History to repeat itself on expulsions
The Ottoman administration exiled writer and poet Namık Kemal. The sultan who had sent him into exile remained “one of the other sultans.” Namık Kemal, on the other hand, became the “poet of the country” and “the poet of freedom.”
Another poet, Mehmet Akif, after taking part in the Liberation War, did not feel safe after the war and because he opposed certain decisions, settled in Egypt. He is today in the place he deserves in our textbooks as the poet who wrote the National Anthem.
The Democrat Party government in the 1950s stripped poet Nazım Hikmet of his Turkish citizenship. Those who made this decision are heavily criticized, but Nazım has become the poet of generations.
During the military regime of May 27, 1960, the military rulers first fired Professor Ali Fuat Başgil from university. He then left the country because he did not feel safe. Those who forced him into exile are forgotten, but Professor Başgil is still remembered as the greatest teacher at Istanbul University.
Intellectuals and artists such as Zülfü Livaneli, Cengiz Çandar, Melike Demirağ, Şanar Yurdatapan and Cem Karaca were forced to leave the country during the military regime periods of 1971 and 1980 or were stripped of their citizenship. The decision-makers are all forgotten. The others came back as the artists of the masses.
Now, in this period when certain people are in exile, stripping them of their citizenship is in the making.
If you ask what will happen, well, history will repeat itself. Whatever era it is, those who have been exiled and who had a chance to leave the country and who were stripped of their citizenship because of their views or opposition have the same fate in history.
The decision makers and the others will be written in history as it has always been before.
Don’t shoot me; I’m not saying this. Our shared history is saying this. The shared history of the republic’s founders, secularists, conservatives and military rulers…
Critical question on Russia
I came across with the question which has been on my mind for a long time in the Wall Street Journal the other day in John Vinocur’s article, “In France, ‘Independence’ Means Closer to Russia.”
I want to make this a question. Today, while the U.S. is being dragged through the mud by top officials, trolls and troll-like columnists, we are in a closer-than-ever relationship with Russia; does this mean a more independent foreign policy to you?
Less freedom brings more magazines
I felt like I was back to my 1980 military regime days. Magazines in my life started proliferating. These are young magazines. Young people get together and make a magazine from their homes, garages or under the staircase.
As society becomes more vulgar and as trolls lower the level of thought, the magazines of these young people are elevating the level and quality of thought.
As populism turns into an oppressive majoritarianism, these kids talk more about freedom in their magazines…
One of them is “Kafkaokur” published in Istanbul. Its front page has Sartre, its back page has Simone de Beauvoir.
The other is “Düşünbil” published in Ankara. In their last edition Albert Camus is on their cover.
If you want to steer clear of the flock of trolls, I highly recommend both of them in these days…