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Can Turkey Learn Tolerance?

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  • Milliyet has published a comprehensive survey on "rising nationalism" in Turkey. You will probably find an english sumary in tomorrow's English dailies as TDN or Today's Zaman. Over 81% says they do not approve of "We are all Armenians" slogan.The younger the asked, the more nationalist/facist. Will Turkey head towards another period similar to 1980?

    Daha milliyetçi olduk!
    A&G'nin Milliyet için yaptığı araştırmaya göre, halkın yüzde 50.1'i Türkiye'de son zamanlarda milliyetçiliğin yükseldiğini düşünüyor. Hayır diyenlerin oranı yüzde 30.4... Araştırmaya göre, AB ile müzakerelerde gelinen nokta, Kuzey Irak'taki gelişmeler ve Hrant Dink cinayeti sonrası yaşananlar toplumda milli refleksleri artırdı

    İSTANBUL Milliyet

    A&G Araştırma Şirketi'nin yaptığı araştırmaya göre, AB ile müzakerelerde gelinen nokta, Kuzey Irak'taki gelişmeler ve Hrant Dink cinayeti sonrası yaşananlar toplumda milli refleksleri artırdı.
    A&G'nin Milliyet gazetesi için yaptığı araştırmaya göre, halkın yüzde 50.1'i Türkiye'de son zamanlarda milliyetçiliğin yükseldiğini düşünüyor. 'Hayır' diyenlerin oranı yüzde 30.4...
    Yaş düştükçe ve eğitim yükseldikçe 'milliyetçilik artıyor' diyenlerin oranı yükseliyor. MHP'lilerin yüzde 73.8'i Türkiye'de milliyetçi duyguların arttığına inanıyor.

    Erkekler daha milliyetçi
    "Sizin şu veya bu sebeplerle Türk milliyetçiliği duygularınız arttı mı?" sorusuna deneklerin yüzde 21.2'si "Son zamanlarda güçlendiğini hissediyorum", yüzde 15.7'si "Zaman zaman artıyor", yüzde 42.1'i ise "Eskisi gibiyim, hiçbir değişiklik hissetmiyorum" yanıtını verdi.
    Erkeklerin Türk milliyetçiliği duyguları kadınlara göre son zamanlarda daha fazla arttı. 18 - 28 yaş grubunda "Milliyetçi duygularım güçlendi" diyenlerin oranı yüzde 22.9 oldu.
    İlkokul ve daha alt eğitim grubunda yer alanların yüzde 25.1'i bu soruya cevap vermedi veya veremedi. Üniversite mezunlarının yüzde 13.5'i "Türk milliyetçisi değilim" dedi.
    Güneydoğu'da yaşayanların yüzde 38.1'i soruya "Türk milliyetçisi değilim" yanıtını verdi. AKP seçmeninin yüzde 44.6'sı "Değişiklik yok" derken, MHP seçmeninin yüzde 55.7'si 'güçlendi' dedi.
    Milliyetçiliğin yükselmesinin nedenleri sıralanması istendiğinde denekler ilk sıraya yüzde 33.8 oranıyla "AB'nin Türkiye'yi kızdıran ve dışlayan tavrını" koydu. Yüzde 23.6'sı "Türkiye'nin dış politikadaki yetersizliği, Kuzey Irak - Kıbrıs", yüzde 16.1'i de "Türkiye'deki bazı grupların AB ve ABD'yi arkasına alarak bazı talepler ileri sürmesi" dedi. Eğitim ve aylık gelir yükseldikçe "AB'nin Türkiye'yi kızdıran ve dışlayan tavrı" cevabı, düştükçe de "Türkiye'deki bazı grupların AB ve ABD'yi arkasına alarak bazı talepler ileri sürmesi" cevabı arttı.

    AKP milliyetçi parti
    "Hangi partiye oy verirseniz verin, sizce Türkiye'de son zamanlarda artan bu yeni milliyetçi duygulara en iyi cevap veren siyasi parti ve lider hangisi sorusuna yüzde 21.6 ile AKP cevabı verildi. AKP'yi yüzde 17.3 ile MHP, yüzde 7.6 ile CHP, yüzde 6 ile BBP izledi.
    18 - 28 yaş grubunda ise yüzde 22.9 ile ilk sırada söylenen parti MHP oldu. Yaş yükseldikçe MHP cevapları düştü. Eğitim yükseldikçe de AKP cevapları hızla indi.

