Increasingly illiberal Turkish government investigates...

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Tequila
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12 Jan 2013, 12:48 pm

...free speech campaigners who spoke of "fascist developments in Turkey":

Fazıl Say is a Turkish pianist who made some trivial insults about Islam. Under Turkey's now increasingly anti-secularist government, he has been arrested and imprisoned and is being called up to court on the charge of "insulting the Turkish state".

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http://www.pen.org.tr/en/node/1761]PEN Int'l condemns investigation against PEN Turkey

As a result of an announcement constituting support for Fazıl Say that we gave as the PEN Board on 3 June [2012], we were called to the prosecutor's office to submit an official statement under Article 301. On 10 January 2013, we submitted an offficial statement. In the announcement that is the subject of the complaint, we said the following:

"As the Turkey Centre of the international writers association PEN, we strongly condemn and meet with consternation the [news] that our esteemed composer and pianist Fazıl Say has been called up to court. The international community has been put on alert in the face of fascist developments in Turkey."

In the official statement we submitted as the board, we outlined that the above words were an expression of thought and a criticism, that they were not intended as being aimed as an insult. We emphasised that the right to criticise, a constitutional and legal right, was being exercised. As a result, it was requested that a decision not to prosecute would be given.


Scary times in Turkey for liberals, secularists and those that believe in free speech. I hope the tide turns soon and that secularism is restored.



Surfman
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12 Jan 2013, 2:29 pm

I have noticed a fairly common genetic expression amongst many Turks in Aucks. Its a weird variant on ASD's and has found expression in a now long history of non empathy and violence toward those in disagreement with this sub-set of mankind.

The Ottoman empire had a bad rep for a long time. Turks in Auckland are at the forefront of Islamic promotion via groups such as the grey wolves. International actions are usually covert, this above local story overt to promote the Turkish ultra nationalist position at home.

Ultra nationalism be it turkish or american or british always worries me



xenon13
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12 Jan 2013, 2:30 pm

I thought the Grey Wolves were a bunch of Kemalists.



Tequila
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12 Jan 2013, 2:37 pm

xenon13 wrote:
I thought the Grey Wolves were a bunch of Kemalists.


They're extreme nationalists and have been responsible for many murders of left-wingers, public intellectuals, Greek Cypriots and others. I don't know if they are Islamists as well, but it wouldn't surprise me.



xenon13
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12 Jan 2013, 2:39 pm

Tequila wrote:
xenon13 wrote:
I thought the Grey Wolves were a bunch of Kemalists.


They're extreme nationalists and have been responsible for many murders of left-wingers, public intellectuals, Greek Cypriots and others. I don't know if they are Islamists as well, but it wouldn't surprise me.



Turkish nationalists are Kemalists usually and Kemalists are militantly opposed to Islamism. It was recently revealed that a Turkish president had been poisoned by some Kemalists of the Turkish "deep state" because he was thought to be too soft on Islamists.

By the way, didn't they shoot John Paul II?



Last edited by xenon13 on 12 Jan 2013, 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Surfman
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12 Jan 2013, 2:39 pm

I dont know much about them really, but I have observed an obvious disrespect for any different others, expressed as excessively defiant nationalism.

You see it with all types, union jack tee shirts, stars and stripes hats and stuff. The Japanese are ultra nationalists too. India and Pakistan

With Turks it extends to highly public legal actions such as the OP's original story



Tequila
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12 Jan 2013, 2:39 pm

Surfman wrote:
Ultra nationalism be it turkish or american or british always worries me


I can't see a problem with being proud of where you are from and wanting to make your country a better place to live. Ultranationalism isn't that, though. It's racist, totalitarian and frequently violent.



Tequila
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12 Jan 2013, 2:41 pm

xenon13 wrote:
Turkish nationalists are Kemalists usually


Not in this case. There seems to be both Kemalist and Islamist factions in the Grey Wolves.

Kemalism has my full support.



xenon13
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12 Jan 2013, 2:47 pm

Islamists are not nationalists, such does not match. Turkish identity under Kemalism supplanted Islamic identity under the Calph and Sultan...



Declension
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12 Jan 2013, 4:07 pm

It's bad enough when countries are stuck in religious barbarism, but it's even worse when a relatively well-off country seems to go backwards.

But it's worth noting that the famous secularist reformers of Turkey had quite a few fascist tendencies themselves, and it is still illegal to talk about the Armenian genocide in Turkey. So it's not as if the Islamists are the only nasty people around those parts. Maybe if we're lucky, the two will cancel each other out somehow.



