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Democracy on trial in Turkey as 86 face coup attempt charge
1.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 20 Oct 2008 Mon 02:44 am

Turkey´s most important political trial in more than a decade starts near Istanbul today, amid hopes the country may finally be able to crush shadowy criminal groups that, for decades, have hobbled its democratic development.

 

The 86 defendants, prominent secularists and right-wingers united only by their authoritarian ultra-nationalism, stand accused of attempting to remove the government of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan by force. The indictment against them, a 2,455-page door-stopper, reads like a Dan Brown novel.

Beginning with the discovery of 27 hand-grenades in the Istanbul home of a retired military officer last June, the prosecutors accumulated evidence linking the gang to assassinations stretching back more than 15 years.

The gang´s aim, they assert, was to use high-profile murders to stir up social tensions, easing the way for military intervention against a ruling party which has its roots in political Islam.

The accused – among them senior retired military officers, mafiosi and prominent academics and journalists – are alleged to have commissioned the murder of a High Court judge in April 2006. Originally blamed on Islamists, the killing triggered a secularist backlash against the government that culminated in a veiled coup threat last year and a court attempt to close the ruling AK Party this February.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/democracy-on-trial-in-turkey-as-86-face-coup-attempt-charge-966933.html

2.       thehandsom
7403 posts
 20 Oct 2008 Mon 10:17 am

I really believe, this trial can be ´a turning point´ for Turkish democracy.

 

Some more extracts from the same article (I was trying to highlight these in some of my posts too)

 

In the 1970s, extreme right-wing nationalists were almost certainly used by certain state activists to stoke a near-civil war against left-wingers that culminated in a military coup in 1980. The same men reappeared at the height of a Kurdish uprising in the 1990s, forming death squads that assassinated hundreds of Kurdish activists. None of the murders has been solved.

....retired general Veli Kucuk, was the military police commander in a western Turkish province notorious as a killing ground for pro-Kurdish businessmen. Another retired military police chief who fled to Russia months ago to avoid arrest, headed a command post where two Kurdish politicians were taken in for questioning in 2001. The two men have not been seen since...

(You can see what happened too all those thousands of dissapeared Kurds´

 

"What we are living through today are the birth pains of a new regime – the death of 60 years of controlled democracy, the birth of a Turkey that has the full democracy it deserves"

 

"The mentality that a privileged few can act against the interests of the people is like a cancer eating away at the flesh of this country," says Mehmet Metiner, a former adviser to the Prime Mminister. "Unless this case is taken to its logical conclusion, Turkish democracy will continue to limp."

 

btw..Did you know that all those accused men call themselves ´nationalist´?

 

 

3.       vineyards
1954 posts
 20 Oct 2008 Mon 02:13 pm

Well, there is no limit to what people can call themselves. Mehmet Ali Agca dubbed himself a prophet after attempting to assasinate the Pope. Hitler called himself Führer, the guide of German people; a guide who led his people to total destruction. According to Stalin, he was the "iron man" of socialism. To all the rest, the socialism he defended was nothing more than an olligarchical dictatorship with him being the big brother.

 

If you ask me, theoritically one can call himself a nationalist and keep himself/herself completely free from organized crime sticking to fair conduct in all his activities. I hope it is clear enough that I am not trying to defend nationalism. Thinking in a broader sense however, it is impossible to accept the need for nationalistic periods in the history of a nation when that nation faces destruction, invasion and external threat.

 

There are of course people pointing their fingers at the easiest option. When Turkey was under invasion there was a strong domestic movement pushing the country to accept American protectrate. This, they thought, would prevent the country from being swallowed by the hostile powers. Here is a question for you:  if you lived in that period, would you side up with this group on account that you cannot be a part of a nationalist movement? Unless you think with stereotypes you wouldn´t.

 

To put the record straight; everyone (including you) writing in these forums is a nationalist to some extent. It is just that they don´t know this. It only becomes obvious when you face a national threat. Everybody denies being nationalistic. Everybody condemns people of other nationalities when they spot nationalistic elements in them. Nevertheless, nationalism is like an iceberg, you can only see the tip of it. In fact, the entire near history of Europe including the collapse of the empires and the founding of myriad of new states can be attributed to the presence of a strong wind of nationalism all around the world. The Kurdish movement regardless of the political flavour it comes with is essentially a nationalist movement too.

