Wednesday, December 10, 2008

TURKEY: GUARANTEEING HUMAN RIGHTS GLOBALLY

"When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."
~ Thomas Jefferson.


From the No Shit Department:


Kenneth Roth, administrator of the Human Rights Watch (HRW), described Cemil Çiçek, minister in charge of the issues related to human rights, with whom he met about their reports about the police violence in Turkey and not punishing those responsible for it, as sarcastic and too defensive.

[ . . . ]

According to Roth, Çiçek denies even the existence of the problem and when reminded of the police violence cases, describes this as an outcome of the psychology of the police officer up against terrorism.

Emphasizing that Çiçek offered excuses about every matter they brought up in regards to the human rights violations, Roth said, "When we mentioned the Constitutional Reform, the freedom of expression and the police violence he brought up the constitutional process in the European Union (EU), the EU’s attitude towards Turkey and the violence used by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), respectively."

"It is ironic that Çiçek is the minister in charge of the human rights. It made me think that if Çiçek was a minister for improving the human rights or one for violating them. Let alone the implementation of the recommendations in the report, he did not even want to discuss the matter."


Welcome to our world, Mr. Roth! Have a glass of tea and stay a while.

Everyone can read the bloviations--or should I say "flatulations"?--that this worthless little human turd, Çiçek, has to say about Turkey's efforts for "human rights" at Hürriyet (English version, since I refuse to waste my precious time translating the turd's lies). Oh, I'm certain that Turkey will be the vanguard of securing human rights throughout the entire world--especially the Muslim world--because of it's temporary position on the UN security council. Yes, boys and girls, that would be the same UN that has never, in its entire history, so much as passed gas in Turkey's direction for the Ankara regime's genocide against the Kurdish people. After all, image is everything!

Yes, Turkey will be the ultimate vanguard of human rights everywhere, everywhere but right in its own internal colony of Turkish-occupied Kurdistan.

Let's see . . . we had the events of Newroz, with the AKP government beating Kurdish women with nightsticks and dislocating the arms of Kurdish youths in front of the news media, and the AKP police did that in front of the news media because they knew without any doubt that they would not be prosecuted for it. And they haven't been. That, boys and girls, is what is known as a culture of impunity and it is deeply entrenched within the Ankara regime.

Almost two years have passed since the Ankara regime murdered Hrant Dink and they are still screwing around with their bullshit prosecutions. From today's Bianet English page alone, there's an article about alleged charges against the Trabzon jandarma officials who arranged Dink's murder. Another article discusses the fact the fact that one of the so-called "witnesses" has changed his statement, probably for the umpteenth time. In addition to arranging and carrying out the murder of the most prominent Armenian journalist in Turkey, police officials are also under investigation for harassing a journalist from the daily Birgün.

I mean, sometimes I have to check to see if I'm actually reading Bianet or if I've mistakenly accessed the homepage of some human rights organization because it's constantly something involving serious abuses of human rights or violations of free expression that I see there.

Even Europe, the continent with the most hopelessly population, has begun to wonder what has happened with their wonder boy, Katil Erdoğan. From Der Spiegel:


Amid corruption scandals and stagnating reform, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, praised in Europe as a modernizer, is seeking refuge in nationalist rhetoric, adopting a tougher stance on the Kurds and moving closer to the country's military leaders.

The public prosecutor in Adana, a city in southern Turkey, has clear ideas on how the state ought to treat teenagers who protest by throwing stones. In his view, they should be arrested and locked away, preferably for life.

Last week the prosecutor demanded up to 58 years in prison for six young Kurds between the ages of 13 and 16. During a demonstration in October, the students threw stones at police officers, shouted illegal slogans and unfurled posters touting the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

[ . . . ]

Long praised in the West as a peacemaker and reformer, a man who has made great strides in bringing his country closer to Europe, Erdogan is now revealing reactionary tendencies.

He has recently stopped calling for "cultural rights" for minorities, and is ignoring the human rights abuses being committed by Turkish police. Instead, he now prefers the language of the generals and nationalists. Turkey, Erdogan said excitedly in a recent speech to a Kurdish audience, is "one nation, one flag, one country." He added: "whoever doesn't like it can leave."

When Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat, the Kurdish-born deputy chairman of Erdogan's conservative Islamic party, the AKP, resigned from his position, the premier replaced him with a hardliner who prefers military force over dialogue when it comes to the Kurdish question.


Oh, surprise, surprise, surprise.

