Saturday, November 17, 2007

Turkey: forget the EU!

While Turkey is saying that they continue sufficiently fulfilling the Copenhagen political criteria, they think that they are honest and sincerely while in the meantime they are lying like no one's business. That Turkey and their ridiculous bourgeois press (hello, we live in 2007, not 1957) are criticizing everything what is going one in Europe (why should you criticize all the time future co-members even before being a member) makes it more interesting. It looks like that they think: 'as long as we make noise and scream at them, in the end they will listen". For sure they will listen and react accordingly.
The hot potato in the EU mouth is 'freedom of expression'. And that is what no country should give up. So why still negotiating with a country where these rights are interpreted on a way such as North Korea: On November 9, a judicial investigation was initiated against a 17 year-old girl who, while doodling in a school textbook, drew a clown’s hat on a picture of Ataturk (Radikal, November 15).
What makes this so hypocritical is that the same people who are in favor of these kind of investigations are the same people who put on their blogs all kind of cartoon's of Angela Merkel, Bush, Barroso, Sarkozy, the same people who are burning foreign flags, the same people who demonstrate against cartoons in Sweden and Denmark, the same people who are proud to heck in one day 5000 Swedish web sites, the same people who are angered when they hear that the new Minister of Justice in Turkey has a British passport too (and had to give that up) but when a Dutch minister with a Turkish passport in the Netherlands, these same people became angered when some MP's in the Netherlands criticize her for not giving up her Turkish citizenship (which she also didn't). We call this 'Double Standards'.

At the same time I hear Turkish friends telling me that Turkey can do things all on their own. But deep in their hearts they know that they are not telling the truth with their pride as justification for their behavior. We live in a knowledge society, and therefore dependent on each other. And one of the things I learned, after 5 1/2 year working in Turkey, is: they don't know how to implement new technologies, concepts, invention's etc.

That the Turkish government introduced a new set of regulations for ISP's is a step closer to a police state rather than being a member of the EU. It's Turkey's right to do what they want to do, but don't cry like a baby if someone in the EU commission say on a soft tone 'please reform'. The time that the EU set double standards for Turkey must be over. Turkey has to adapt the Copenhagen criteria, not the EU has to adapt to Turkish norms and values.

What in particular makes me outrages in the new set of regulations for Turkish ISP's is that for example all websites which oppose the 'official Turkish ideology' (what that might be) but that hard-line Turkish nationalist websites, including those that call for the murder of liberal intellectuals such as the novelist Orhan Pamuk, have not been outlawed.
So, if Turkey wants to turn into a police state, soit! But the EU has to take a firm stance now.
Here you can read the new set of regulations for Turkish ISP's.

A nice article

I really enjoyed the article below. I agree with Mustafa that the Kemalist are de facto brain dead.

The scandal of the Kemalist mind

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mustafa AKYOL

I, unluckily, made a lot of people upset with my piece in last weekend's edition of the Turkish Daily News, “The gospel according to Atatürk.” A few dozen readers sent fuming emails, which rebuked me for daring to criticize the level of veneration shown in Turkey to its founder.
If you have been reading the “Letters to the editor” section, you might have come across two of these reactions, which came from two Turkish readers living in the United States. The one from New Jersey noted that he was “shocked” by my piece, and added, “someone should tell Akyol that he is dead wrong.” The other one, a lady, expressed “anguish” at me and my “very naive look.” I, she also argued, “cannot be a Turk.”

In response, I am sincerely thankful to such critics, because they present nice case studies of what I have been talking about. I said that there is a popular “cult of Atatürk” in Turkey, whose followers have a “strict mental blueprint” that leads them to “detachment from reality.” And that's precisely what you can find in these annoyed comments.
Continue reading.

Day Opening - November 17

Faces of Africa.