Tag Archives: Turkey

For Hrant.

Today, January 19th 2010, it has been 3 years that Hrant Dink was brutally murdered. He was assassinated after years of being threatened, being ridiculed and hated upon. This was brought upon by nationalist, racist and fascist people, government and law. Till now only 5 people are under prosecution but there hasn’t been a verdict yet. It also seems clear that not only those 5 people are responsible for the murder of Hrant Dink.

Many more persons and even institutions inside the Turkish Republic are as such responsible. First and foremost for not protecting Hrant Dink for his right of freedom of speech and as one of the biggest fighters for Democracy in this country. But also for making it possible that there was a flood of hate against the man that only had the best in sight for a country that also he considered his home although he was from Armenian-Turkish descendant and therefor the victim of much racism. They are also responsible for hindering justice for the culprits behind the murder are still protected by those people and institutions and even are part of those very institutions that would make up this pretense of a democracy.

Thousands have stood, listening to friends and family of Hrant, this morning on the place where he fell. Thousands have walked Istiklal to ask for justice this evening. As they have done for several moments during these past 3 years. But still the culprits of the murder. The murder of the pretense of democracy. Are not even punished. They are being protected by whatever state calls itself a democracy. A democracy that can not even provide justice in a murder-case where evidence is very clear. Very clear that this Republic is rotten. Rotten by hatred. Rotten by the murder of innocents.

It is time that this passes. That this is cleaned up. That justice prevails. That democracy shines its light upon this country and that the hatred can be shot instead of those who want to bring peace and understanding. For Hrant. Because we’re all Hrant in this country. We’re all oppressed. We’re all Armenian.

Martin Luther King

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

Politics in Turkey

Politics in Turkey is very different that I’m used to in Belgium or even Western Europe. And if for one thing being active in a European Political Federation is that is very informative about the sense of politics. Politics as in political parties. Politics as in a parliamentary democracy. Politics between right- and left-wing policies.

And in those things politics in Turkey is very different. In every sense.

It might be very strange to understand for anybody who is used to any kind of Western European kind of politics but it is so. I only hope that by writing this down I don’t seem too much like a spoiled Western European brat who knows things so much better. A kinder manner of neo-imperialism.

But things in Turkey are very different indeed. For one there seems to be no such thing as a difference between political parties. All of them seem to be very nationalistic minded, militaristic and conservative. There seems to be no such thing as a difference as in conservatives, liberals, socialists and progressives.
If there’s any difference then that should be that between black and white. There is no such thing as a grey area of politics. You’re either in favor or against. No middle way at all. And in such extremist surroundings it doesn’t even make sense to be grey. Not at all. No sense at all. Because that only confuses. And confusion in the field of politics, or for whatever else that matters is just not done in Turkish society.

This black or white thinking also makes it impossible to ever think about a parliamentary democracy. The closure of any Kurdish party (the only worthy opposition party possible) has shown this. Seven Kurdish parties have been closed down this way. Because they were against a majority thinking Because they were against a Turkish nationalistic approach. Because they defended a minority (maybe only the biggest minority in the Turkish Republic, but still). And this is unsettling in what should be considered a democracy. This is actually not even worth to be called a democracy when parties that stand up for minority rights are abolished just because of that. And all other reasons given are just crap.

Also the complete lack of something that could be considered a a left-wing party in the Turkish Republic is completely strange. Because no matter how progressive a party may seem here, it is always overshadowed by nationalism, by militarism or by clear racism. There is as such no such thing as critical thinking. And that is something that is needed to be left-wing, to be progressive. To be able to change.

And therefor I fear that this way of politics, that has drowned society, or that is maybe a result of the societies wishes, maybe never really ready for democracy. Or even the illusion of democracy. Because democracy as such takes courage to think differently. To be in acceptance of minimal change.

Tears For Heaven

Many bitter tears I’ve shed tonight. Much shit has been spilled tonight. And it has been good. For the first time in a very long time – and maybe for the first time I’ve felt like myself. Myself. And that’s a bloody hard thing for me.

I’ve come a very fucking long way. I’ve moved here to Istanbul with the illusion to find myself. With the pretext that in Belgium I couldn’t find myself. Drawn back from reality. Far and far away from anything that felt even remotely real. Not even close to be myself. Not in identity. Not in Thinking. Not in feeling. Thinking it was the Western European Way of things. That that was what I couldn’t feel. But here. Where I built this illusion to be close to what i really am i can’t even get close to anything. I’m even further away from finding myself.

And that realization that everybody. Every fucking body here in Turkey is so fucking far away from their own identity. From their own feelings. That that coldness. That that embodiment of being closed down is everywhere. That is killing me.

After all these years of feeling excluded. Of feeling left out. Of thinking of differences I finally wanted to come home. To feel a part of something. But apparently even that seems impossible. There will always be a non)belonging. That’s for sure. As it i impossible to live in 2 worlds. There’s only 1 world. And I don’t belong. I don’t feel it. Therefor I shouldn’t be. Just not be.

Murathan ’95

Karanlik odada üç gölge;
Ikili ilişkileri kuramayan insanlar,
üçlü ilişkileri deniyorlar.

Rumi

Listen oh listen to my plaintive cry
Listen to my my longing or else I die
From the sweet home of my bed I was torn
So my pain and crucial longing was born.

With so many secrets I sing aloud
But none sees nor hears in this crowd
Oh for a friend to know my burning state
That our souls may mingle and contemplate.

The flame of Love discourses in me
The wine of Love so enforces me.
Do you wish to know the fire, the flow
Listen my listener then you shall know.

Mathnavi 1.1

Politics and Love in Turkey

This is something strange. It’s something I’m not sure I understand nor if I want to understand. It’s something so deeply rooted it’s even quite worrying. And it even might be fucked up. But at the same time it might just be me reacting on the cultural chock I’m living through since moving to Istanbul.

In Turkish society even the people calling themselves a-political are very much political. Everybody has an opinion on what is happening. Everybody. No exception possible. It either be a nationalistic (many), either anarchistic (very few) or leftish (very few as well). It’s incredible as people are opinionated. To the very extreme. It’s either you’re in favor or you’re against something and with that that very person who stand for those idea’s. It’s very much black or white. There seems no existence of the color gray. No fucking way.

And people are not afraid to come out and talk about their opinions. About their ideology. Not afraid at all. There’s so much openness about it it might be impossible to comprehend. But it seems that this goes hand in hand with the polarization between ideologies. Between black and white.

This makes it very strange that in a different part of people all is hidden. The part that isn’t politics but is our personal emotional behavior. And when I write hidden I actually mean Hidden. Completely covered up. Non accessible. Not at all.

It’s like people are too afraid to describe, to even talk or think about what is going on inside them. What they are feeling. What they are experiencing. That is something that is not in accordance with that crazy openness about everything that is political.

It makes one wonder how complete this society or even an individual is when there’s only polarization on the political level of life and there is no talk of what is going on in our heart. Can this then really be a society where respect and love is present? When there’s so little of that respect and love for each other actually shown between individuals? Or maybe it’s all about politics here. Nothing about love. Nothing about the heart.