Archive for Haziran 2006

Son zamanlarda Turkiye’deki demokrat intelligentisa arsinda guc kazanan bir trend de malesef  magdur dindarlarin demokratligini sorgulama olmustur. “kendileri icin demokrat” deyimi artik laikci sozluk’ten liberal demokrat terminolojisine de girmeye baslamistir.

Laikcilerin fasizan baskilari altinda yeteri kadar inlemiyorlarmis gibi dindar kesim birde demokratlar taraindan “demokrasi sammiyeti” sinavina tabii tutulmaktadirlar. “tamam bunda ne var, gercek demokrat oldugunuzu isbatlayinki samimiyetiniz anlasilsin ve talepleriniz daha ciddiye alinsin” denebilir. Fakat su sinav sorularina bakin Allah askina.

Daha once ozel  idarelerde olan ickili eglence yerlerinin bulunabilecegi bolge belirleme isini beldiyelere devredilmesi kanun teklifinden dolayi “bunlar icki yasagi getireckler; hatta getirdiler, sonra seriati getirecekler” diye suclaniyorsunuz ve “demokrasi sinavindan” zayif aliyorsunuz.

Izinsiz egitim kurumu acanlar (yalniz Kur’an kurslari degil bale veya tenis kursu dahil herhangibir gayeye matuf) icin cezanin uc yildan, daha once oldugu gibi 2 yila indirilmesin teklif ederseniz, keza ayni suclama. Sinirlama gibi sinirlari genisletme de demokrasi sinavindan cakmaniza sebebiyet verebilir. Bir kere supheli olmaya gorun.

Duvarinda “Hakimiyet Kayitsiz Sartsiz Milletindir” yazan millet iradesinin tecelli yeri olan TBMM’nin kurulus yildonumunde Baskan bu sozun anlamini aciklayan, ve bunun icresinde laikligin milletin din ve vijdan hurriyetini de icerdigini hatirlatan konusmasindan dolayi “demokratik laik cumhuriyeti yikmaya calismak” la sucaniyor ve Bulentinejad adi verlerek gene demokrasi sinavindan caktiriliyor.

Bu demokrasi testinden gecebilmek icin hukumetin ve AK-Parti’nin bircok uyeleri musamahakarlikta sinir tanimaz oluyor. Bu musamahasizlara musamahayi Mevlana’nin da otesine tasiyan devlet bakani Abdullatif Sener “icki iceni sevebilmeliyiz” diyerek musamahanin yeni bir tanimini yapti. Oysa demokrasilerde bir insan kendi ahlaki veya dini degerlerine ters gelen aktiviteleri SEVEBILMEK sorunda degildir. Bunu beklemek Koru’nun yazisinda dedigi gibi oxymoron (tezat barindiran ifade) olur: Nefret ettigi seyi sevmek. Bu insanin kendini reddemesinden baska birsey degildir. Cogulcu demokrasi de kisiden beklenen sevebilmek, veya hosgoru dahi degildir, tolerans (musamaha) dir.

Ama yukarida bahsettigim olaylar demokratladan degil fasist laikclerden kaynaklanmaktadir. Sosyal liberal demokratlarin yaptigi ise biraz daha farklidir. Onlar dindarlarin insan haklarini liberallikleri geregi savunurken, muhafazakarlardan da kendileri gibi liberal olmalarini beklemektedirler.  Fakat kullandiklari musamaha testi laikcilerinkinden fazla farkli degildir. Dindar insandan dininin, aile ahlakinin yasakladigi uygulamalara hosgoru ile yaklasmasini bekliyorlar.  Dindar kimseler ulkenin kanunlarina tabiidir, digerleri gibi. Cogulcu demokraside her segmentin degerinin nisbi temsilinden sosyal mevzularda bir konsensus, veya sentez cikar. Bu mutabakat metnidir herkesin riayet etmek zorunda oldugu, hoslanmak zorunda degil. Bir ateist te dindalardan hoslanmak zorunda degildir; sadece kisisel tercihini baskasina dayatmamak zorundadir ve toplumun degerlerinden cikan kanunlara riayet etmek.

Asagidaki Koru yazisindan anlasildigi gibi Gulay Gokturk, kizlarimizi gayrimesru cocuk yapmaya tesvik eden Ece Temelkuran’in muhafazakarlarca desteklenmesini isterken tam da bu liberal muhafazakarlik oxymoron’unu istemektedir onlardan.

Iste yazi:

Fehmi KORU
f.koru@yenisafak.com.tr 
Ne sınavı?

Evlilik dışı ilişkileri, hatta evlenmeden çocuk sahibi olmayı muhafazakârlar da savunmalı mı?

İlk bakışta insanı sersemletecek kadar ters gelen bir beklenti bu. ‘Muhafazakâr’, adı üstünde, ‘topluma ait değerleri korumaktan yana olan’ demek; bu anlamın düşünce hayatına ve siyasete yansıyan yönü de pek farklı değildir. Muhafazakâr, en kısa anlamıyla, dünyada belli bir ‘ahlâkî düzen’ olduğuna ve bu düzenin korunması gerektiğine inanan insandır.

Tanımdaki anahtar sözcük, tahmin edilebileceği üzere, ‘ahlâkî’ sözcüğü… ‘Oksimoron’ (zıtların tevhidi) gibi görünse bile, ‘muhafazakâr’ bir demokrattan, hatta ekonomik anlamda liberalizmi savunan bir muhafazakârlıktan söz etmek mümkündür; ancak konu ‘ahlâk’ alanına geldiğinde, muhafazakâr kişinin gerçek tavrı belirginleşir. Muhafazakâr olma iddiasındakiler arasından ‘aykırı davrananlar’ çıkmaz mı, çıkabilir elbette; ancak geçtiğimiz yıllarda Amerikalı ünlü muhafazakâr Bill Bennett’in kumar hastalığı öğrenildiğinde patlayan tartışmaların ortaya koyduğu gibi, bu durum insanları ‘şok’ eder…

Bir muhafazakarın, evlilik dışı ilişkileri ve evlenmeden çocuk sahibi olmayı savunması beklenemez; savunduğu taktirde artık onun muhafazakârlığından söz edilemez. Bir muhafazakârdan talep edilebilecek en ileri tavır, kendisininkinden farklı -aykırı- görüşlerin de savunulabileceğini kabul etmesidir. Bu tavır da zordur, ama Türk muhafazakârlığı nicedir bu tavrı benimsemiş durumda. Muhafazakârlarımızın önemli bir bölümü, en aykırı görüşlerin özgürce savunulabilmesi konusunda girdikleri nice sınavdan alınlarının akıyla çıkmış bulunuyorlar.