None of this counts the bombing of Kurdish civilians, and the destruction of their property and livelihoods, in South Kurdistan--a part of the sovereign state of Iraq--by TSK, which has been ongoing for one year now. If it were the Israelis targeting Palestinian civilians like that, no one would hear the end of it.

But no. . . it's only Turkey, this year's global vanguard of human rights, and it's only the Kurds getting bombed. Move along, folks, there's nothing to see here. Move along.

But we all know why the Ankara regime maintains its internal colony Kurdistan and fears the local administration of resources, labeling such a suggestion--as made by Diyarbakır's wildly popular mayor, Osman Baydemir--as "separatism". Resources. High quality oil reserves, the curse of the region, for one. Water and coal, to name two others. For these reasons, resource-rich Kurdistan will continue bereft of liberty, a victim of Turkey's internal imperialism.

How about those Greeks, eh? From the very people who invented democracy--real democracy, not the crap peddled by the Western world, whose "democracy" is merely a euphemism for "unbridled, free-market capitalism", otherwise known as greed. Those Greeks are proving Thomas Jefferson's words: "When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."

This is exactly what needs to happen in Turkey every time a Kurdish boy has his arm dislocated or broken by the fascist police, every time a Kurd is shot dead in Istanbul because some pig decided he just felt like murdering a Kurd, and every time some brain-dead Turkish nationalist decides to take a shotgun to supporters of the DTP, simply because the murderer he elected as prime minister told him it was just ducky to shoot supporters of the only opposition party in Turkey.

Every time these kinds of things happen, there should be riots throughout the country, without stop, until the regime and it's culture of racism and impunity fears the people more than it fears anything its worst nightmares can conjure.

Then, and only then, will you have liberty.

Happy Freakin' International Human Rights Day!

10 comments:

Gordon Taylor said...

Yeah, Cicek is a classic milliyetci. It's always someone else's fault. Nothing like this could happen here. Why are you accusing us? Look what you have done! It is the defense of a child: "Why are you picking on me, Mom? Johnny did it too!" As Einstein said, "Nationalism is a childhood disease."

I have to say, nobody who looks realistically at Turkish politics can have any doubts about why people would want to start throwing bombs. Obviously you (and others) are right: General Boshboo must have laid down the law right after he succeeded Buyukanit (probably General BigTomb helped him). Now political survival is the game for Erdogan: talk a bunch of rightwing crap in desperate hope of taking votes from the MHP, since Erdogan surely must know that he's lost the Kurdish vote that he got in the last election. Forget about Europe, and screw reform. Hell, if Erdogan really cared about reform, why would he have picked headscarves as the first thing to go after?

Anonymous said...

please dont use turd next time, it is offensive to non racist turks.
thank you

Anonymous said...

Maybe some people will think I have OCD fixating on the nationalism issue but Cicek's attitude is not one simply of nationalism. It is not xenophobia -- a hatred of foreigners -- either. Turks are quite generous towards tourists who visit and as a people are generally hospitable and friendly. Their (to speak generally) hatred, their intolerance is aimed solely and directly against the Kurds and Armenians -- and this manufactured racism against these two groups is cloaked in nationalism. So, I think the fundamental problem is racism.

Turks can be nationalistic -- that is, they can continue to be proud of their culture, their language, their flag, etc.. without depriving the Kurds of their essential rights.

Mizgîn said...

Yes, Gordon, I agree with Einstein's assessment of nationalism. You are probably aware of the Turkish-Islamic Synthesis, so it should come as no surprise to you that the AKP is virulently nationalistic.

The headscarf fiasco is merely a distraction which AKP uses to portray itself as a "victim". It's always a "victim". See more at Counterpunch.

Anonymous 2, if Turks were merely proud of their culture, language, etc., then we could say that they were patriots. Instead, their pride in their ethnicity goes hand-in-glove with racism on an institutional and individual level--the individual being the result of constant inculcation by The System.

Nationalism is inherently racist. Patriotism is not necessarily so.

Anonymous 1, I use the term "turd" in its literal meaning--a piece of shit--not as a pun. I will continue to use the term that way, as necessary when appropriate . . . such as in the case of Cicek.

Anonymous said...

oh, i wasn't really anonymous 2...i forgot the ~nistiman...and now that I re-read my post hopefully the OCD reference will make better sense :)

i don't think i agree that nationalism is inherently racist, although excessive nationalism (Ultra-nationalism, or maybe chauvinism is the correct word) would lead to racism.