    'Hepimiz Ermeniyiz'e destek yok

    Ankete katılanlara Hrant Dink'in cenazesinde atılan "Hepimiz Ermeniyiz" sloganını doğru bulup bulmadıkları da soruldu. Vatandaşların yüzde 10.1'i "Doğru buluyorum" derken, yüzde 81.6'sı "Yanlış" dedi. Yüzde 8.4 ise bu soruya cevap vermedi veya veremedi.
    Erkeklerin yüzde 11.1'i sloganı doğru bulurken, kadınlarda bu oran 8.9 oldu. Soruya yanıt vermeyen kadınların oranı ise yüzde 10.7 çıktı. Yaş yükseldikçe "Doğru buluyorum" diyenlerin oranı düştü, cevap vermeyenlerin oranı arttı.

    Gelir grubu da cevabı etkiledi
    Eğitim yükseldikçe "Doğru buluyorum" diyenlerin oranı genel ortalamanın üzerine çıktı. Üniversite mezunlarının yüzde 28.3'ü sloganı doğru bulduğunu söyledi. Eğitim ve hane halkı gelirine bağlı olarak SES grubu yükseldikçe "Doğru buluyorum" diyenlerin oranı yükselip, genel ortalamanın üzerine çıktı. Büyükşehirlerden kıra doğru gidildikçe, "Doğru buluyorum" diyenlerin oranı azaldı.
    "Yarın seçim olsa oyumu MHP'ye vereceğim" diyenlerin yüzde 95.1'i, AKP diyenlerin yüzde 90.3'ü sloganı yanlış bulduğunu söyledi. DTP seçmeninin yüzde 50'si, CHP seçmeninin ise yüzde 22.2'si doğru bulduğunu ifade etti.

    Adil Gür: Artan, etnik milliyetçilik değil

    A&G araştırma şirketi Başkanı Adil Gür sonuçları şöyle yorumladı: "Elde ettiğimiz veriler dikkate alındığında, araştırmanın çarpıcı bulguları şunlar: Türkiye'de her iki kişiden biri, son zamanlarda toplumda milliyetçi eğilimlerin yükseldiğini düşünüyor.
    Görüşülen her 100 kişiden 37'si, şu veya bu sebeplerle Türk milliyetçiliği duygularının son zamanlarda güçlendiğini veya zaman zaman arttığını söylüyor.
    Konuyu derinlemesine incelediğimizde, toplumumuzda önemli oranda artan bir Türk milliyetçiliği eğiliminin olduğunu görüyoruz. Ancak toplumda artan etnik bir milliyetçilik değildir, yaşanan bazı gelişmelere bağlı olarak milli refleksler yükselmiştir demek daha doğru olacaktır.
    AB ile müzakerelerde gelinen nokta, Kuzey Irak'taki gelişmeler ve Dink cinayeti sonrası yaşananlar toplumda milli refleksleri artırmıştır.
    (...) Çeşitli sebeplerle Türkiye'de milliyetçi duygularda bir artış olduğu görülmekte. Yaklaşan milletvekili genel seçimleri öncesi toplumda artan milliyetçi eğilimleri dikkate alan, şahin politikalar yerine, sorunların çözümüne yönelik politikalar üretmeye çalışacak siyasi partilerin, bu kitleleri kazanmada daha etkili olacağını düşünüyorum.

    Araştırmanın künyesi

    Araştırma 17 - 18 Şubat 2007 günleri Türkiye'nin 7 coğrafi bölgesinde, 31 il ve 118 ilçede, bunlara bağlı 137 mahalle ve köyde, 18 yaş ve üstü seçmen nüfusunu temsil eden 1192'si kadın, toplam 2 bin 396 denekle, hanede yüz yüze görüşme metoduyla yapıldı.
    General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”


    • How tolerant

      Nicholas Birch 3/22/07

      Print this article Email this article

      Waving a yellow press card usually opens doors in Turkey. It didn’t impress the police officer guarding the entrance to Agos, the Turkish-Armenian newspaper run by Hrant Dink until a 17-year-old Turkish nationalist gunned him down in January as he stepped outside.