Bu konuya girmemin sebebi, Gülay Göktürk’ün Bugün gazetesinde çıkan ‘Muhafazakârların Bam Teli’ başlıklı yazısı oldu. “Kadınlar evlilik dışı çocuk doğurmaktan korkmasın” diye yazdığı ve ‘gayr-ı meşru çocuk’ kavramını sorguladığı için Basın Konseyi tarafından kınanan bir Milliyet yazarını ele aldığı yazısında, Gülay Göktürk, eğer yanlış anlamadıysam, muhafazakârları yazarın görüşlerine sahip çıkmaya çağırıyor…

Sorun, Milliyet yazarının ‘aykırıyı savunabilmesi’ özgürlüğüyse, yazar yazısını yazmış ve muhafazakâr kesimden hiç ses çıkmamış işte.

Dikkat edin, “O görüşler de savunulabilsin” demiyor Gülay Göktürk, görüşlerin muhafazakârlar tarafından savunulmasını istiyor. Okuyalım: “Bu konu, Ece Temelkuran’dan ziyade, aile değerlerine önem veren geniş muhafazakâr kesim açısından bir ’sınav’ değeri taşıyor. Muhafazakâr kesimin bu ‘tahammül sınavı’ndan başarıyla çıkması, bizim kendimize özgü koşullarımız yüzünden, dünyanın diğer ülkelerine göre Türkiye’de daha da büyük önem taşıyor.”

‘Bize özgü koşullar’ uzun yıllardır tartışageldiğimiz ‘yaşam tarzı’ ile ilgili konular. Ülkemizde muhafazakâr bir iktidar var ve dört yıldır bu alanda hiçbir vukuatı yok ama yine de sayıca çokluğun verdiği haklılık duygusuyla ‘yaşam tarzı’na müdahale etmesinden endişelenenler bulunuyor. Başı örtme özgürlüğünü savunanlar açısından ’sınav değeri’ taşıyan da buymuş. “İşte bu yüzden” diyor Gülay Göktürk, “Evlilik dışı çocuk doğurmanın savunulması gibi bir noktada muhafazakâr kesimin kanaat önderlerinin, basın kuruluşlarının ne diyeceklerini merak ediyorum.”

İyi de, sözgelimi ben, duruşuma aykırı böyle bir görüşü neden savunayım ki? Evlilik kurumuna önem veriyorum ve çocuğun kadın ile erkeğin yasal birlikteliğinden meydana gelmesini doğru buluyorum. Sahip olduğum görüşler beni ülkemdeki muhafazakâr çoğunluğun içine yerleştirdiği için temel ilkelerime aykırı bir tavır almamı benden beklemek insafsızlıktır.

Türkiye’de fiilî durum ‘muhafazakâr müsamahasını’ yeterince yansıtıyor zaten: Muhafazakârlar tasvip etmese, doğru bulmasa da, evlilik dışı ilişkiler engel tanımadan devam ediyor ülkemizde, evlilik dışı birlikteliklerin ürünü çocuklar da nüfusa kaydediliyorlar…

Başörtüsü özgürlüğü üzerinde mutabakata ulaşmak için başka ne ’sınavlar’ var acaba? Yoksa yine sınıfta mı kaldık?

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Training Your Human

Training your human is a thankless task.
“Why bother with it?”, some kittens may ask.
The fate of the world is the issue at hand,
as felines worldwide stake a claim for their land.
Make no bones about it, we cats own the joint.
We spray in the corners to drive home the point.Some say the meek shall inherit the Earth,
But they’ve no fangs or claws, for what that’s worth.
The cat is the ultimate species, you see,
We’re poised to usurp man’s authority.
These silly old humans who cannot play nice!
We cats are peaceful, we hate only mice. (devamını oku…)

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HABERLER 26.06.2006  PAZARTESİ
ADD kongresinde tuhaf mesajlarAtatürkçü Düşünce Derneği’nin (ADD) 9. Genel Kurulu’na katılan delegeler tuhaf mesajlar verdi.

Bir delege, Cumhurbaşkanı Ahmet Necdet Sezer’i ‘Cumhuriyeti yıkacak yasaları imzalamakla’ suçlarken, bir başkası ise ‘Biz orduyuz, cumhuriyetle uğraşan iktidarla cephe cephe savaşmalıyız.’ dedi. ADD Genel Sekreter Yardımcısı, Atatürk’ün tekellerinde olduğunu söylerken, kongrede konuşan bir üye ise ‘Anıtkabir’in Mekke’den daha kutsal’ olduğunu iddia etti. (devamını oku…)

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Hangi Cumhuriyet

24.06.2006  CUMARTESİ

[YORUM – PROF. DR. ATİLLA YAYLA]
Hangi cumhuriyet? (1)

Demokratik cumhuriyet fikrinden ziyade totaliter cumhuriyet fikrine yakın duran çevreler, bazı tezleri mütemadiyen tekrar ediyorlar. Olabildiğince çok tekrarın tezlerini doğru hâle getireceğini veya onlara itiraz edilmesini imkânsızlaştıracağını sanmaları bunun baş sebebi olsa gerek.