Last edited by Declension on 12 Jan 2013, 4:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Tequila
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12 Jan 2013, 4:09 pm

xenon13 wrote:
Islamists are not nationalists, such does not match.


How do you explain a sizeable section of their support going off to Islamist parties? You can be a nationalist and support Islamism. Hell, Christianity and Britishness were intertwined for centuries.

Declension wrote:
It's bad enough when countries are stuck in religious barbarism, but it's even worse when a relatively well-off country seems to go backwards.


True.



petitesouris
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13 Jan 2013, 3:43 am

Declension wrote:
But it's worth noting that the famous secularist reformers of Turkey had quite a few fascist tendencies themselves, and it is still illegal to talk about the Armenian genocide in Turkey.


This is true. The Turkish forces who fought the victors of WW1 after the former Ottoman empire was occupied, led by Attaturk, tolerated the continuation of massacres against Armenians who lived in what is now Turkish territory and what was designated as western Armenia before the turkish nationalists invaded the region, thus why historians argue that the Armenian Genocide ended in 1923 rather than after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. However it is noteworthy that the (mostly sunni) islamists contributed extensively to the genocides against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, and Kurds.

Considering the direction Turkey is taking, the future for religious minorities, progressive Turkish people, and women is uncertain. This is another reason it should not join the EU. Also, why is it part of n.a.t.o. if it has no respect for important western ideals such as civil liberties and freedom of conscience and still occupies northern Cyprus, in which thousands of Greek people were forced from their homes? Most likely because those who make all these
decisions do not care at all about shared values and cultural history.



Last edited by petitesouris on 14 Jan 2013, 10:00 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Tequila
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13 Jan 2013, 8:49 am

Declension wrote:
But it's worth noting that the famous secularist reformers of Turkey had quite a few fascist tendencies themselves, and it is still illegal to talk about the Armenian genocide in Turkey.


Yes. That's a good point, and one I'd forgotten. They still can't admit to that, even though over a million people were killed. It's one of the worst crimes in history.

petitsouris wrote:
However it should not be forgotten that the (mostly sunni) islamists contributed extensively to the genocides against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, and Kurds.


It sounds like both secularists and Islamists were at it.

petitsouris wrote:
Needless to say, I feel very sorry for minorities, progressive Turkish people, and women living under the current Turkish government. This is why Turkey must not join the EU. Also, why is this country in n.a.t.o.


Agreed. The people of Turkey deserve better than this.

petitsouris wrote:
still occupies northern Cyprus, from which thousands of Greek people were ethnically cleansed?


That's a much more complicated state of affairs and I think there is wrong on both sides there. Remember the events that lead up to the invasion of Cyprus - i.e. the Greek fascist military junta trying to launch a coup in Cyprus in order to annex the entire island into union with Greece, something that the minority Turkish Cypriot population were opposed to from the very beginning. The TCs wanted partition of the island even before independence, and that's what they eventually got. I can understand the Turkish government invading in 1974 to protect their population, but it caused an awful lot of bloodshed and heartache. I also think they took too much territory for the amount of people they have living there. It's quite haunting milling around 'Northern Cyprus' and looking at all the abandoned houses and cars, you know, those areas that have just been fenced off after 1974.



petitesouris
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14 Jan 2013, 8:16 pm

Tequila wrote:
It sounds like both secularists and Islamists were at it.


This is the point I was trying to make in the second sentence of my last post.



Last edited by petitesouris on 15 Jan 2013, 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

petitesouris
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14 Jan 2013, 8:35 pm

Tequila wrote:
That's a much more complicated state of affairs and I think there is wrong on both sides there. Remember the events that lead up to the invasion of Cyprus - i.e. the Greek fascist military junta trying to launch a coup in Cyprus in order to annex the entire island into union with Greece


This is also true. However, I am not sure what was the military dictatorship represented the people. Most likely, they would have never had a chance to influence the country for long or at all if the U.S. had not supported far right movements in Greece during the cold war. Since there is little chance of Greece trying again to intervene in Cyprus (even considering the ultranationalists who want to invade it, which is unlikely to happen), Turkey should gradually end it's military presence there. You are right that no side consisted entirely of innocent people, however, because so many people were displaced in northern Cyprus and, as you also mentioned, certain portions of it with little or no presence of Turkish Cypriots were taken, it seems inaccurate for the occupiers of the region to claim it exclusively as their own. It is difficult to form a committed opinion on this conflict, since I am observing it from a western European perspective rather than a Turkish or Greek perspective. I wonder if anyone from Cyprus or Greece actually agrees with how the two sections of the island are administered (although this seems unlikely).