Author Topic: Turkey: when secularism is regressive  (Read 3253 times)

skdadl

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Turkey: when secularism is regressive
« on: March 15, 2008, 12:33:00 PM »
Well, this better not go anywhere:

Quote
Turkey's chief prosecutor has asked the Constitutional Court to ban the governing AK Party, accusing it of anti-secular activities.

Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya said he believed that there was enough evidence to show the party had been contravening Turkey's secular constitution.

The AK Party, which has Islamist roots, won last year's general elections.

So any move to close it will be extremely controversial, the BBC's Sarah Rainsford in Istanbul says.


What people need to know about Turkey is that the military and often the judicial elites are heirs to Kemal Ataturk's nationalist and secularist revolution. They are rigid and socially oppressive. They are the people who have often persecuted Turkey's great writers and thinkers for disloyal thought.

PM Erdogan has turned the Islamist AK Party into a progressive force. It is Erdogan who has led Turkey towards membership in the EU, in which he clearly believes, as the xenophobic secularists don't necessarily.

It is absurd to think that the courts could overturn his election.

Mandos

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Re: Turkey: when secularism is regressive
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2008, 12:38:57 PM »
Since the origin of the AK party is the closure of Fazilet, don't assume it won't work.  Erdo?an's days have been numbered for some time.

skdadl

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Re: Turkey: when secularism is regressive
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2008, 12:49:37 PM »
No, Mandos. That cannot be. I like him.


skdadl

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Re: Turkey: when secularism is regressive
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2008, 07:06:20 PM »
I like your second link very much, Mandos, and I agree with Mustafa Akyol.

People have got to get a grip! Look at real societies; treat them decently; and most people will turn out to be reasonable.

lagatta

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Re: Turkey: when secularism is regressive
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2008, 08:15:33 PM »
But here is the article the last one is reacting to: http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/arti ... wsid=98857

The feminists I know in Turkey (not Kemalites by any means) are terrified of these creeping changes and what they imply for women's rights, and people's rights not to be harassed by religious fundies.

(Of course the worst fundies in the EU of late have been the horrific Polish ultracatholic twins).
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Mandos

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Re: Turkey: when secularism is regressive
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2008, 08:39:29 PM »
The problem is that time and time again we find that there isn't a "top-down" way to stop this sort of thing.  Decades of state-mandated secularism hasn't managed to change the desire for a somewhat religious way of life for about 50% of the Turkish population.

skdadl

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Re: Turkey: when secularism is regressive
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2008, 08:42:38 AM »
As usual, I don't think this is about "religion" -- I think it's about human psychology and culture.

The secularist elites in Turkey are and have always been oppressive in their attempts to deracinate the culture. They are culturally Stalinist and their political methods are Stalinist. Look at the OP on this thread: they are attempting a coup.

The psychology of the reaction against them is not so different from what happens when Western nations occupy Iraq or Afghanistan. People join insurgencies, not mainly out of ideological conviction but because they just can't stand the occupation.

The Turkish secularists are a direct cause of the trouble, not a solution. I found Birand's column fuzzy and unconvincing, especially when contrasted with the serious commitment Erdogan has shown again and again in his approaches to the EU. The very title of Birand's column is a bit disturbing, I think. I could rewrite a lot of that column by resetting it into middle-class North American culture -- My God! We're drinking less! And smokers are pariahs! Call out the troops! -- but that would be silly.

Croghan27

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Re: Turkey: when secularism is regressive
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2008, 11:57:18 AM »
Quote from: skdadl
clip ....

 I could rewrite a lot of that column by resetting it into middle-class North American culture -- My God! We're drinking less! And smokers are pariahs! Call out the troops! -- but that would be silly.

Noting that skdadl is never silly, save when she wants to be, crogh ventures into a possible bit of sillyness himself.

When I first heard of this bill C-484 it appealed to me. That a particularly vulnerable person, a pregnant woman, should get the extra protection that can be supplied by law make sense to me. Inspection of the actual bill showed that is not at all what the bill is about.  :annoyed:  Once again, if not lead down, at least showed the garden path by the CPC.

Revisiting my motivation I still cling to the position that especially vulnerable people should get extra protection - wheel chaired people, the mentally challenged, those who's upbringing puts them at a social disadvantage. There are many examples of criminal code violations that repeat themselves - it shows the special attention that Parliament (and through them the people of Canada) think should be paid to some situation.

Then I read of Premier Erdogan's position and inititive to allow head scarfs (sp) on college campuses: at first it sounds as if it is chock filled with things like freedom, justice and the right to-dress-as-I-God-damned-well please. (As one who wore a necktie and T-shirt to his college's cafeteria supper, because neck ties were mandated - it appealed to me.)