Basitleştirilmiş ve bilinçaltına işleyecek şekilde formüle edilmiş propaganda esasen totaliter sistemlerin propaganda yöntemidir. Totaliter propaganda, hap hâline getirilmiş fikirlerin basit ifadelerle devamlı olarak tekrarına ve fikirlerin temsil ettiği şeylere karşı tehdit teşkil ettiği ileri sürülen bir düşman yaratılmasına dayanır. Türkiye’deki cumhuriyetçi propagandanın, siyaset psikolojisi açısından bir analize tabi tutulursa, birçok bakımdan totaliter özelliklere sahip olduğu kolayca tespit edilecektir. (devamını oku…)

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Internet’i internet olmadan oncesinden beri -saniyorum 1990’dan beri- su veya bu sekilde kullaniyorum. 98’de olsa gerek Yahoo’nun  “sizin de web sayfaniz olsun” tahrikine kapilip 10 dakikada bir web sayfasin yapmisligim dahi vardir, sonradan bakimsizliktan sizlere omur oldugunu anladigim. Bu web siteleri olayini ilk ogrendigim zamandan beri soyle adamaklilli insanlarla dusuncelerimi paylasabilecegim, bol linkli, bol alintili, yuksek trafikli, cifte lisanli bir site kurmak fikri hep aklimda olmustur. Fakat “yapilmaya degen her sey dogru yapilmaya da degerdir” sozu ile karakterize edilen mukemmeliyetci tarafim hep buna engel olmustu simdiye kadar. (devamını oku…)

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Kedi ile Kopek

Kedi ile Köpek

 

Bir köpek havlıyordu korkuturcasına
Kedi dolanıyordu nispet yaparcasına
Şehir kararmış
Yıldızlar yağmıştı
Kedi yıldızları kovalıyordu
Gölgesi olmasını umuyordu

Köpek yavaşça sokuldu
Sanki kaçmasından korkuyordu
Kaybetmek istemiyordu

Kedi durdu kabardı
Sanki gel, benimle oyna diyordu

Denizin dalgası duyuldu
Kedi zıpladı bir kayaya oturdu
Köpek dayanamadı dostça sokuldu
Korkuları konuşuyordu

Şehir susmuş yorulmuştu
Dalgalar şehre ağıt yakıyordu
Kedi döndü mırıldandı
Köpek gerindi gözlerini yumdu
Gözlerine tuz kaçmış gibi
Acı acı uludu

Gökte mehtap denizde mehtap
Yan yana kedi köpek
İnsanların aksine,
Bu şehre inat
Bütün yazılanların tersine
Gerçek düşmanlıkların üstüne

 

Didem Esen

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Kudos to the proud sister


The ideas cannot be extinguished by force or violence, by cannons, or rifles


M. Kemal Ataturk

    Thank you sister Merve for the candle you lit pierced the darkness in many hearts,
    sent the ray of hope where the hope was scarce.
    Thank you for showing us what the indomitable human spirit is capable of,
    for the dignified calm you displayed in the eye of the storm.
    The sloths hanging upside down from the tree,
    seeing the universe upside down, called you “vampire”.
    The vampires, the predators, the scavengers and the parasites,
    Gulliver's yahoos were thirsting to feast on your blood.
    They smashed the olive branch you extended.
    They took the pious humility that your faithful parents taught you,
    as the sign of weakness, for they knew not otherwise.
    They could not see that the earth was round and the sun could not be smeared
    with mud
    They thought they could intimidate you into submission
    for the tyrants were used to submitting to tyrants.
    But you proved them wrong.
    You did not succumb.
    You heeded your higher calling,
    held your head up high and stood your ground.
    You towered as they sunk.
    Just when we thought they could not sink lower,
    they made their toddlers shout at you
    the words they could not pronounce.
    But then again, maybe the babies understood “secularism”
    as much as their teachers, parents, the rulers and the ringmasters.
    The truth scared them to death
    What if others find out, they said,
    the power of dignity, virtuosity, piety?
    For the racket they had was predicated upon the absence of virtue,
    the abundance of ignorance, hedonism, transvestitism,
    greed and callousness.
    They closed their ears to the laughter of the Westerners they worshiped,
    to their misery, buried their heads in the sand and wowed to defend
    their empire of Sodom and Gomorrah against your hijab,
    in your beloved motherland.

    Thank you sister, for making your despised, disenfranchised, scorned, abused
    sisters lift their head up high and say loudly and proudly “I am Merve Kavakci”.

    Bekir L. Yildirim
    Washington, DC

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NAAT

ARİF NİHAT ASYA (1904-1975)

     

Seccaden kumlardı…

Devirlerden, diyarlardan

Gelip göklerde buluşan

Ezanların vardı!

Mescit mü’min, minber mü’min…

Taşardı kubbelerden Tekbîr,

Dolardı kubbelere “âmin!”

Ve mübarek geceler, dualarımız,

Geri gelmeyen dualardı…

Geceler, ki pırıl pırıl,

Kandillerin yanardı.

Kapına gelenler, yâ Muhammed,

-Uzaktan, yakından-

Mü’min döndüler kapından!

Besmele, ekmeğimizin bereketiydi,

İki dünyada aziz ümmet;

Muhammed ümmetiydi.

Konsun –yine- pervazlara güvercinler,

“Hû hû”lara karışsın âminler…

Mübarek akşamdır;

Gelin ey Fâtihalar, Yâsinler!

Şimdi seni ananlar,

Anıyor ağlar gibi…

Ey yetimler yetimi,

Ey garipler garibi;

Düşkünlerin kanadıydın,

Yoksulların sahibi…

Nerde kaldın ey Resûl,

Nerde kaldın ey Nebi?

Günler, ne günlerdi, yâ Muhammed,

Çağlar ne çağlardı:

Daha dünyaya gelmeden

Mü’minlerin vardı…

Ve bir gün, ki gaflet

Çöller kadardı,

Halîme’nin kucağında

Abdullah’ın yetimi

Âmine’nin emaneti ağlardı.

Hatice’nin goncası,

Aişe’nin gülüydün.

Ümmetinin gözbebeği

Göklerin resûlüydün…

Elçi geldin, elçiler gönderdin…

Ruhunu Allah’a,

Elini ümmetine verdin.

Beşiğin, yurdun, yuvan

Mekke’de bunalırsan

Medine’ye göçerdin.

Biz bu dünyadan nereye

Göçelim, yâ Muhammed?

