Monday, January 22, 2007

A whole lot of loathing....

Turkish Police have detained a teenager suspected of killing the Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. The suspect was arrested after a tip-off from his father.
The Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has said that the police would also look into any possible links between this assassination and the murder of a Catholic priest in Trabzon last year, for which another teenager has been jailed. I am not one for conspiracy theories but I suspect there is a significant link between the two murders.
The fact is that Europe promised the prospect of EU membership to Turkey, with good intentions, but without thinking it through properly, only to recognise slowly how immense and serious the practical difficulties are. It’s now time for the EU to seek definitive answers about what Turkey intends to do in order to improve tolerance for ethnic and religious minorities and freedom of expression in the country. It's time for Turkey to take steps in the right direction fast- no ifs, no buts.

14 comments:

Colin said...

It's time for Turkey to take steps in the right direction fast- no ifs, no buts.

What steps do you have in mind and is it possible to eradicate centuries of feelings of ethnic supremacy simply by order of the Mufti or of Erdogan?

Will B said...

IT, you are quite right. However, as Colin points out, it shall be mighty hard to turn things around swiftly.

Colin, don't you also mean religious supremacy?

Colin said...

Will B.,

You asked "don't you also mean religious supremacy?"

According to Hans-Peter Raddatz, author of the book "The Turkish Danger", the Turkish people were sometimes glorifying islamic supremacy and sometimes their ethnic supremacy.

The Westernized elites in Turkey appear to believe more in the superiority of Turks, e.g. the law to defend Turkishness and the fact that many Turks are looking down on Arabs. However, you are probably right in regard to the present Turkish government which seem to combine a belief in ethnic and religious supremacy. But Istanbultory is certainly better informed on this issue than myself.

Serf said...

The Murder of Hrat Dink
The Murder of the Catholic Priest
The legal harassment of Orhan Pamuk & Elif Safak

What do all these have in common?

They are the actions of extreme nationalists against a perceived threat to Turks and Turkey.

Why do they see this threat?

The answer lies in the education system, and legal system. Nationalism is the state creed, and children are taught that all outsiders are out to get Turkey. So when the more brain dead among the population take this seriously, we shouldn't be surprised.

Even sophisticated, educated Turks can surprise one in their willingness to believe in conspiracy, when the means, motive & method are clear to all. This is a direct result of the way in which they have been educated.

If Hrant Dink had never been prosecuted for "Insulting Turkishness" does anyone believe that a knuckle dragging school dropout, would have even heard of him? The extremely bad law that he was convicted under, is directly responsible for his death.

This should be a warning to all of us about the unwanted consequences of bad laws. That our nation, also has its fair share of bad laws, is something we should not forget.

newmania said...

Mufti or of Erdogan?

Colin it is possible to eradicate thousands of years of Pagansim with a few wrod about a clover leaf( apprently ) and that didn`t even make any sense.
Perhaps the door is alreadsy ajat and just needs a shove.
What does IT think?

Ellee said...

What a tragic story, these deaths are so pointless. As Colin says, it's easier said than done to stamp out centuries of ethnic hatred and feelings of supremecy.

istanbultory said...

If this country wishes to “join the club” Turkey must meet its EU commitments. The Turkish Govt should repeal article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code for “insulting Turkishness.” Last year more than 50 individuals were indicted for statements or speeches that questioned state policy on controversial topics such as religion, ethnicity, and the role of the army. They also should permit the opening of Christian seminaries and the possibility to acquire property; the return of confiscated land and buildings and the authorisation to operate at least one church in places with a Christian population

Prickly to a fault, the fact is that Turkey is less inclined to do the EU's bidding the more it is ordered to. The Turks have an uncanny aptitude for shooting themselves in the foot.
As for "eradicating centuries of feelings of ethnic supremacy", we could ask the same of Greece in relation to its Muslim minority/Romany. The same is true for Serbia (ask the Kosovars amongst many), Bulgaria (regarding gypsies and Muslims in particular)....

Colin said...

Newmania,

You might be right. A few weeks ago, a taxi driver from Marocco told me that he is surprised how fast the public opinion in his country changed. Today, if you are sitting in a cafè in Marocco, he said, you hear the people dicussing mainly anti-american topics while 10 years ago they all were talking about how to westernize faster. On the other hand, I am often surprised how cultural differences survive for centuries.

Serf,

An excellent comment, indeed. Thank you for this interesting view.

Istanbultory,

I agree with the first part of your statement. Also the last part is correct, namely "As for "eradicating centuries of feelings of ethnic supremacy", we could ask the same of Greece in relation to its Muslim minority/Romany. The same is true for Serbia (ask the Kosovars amongst many), Bulgaria (regarding gypsies and Muslims in particular)...."

However, the main difference seems to be that the feelings of ethnic supremacy of these groups don't threaten our freedom. Their demographics aren't a threat to the rest of the EU should they join the EU. If Turkey would have a population of let's say 5 - 10 million, who would be worried?

CityUnslicker said...

A most interesting debate. Clearly Turkey is not ready for the EU.

But then in my opinion, neither is the UK. Statist post-secular society offers us nothing except bureacracy. Crazed as we can make many Turks sound, they are right to try to avoid joining and institution that will destory their culture.

They do not have a monopoly on loony muslim extremeists either, as we have found to our cost.

Colin said...

CityUnslicker,

A well-reasoned comment. Once again, you are absolutely right.

Voyager said...

So Erdogan had to open a motorway tunnel and so could not attend Dink's funeral ?

I read that Dink and his wife grew up in an orphanage which they later ran until the Turkish State decided Christian property belonged to it.

Sounds to be a splendid place Turkey - could join the Museum Section of the EU as a sort of "Primitivism Exhibit" with "Butcher a Christian" events which our media fails to describe as typical of Muslim hatred of Chrisians because of education, outlook, and literacy.

It seems Turkey in the EU would be rather like the D R Congo in the EU...we could find nice hotels with talkative conversational partners and delude ourselves that the ones hacking off limbs and wreaking havoc were just a minority.

Serf said...

I read that Dink and his wife grew up in an orphanage which they later ran until the Turkish State decided Christian property belonged to it.


When you read about how the welfare state was set up in Britain, there was not very much difference.

Voyager said...

When you read about how the welfare state was set up in Britain, there was not very much difference.

So Christian property was expropriated and dissenters were murdered by 17 year olds....okay I can guess in what type of school you were indoctrinated

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