A connection between the two clicked in my mind in their apparent, superficial goodness and with their deeper implications.

Epp's bill is a little more transparent - even if there may be more here than meets the eye. We know why he is doing this, but why is he doing this now? Is there another agenda being met beyond an appeal to the woman controlling demographic? ..Whatever, it begins with a lie and that has jaundiced all future considerations.


The Turkish plan to allow head scarfs is filled with nooks and crannies that are foreign to a (my) western perspective. There are things at work here that I do not know about, and probably would not understand if I knew of them.) My immediate thought that it has been 80 years or so since Kemal Atatürk secularized Turkey: if it cannot withstand a dress change on campuses after this time, there something profoundly superficial (oxymoron alert  :oops: ) about this secularization.

That being said, I do not fundamentally have a problem with most religious based legislation, or at least any more problem than I have with any legislation. Religion, it seems to me, to be an expression of the mood and thinking of some people. Their context may not be my context, but then my contextual constraints are not their's.  

As (the always salient) skdadl observes about the psychological basis of opposition to foreign occupation:
Quote
People join insurgencies, not mainly out of ideological conviction but because they just can't stand the occupation.  
I see people following religions not because of theological arguments, but for far more mundane reasons, religions articulate/reflect their own (secular) beliefs.

Back to the point: (finally  :whis: )

C-484 is a devious POS*. Vulnerable people can be protected in better ways than by giving a previously and consciously ignored developmental stage the legal acknowledgement of sentient life.

A government in Turkey that sees things though a religious perspective is not something to be feared - so long as secular protections are kept in place. If Turkey will slide into violent revolution because girls in college wear the head scarf - it inevitably will anyway.

* Piece of shit
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

skdadl

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Re: Turkey: when secularism is regressive
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2008, 08:24:10 PM »
Elsewhere on the fiendish front this week:

The Stalinist-Ataturkist bastards in Turkey, who call themselves secularists partly because they know that Westerners will fall for that but who are in fact anti-Western Stalinists and who compose the extremely repressive military and judicial elites of the country, were caught this week in preparations for a coup against Erdogan's moderate Islamist, pro-EU government.

It angers me no end that anyone should be trying to muck up a genuinely progressive government in a part of the world where those are so rare. Maureen Freely, who is Orhan Pamuk's translator, has worked very hard to get Westerners to see through the eyes of Turkey's artists and intellectuals, who are overwhelmingly supportive of Erdogan and have been persecuted only by the Ataturkists, whether they are "secular" or not.

It is probably true, as the Guardian main story says, that the Ataturkists lean towards Moscow and China. At the same time, there has been a lot of noise about CIA activity in Turkey (you're shocked -- I know). It's not at all clear that the current U.S. administration feels kindly towards a Turkish PM who is seeking to join the EU. The CIA would, in their apparently undefeatably arrogant stupidity, consider the EU a competitor in Turkey rather than a ally, and I'd be willing to bet that this coup had Dick Cheney's sucker prints all over it.

lagatta

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Re: Turkey: when secularism is regressive
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2008, 08:38:59 PM »
You have to be careful about that. Sure, an anti-democratic coup is reprehensible, but the current government is fostering a very difficult climate for women (this from leftist feminists I know there who have absolutely nothing to do with the Kemalist government, on the contrary).

Turkish women attack clothing law

My friends in Turkey hate both the Ataturkists and the Fundies - both are enemies of women, and of the working class.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

skdadl

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Re: Turkey: when secularism is regressive
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2008, 08:40:43 PM »
The government is not Kemalist; the elites are.

lagatta

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Re: Turkey: when secularism is regressive
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2008, 08:48:17 PM »
Sorry, my bad. Though obviously there are also élites that support the islamist government. A pox on both their houses, as both wish to consign us to a living grave.

Did you read the article about women being persecuted for wearing summer clothes?

Yes, of course, Christian and Jewish fundies are just as bad, not to mention those of non-Abrahamic religions. Fuck all of them.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

skdadl

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Re: Turkey: when secularism is regressive
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2008, 08:02:25 AM »
Well, I disagree. A pox on the Kemalists and the CIA while we're at it, but that seems to me an unhelpful reaction to someone like Erdogan, who has been threading his way very intelligently, I would say, through exceptionally complicated politics, including cultural politics -- Byzantine, even -- to establish a liberal, European-oriented regime.

That BBC article is about one judge whose political affiliations I don't know, but I don't see how they can automatically be held against Erdogan, who obviously has very uncomfortable relations with a judiciary known to be nasty and repressive, and not usually Islamist. We have Canadian judges who've delivered decisions like that, and they don't have to be religious fundies to do it, usually aren't. Besides, Erdogan is no fundie.

 

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