Yeryüzünde riyâ, inkâr, hıyanet

Altın devrini yaşıyor…

Diller, sayfalar, satırlar

“Ebu Leheb öldü” diyorlar.

Ebû Leheb ölmedi, yâ Muhammed

Ebû Cehil kıt’alar dolaşıyor!

Neler duydu şu dünyada

Mevlidine hayran kulaklarımız;

Ne adlar ezberledi, ey Nebî,

Adına alışkın dudaklarımız!

Artık, yolunu bilmiyor;

Artık, yolunu unuttu

Ayaklarımız!

Kâbe’ne siyahlar

Yakışmamıştır, yâ Muhammed

Bugünkü kadar!

Hased gururla savaşta;

Gurur, Kafdağı’nda derebeyi…

Onu da yaralarlar kanadından,

Gelse bir şefkat meleği…

İyiliğin türbesine

Türbedâr oldu iyi.

Vicdanlar sakat

Çıkmadan yarına,

İyilikler getir, güzellikler getir

Âdem oğullarına!

Şu gördüğün duvarlar ki

Kimi Tâif’tir, kimi Hayber’dir…

Fethedemedik, yâ Muhammed,

Senelerdir.

Ne doğruluk, ne doğru;

Ne iyilik, ne iyi…

Bahçende en güzel dal,

Unuttu yemiş vermeyi…

Günahın kursağında

Haramların peteği!

Bayram yaptı yapanlar;

Semâve’yi boşaltıp

Sâve’yi dolduranlar…

Atını hendeklerden -bir atlayışta-

Aşırdı aşıranlar…

Ağlasın Yesrib,

Ağlasın Selman’lar!

Gözleri perdeleyen toprak,

Yüzlere serptiğin topraktı…

Yere dökülmeyecekti, ey Nebî,

Yabanların gözünde kalacaktı!

Konsun -yine- pervazlara güvercinler,

“Hû hû”lara karışsın âminler…

Mübarek akşamdır;

Gelin ey Fâtihalar, Yâsinler!

Ne oldu, ey bulut,

Gölgelediğin başlar?

Hatırında mı, ey yol,

Bir aziz yolcuyla

Aşarak dağlar, taşlar,

Kafile kafile, kervan kervan

Şimale giden yoldaşlar!

Uçsuz bucaksız çöllerde,

Yine, izler gelenlerin,

Yollar gideceklerindir.

Şu tekbir getiren mağara,

Örümceklerin değil;

Peygamberlerindir, meleklerindir…

Örümcek ne havada,

Ne suda, ne yerdeydi;

Hakkı göremeyen

Gözlerdeydi!

Şu kuytu cinlerin mi;

Perilerin yurdu mu?

Şu yuva -ki, bilinmez-

Kuşları Hüdhüd müdür, güvercin mi, kumru mu?

Kuşlarını, bir sabah,

Medine’ye uçurdu mu?

Ey Abvâ’da yatan ölü,

Bahçende açtı dünyanın

En güzel gülü;

Hâtıran, uyusun çöllerin

Ilık kumlarıyla örtülü!

Dinleyene, hâlâ,

Çöller ses verir;

“Yaleyl!” susar,

Uğultular gelir.

Mersiye okur Uhud,

Kaside söyler Bedir.

Sen de bir hac günü,

Başta Muhammed, yanında Ebû Bekir;

Gidenlerin yüz bin olup dönüşünü

Destan yap, ey şehir!

Ebû Bekir’de nûr, Osman’da nûrlar…

Kureyş uluları, karşılarında

Meydan okuyan bir Ömer bulurlar;

Ali’nin önünde kapılar açılır,

Ali’nin önünde eğilir surlar,

Bedir’de, Uhud’da, Hayber’de

Hakk’ın yiğitleri, şehîd olurlar…

Bir mutlu günde, ki ölüm tatlıydı,

Yerde kalmazdı ruh… kanatlıydı.

Konsun –yine- pervazlara güvercinler

“Hû hû”lara karışsın âminler.

Mübarek akşamdır;

Gelin ey Fâtihalar, Yâsinler!

Vicdanlar, sakat çıkmadan,

Yâ Muhammed, yarına;

İyiliklerle gel, güzelliklerle gel

Âdem oğullarına!

Yüreklerden taşsın

Yine, imanlar!

Itrî, bestelesin Tekbîr’ini;

Evliyâ, okusun Kur’ân’lar!

Ve Kur’ân-ı göz nûruyla çoğaltsın

Kayışzâde Osman’lar

Na’tını Galip yazsın,

Mevlid’ini Süleyman’lar!

Sütunları, kemerleri, kubbeleriyle

Geri gelsin Sinan’lar!

Çarpılsın, hakikat niyetine

Cenaze namazı kıldıranlar!

Gel, ey Muhammed, bahardır…

Dudaklar ardında saklı

Âminlerimiz vardır…

Hacdan döner gibi gel;

Mi’râc’dan iner gibi gel;

Bekliyoruz yıllardır!

Bulutlar kanat, rüzgâr kanat;

Hızır kanad, Cibril kanad;

Nisan kanad, bahar kanad;

Âyetlerini ezber bilen

Yapraklar kanad…

Açılsın göklerin kapıları,

Açılsın perdeler, kat kat!

Çöllere dökülsün yıldızlar;

Dizilsin yollarına

Yetimler, günahsızlar!

Çöl gecelerinden, yanık

Türküler yapan kızlar

Sancağını saçlarıyla dokusun;

Bilâl-i Habeşî sustuysa

Ezânlarını Dâvûd okusun!

Konsun –yine- pervazlara güvercinler,

“Hû hû”lara karışsın âminler…

Mübarek akşamdır;

Gelin ey Fâtihalar, Yâsinler!