      "Who are you working for," the officer asked suspiciously. "Who do you want to talk to?"

      Like the closed-circuit camera set up last month to survey the patch of Istanbul street where Dink died, the officer’s questions underscore the heightened sense of insecurity facing dissidents in Turkey today. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. A well-known columnist who took over as editor of Agos after his friend’s death, Etyen Mahcupyan has been receiving threats for as long as he can remember.

      "It’s like a side dish," he says. "You are so accustomed to it that when the threats go down, you ask what is happening. And that’s why the murder was a real shock. Because you have so many threats every day and nothing happens."

      Hrant Dink’s death was a turning point for Atilla Yayla, too. An Ankara-based political scientist, his nightmare began last November when he adopted a position during a public conference that the single-party regime set up by Turkey’s founder Kemal Ataturk was "a period of regression, not progress."

      Turkish media outlets branded him a traitor. His university removed him from his teaching position for four months. Last week, a prosecutor opened a case against him for "insulting the legacy of Ataturk." He faces up to three years in jail.

      "For five days, I couldn’t sleep," Yayla remembers, comparing the media campaign against him to "the Moscow courts in Stalin’s time." The stress eventually overwhelmed him. "I collapsed physically," he said. It wasn’t until after Dink’s death, though, that he began to take the death threats he was receiving seriously. Now, like more than a dozen other Turkish dissidents, he shares his life with a police bodyguard. "He is so much a part of me that I’m planning to buy him and his family presents," Yayla commented wryly.

      Other Turkish intellectuals find it much less easy to laugh at the new climate of fear. One of the most prominent of 50 people taken to court by ultra-nationalists last year on charges of "insulting Turkishness," best-selling novelist Elif Safak has now given up writing columns in two newspapers and keeps trips outside her house to a minimum. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].

      Dink "was a close friend, and I haven’t got over the shock of his death," she said in a telephone conversation. She declined to talk at length.

      Interviewed by daily Hurriyet in February, her husband Eyup Can said she was so upset that she was no longer able to breast-feed her six-month-old daughter.

      Orhan Pamuk, meanwhile, the novelist who won last year’s Nobel Prize for literature, left Turkey under police escort in February, declaring himself "furious at everyone and everything." [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. A week before, the man police believe organized Hrant Dink’s murder had warned him to "watch your step" as he was taken into custody.

      When well over 100,000 people attended Dink’s funeral procession late in January, many hoped his death might mark the end of what one columnist called "the ultra-nationalist tsunami" that has swept Turkey since its European Union bid started. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. In fact the protest, and the protestors’ choice of the slogan "we are all Armenians," stirred up nationalist ire further. A key demand made by the protesters -- that the law criminalizing insults to "Turkishness" should be repealed ? has failed to make an impact on legislators.

      Despite the risks they face, many Turkish dissidents say they have no intention of giving up the struggle. "Such a thing has happened, you know, that you cannot be cautious any more," says Mahcupyan, the new Agos editor. "It’s immoral to be cautious."

      Like Mahcupyan, who says you can only tell the real threats from the false ones after it’s too late, Baskin Oran knows his bodyguard will not be able to stop a professional assassination attempt. "This nice person is protecting me from amateur killers, like the one who killed Hrant," said Oran, an Ankara-based political scientist who co-authored a 2004 government report on minority rights that sparked today’s nationalist surge.

      He goes on to quote the Turkish proverb that he who fears birds doesn’t plant corn. "If you are afraid, you should stop. But how can I look into the mirror in the morning if I do stop? How can I lecture my students?"

      Today’s threats and restrictions on freedom of movement, he says, are part of the growing pains of Turkish democracy. "The road to paradise passes by hell, and we are walking."

      Editor?s Note: Nicolas Birch specializes in Turkey, Iran and the Middle East.

      Posted March 22, 2007 © Eurasianet
      General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”


      • Reuters Article: Seeds of Turkish nationalism

        Seeds of Turkish nationalism sown at school
        By Emma Ross-Thomas
        Sunday, April 1, 2007; 9:02 PM

        ISTANBUL (Reuters) - "Happy is he who says he is a Turk," pipe hundreds of uniformed children in unison, lined up in the playground before a golden statue of Turkey's revered father Ataturk, for a daily pledge of hard work and sacrifice.

