. Everyting changes at any moment. This may be negative or positive. Only the changing is unchangeable. Although I don’t expect that everyone here should be philosopher, but you musn’t make such mistakes.

          Living in US or other Western countries may cause unsufficient knowledge of the World. Once upon a time when the East was more civilized than the West (in the Midddle ages), they had no knowledge about it. Today it is opposite. Briefly, more civilized one ignores the other.

          What has changed and gone in Turkey? Three important things:

          Sovereignty and Caliphate: These two changing are very imporant for passing to democracy and leaving the religious administration.

          Arabic Alphabet: Turkish was not fit to Arabic alphabet. And learning it was very hard. After changing it, more and more Turks began to learn reading and writing. And this changing caused the mentalities to be differed. So well-informed people don’t want to be an instrument in a genocide. (And the other many revolutions that made by Ataturk not nedeed to tell).

          I surely believe in that recognizing the genocide will be useful for Turkey. Not to recognize it brings about the bad image of Turkey. But there are two obstacles to recognize it: Classical Turkish mentality about it and diasporas. According to public surveys, many Turks see the Armenians as their enemies. This is mostly due to diasporas and, of course, Asala.

          As for Orhan Pamuk. He is one of the best novelist of Turkey. Its proof is that in Turkey, every best author goes to court at least one time in their lifes. I read the ‘My Name is Red’ twice in Turkish and one time in English. I strongly recommend it for having an opinion about Ottomans and Istanbul in the end of 16th century. I don’t believe that Orhan Pamuk will be punished. This is an opportinity, arranged for stopping Turkey’s entering to the EU by opposers like stopping Armenian Conference in Istanbul.

          If someone call s.o. eşşek the answer is eşşoglueşşek. (donkey’s baby).


          • #6
            Living in US may cause unsufficient knowledge of the World. Once upon a time when the East was more civilized than the West (in the Midddle ages), they had no knowledge about it. Today it is opposite. Briefly, more civilized one ignores the other.
            Yes we know that, because Armenians were great parts of that civilization, especially in the Armenian Plato. We know also what was the Turk's contribution to that civilization. Don't think I don't know what “Turk” means. My grand father was from "Sanjakh" his whole family was butchered by Turks, My Grand mother's entire family was massacred by Turks, no one was left from her family, she was the only survivor, My father was born in "Iskenderoun",
            My mother’s sides of the family are from a neighboring village of “Kessab” (now in Syria) they too had the honor to endure Turkish massacres.
            I was born in Syria, lived in Lebanon and now in Canada thanks to you Turks.
            I did not read this in a book or watched it in a movie, my Grad fathers and Grad mothers even my father told me all about the Turkish crimes.


            • #7
              If you (I mean everyone) are not able to stop insulting, it musn’t be aimed on Turks, their flag and Ataturk. Insulting a nation is directly related to racism.

              When Ataturk came to Izmir as an victorious commander, the Greek flag was laid on the floor. But he rejected to step on it and said that ‘flag is honour of a nation, it can’t be set under the foots’.

              Let me remind Hitler’s attitude to the nations (He described in his book Meine Kampf). He classified the nations in three unlogical categories:

              1 - The Creatives (North Europians),
              2 - The Imitators (Japaneses)
              3 - The Destructives (Blacks, Jews etc. You can add this Turks Hitler did so).

              No doubt, you call Turks destructive, barbaric people. But there is no difference in that from Hitler’s point of view. As I said before Turks and the other nations have not barbaric genes. Claiming that is Nazizm, nothing else.

              However, Jews are one of most creative people on the World, the first establishers of communal system or single God religions. Einstein, Marks, Jesus were Jewish too. When the prophet of Islam went to Palestane as a merchant, he learned many things from them.

              For Armenian genocide all of Turks can not be blamed. In the end of WWII, all Germans weren’t tried in Nurnberg trials but only Nazi leaders, such as: Alfred Rosenberg-The Nazi Phylosopher, Hermann Goering-Reich Marshall, Rudolph Hess-Deputy to the Fuhrer and the Nazi Party leader, etc. were clearly tried and punished in the court. Yet, what are you doing? Blaming all Turks and insulting them with their all pasts. The responsibilers of Armenian genocide, leaders of Ittihat and Terakki Party were killed or died. Armenians performed some of their executions and Asala killed many Turks. Aren’t those things barbarism?

