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1.       AlphaF
5677 posts
 30 Oct 2012 Tue 08:55 am

Can any politician, especially if a large number of citizens do not believe him to be a republican, tell Turks how and where the public can celebrate the 89th anniversary of REBUBLIC DAY?   The answer is NO !

Official government warnings of a possible riot turned out to be totally untrue ! Celebrators and demonstrators were absolutely dignified; Papers hardly rated the State Police as "dignified".



2.       vineyards
1954 posts
 30 Oct 2012 Tue 09:41 am

I am not a fan of conspiracy theories but here is my understanding of what lies in the background of the incidents in Ankara:

The powers-that-be consider Turkey as a considerable military power in the region. Despite all its pro-West attitude, Turkey is considered a bit volatile and unpredictable. The country supports a large population having extremely diversified ethnic backgrounds. Turkey is a unitarian country and has a militarist outlook. No matter what political flavour its young generation choose, a large percentage of them are still very patriotic people.

Turks have certain icons and they defend them ardently. These icons can be considered as a bond that holds the masses together and they are the ones found in established countries like France, Italy, Spain etc. While it is OK for the aforementioned countries have these bonds (since they are Christian and Western) it is not OK to have such a strong unitarian regime in a region where powers-that-be would like to hold the reins by stirring trouble as they did in Iraq, Syria and Libya.

If a political group can be installed in the community using an element (religion) that is not alien to the natural texture of the community, and if they are given enough power they can serve the common targets and do their best to undermine the established obstacles to terminate the unwanted regime and to replace it with a softer, calmer and less resistant one.

Once this step is achieved, more daring plans can eventually be tried.

3.       AlphaF
5677 posts
 30 Oct 2012 Tue 10:47 am

I share vineyard´s views to a wide extent.

I hope most of you will be alive to see what the year 2023 has in store for you. Certain politicians seem to place great significance on that date. We might all be in for a surprise party ("fez" obligatory).



Edited (10/30/2012) by AlphaF

4.       trip
297 posts
 30 Oct 2012 Tue 08:47 pm

Merhaba! I do not mean to enter a discussion where I do not belong, but please help me understand.

In some ways, Erdoğan has been an improvement over the old military rulers, yes? There is more freedom of religion, for instance. If a woman wants to wear a head scarf, she can. There is more freedom in the discussion of the culture, yes? The Ottoman Empire is no longer an off-limits subject.

On the other hand, Erdoğan shows signs of being as interested in power and control as his predecessors. 

In America, the secular and the religious are often at odds. Our country is founded on the idea that religion has no place in the running of the state. But we also believe in freedom of religion -- everyone practices as he or she sees fit. Can Turkey find a good balance in this regard? Has Turkey already found this balance?

I am very interested in your answers.



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5.       vineyards
1954 posts
 30 Oct 2012 Tue 11:26 pm

Think of the football clubs and their fancy signings, large budgets and coaches with their magical plans for reaching the next league title: what looks good on paper is rarely good enough to actually get success in real life. We can project this onto how society is ruled by parties and how systems or regimes rarely live up to the expectations of the masses.

Leonard Cohen, a singer-philosopher puts it this way:


Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
Sail on, sail on
O mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squalls of Hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.

It´s coming to America first,
the cradle of the best and of the worst.



Perhaps there is a seed of truth in this. Unless, democracy comes to a mighty countrly like the US first, there is little chance for the others to move a finger to change their regimes. One way to achieve this is to question our understanding of democracy and this has to be done on a very large scale and meticulously.

The moment when we realize there is no secularism nor democracy in the true sense of the word, we will have a chance to aspire a better regime that at least makes more justice to the word: democracy.

One of the problems of the "civilized" part of the world today is the wide-spreaded procrastination stemming from their incorrectly considering themselves as the "norm" and the unnecessary satisfaction with a so-called efficient society that relies on the inefficiencies of others. This is about to change.

In a world climate where people talk about a clash of civilizations, we can´t talk about the existence of religious peace in any country in the world. That also means not much has changed over the decades and that things are even getting worse compared to the past.

6.       gokuyum
5050 posts
 31 Oct 2012 Wed 12:28 am


Quoting trip

I am very interested in your answers.




We are so advanced now we even don´t need democracy anymore

Edited (10/31/2012) by gokuyum
Edited (10/31/2012) by gokuyum

thehandsom liked this message
7.       trip
297 posts
 31 Oct 2012 Wed 08:41 am

Hmm. Yes, democracy is always a developing project. America went from having slavery, to having an effective apartheid, to slowly bringing black Americans into society, to having black political and business leaders, to having a black president. Similar progressions have happened, or are happening, with others -- immigrants of all stripes, women, gays. It is always a developing project. There is always more to be done. There is always another battle to be fought. That is the beauty of democracy. And that´s what Leonard Cohen was trying to say: 

It´s coming to America first / the cradle of the best and of the worst. / It´s here they got the range / and the machinery for change / and it´s here they got the spiritual thirst.

