THE LUNATIC FRINGE--MOVING MAINSTREAM?
"There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life." ~ Frank Zappa.
There is an interesting article on The New Anatolian. It looks like there's a new political party in Turkey, which calls itself The Grand Turan Party. I have to agree with The New Anatolian's judgement that if this party's ideology is taken seriously, "it may prove to be more than terrifying." Obviously, I think it is too early to tell what will happen with this party, but I do believe it is indicative of the rising nationalist trend in Turkish society in the last couple of years, a trend which has manifested itself in such warning signs as the bestseller status of Mein Kampf, the continuing interpretation of the new Turkish penal code which allows prosecution for "insulting" such abstractions as Turkishness, and the renewed "dirty war" in Kurdistan.
It may also be that the popularity of the film, Kurtlar Vadisi: Irak (Valley of the Wolves: Iraq), which tends to characterize Kurds, Christians, Jews and Americans as somewhat subhuman, is riding on the wave of rising Turkish nationalism. One thing about the movie is that it does provide a focus for discussion, both inside and outside of Turkey, to examine and expose certain attitudes, and it should be noted that a children's NGO in Amed, Çocuk-Der, has begun just such a public discussion in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan.
But, back to the Grand Turan Party. . . for one thing, it seems that they won't accept the 10% threshold either, but for different reasons than, say, DTP protests the 10% threshold:
Party won't become govt and won't accept any coalitions unless it receives 51 pct of the votes. But elections will be held and re-held until a party receives 51 pct.
So that's the good news. They won't accept anything less than a simple majority.
The bad news is that the ideology of the Grand Turan Party is Turanism. Think of it as a form of Turkish fascism, which isn't a new idea. Kemalism was based on the Italian fascism of the early 20th century, a definition of which can be read here, penned by Mussolini himself. Fascism is not a rational ideological movement, but rather tends to base its ideology on myth, the idea of a long-past utopia which fascism desires to recreate in the present. To get an idea of the mythic foundation of Turanism, try to make your way through this. Otherwise, for a little backgrounder on Turanism, check out the Wikipedia entry on Gray Wolves. Gray Wolves (bozkurtlar--yeah, that's the same kurtlar as in Kurtlar Vadisi: Irak, kind of funny, huh?--or ülkücüler, idealists) are the people who advocate Turkish fascism.
From The New Anatolian article, there is this on Turanism, or the pan-Turkic movement:
Pan-Turkic ideology, a.k.a. Turanism, is a political trend aiming at uniting all Turkic peoples into a modern state. Active during early years of the republic and the 1970s, Turanism showed a decline since the 1980s despite isolated efforts of revival.
Their decline in the '80s was helped along dramatically by the 12 September coup, but they never died out. In fact, they proved themselves quite useful to the powers-that-be, in Turkey and eslewhere. These are the same people who brought you the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II and the Susurluk scandal. You can check out the Susurluk scandal here. As you read that, keep in mind the Şemdinli--and related--bombing and the fact that JITEM agents were caught in the act and that now everyone and their brother in the Turkish government is putting the blame on PKK.
Here's a description of the Grand Turan Party's "temporary" leader:
The party's temporary leader Hakki Dedeler, whose name figures on the website, describes himself as a veteran journalist. His past includes the pro-Islamist National Order Party (MNP) -- established by Necmettin Erbakan, leader of defunct (RP) Welfare Party, and disbanded in the 1971 military coup -- and participation in Ulku Ocaklari (Nationalist Movement Party, MHP-affiliated nationalist groups) abroad. In other words, he boasts a background of nationalism mingled with politicized Islamism.
I guess he's temporary because they haven't gotten that 51% yet.
Here are a few points of the party's platform, but I urge you to check out the entire thing at The New Anatolian:
- Current political leaders and executive board members, civil servants, former military officers, professors, assistant professors, lecturers, columnists, artists, deputies and bureaucrats will all be barred from taking part in the party. The founding members are already under a selection process -- one by one. People who came to Turkey from the Balkans, the Caucasus, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, China and other countries and have become Turkish citizens will be given the priority in selecting the founding staff.
- Every artisan and every civil servant will be recognized as part of the security force of the country and will be armed and have sufficient authority to ensure security.
- The Turkish Army and democratic institutions will be restructured. If necessary, Turkish armies will be deployed outside of the country's borders that were drawn in the National Pact during the War of Turkish Independence -- which includes part of the Middle East.
- No military officers will make any declarations, hold speeches or give voice to their opinion except on the defense and military issues of the country.
- Non-kins to Turks: Jews, Armenians and Kurds who became Turkish citizens within the last 25 years will be expatriated and their movable and immovable properties appropriated.
- A law will be implemented for trying assistant professors, professors and lecturers who were engaged in anti-Turkish activities, and they will face capital punishment.
- Non-Muslim places of worship will be closed down unless they have the relevant community.
- All Turkish citizens age 18 to 45 will be asked to engage in civil mobilization twice a month. They will be ranked and handed weapons and those weapons will not be taken back.
A website for the party is given at the end, just in case anyone would like to sign up and receive instructions for the secret handshake and the secret decoder ring. It might be a bit surprising to read some of their comments on the military officers, but given the nature of fascism, it doesn't really change anything. The pashas remain safe for now because fascism does not accept peace and seeks to be in a continual state of war, ever marching, ever conquering, ever pressing for sacrifices toward a glorious end.
Right. Tell it to Berlin.