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by Bekir L. Yildirim,
Washington, DC

Abstract

“Militant Secularism”, as commonly referred to in the political vernacular in Turkey became the state religion of Turkey. The military, which considers itself as the guardian of the republic founded by Ataturk,against domestic and foreign enemies, often finds it necessary to interject itself into the political process. Since the defeat of communist-threat in the 80ies and the Kurdish separatists in the 90ies, the “Islamists”have been identified by the establishment as the number one enemy of the Kemalist-Secularist state, hence the target of its wrath. Owing primarily to the tarnished image resulting from the past-coups, increasingly image-conscious military sought to find alternatives to the outright overthrow of the elected governments. Hence came the “bloodless-coup”, or the “post-modern coup”-as coined by the generals- against the moderately pro-Islamic, Erbakan’s government, by the “February 28 decisions” in 1997. Since then, the generals have embarked upon a social engineering project, that includes not so overt involvement in every facet of social life from education to the judicial process, with the aim of defeating Islam, without having to resort to another coup like the one in 1960 -which resulted in the hanging of the prime minister Menderes and two cabinet ministers- and several other direct interventions thereafter.While the ostensible aims, i.e. the Westernization, modernization are met with approval of the West, thanks primarily to the advent of the information age , thus better informed public or the human rights watchdog NGOs in the West, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the Europeans to tolerate the excesses of the regime, particularly when that regime is an official candidate to the European Union, and when there exist well-defined accession conditions such as the Copenhagen Criteria, which places heavy emphasis on human rights record. The paper explores the historical, social and political dynamics at work in producing such staunch anti-Islamic paranoia of the Turkish State and analyzes external factors that have an impact on the status-quo.

History of Kemalist-Secularist State

In order to put the secularism as practiced today in Turkey in a proper context, we must look back to the near history of the young republic. After the long decline of the Ottoman Empire, culminated in several major defeats in Europe, Middle East and Caucasus, the “sick man of Europe” was struggling for it very existence after World War I. As a result, the Sultanate which was also the Caliphate, was in a weak state. In such state, Mustafa Kemal at first with the blessing by the Sultan took part in organizing a resistance against the European occupiers of Anatolia, the last vestige of the Empire. He later cashed in on the popularity and military strength, and used it to topple the Ottoman Sultanate and later the Caliphate. After the war of independence against Europeans, in 1921, he declared the official end of the Ottoman empire and the founding of the Republic of Turkey.

Ataturk did not, at first take an anti-Islamic or secularist posture during the organization of the militia. Quite the contrary, he appealed to the people’s deeply held religious beliefs in invigorating them to enlist and take part in the “holy war” against the enemies. In this effort, he benefited greatly from the religious leaders,hojas, imams and poets such as Mehmet Akif Ersoy, Ziya Gokalp and others who invoked to name of Allah often to rally people to jihad. Only after the triumph in the war of independence, he unleashed measures , to reduce the influence of Islam in government and public life, i.e. the Ataturk Revolutions.“The revolutions”, aimed at transforming the remnant of the Ottoman Empire, into a modern European state in every respect, came in a piecemeal fashion. The first “Majlis”, the Parliament, was opened with the recitations of Quran and members included many religious leaders, sheikhs and war heroes such as KazimKarabekir Pasha, his compatriot. Once Ataturk consolidated his power base, such religious or conservative figures were marginalized, including the author of the National anthem Mehmet Akif Ersoy, and the war heroes such as Marshall Fevzi Cakmak and Kazim Karabekir Pasha.

There is conflicting evidence regarding his true religious beliefs and the extent of them. However there is very little doubt that he was a rational and pragmatic man. He was well aware of the degree of religiosity in Anatolia, thus resisted outlandish suggestions such as officially changing the religion of the republic to Christianity as proposed by Recep Peker, a member of the parliament. In a speech in 1923 he said “[T]heimplementation by the state of a religious policy and to demand that state should apply, if not force, psychological pressure, as you will appreciate is not wise or logical”. In a 1930 speech he reiterated: “[S]ecularismis not only the separation of the affairs of state and religion; it is also freedom of faith and worship of all citizens. Not only is secularism not atheism, by enabling us to fight against false religiosity and sorcery, it provided opportunity to improve true religiosity”. Many other statements by him along the same line establishthat the secularism in Ataturk’s mind was not directed at wiping out all remnants of Islam from public life as practiced by his successor Inonu in the thirties and fourties, and the oligarchy of today.

After the institution of the multi-party system, leading to the Democratic Party administration, in the fifties led by Adnan Menderes, things have improved considerably for the believers in Turkey. While Menderes himself was a pro-Western politician, he was much more tolerant to religious practices in public life. Many of the Quranic and other religious schools were reopened and many restrictions on religious practices were lifted. His reign has ended with the first military coup of the Republic in 1960 culminated in the execution ofhim and two of his cabinet ministers. Some suggest that his moderate tolerance to Islam was his undoing even though the formal charges contained accusations such as cronyism, mismanagement or the like.
1960coup, in many respect was the official declaration by the military of its guardianship of the secularist-Kemalist state. It served notice to all concerned that the Democratic process in Turkey had limits and when the legislative, the judiciary and the executive are unwilling or unable to place or enforce the limits desired by the military, it would not hesitate to take matters in its own hands.