        The enthusiastic chanting ends and the children file into school, past an inscription saying their first duty is to defend Turkey and another of the national anthem -- texts which appear again on the classroom walls and preface all their textbooks.

        When they move up to high school, they will take a weekly class from army officers about the military's exploits. Their school books will tell them European powers have their sights set on Anatolia and Turkey's geography makes it vulnerable "to all kinds of internal and external threats."

        Textbooks are peppered with the sayings of Kemal Ataturk, who founded modern Turkey in 1923 after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. "Homeland ... we are all a sacrifice for you!" comes particularly recommended by one textbook's authors.

        These are just some of the features of Turkey's education system that reformist teachers and activists want changed. They say it encourages blind nationalism -- something Turkey is looking at more seriously since the ultranationalist-inspired murder in January of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.


        Political rows with the European Union, which Ankara hopes to join, have also fanned nationalism -- especially in an election year -- but many experts say the seeds are first sown at school.

        "In newly founded nation states like ours education is an effective political lever to train and transform people ... but in recent decades this concept, which needs to be loosened, continues," Ziya Selcuk, university professor and former head of the government's Training and Education Board, told Reuters.

        This government has reformed the curriculum in a way teachers say makes students more active and reduces traditional rote learning, but the emphasis on nationalism remains.

        "There's still some emphasis on militarism, the importance of being martyred, the importance of going to war, dying in war and so on," said Batuhan Aydagul, deputy coordinator of the Education Reform Initiative.

        Teachers also say they feel pressure not to stray from the official line or curriculum in class.

        "If you present some arguments which are the opposite of the established arguments ... you might get reaction, absolutely, from students, from other teachers, from directors -- negative reactions of course," said one teacher who declined to be named.

        His colleague, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, laughed at the idea of criticizing Ataturk in a history lesson, saying to do so would spark investigation by prosecutors.

        "They think ... if you do such a thing you confuse their minds and confusion is not good for young people," the first teacher said.

        But the textbooks could be confusing for some: while foreign historians say Ottoman forces massacred Armenians in 1915, high school history books here say it was the other way around.

        "It must not be forgotten that in eastern Anatolia the Armenians carried out genocide," one 2005-dated book reads.

        In its latest progress report the EU also criticized the portrayal of minorities such as Armenians, saying further work was needed to remove discriminatory language from textbooks.

        LOW SCORES

        Nationalism is not the only problem with schools in Turkey, which, hemmed in by the budget restraints of an International Monetary Fund accord, spends little on education.

        With a population of 74 million, Turkey already struggles to find jobs for its ever-growing army of young people.

        But in terms of spending per head as a proportion of the economy, Turkey spends least among OECD countries.

        Primary school teacher Ayse Panus said parents at her public school -- where there are 21 teachers for 680 pupils -- make contributions of about 50 lira ($35) a year to keep it going.

        Turkey is also around the bottom of the OECD league in terms of years spent at school, the proportion of the population with tertiary education and the maths ability of 15-year-olds.

        Teachers are low-paid and spend the first years of their career in a state-assigned posting.

        This government has increased spending, but experts say more is needed to narrow the gap in Turkey's two-tier system between high quality selective academies and regular schools.

        Enrolment has also improved, especially for girls -- helped by a high-profile government and UNICEF-backed campaign to persuade conservative rural parents to send their daughters to school.

        Citing such progress, the EU says Turkey is well prepared for accession when it comes to education, but many disagree.

        "On the one hand they want to be in Europe, and on the other ... they are encouraging the feeling that there are enemies all around," said Panus.
        General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”


          by: Maureen Freely

          March 29, 2007

          Since its birth in 1923, the republic of Turkey has been engaged in a war of
          words with the Armenian diaspora, with the latter insisting that what
          Anatolia's Armenians suffered in 1915 was genocide. The Turkish state has
          put a lot of effort into denying that claim, both at home and abroad. Its
          allies have traditionally agreed not to "make an issue of it." For 82 years,
          the Turkish intelligentsia did the same. But in February 2005, the novelist
          Orhan Pamuk broke the taboo.

