Dreams and Screams

by    /  November 18, 2016  / No comments

The arrested journalists of the Cumhuriyet Daily.

The arrested journalists of the Cumhuriyet Daily. Image provided by the author.

No Internet, no mobile, no truth.

Technical means are widely and often used to block communication by mobile and the internet. In southeast Turkey, largely populated by Kurdish citizens, the Internet was cut off for three days in 12 cities–-so were the mobile phone networks. Why? There were (and are) protests against the arrest of Gültan Kışanak and Fırat Anlı, the Kurdish co-Mayors of Diyarbakır.

Author Bülent Tekin sent a letter of protest to the service provider Türk Telekom; he also e-mailed it to various institutions and individuals. Here it is:

No Internet in 12 cities

“You stopped your Internet service to Diyarbakır and 11 other cities for three days. Your excuse was ridiculous. You were not available by phone, either: A recorded voice would simply repeat the same story: ‘We are sorry for being unable to provide Internet service due to a regional technical problem.’

We felt humiliated; those words meant some sort of rudeness to our mothers, our families. Shame on you! Nobody believed your lie, do you know that? You got your money but refused to give the service you had promised. 

You committed a constitutional crime. Your lie further brought you even lower. You halted our lives in the region. Even bills were not paid because of you. You put a stop to everything that could function only thanks to the Internet. You deranged our right to communication, our right to access information. You have applied censorship.

You think you have fooled millions of people by lying to them. But the whole world has witnessed your deeds.  So I won’t say anything else to you, as I’m sure you get the message.”

What else?

Several more news agencies, newspapers, and journals were shut down by the Erdoğan-led AK Party government under the Emergency Law. Most of them are related to Kurdish issues and left wing politics:

Cultural Journals: Tiroji, Evrensel Kültür (Universal Culture), Özgürlük Dünyası (World of Freedom).

News agencies: Dicle Haber, Jin Haber, Yüksekova Haber.

Newspapers: Özgür Gündem, Batman Çağdaş, Cizre Postası, Urfanatik, Güney Expres, and Azadiya Welat (the only Kurdish daily in Turkey).

What kind of a President? 

Contrary to our constitution, Erdoğan keeps insisting on becoming a “Başkan” (a strong president) instead of “Cumhurbaşkanı” (a symbolic figure representing the whole nation). He wants to legitimize his de facto “irregular” (to use a less risky word than “illegal” or “illegitimate”) position. He wants to take us to a referendum. Can you believe that we can have a fair one when he has control of the media, to say the least?

AK Party Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım obediently supports Erdoğan, claiming that “Unless there is a presidential regime, Turkey will be divided!”

Do we have to make a choice between despotism and division?

Is there no such thing as a democratic unity – as a significant contribution towards a democratic world federation, if humanity can survive?

Erdocracy

October 29th is the official holiday to celebrate the declaration of the Republic by Atatürk in 1923. In spite of the prohibition and official attempts to block the citizens who want to celebrate this most important holiday in Turkey, massive celebrations took place supporting Atatürk’s secularist vision of gender equality, scientific thinking, and freedom.

Erdoğan and “his” AK Party governments keep de-secularizing Turkey, which is an illegal act, a serious constitutional crime. “The arrow has left the bow,” as we say in Turkish. It did that more than a decade ago – not without protests, but the indirectly self-elected rulers couldn’t care less. Each time we say it can’t get worse, it does.

“Erdocracy” – as I name it – has been using the coup attempt on July 15th in such a way that Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu, the head of the leading opposition party CHP, refused to attend the Presidential reception on the evening of the Republic Holiday.

Meanwhile, Fethullah Gülen, the accused fundamentalist cleric who has been hosted in Pennsylvania by the successive U.S. governments for 17 years, is still kept where he is. Erdoğan publicly insists on bringing the death penalty back, though he knows that his insistence jeopardizes his public demand regarding Gülen’s return.

Erdoğan’s suicidally critical attack against the Lausanne Peace Treaty in 1923 is accompanied by his territorial demand-like talks in relation to the Middle East, the Greek islands, and the Balkans.

Erdoğan has been eager to do whatever he believes is good and necessary. That makes him a hero in the eyes of some, who are happier to surrender not only to God but also to Him. More and more of them have guns, ready to be used whenever “The Chief” pushes the button.

Conflicting dreams, too many screams.

Attack against secularist daily “Republic”

Cumhuriyet (Republic) daily was founded by Atatürk. On October 31st, the main office of the newspaper was raided by the police upon the accusation that the newspaper had assisted FETÖ and the PKK! Several journalists have been arrested!

Attacking that newspaper is definitely an attack against the defense of the secular Republic of Turkey, which is now under some sort of a fundamentalist invasion.

And Trump

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your election predictions.” -post-Bill Shakespeare

Is the United States democratic? It depends on the definition.

Can you become President unless you are a billionaire –and/or supported by certain capitalists?

The White House should learn to behave internationally. I am among billions of people who are sick and tired of the US interventions in the world, including Turkey.

I am a billionaire in terms of the number of people I side with: Those who are exploited and who can barely survive when they are “lucky.”

The US Presidential election is a global event, unfortunately; all Earthlings should be included in voting.

I expected this result, especially after some “famous” people showed solidarity with Hillary Clinton; some of the “ordinary” people would support Trump as a reaction to the status quo, which they considered unfair.

I recall Brecht’s comment on Hitler: “And some sheep decided to give a chance to the butcher.”

A socialist alternative could be more appealing by 2020, though it might not be strong enough.

The delightful presentations of Professor Wolff are available on Youtube.

A secular democratic socialist world federation is a valuable goal, I think.

About the Author

Poet, playwright, actor, and director Tarık Günersel worked at Istanbul City Theater as a dramaturg. His works include Breaths of Infinity (a mosaic of poems) and My 300th Birthday Speech (short stories). His Becoming consists of his aphorisms and various ideas from world wisdom. His plays include Billennium, Nero and Agrippina, Sociology of Shit, Threat and Virtually Yours. He has written four libretti for the composer Selman Ada: Ali Baba & 40, Blue Dot, Forbidden Love, and Another Planet. His translations into Turkish include works by Arthur Miller, Samuel Beckett, Vaclav Havel and Savyon Liebrecht. His presentation of World Poetry Day to PEN International in 1997 led to its adoption by UNESCO. As the former president of PEN Turkey Center he was elected to PEN International Board in Tokyo from 2010 to 2012. In 2013 he initiated the Earth Civilization Project with the collaboration of several intellectuals from around the planet.

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Fearless, Ink.