Current State

In the sixties and seventies the overt interferences of the military into political process took the form of memoranda resulting in the toppling of the elected governments, in the name of pulling the country out of the political, social economic quagmires. None however specifically targeted Islam or undertaken in the name of protecting secularism. Two Islamic-oriented political parties founded by Necmeddin Erbakan and his friends have been closed in the seventies and it is reasonable to assume that military’s feelings factored in such decisions. By and large however, neither the military nor the rest of the secularist establishment saw a realistic “Islamist” threat to the system until the early ninties, when Erbakan’s Welfare, “Refah” Party emerged as the largest party. Then the military, along with the media and powerful economic and cultural elite declared all out war against “reactionary threat”. Since then the generals have not been hesitant to express their views on political issues ranging from the education bill before the legislature to whether a deputy with a headscraf could be allowed into the parliament. These views are not merely expressed in the willing and eager establishment media, a.k.a. “Cartel”, but it is put into action in the forms of National Security Council (MGK) decisions instructing the legislature, employing the language such as “bill will be passed”. When the generals feel that the executive or the judiciary is derelict in their assigned duties, they directly interfere in both processes by various means including, e.g. setting up clandestine entities such asWestern Study Group (BCG), gathering the judges and prosecutors for “briefing sessions”, organizing conferences etc., for the purpose of “enlightening” the decision makers on the “reactionary” and separatist threats. As a result, in the name of Westernization , secularism and “cagdaslik”[ the preferred term of the Turkish Secularists, which can best be translated as “contemporaryism” for no equivalent exist in the Western Languages to the author’s knowledge], Turkey has been certified as one of the worst offenders of human rights.
The current system in Turkey can be described as a staunchly secularist oligarchy, because it is based on the imposition of the will of a small elite , formed by the military brass, and a handful of corrupt business and cultural elite in the media and academia. To wit, while this elite considers “reactionaryism”, the pseudonym for Islam, the biggest threat to the republic, only 3.95 percent of the populace agrees with them according to a recent public opinion poll. The elite knowing this, has been increasingly growing paranoid, and nervous. Having lost hopes of gaining popular support for its actions, it increases the degree of oppression, making the primary relationship between the state and the people one that is based on fear. Like Ataturk, the State and the Military are sacred entities to be protected, revered and feared from. In the midst of most recent economic disaster, and on the eve of May 1, Workers Day, cartel TV stations “inform” the public of the installment of 14 new video-cameras at major points, in Ankara. The successful protest march by the small merchants, against the corruption and the resultant unbearable economic collapse, is reported by the cartel daily, Milliyet with the headline “The Great Investigation” referring to the efforts by the military for the identification of the participants in the protest.

Since the violations of human rights by the ruling elite is most often arbitrary, the people are at a loss as to whether a certain act constitutes a violation or not. One can be prosecuted for a “crime” , e.g. a speech made years ago, even if the specifically provided statute of limitations have expired. Ask Erbakan. He was recently sentenced to one year in prison for a speech he allegedly made as a member of the parliament, a politician, in a predominantly Kurdish city, Bingol. In the speech, he allegedly uttered the words “ [w]hen starting school in the morning assembly, the children of this country began with besmele, ‘in the name of God’. You changed that and made them say ‘I am a Turk, I am forthright, I am brave, hardworking..’ On the other hand, when you say that, a Muslim child of the Kurdish origin may feel it within his right to say ‘Oh, really? In this case, I am Kurd, I am more brave, more forthright, harder-working and so on’”. These words, according to the prosecutor constituted a clear case of “creating enmity based on ethnic and religious differences” under penal code 312, article 2. The judge, the appeals court and the superior court concurred with the prosecutor. This is only one, not the most outlandish example of the extent that the arbitrary witch-hunt in the name of western secularism and modernity perpetrated upon the Turkish politicians, journalists, students and intellectuals. Any judge or an official at any level, alleged to be not though enough in “getting the reactionaries” pay the price by being reassigned to remote areas, demoted or most often fired. No segment of the government or public space is exempt from such persecution. The most egregious abuses however takes place in the education from elementary to higher. The government placed severe restrictions through legislation and through cabinet decrees in the force of law, to the Islamic formal or informal education, by arbitrary measures such as denying government service or higher education to the graduates of Imam-Hatips (high schools that offer religious education inaddition to secular curriculum) , closing Quranic schools, banning religious gatherings outside of prayer time in the mosques, shutting down religious foundations, including those which are purely charitable organizations. It is well documented by the Western human rights groups and government agencies that the Ecevit Government, which miserably failed in delivering aid to the victims of the earthquake and plundered the funds provided by the world, acted very quickly in stopping the aid to the victims by the “reactionaries”, i.e. Islamic -oriented aid organizations, by confiscating their aid, freezing their bank-funds and declaring them illegal, all for the purpose of assuring that “Islamists” would not gain popularity among the people. This mentality is illustrated by the triumphant declaration the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Kivrikoglu, in the aftermath of the earthquake in which he said “I noticed that the Derince Mayoralty [Virtue Party] was running a very effective soup kitchen. I ordered an investigation and found out that it was run by the former officers we expelled from the military”.

Why?

The examples such as the ones above are numerous and reported by Turkish and international human rights organizations. The readers may visit the web-site of Mazlum-Der (www.mazlumder.org) for further information. What is absent in the discussion is generaly “why”s of this lunacy masquerading as the defence of “secularism” or “contemporaryism”. That is primarily because no meaningful public discourse or dialog takes place on the issues in such a witch-hunting environment. The labeling by the elite, the military and the blow-horn, cartel media as the “reactionary” or even “suspected reactionary” is a kiss of death for any intellectual, academics or journalist. You are persecuted, dehumanized, marginalized. No one dares to defend himself or herself on the grounds that he or she is entitled to hold those views or beliefs for such speech or lifestyle is protected under the constitution , laws and international conventions. The defense, invariably is one of “I am Kemalist, secularist too.. and here is the evidence..”. Such defense did not help very many, including the Refah Party. Since the elite in its infinite wisdom, decided that the “reactionaries”are not worthy of being engaged in an intelligent dialog and do not have the power to force a debate, they did not even develop skills needed to articulate justifications for their position. The most coherent argument the intellectual ones among them make can be summarized as: We want Western Style Democracy, however we have “special circumstances”. No Democracy can allow a movement bent on destroying the Democratic system itself, to flourish. Western Democracies can allow freedom of thought , speech , religion because they are not threatened by such harmful ideas and movements. Once we eliminate such threats, we will grant all the freedoms the Westerners have. “We Kill the snake when it is young. Little Islam leads to more Islam, which we can not tolerate. See what happened to Iran and Afghanistan! They however have not to date offered a definition of the terms used to label thus persecute others, such as “reactionary”, “backward”, “fundamentalist”,“anti-secularist”. They stop there and offer no further argument as to why they think the “Islamists”of Turkey are on a course to pattern a system after those of Afghanistan or Iran, or what act of totalitarianism or religous oppression by the Erbakan government or the Virtue-Party controlled municipalities they can point to, to justify such fears. It gains importance in light of the fact that these labels alone are found sufficient by the administrators and the judges for punitive actions against individuals and organizations. Any female student, or government employee who wears a scarf is considered to do so for the sole purpose of “exploiting Islam for political gain” or doing so as a symbol of “political Islam”, and not because of religious beliefs. No argument to the contrary is to be listened or no argument is produced as to even if it is assumed to be so, why it is not covered by the constitutionally guaranteed “freedom of expression”. They know better and their knowledge is the evidence.
An environment where the powerful declares that there is nothing to be discussed for the discussions lead to legitimizing the reactionaries, and that there are only internal enemies to be defeated at any cost, is naturally not conducive to a meaningful discourse. In the absence of their own intelligent articulation of the true reasons or justification for this behavior, irreconcilable with westernization, or democracy or secularism, the observer is left to work on the evidence to psychoanalyze the perpetrators.