          The hate campaign to which he was then subjected was widely reported, both
          in Turkey and abroad, as was his prosecution for insulting Turkishness. In
          the nationalist press in his own country, he was branded a traitor. In the
          west, he was cast as a lone voice, and that is how most people here continue
          to see him.

          In fact, Pamuk is not alone. I know this because I grew up in Istanbul, and
          many members of my family still live there. In the late 1960s, I attended an
          American-owned lycee in Istanbul. Orhan Pamuk, who is my exact contemporary,
          and whose books I now translate, attended our brother school, which has
          since merged with my alma mater to become Robert College. Though we can
          thank these schools for giving us a world-class education, it carried
          contradictions that continue to mark us all. For example, Turkish nationals
          at the colleges were required to study certain subjects-history, geography,
          Turkish literature, and military science-in Turkish, and to study them as
          the ministry of education decreed.

          This involved memorisation and discouraged the intellectual inquiry that was
          so encouraged in the lessons taught by Americans. This meant that my
          classmates had almost to change personality several times a day.

          By mid-afternoon, we would have left our beautiful, secluded campus to
          return to a city that was ever more virulently anti-American. By the late
          1960s, universities had become war zones, with leftist students fighting
          daily pitched battles with the police. There were also repeated attacks
          against US personnel, especially those working on its 17 military bases.

          In March 1971, the military stepped in to "quell anarchy and restore order."
          During its first few months of stewardship, disorder continued, and the
          public continued to be of two minds about the students. The turning point
          came in June, when a Maoist cell that may or may not have been acting alone
          kidnapped and murdered the Israeli consul. Mass arrests of student leftists
          followed, and the same pattern prevailed at the American university where my
          father taught, and where most of my classmates were now studying. After
          hearing that they had an informer in their midst, another Maoist cell put
          this traitor "on trial," found him guilty, chopped him up and put him into a
          trunk. But the girls who were sent to drop the trunk into the Bosphorus were
          caught red-handed.

          In the days that followed, just about everyone at that university who was
          associated with the student left was imprisoned. Many were tortured. Most
          were freed in an amnesty in the mid-1970s, but those who remained
          politically active were back in prison, or forced into exile, after the
          military stepped in again in September 1980.

          I wrote about all this ten years ago (Prospect, December 1996). The essay
          was reprinted in Turkey, and it lost me several friends. I fear they may
          have misunderstood my motives, and I hope that they will understand that the
          trunk murder in my new novel, Enlightenment, exists only in fiction. In real
          life, the murder remains a mystery.

          We will never know if the perpetrators were acting alone, or if they were
          aided, abetted and encouraged by an agent provocateur in league with one or
          more intelligence agencies. But in the real world, as in my novel (which is
          anchored in the present), the abiding mystery is my classmates' resilience.
          Like so many others of their generation, they did not just survive two bouts
          of imprisonment and torture; they picked themselves up, continued their
          lives and flourished, not just as professionals but as Turkey's leading
          pro-European democrats. For these are the people who-together with
          Pamuk-broke Turkey's 82-year ban on open discussion of the Armenian

          Who are they? They come for the most part from the urban bourgeoisie.

          Most are Turkish Muslims, with the complex family histories that are the
          legacy of Ottoman multiculturalism. The rest belong to Istanbul's Greek,
          Jewish or Armenian minorities. Whatever their background, they were all
          required by law to attend Turkish primary schools. Most moved on to study at
          one of the foreign lycees that were established during the Ottoman empire,
          in the mid to late 19th century, and that remained in place after the
          founding of the republic to educate its westernising elites. Many from this
          generation went on to further education in Europe or the US. Some returned
          to take up university posts in Turkey. Others stayed in the west.

