Justice minister’s interview and the song on injustices
“I graduated.. but became a hooligan because of your system.
There is a university at every corner, yet village schools are on opposite corners.
The ideology of the ruler is taught in class,
Rich/poor are separate,
Discrimination based on money or the privileged.”
The lyrics belong to a Turkish rap track released Friday morning, three days before 18 million students and one million teachers started the school year on Monday, Sept. 9.
The nearly 15-minute-long piece, which features 18 artists from Turkey’s underground music scene, has been listened by millions of people within hours.
“Susamam,” which can be translated into English as “I can’t remain silent,” “I can’t stay quiet,” or “I can’t shut up,” broaches subjects such as education, environment, justice and violence against women and animals.
“Death was the cost of washing your hands
At the river flowing during the time of Cengiz Khan,
We migrated and rotted, we puked litter and sh*t in the seas,
Forests burn, the eyes of nature shed tears of blood,
The human is the biggest parasite,
Apocalypse is there, go on watching like a cow.”
These lyrics are from the part of the song called “nature,” which is followed by “drought:”
“Don’t do bro! Don’t throw your cigarette butt into the sea, you can’t take it back.
Day will come you’ll long for the sea you dumped your dirt and won’t be able to look at.
The scenes from African drought are not far,
The place the kids are raised are without water,
Because we destroyed the lakes, rivers and all of it.
Your animals’ stomach is full of plastic,
Weren’t you sad?
Not enough to share it in the net, something’s gotta be done.”
In addition to issues under the titles “traffic, suicide, fascism, foreign lands,” the song includes two separate parts, one of which is called “law” and the other “justice.”
“I am a White Turk.
My laws are Anglo-Saxon yet my mentality is Middle Eastern.
I was raised apolitical, and never went to vote.
I kept busy hanging out, holidaying and my debts.
Justice died, until this hit me, I remained silent and became a conspirator.
Now I am even scared to tweet,
Scared of my country’s police.
I am sorry but this is your work; the hopeless generation in the country;
Your work, the unhappy crowds and the sound of bullet; the poor who rots in jail without knowing why,
You, your work, your doing of this horrible picture
Now the justice that has to protect you will come to you, break your door,
Because the kid has died, and you said ‘he’s right,’ as it was an officer who shot him;
You didn’t raise your voice, so you’re guilty.
Because you mourned for two days and after the rivers of tears in your eyes dried out
You forgot the name of the judge who released Tuğçe and Büşra’s killers
If something happens to you, will you rely on the law?
If you were to be taken to jail unjustly
You won’t find a journalist to report the news, as they are all arrested.”
While the song has attracted the reaction of a few Justice and Development Party (AK Party) officials, it is worth taking note that daily Hürriyet published on Sept. 9 an interview with Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül on the justice reform package that has been prepared by the ministry.
The headline on the front page, which reflects the gist of the interview, was “Criticism should not be punished.”
The question Gül was asked on the judicial reform package that is expected to be sent to parliament soon was: “The first step will be taken on freedom of expression. You said there will be amendments to widen the space for rights and freedoms. As a justice minister, how would you draw the limits of freedom of expression?”
The minister replied: “To think, to express and to live [these thoughts] are the fundamental rights of being human that comes from birth.
This is the natural outcome of being human. You cannot tell a human, ‘Why do you live like that, why do you think like that?’ He expresses it the way he/she wants. The state with the rule of law is committed to protect that right. If there is any obstruction on that way, it eliminates that obstruction. But insults made against human dignity and inciting violence is not freedom according to universal law. Other than these, freedom of expression cannot be limited.
We also believe that criticism should never be punished. This is the regulation. But, in practice, one judge among three takes a different look. The difference of opinion is being evaluated by upper courts. We have done work in the reform package to eliminate the hurdles in front of freedom of expression that stem from implementation.”
If the government felt the need to prepare a reform package on justice, then there is nothing extraordinary about a song on justice goes viral in Turkey.