The observers of the recent developments in Turkey cannot escape the sinister connection between the government corruption and the persecution of Muslims. While the ostensible aims of the overthrow of the Erbakan government in 1997 was to crush political Islam, a few other events point that the sole reason was not ideologic. Prior to the Erbakan, the government owned corporations (KIT) were borrowing domestically from a handful of powerful businessmen at exorbitant rates while other KIT’s had funds sitting in the banks owned by the same powerful elite and earning very low rates. According to a Harvard, and Columbia Univ. Educated economist, Dr. Cuneyt Ulsever, 91% of the profitability of the 500 largest industrial concerns were derived from short term government securities at very high interest rates. Erbakan, largely ended this windfall for the elite, by establishing a new borrowing scheme called “pool-system”. According to this, the KIT’s kept their money in the government coffers, i.e. a “pool” instead of the banks and borrowed from the same pool when they needed funds. This alone according to some estimates saved 9 billion dollars in one year, which was passed on to the government-employees as salary increases. In addition, even when the whole establishment was in collusion to topple the government of Erbakan, there has been no accusation of corruption to date against his administration. It is not surprising therefore that most of the powerful Cartel barons and corrupt businessman were the first ones to cry “reactionary” when their corrupt windfalls were cut out. According to an audit by Price- Waterhouse, 36% of the Turkish GNP is lost to corruption today. Corruption is certified to be the main reason for the worst economic collapse of the century that Turkey is experiencing today and international rescuers such as IMF and World-Bank are asking for guarantees against similar corruption as condition for future loans. When there is no more money left to plunder, these champions of secularism started to cannibalize each other. Dozens of billionaires, including many retired generals, media barons, close relatives of former president Demirel are awaiting trial for corruption, embezzlement, and misallocation. On the other hand, the only Islamists in jail are there because of their views and beliefs, none for corruption. This is another dimension of “Islamist-hunt” in Turkey. Clean government, moral society is seen harmful to the well-being of some secularists. It must be the“post-modern secularism” following the “post-modern coup” as coined by one of the generals involved, general Ozkasnak. The corruption-connection is the sole distinction between the modern-secularism from the post-modern one. At first it was those who felt that Islam was an impediment in the way of life they aspired, later they are joined by those who felt that Islam was harmful to their racket.

The European Connection

While the ostensible aims, i.e. the westernization, modernization are met with approval of the West, thanks primarily to the advent of the information age , thus better informed public or the human rights watchdog NGOs in the West, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the Europeans to tolerate the excesses of the regime, particularly when that regime is an official candidate to the European Union, and when there exist well-defined accession conditions such as the Copenhagen Criteria, which places heavy emphasis on human rights record. So far the Europeans turned a deaf ear to the plight of the Muslims of Turkey. That can be attributed to the fact that muslim victims either considered it beneath their dignity or were not equipped with wherewithal to take their case to the European forums. The only human rights abuses in Turkey that Europeans recognized were the ones against Kurdish separatists, and their organization PKK. This lack of concern for one large segment of the society, i.e. the victims of the religious persecution, but extraordinary interest in the abuses against an ethnic minority lead many Turks to conclude that the Europeans do not have the purest humanitarian motives at heart when they pressure Turkey on Kurdish human rights but it is merely a profitable political tool to be used to weaken an eternal enemy, i.e. the crusader mentality rather than human rights is at play. Many decisions sympathetic to the Kurdish plight have been rendered by the European Court for human Rights (ECHR) but none so far that shows even an acknowledgment of the Muslim oppression. In a recent decision in a case filed by a female student victim of the “headscarf oppression” ECHR judges opined that “by choosing the secular education you agreed to comply with its dress-code thus forfeited the right to dress according to your religion”. This however ignores several facts: First, there are no “religious”schools in Turkey; all schools are “secular”, including the private schools and thus under the jurisdiction of the government. A female cannot even receive a driving course completion certificate from a private school, with a picture bearing scarf. Thus a student “choosing” education is choosing secular education. Second, there is no law prohibiting the wearing of the headscarves in any school or in any government office. It is purely, the executive action by the government and the school administrators. And thirdly, even if such restrictions existed in Turkish constitution or laws, is it not self-evident that such laws would violate international conventions such as Helsinki Declaration that Turkey is signatory to? Nonetheless this travesty of justice by the ECHR gave much needed legtimation of the oppression by the Oligarchy against faithful and emboldened them to increase the intensity and the breadth of the abuse. Now they could say “we are affirmed by the Europeans thus vindicated”.

The Middle-Eastern Connection.

Another important reason why Turkey gets a free-pass vis-a-vis the oppression of the Muslims is the Israeli-connection. For the last decade, Turkey seems to have subcontracted its foreign policy to the Jews in the West, in particular in USA. Every issue from Armenian genocide claims to IMF loans, is first pleaded with the Jewish groups. It became a standard protocol for every Turkish government official, from prime minister to president to address at least one Jewish Group during every visit to USA, but never a Muslim group. To reciprocate, US Jewish Groups often visit Turkey to discuss the issues pertaining the relationship between Turkey and Israel, and other Middle-Eastern countries. Lobbying for Turkish interests are invariably contracted to Jewish owned lobbying firms such as those run by Richard Perle and Steven Solarz. It is not clear what benefits Turkey obtained in exchange for distancing itself from even the moderate Muslim countries such as Egypt and Pakistan, giving lucrative weapons contracts, and airspace to the Israeli Fighter-planes for “training flights” along the Iraqi and Iranian borders. Since Turkey is listed among the first countries , in “lack of transparency”, it is impossible for the interlocutor to know the exact nature of the concessions made. However many suspect that the European and American indifference to the abuse against Muslims, may be helped by Jewish “lobbying activities on behalf of Turkey “.