          Seven years ago, a sociologist and former classmate of mine named Muge Gocek
          established a network of Turkish and Armenian scholars that aimed to open up
          a space wherein the intelligentsia from both sides of the divide could
          settle the Armenian question through debate and research. Although the
          organisation was based at the University of Michigan, many academics and
          writers living in Turkey were on its list and attended its conferences,
          which at first were held only abroad. But by 2005, a series of EU-driven
          reforms had given Turkey a new and democratic face. A cultural renaissance
          was under way; the streets of Istanbul were full of Greek and Kurdish and
          Armenian music, and its bookstores were packed with memoirs that, however
          gently, belied the official line on Turkishness. So Gocek joined with her
          colleagues and old classmates to organise a conference, the first in
          Turkey's history to allow Turkish scholars to engage with serious genocide
          research on Turkish soil, in Turkish. There was an outcry in the right-wing
          press, and in the national assembly, the justice minister accused the
          organisers of "stabbing the country in the back." But, after many attempts
          to shut it down, the conference went ahead, and for the 700 participants it
          was a cry not just for truth, but for reconciliation.

          But for Kemal Kerincsiz and the ultranationalist Grand Union of Lawyers, who
          staged protests outside, it was treason. We will never know if Kerincsiz
          acted alone or if he enjoyed the protection of ultranationalists inside the
          state, but we do know that he initiated most of the high-profile
          prosecutions of Turkish intellectuals for insulting Turkishness, organs of
          the state or the memory of AtatUErk.

          Having attended a few of these trials, I can tell you that Kerincsiz and his
          colleagues have used each one as an opportunity to hammer home the
          ultranationalist line, on prime-time television. Many of his targets-the
          human rights activist Murat Belge, the novelist Elif Shafak and the
          Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink-were speakers at the Armenian

          Since 2005, according to some sources, there have been 172 prosecutions
          under the infamous article 301 (insulting Turkishness) and related laws. In
          the beginning, it was difficult for western observers to see the point of
          them, because most defendants were acquitted or had their cases dropped on
          technicalities. My own view was that we were seeing the first stage of a
          larger strategy. After Turkey's leading intellectuals had been publicly
          named and shamed for treason and subjected to a stream of death threats, we
          were being told, worse would follow.

          And so it did. But when Hrant Dink was assassinated outside his office in
          January, Istanbul took to the streets in record (and, I suspect,
          unanticipated) numbers. One hundred thousand people attended Dink's funeral,
          many of them carrying placards that read, "We are all Hrant, we are all
          Armenians." A backlash followed, with nationalist rallies and headlines
          declaring, "We are all Turks" and that anyone who wasn't should "clear out."
          At present, ultranationalists lack an electoral base: the Nationalist Action
          party (MHP) does not have a single deputy in the national assembly. But this
          could change when Turkey goes to the polls in the autumn, for the sustained
          campaign in the press against the traitors who have "sold the country to
          Europe for their own gain" has had its effect. A recent opinion poll found
          that 81 per cent disapproved of the democrats who took to the streets after
          Hrant Dink's murder.

          After one man arrested in connection with the assassination used the cameras
          outside the courthouse to advise Pamuk to "be smart," Turkey's first Nobel
          laureate chose to leave the country. Though he intends to return, it may not
          be safe for him to do so in the short
          term: most of the other article 301 high-profile defendants remain under
          police guard. In the meantime, even those who live abroad are not immune to
          harassment or worse. The Turkish scholar Taner Akcam has been repeatedly
          harassed during the US publicity tour for his recent book on 1915 (A
          Shameful Act), and he was detained for four and a half hours at Montreal

          A small band of columnists-some of them with strong establishment links-are
          urging Turkey to stop fighting the genocide resolution that the Armenian
          diaspora have introduced in the US legislature. Others are calling for the
          opening of Turkey's border with Armenia. Several hundred writers are taking
          part in a co-ordinated civil disobedience campaign, in which groups present
          themselves to prosecutors, repeat the statements for which Dink was
          prosecuted and ask to be prosecuted also. Many have chosen to write for
          Agos, the Turkish-Armenian newspaper that Dink edited. Though its primary
          audience is Turkey's 70,000 Armenians, it now serves as the symbolic centre
          of Turkey's democracy movement.