              You show the east part of Turkey in Armenia borders. And Kurds do so. The Greeks want west and north east. You threaten my existance so what is your difference from genocide criminals. Here is not Philipines. Many nations came and went here. Anatolia was gained by nations and then lost. Turks has been living for 1000 years on these soils. It can not be ignored.


              • #8
                turks Haven't Changed

                And dialogue with turks ALWAYS leads to the SAME THING.

                Forgive and forget....period.

                I enter into evidence the following:


                Journal of Turkish Weekly
                Sept 26 2005

                ISTANBUL - Prof. Dr. Baskin Oran, who is one of the organizers of the Istanbul Armenian Conference, told to Hurriyet daily "the Armenians should not use the other (indirect) ways and other states against Turkey."

                Prof. Oran argued that "the Armenian diaspora should be more reasonable". Oran further said that the ASALA murders and injustice in Armenian terrorism caused great reaction among the Turkish people.

                Prof. Baskin Oran from Ankara University also claimed that the Armenian issue is not a taboo in Turkey and the Istanbul Armenian Conference proved this.

                "Armenians should give up recognition-compensation-territory aims.

                The Diaspora must keep open the dialogue channels" Prof. Oran added.



                • #9
                  Wanna know how Orhan Pamuk would vote on this poll?

                  YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 12. ARMINFO. An internationally acclaimed Turkish novelist who faces prosecution for speaking out about the mass slaughter of Armenians last century has said the case against him shows his country may not be ready to join the European Union.

                  Orhan Pamuk, who faces up to three years in jail if convicted at his trial in December of "denigrating Turkey", said that reforms promised by the Turkish government in return for a guarantee of talks on EU membership had not materialised. In his first interview since the prosecution was announced, Pamuk declared: "Unfortunately I do not believe that Turkey has come very far in this respect. Nothing has happened over the past year. Turkey has sat on the promises that Europe has given and taken it easy."

                  Although forbidden to comment directly on his own case, the best-selling author added: "Turkey has not changed so much. Laws have been changed, but the thought processes, our culture and our way of seeing things... that has not changed much. "There have been legal and political changes in the hope of EU membership. But the trial opened against me shows... that the state prosecutors have not changed very much. It shows that there is not much tolerance in society." Talks on membership are due to start next month..
                  [CENTER][COLOR=DarkRed][SIZE=2]Separate yourselves from the filthy government who carried the genocide of the Armenians by recognizing and condemning it. Don’t join them by denying it![/SIZE][/COLOR][/CENTER]

                  [CENTER][URL=]The Armenian Genocide of 1915[/URL] [/CENTER]


                  • #10
                    If Turkey had changed, it wouldn't sue people for expressing their opinion!

                    Thus, Turkey hasn't changed... and no cosmos, I'm not talking about the Arabic alphabet.

                    The Turkish Judicial Officials Union have filed a complaint against 17 people for organizing last week's controversial conference on the Ottoman Armenians, and for making statements about the legal process regarding the suspension of conference.

                    The Chairman of the Judicial Union, Kemal Kerincsiz and accompanying lawyers submitted their files to Beyoglu Public Prosecution Office on Tuesday.

                    The Judicial Union had blocked the organization of the conference at Bogazici University. The conference was later switched to Bilgi University.

                    [CENTER][I][COLOR="Red"][B]"We must remind the Turkish Government that when they had Sultan Abdul Hamid, we had Andranik Pasha, Serob Aghbyur, and Gevorg Chaush. When they had Taleat pasha, we had Soghomon Tehleryan. New Hrants will be born, and our struggle will go on.” [/B][/COLOR][/I][/CENTER]

                    [COLOR="Black"][CENTER][B]"Hrant Dink's murder is tragic proof that the Turkish government - through its campaign of denial, threats and intimidation against the recognition of the Armenian Genocide - continues to fuel the same hatred and intolerance that initially led to this crime against humanity more than 90 years ago."[/B][/CENTER][/COLOR]