Conclusion

In this age of information technology and globalization, it is not possible to maintain a fascist regime while having others inside or outside believe it is something else, such as secular-democracy. While theWestern governments, including US, prodded by Israel, might find it “in our national interest” to remain silent in the face of such abuses, such “national interest” does not come cheap, for when such allies go bankrupt, as a result of corruption they come knocking the door for bail-outs. Turkish people, the children of multi-cultural Ottomans, are overwhelmingly tolerant, vis-a-vis the religion, ethnic differences, and enlightened. It is the author’s humble belief that the West’s national or common interests would be better served by forging alliances with the people of the Islamic world , including those in Turkey. The monarchs, the oligarches the tyrants come and go, but people remain. It is high time that “morally correct” policies become “politically correct ones” and thus “our national interest”.

*Presented at the second Annual Confrerence of Center For the Study of Islam and Demoracy (CSID: Islam, Demoracy and the Secularist State in the Post-Modern Era, Washington, DC (April 7, 2001)

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Güle Güle Güzellik!

Canim Yavrucugum!

15 yil once hayatima girdigin gunu daha dun gibi hatirliyorum. Ali seni getirip tasima kutusundan cikardiginda hic tereddut etmeden orda bulunan 3-4 kisiden bana geldin, yerde otururken sirtim ile duvar arasindaki boslugu guvenilir buldun. Neden beni secmistin yavrucugum? Ben bunun tesaduf oldugunu dusunmuyorum yavrucugum, sen ne dersin? O zaman kedi sevgim de hayvan sevgimde fazla derin degildi. Senin egitimine henuz girmemistim yavrucugum.
Evladim, ayrilmadan sana bir itirafta bulunacagim: Aslinda ben zannettigin kadar masum degilim; inanmayacaksin ama ben bir katilim yavrucugum! Evet biz insanlarin masumu yok yavrucugum! O size ait. Cocuklugumda senin hemcinslerinden iki tanesini oldurdum!! Bunun icin kendimi affetmedim bu gune kadar; yasadikcada affetmeyecegim. Kimse hesap sormadi, hatta kizip bagirip cagiranda olmadi. Ah yavrucugum kac defa o yavrucaklar ruyalarima girdi; ne kadar aci verici bu sucluluk bir bilsen!! Belkide bugun seni ve kardeslerini bu kadar cok sevebilmem bir cesit o yavrucaklarin diyetini odeme duygusundandir. Onar hayatlarini hemcinseleri icin verdiler belkide.

Neyse, hikayemize devam. Sana kum legeninin kullanmayi sadece bir defa gosterdim. O bilgi ile 15 yildir bir defa cisini yanlis yere yapmadin. Birde biz insanlar “zekiyiz” , temiziz, esref-i mahlukatiz deriz. Sahi biz insanlar cikardigimiz diskinin uzerini kapatmayi ne zaman ogrendikiki? Bazilarimiz hala ogrenemedik ya neyse “guc bizde”; bizde boyledir yavrucugum “might makes right” (guc caiz kilar). Daha biz dunyaya gelmeden sizin milyonlarca yildir, ahenk icinde ve bir parcasi olarak yasadiginiz tabiati parselledik tapular cikardik, sahiplendik, size sormadan etmeden, sizleri ancak bizim ihtiyaclarimizi karsilayacak kaynak olarak gorduk ve diger kaynaklar gibi kullandik. Binlerce yildir sadece fare, sicandan koruma gorevi karsilginda yasamaniza musade ettik. Sonralari guzelliginiz, asaletiniz bizlerin komleks ihtiyaclarini karsilamaya basladi. Guzel olanlarinizi koruduk ; yoo sizin icin degil, kendi egolarimizi tatmin icin. Boyle baslayan iliskimiz sizleri evlerimize, bahcelerimize sokaklarimiza (nerdenmi bizim oluyor? Dedimya yavrucugum biz tapu cikarttik!) soktu. Sizden sevgiyi ogrendik, guzelligi, masumiyeti, farkinda dahi olmadan. Yoga yapmayi ogrendik, dengeli, tabii yasamayi, Allah’in nimetlerinden sadece yasamamiza yetecek kadar almayi. Ogrendik ogrenmesine ama seytani gudulerimiz hep ustun geldi. “seytani” neymi? Sen anlamazssin.

 Baslangica sana kedi muamelesi yaptim. Iste evime almistim, yemek te veriyordum; ihiyac duydugumda oksuyordum, seninle oynuyordumaya. Benim geldigim yerlerde bu bile fazla “burjuva” idi. Ama diyorumya egitimim seninle basladi. Daha ilk gunden yatagima ziplayip ayak ucuma kivrildin; ben musade etmedim. Ayagimla itip asagiya dusurdum seni. Tekrar uyandigimda gene ayak ucunda buldum seni; gene ittim asagiya. Ve gene ayni sey her gece tekrarlandi aramizda. Sen hic kusmedin, kapris yapmadin, misilleme yapmadin, kimseye sikayet etmedin, gene yere yattigimda gelip yuzumu yaladin, ayagima surtundun. Gogsume oturup purr yaptin.. O zumrut yesili gozlerinle gozlerimin icine bakisin! Ah yavrucugum, hicbir kadinin bakisina degismem o bakisi! Ve sessiz sedasiz kalbime yurudun; tabiiki yatagima da. Ben elimi basimin altina koyup yan ustu yatardim; sende minnacik basini katlanmis olan kolumun uzerine koyar sirtini kalbimin ustune yaslar once purr yapar sonra uyurdun. (devamını oku…)

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