          In the west, Dink was known mainly as a campaigner for Armenian rights.
          Inside Turkey, he was known as a campaigner for all suppressed minorities,
          Muslim and non-Muslim. In the months to come, we can expect the democracy
          movement to carry on his work. And we can expect counterattacks from the
          ultranationalists. The death threats will continue. Those under police guard
          will continue to wonder just how far they can trust their protectors. There
          will be more rumours and more assassinations. As the Kurdish problem
          deepens, we can expect more democrats to be denounced as PKK sympathisers
          and terrorists, and perhaps prosecuted under Turkey's newly strengthened
          anti-terror law. These are scary times-particularly for those of us who
          remember how the army marched in to smash the intelligentsia following the
          coups of 1971 and 1980. But these democrats are not naive. They know what a
          prison cell looks like. They have had their principles tested by the
          electric truncheon. Like the characters in my novel, they understand the
          game. So the story isn't over. Despite the rise of ultranationalism, there
          is still hope.

          From the Prospect archive

          Jonny Dymond on AtatUErk; cngel Gurria-Quintana interviews Orhan Pamuk

          General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”


          • Thanks Joseph,couple of good articles.
            "All truth passes through three stages:
            First, it is ridiculed;
            Second, it is violently opposed; and
            Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

            Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)


            • Originally posted by Gavur View Post
              Thanks Joseph,couple of good articles.
              No problem Gavur. My wife grew up in Turkey and has told me all about the propaganda/disinformation/fascist rhetoric they were forced to memorize.
              General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”


              • Originally posted by türkcocugu View Post
                joseph? is your wife a turkish woman?
                i think you are ibnes..bu sizin sığındığınız yalanlar tarihi hiç bi zaman değiştiremezsiniz sallamayın
                Sorry no bone to throw it at you ...

                Guys? did anyone leave any food leftovers out?? damn too many street dogs intruding today ...
       ... a RIGHT does NOT die as long as it has A claimer ...


                • Originally posted by türkcocugu View Post
                  joseph? is your wife a turkish woman?
                  i think you are ibnes..bu sizin s???nd???n?z yalanlar tarihi hiç bi zaman de?i?tiremezsiniz sallamay?n
                  No. She is Armenian. The only languages allowed on this site are English and Armenian. Goodbye
                  General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”


                  • Films of Armenian master directors meet the audience all through the month
                    Friday, April 20, 2007

                    ISTANBUL - Turkish Daily News

                    The Foundation of Science, Education, Aesthetics, Culture and Art Research (BEKSAV) has dedicated its 12th year activities to freedom and fraternity. Acting from the principles of �Art for the society, science for humanity, politics for freedom,� BEKSAV is presenting the outstanding works of the Armenian Cinema, which have attracted much attention all around the world, to movie lovers in Turkey.

                    BEKSAV's Cinema Workshop manager Aynur Özbakır pointed out that as the workshop group they have a principle to show works that have not been screened in Turkey before, and Armenian films fall into that group.

                    �We wanted to approach the constant tension between the two peoples with the compromising attitude of art. It has a distinct importance for us that the films shown at BEKSAV are meeting the audience for the first time,� Özbakır said. �The event has just started, there is not much attention, but since it will continue until the end of the month, it's early to say anything now.�

                    All through the month, along with works of Atom Egoyan, the Canadian master director of Armenian origins, Artur Peleşyan's, Suren Babayan's, Tigran Khzmalyan's and Suzanne Khardalian's works will be screened. BEKSAV's organization is also significant as it brings to Turkey for the first time films that have created much debate such as Khardalian's film about the events of 1915.

                    Khardalian's documentary set to bring debate:

                    Suzanne Khardalian's film �I Hate Dogs,� made in Sweden in 2005, is without doubt a suitor for being the most polemical film of the screening.

                    The film, prevented from being shown before in Turkey, is presented in documentary style with Garbis Hagopyan's narration. In the year 1915, Hagopyan is nine years old. Hagopyan, who has lost his family and all relatives, tells about what he lived 91 years ago.

                    Tigran Khzmalyan's film named �Sev Isbidag� (Black and White), which won an award in the Best Short Film category in Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival in 1996, is one of the must-see in the festival. The film evolves around seven women who are waiting for their husbands in a mountain village during time of war.

                    Four cult films of Ardavazt Artur Peleşyan are also part of the schedule. The master director of Armenia has won many awards in both documentary and fiction films.

                    The 1967 film �Isgizbı� (The Beginning) is about the Bolshevik Revolution; �Menk� (Us), made in 1969 handles Armenian identity; �Darvuyn Yeganagneri� (Seasons), 1975, is one of the masterpieces of the director; and his 1983 film �Mer Tari� (Our Age) will bring the filmmaker's vision to the audience.