Some Dictionary defns of "nationalism":
- the policy or doctrine of asserting the interests of one's own nation, viewed as separate from the interests of other nations or the common interests of all nations.

- devotion and loyalty to one's own nation

- the desire for national advancement or independence

- excessive patriotism; chauvinism (but, in my opinion this is nationalism to an extreme and isn't properly "nationalism"


But, I can see how the meaning of nationalism is being changed over time in order to drive home the point that peoples seeking independence is bad.

~nistiman

hamo said...

I would hate to become nationalist myself but in the mean time I have no real objections for people in any country to be nationalist as long as their love of the country does not harm the other individuals or the people of other ethnic minority which I would define as racism or fascism.

I don't think you could measure someone's love of her country by their amount of nationalism as it can clearly be see in the Turkish example that this would change into hardline-neo-nazi fascism.

I would say that the nationalism either in Turkey or in South Kurdistan are not real but only used for individuals selfish interests. Nationalism is used by these both backward regimes to brain-wash and use people.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that patriotism is a feeling -- a love for one's own people or nation. It may not take any manifestations politically. It is a feeling of love or affection for your culture, your language, the customs and way of life of your people, and a desire to support the policies of your government. Surely, this feeling – at its extreme – can lead to racism or xenophobia as well.

Nationalism, to me at least, connotes a more political project to advance one’s nation or people’s interests. I would also group people who want to establish some sort of political order (it doesn’t have to be a nation-state, it could be a con-federal state as well) as nationalists since it involves organizing a people to advance their political, social and economic interests. It makes sense that a people who do not have a nation-state and whose rights are not protected through the rule of law would become nationalists and want to advance the rights and interests of their own nation or people.

Of course, nationalism could be driven to an extreme by some who would like to assert the interests of their own nation/people at the expense of others and without any regard to basic principles which are sacrosanct. This can very easily lead to imperialism, racism, etc...

To me, a nationalist is a patriot on a political mission.

~nistiman

hamo said...

When I was visiting Scotland, I met the SNP (Scotish Nationalist Party) leader Alex Salmon. Untill that time (1994) my way of understanding the nationalism was what was tought in the Turkish schools under the kemal's 'milliyetcilik' doctorine, according to this doctroine Turks are the superior race to any other nation in the world. Loving your own nation meant to stay quite and accept everything that your government (who is choosen by the superier Turks) offer you. Due to camel's this doctorine almost every single turks see all the people around the world as enemy. Hate, jellouse, phsical abuse, murder etc against the people who are not Turk in that country must be one of the worst in the world.

Ok, cut the long story short... Alex Salmon explained me why he is nationalist and what he is intend to achive by being a nationalist. Such nation who's history goes back to ancient times probably before the English which had in the past had their own king and the queen, language, culture etc, being undermined by the English central system made him nationalist and he said, untill all Scotland become complete independent he will stay nationalist.

After talking to him, Scotland had a referandum for complete autonomy and the old parliement in Scotland opened its doors for the Scotish members. SNP still exists and struggles for complete independance from the UK.

I guess this is what you mean by seeing nationalism way of political patriotism.

You need to remember nistiman, in our part of the world nationalism seen totaly in different perspective then in the west. baath's arab nationalism, camel's turkish nationalism, miloseviches serbian nationalism are not very good examples to be proud off...

Gordon Taylor said...

I like Nistiman's analysis.

There are obviously many kinds of nationalism, just as there are many kinds of patriotism.

Scottish nationalism means, "I think Scotland ought to be an independent country, just as it was before. I think we should debate and vote on it."

Turkish nationalism means, "All the people in Anatolia are Turks now, whether they like it or not. The nation is One. It will not be divided. To debate is treason. If you question this, we will either put you in jail or kill you."

When I referred to nationalism, obviously I was thinking of Turkish nationalism. Turkey's paranoid, childish version is in a class by itself.

I equate nationalism with jingoism, chauvinism, and other forms of extreme patriotism. I don't know if that's correct--it's just my way of thinking.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree that the Turkish "milliyetci" is in a class by itself and I knew when you referred to Cicek as a classic milliyetci exactly what you were implying.

However, diagnosing the problem is half the battle. Disassociating racism, inequality and chauvinism from the patriotic sentiment is an important step Turks, foremost, must take. The new generation has to learn that defending Turkey and perhaps even being a nationalist Turk may mean a struggle against the classic "milliyetci" way of thinking.

~nistiman