Hopefully, more of the world will join the grand experiment.

Turkey is on this sort of journey, too, yes?

Edited (10/31/2012) by trip
Edited (10/31/2012) by trip

og2009 liked this message
8.       vineyards
1954 posts
 01 Nov 2012 Thu 01:35 am

From the political point of view, Turkey is not a stable country. No matter who wins the elections and regardless of the percentage, a sizeable portion of the population detest the resulting government and do their best to undermine it and it is often vice versa.

Being inflicted with such problems, it can´t be said Turkey pleases majority of its citizens let alone provide democracy for them. As you say, there is always room for further development and that is very much the case for Turkey too.

Furthermore, Turkey is at the cross-roads of civilizations. It is neither completely East nor is it West. That means Turks have a slightly different concept of democracy while being quite familiar with the notions of their Eastern and Western neighbors. What is democratic for a Turk may not be that way for a foreigner. Just like a nun may think she is liberated by devoting herself to God. Democracy is a belief. It may come in different shapes. You may like the system in America but we all know that there are countless people all around the world who consider it an evil empire.

9.       trip
297 posts
 01 Nov 2012 Thu 08:00 am

You make a good argument, Vineyards, but here are two thoughts:

First, perhaps Turkey just hasn´t arrived yet at the place where one party can win power and the opposition can be satisfied with knowing there will be another chance in four or five years. There is no love lost between many Democrats and Republicans in the United States, but there is still a loyal opposition because we all know there is always another election coming, that the tables can easily turn -- and often do. Maybe that is hard to see when your country spent so many years dealing with coups and military rule. But maybe Turkey will eventually come to that place. We can hope.

Second, yes, democracy comes in many shades. That is all to the good. People make democracy, and people in one culture are not going to necessarily approach things like those in another culture. I agree with you. And it is fair for some people around the world to see America as an evil empire -- our track record is not all good. Sometimes the people we put in office make bad decisions -- George W. Bush springs to mind. But Americans have good hearts, and we have done good things: helped to rebuild Europe and Japan after WWII, brought lifesaving medical programs to Africa, supported dissidents in Russia and other countries where political freedom is all but nonexistent. America deserves a fair look, not a foregone conclusion. If people around the world could see each other for who they are, and not what they think they are, we would all be better off.

Edited (11/1/2012) by trip

denizli liked this message
10.       vineyards
1954 posts
 02 Nov 2012 Fri 09:44 am

In case our starting point is the age of a country, we must remember Turkey is a much older country compared to the US. However, we must also note that the US shares the sociocultural wealth of the European continent. That also means the US and Europe have been in the same bandwagon since the beginning. Therefore, to understand the evolution of the regime in the US, we must study the near history of Europe.

Over the decades, many regimes were tested in Europe. From the Holy State Model of the medieval times to the fascist regime of Franco in Spain or the National Socialism of the Hitler era along with communism and social democracy they flourished and failed on the European soil. Its this diversity and openness for a change that made the creation of the US possible. The US was a new ideal invested in a land with vast opportunities that could support a new system.

How did Europe get to that point? All this relentless change and striving for a better and more efficient formation was not without a reason. Europe was threatened by Turkey. Turkey had better armies and a stronger economy then. The entire Sea of Mediterranean was controlled by the Ottoman fleet. Traditional trade routes were also controlled by the Turks. Europe had to do something to get rid of the Turks and they discovered America while trying to find a new way to reach India. Colonism, slavery, exploitation of the resources of the new-found-land gave Europe and edge over their archrivals. They had more money, larger armies (reinforced by their colonies). The efforts they made to reach, control and govern these new lands caused them to excel in creating new technologies. (larger distances created a need for steam vehicles, better built vessels etc.).

To put it in a nutshell, whoever has the power has the last word about what democracy is and the West is doing exactly that. If Turkey emerged victorious from this long battle we would be talking about a different kind of social structure hence democracy.

As for Americans having golden hearts. I have no objections since I have nothing against the man in the street. Nevertheless, if we should more correctly judge nations by their political decisions we must say, a country that resorted to mass-destruction weapons twice in its near history indiscriminately murdering tens of thousands of innocent civilians including babies, mothers and children can hardly be called a good one. Whoever did and whoever endorsed that were war criminals, and they certainly deserve to go to hell.

Edited (11/2/2012) by vineyards

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