YUSUF KANLI >Just laughter…

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Often, it is claimed Turkish political-Islam has been consolidating itself in power through a step-by-step disguised secret agenda. Wrong. These guys have been doing it openly all the way down, but some people insist on not seeing and reading what is exposed so clearly.

Did the man climbing the stairs to the presidency nowadays not declare two decades ago that democracy was like “a train car to get on, travel until the wanted destination and get off?” What has he and his political-Islam clan done since then? Did they not travel on the democracy wagon as much as it served them, but abandon it whenever democracy and democratic norms, values and landmarks contradict, if not totally confronted their tainted utopias?

Was it not the same democratic prime minister who publicly declared that owners of media outlets should know who to put and who to avoid at the windows of their shops? Definitely journalists, intellectuals or writers of this society cannot be the window dressing of any businessmen, that’s not the issue, but what the premier said was obvious. Yet, he elaborated, saying since the owners of media outlets are the ones paying the paychecks of journalists and writers, they must be in a position to tell them what not to write.

Still, he was treated as a democrat, even by most of the people hunted today by the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) governance, and were crying for some time that a dictatorship was in the making in the country. Were not the same people coalition partners of that dictatorship setting in the country? Yes, but during those years, it was not them who were hunted; at the target were the Kemalists, nationalists, patriots, academia, judiciary and the military or elements in those institutions who were refusing allegiance to the government. Where were those guys complaining of “fabricated evidence” or “concocted court cases” against them when, through thousands of pages, thick, thriller-like indictments, made up evidence, illegal wiretappings, clandestine circumstantial spying and such methods incompatible with the notion of justice, this country’s military was left almost without commanders – particularly the Navy.

These guys have been doing it open all the way down. This is a revanchist campaign against the Republic and the founding fathers of the Republic. So far, they have not been able to publicly attack Atatürk, thus they direct all their vengeance on İsmet İnönü, claiming it was because of him Turkey accepted the Treaty of Lauseanne and thus lost many parts of its “national borders” – the last law of the Ottoman Parliament describing Turkey’s national borders. They are so shallow they cannot see the bitter compromise made by the founding fathers. Atatürk’s home city of Thessalonica was left to Greece, apart from many other concessions in exchange of recognized and secure new borders for the new republic. It required statesmanship to make such compromises. Building peace after a war was not easy at all. The Treaty of Lauseanne was the Turkish Republic’s birth certificate, but they just cannot see that.

Now, everyone is claiming it was a quip by Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç asking women to avoid laughter in public because chastity required women not to laugh in public. That is how these people perceive women; a subservient sex-slave for men who should shut up, stay indoors, give birth to an army of kids, raise kids… and that’s all. Worse, remember that female academic who a while ago publicly said she would be happy sharing her husband with another woman should he desire so…

This is the mentality posing an existential threat to the modern Turkish Republic. The threat is not hidden, it is professed and at the helms of power.


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