 

Having said this, I of course, agree that there is no need for a nationalist government in the peace time. The only time when we need one is when our liberty is at stake.

4.       thehandsom
7403 posts
 20 Oct 2008 Mon 11:12 pm

 

Quoting vineyards

Well, there is no limit to what people can call themselves. Mehmet Ali Agca dubbed himself a prophet after attempting to assasinate the Pope. Hitler called himself Führer, the guide of German people; a guide who led his people to total destruction. According to Stalin, he was the "iron man" of socialism. To all the rest, the socialism he defended was nothing more than an olligarchical dictatorship with him being the big brother.

 

If you ask me, theoritically one can call himself a nationalist and keep himself/herself completely free from organized crime sticking to fair conduct in all his activities. I hope it is clear enough that I am not trying to defend nationalism. Thinking in a broader sense however, it is impossible to accept the need for nationalistic periods in the history of a nation when that nation faces destruction, invasion and external threat.

 

There are of course people pointing their fingers at the easiest option. When Turkey was under invasion there was a strong domestic movement pushing the country to accept American protectrate. This, they thought, would prevent the country from being swallowed by the hostile powers. Here is a question for you:  if you lived in that period, would you side up with this group on account that you cannot be a part of a nationalist movement? Unless you think with stereotypes you wouldn´t.

 

To put the record straight; everyone (including you) writing in these forums is a nationalist to some extent. It is just that they don´t know this. It only becomes obvious when you face a national threat. Everybody denies being nationalistic. Everybody condemns people of other nationalities when they spot nationalistic elements in them. Nevertheless, nationalism is like an iceberg, you can only see the tip of it. In fact, the entire near history of Europe including the collapse of the empires and the founding of myriad of new states can be attributed to the presence of a strong wind of nationalism all around the world. The Kurdish movement regardless of the political flavour it comes with is essentially a nationalist movement too.

 

Having said this, I of course, agree that there is no need for a nationalist government in the peace time. The only time when we need one is when our liberty is at stake.

I agree with you what you are saying above in generic terms.
But however, I am in favour going into the roots of nationalism and also infavour of  looking at it with some historical elements.
I believe, nationalism is defined with the ´hatred of others´, not with love of your country.
You have to believe that your country has enemies in order to be a nationalist.
When you look at the history of our republic, you can, kind of, understand the growing nationalism during last  halt of the 19. century when Bulgarians, Greeks, Arabs nationalisms etc were raising. We, Turks, had our share in those times too and that is how our nationalism started and that is how we fought for the independance.
I said a few times in this forum that ´nationalism was necessary 100 years ago to establish the republic.
BUT it was 100 years ago!!!.
In these days, you have to get rid your nationalism in order to  keep your republic as a one country. 

Nationalism should be replaced with the citizenship.
And the nationalism should never ever be mixed with the love of your own culture, love of your own country, love of the people who share the same culture and country with you.

 

5.       vineyards
1954 posts
 21 Oct 2008 Tue 12:35 am

I also agree with the general aspects of your answer nevertheless, I have a few objections.

* There are other more proper names for extreme forms of nationalism such as fascism, nazism, neo-nazism. If we mix all of these concepts together where will we put our great leader Ataturk who was in effect the founding father of the nationalist period of Turkey. If we agree that Ataturk by virtue of the requirements of the time frame he lived was a nationalistic leader or to be precise a dictator, then we should continue to ask ourselves why we can´t place him alongside Mussolini, Franco or Hitler? We can´t because Ataturk was a nationalist who didn´t go to the extremes, he merely used nationalism to hold his people together. He told Turkish people that they were are clever and hardworking. He told them Turkish people had all the values internally to stay together and work for prosperity as a nation.

 

* As for nationalism being necessary only 100 years ago; if you ask me there is a gross mistake in the way you understand history. 100 years is like the blink of an eye from the perspective of history. Electric bulb was discovered 130 years ago, can we call it an item of the past? It is still usefull and so much in fashion. The entire Social Democrat movement is not an exception it is a full 130 years  old yet even it could only be a grand-grand son of the Capitalism which took its modern form in the 18th century with roots reaching the 9th century and beyond. Such concepts age much more slowly than you think.