                    Atom Egoyan, who has undersigned successful films with his works that made a difference on the white screen, is the guest of BEKSAV with his 1993 film �Calendar, � which portrays the journey a photographer and his wife took to photograph Armenian churches. Egoyan works the theme of �alien� into the film.

                    Suren Babayan is looking for the �Messiah� in �Khent Hresdag�:

                    2001 made �Khent Hreşdag� (Crazy Angel), adapted to screen by Suren Babayan, was inspired from Par Lagerkvist's novel named Barabas. The subject matter alone is set to attract some attention. The film begins with the director looking for the person who will play Jesus. Gabriel, who is described as the �Messiah� at the mental hospital, is thought to be fit for the role.


                    • Turkey warned: Respect democracy

                      ANKARA, Turkey (CNN) -- The European Union and the U.S. have urged the Turkish army to respect the country's democracy after military chiefs voiced concerns over the current presidential election.

                      In a statement issued on Friday night, top soldiers warned the army could intervene if the election process threatened to undermine Turkey's secular system of government, The Associated Press reported.

                      "It should not be forgotten that the Turkish armed forces is one of the sides in this debate and the absolute defender of secularism," the military statement said.

                      "When necessary, they will display their attitudes and actions very clearly. No one should doubt that."

                      Friday's parliamentary vote to elect Turkey's next president has been marked by tensions between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamist Justice and Development Party and members of Turkey's secular establishment.

                      Lawmakers will vote again next week after the ruling party's candidate, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, failed to garner a clear win amid a boycott by the opposition Republican People's Party.

                      A government spokesman said Erdogan had spoken to Turkey's top general, Yasar Buyukanit, adding that the military statement was "not acceptable in a democratic order."

                      "The chief of the General Staff is answerable to the Prime Minister," Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said.

                      In Brussels, EU enlargement chief Olli Rehn said it was watching events in Ankara with concern, Reuters reported.

                      "It is important that the military leaves the remit of democracy to the democratically elected government and this is a test case if the Turkish armed forces respect democratic secularism and the democratic arrangement of civil-military relations," said Rehn.

                      U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Dan Fried called for democracy to be respected: "We hope and expect that the Turks will work out these political issues in their own way, in a way that's consistent with their secular democracy and constitutional provisions."

                      Turkish human rights campaigners also condemned the statement by the army, which has ousted four governments in the past 50 years -- most recently in 1997 when it overthrew an Islamist government in which Gul and Erdogan served.

                      "The statement has damaged our country's democracy and our state of law," said the Ankara-based Human Rights Association.

                      Mehmet Agar, leader of the center-right opposition True Path Party, told reporters: "Turkey's problems must be solved by civilian politics."

                      Emergency talks
                      Erdogan and Gul held emergency talks on Saturday following Gul's failure by 10 votes to secure the two-thirds parliamentary majority necessary to avoid a second round of voting.

                      Parliament members are slated to vote a second time next Wednesday. A two-thirds majority again will be needed to elect a president in the second round. If voting goes to a third round, then a simple majority will do.

                      Opposition lawmakers have asked Turkey's Constitutional Court to declare Friday's vote void and want an early general election instead, according to journalist Andrew Finkel in Ankara.

                      The probability that Gul, whose wife wears the traditional Muslim head scarf, will become the president of an already Islamic-rooted government -- possibly bolstering the role of religion in politics -- has caused unease in the vastly secular nation.

                      Part of the president's role includes veto power on legislation. With a record number of vetoed legislative bills, the country's current president, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, is widely viewed as fulfilling a checks-and-balances roll in the government, according to Finkel. Sezer leaves office May 16.

                      Commentator Oktay Eksi of the Hurriyet newspaper said the army's statement amounted to a "straightforward ultimatum," AP reported.

                      "It expresses concern over the fact that if Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is elected, the presidential palace, which is considered the last bastion of secularism, will be handed over to a person who is anti-secular," Eksi said.

                      -- CNN's Talia Kayali in Atlanta and journalist Andrew Finkel in Ankara contributed to this report.