Remember my iceberg metaphor. I can also provide a supportive example from the domain of psychology; it is so observed that passengers travelling on a boat keep chatting to one another seemingly oblivious of the danger that they may be exposed to in the middle of an unpredictable ocean, onboard a vessel which is not so different from a walnut shell to the sea. When however, the weather changes and the vessel begins to shaking, that big fear buried deep in the subconscious rears its ugly face.

6.       thehandsom
7403 posts
 21 Oct 2008 Tue 02:12 am

I would not agree this time

 

 

*Where do we put our great leader Ataturk in history with the nationalism? I think it is a good question. I think  analyzing the history and its moral values with the values and terms we have at the time of analysis will be a colossus historical mistake. When you think of his education, the place he grew up, the time of ottoman era, raising nationalism in the entire Balkans and Arabs, his Ittihat ve Terakki connections and generically, the time he lived, it would be impossible to think Ataturk without nationalism. And, as you said, ´he used the nationalism´ in order to keep the Turks together. Was he a dictator? Well.. The time he lived in was quite harsher I think. When you think of many opposition voices disappeared, specially the early days of republic, people may think that he was. But it will be again a huge mistake of judging the history with today´s values.. Btw..what I wrote is nothing to do with Ataturk´s place or the value for Turkey. I do not think anything will change the fact that ´how a great commander and a great politician, how genius and in the end how great human being  he was´

*Regarding the nationalism is a historic phenomenon or not. I will disagree with you on that. The era is changing..Religion based countries were replaced with nationalism based countries long ago and now nationalism based countries are changing into countries based on citizenship.

What bonding element of your country has depends on ´generically speaking´ how well advanced in industrialization and democracy (I believe they are kind of interconnected too).

Basically necessity of nationalism for the countries in today´s world is  as necessary as duodenum for humans. I mean you can live without it.
And since the possibility of switching to racism from nationalism is so easy because of the nature of nationalism and since Turkey contains many different ethnicities in its soils, insisting on nationalism, which in effect, splits people as ´us´ and ´them´, is as good as committing suicide as a country.

Specially Turkish nationalism bombarded by the state as if we were living 100 years ago, is creating its own ´enemy nationalisms´.
In fact, one of the side effects of the globalization is weakening the nationalism all over the world. And I believe, because it is weakening, it is getting more brute in the places where it still finds life. 

7.       vineyards
1954 posts
 21 Oct 2008 Tue 02:31 am

Thehandsom, to me, the problem with your theory is that all despite all the supportive arguments you are using e.g. the transformation into a society where individuals, citizenship, economic contribution and the like; we are also going through a strong wind of nationalism. Not only here and maybe not necessarily qualitatively the same but also in the US and Europe. I don´t think those bearing banners cursing non-US elements are strangers to the type of social structure you are mentioning in your answer. Nationalism and individualism can and do exist together. 

8.       thehandsom
7403 posts
 21 Oct 2008 Tue 02:49 am

 

Quoting vineyards

Thehandsom, to me, the problem with your theory is that all despite all the supportive arguments you are using e.g. the transformation into a society where individuals, citizenship, economic contribution and the like; we are also going through a strong wind of nationalism. Not only here and maybe not necessarily qualitatively the same but also in the US and Europe. I don´t think those bearing banners cursing non-US elements are strangers to the type of social structure you are mentioning in your answer. Nationalism and individualism can and do exist together. 

I dont know much about USA but I believe the nationalism in Europe is temporary and very much related to  scaremongering about the foreigners. And all this ´war against the terrorism´, 9/11 etc did contribute into the level of nationalism as well.

But I dont think, generically, nationalism is at alarming level in developed countries .

 

9.       vineyards
1954 posts
 21 Oct 2008 Tue 03:09 am

It is not temporary, it is an ongoing process. Remember the boat example; you don´t need nationalism unless something goes wrong. It has always been this way and probably will be so in our life time. Did you know the nationalist movement in Finland, actually reversed a historical process which was causing the Finnish to become a dead language. It was through this movement that Fins revitalized their ancestors tongue abandoning Swedish willingly.

 

Nationalism can move mountains and is only needed when there are mountains to be moved but it is not limited to a certain time frame.

10.       azade
1606 posts
 21 Oct 2008 Tue 01:37 pm

Inshallah they get what they deserve {#lang_emotions_alcoholics}

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