The rich and the wise in Turkey keep silent
I want to address the Turkish bourgeoisie who seem to prefer to keep silent these days… Actually, they are not alone… I am also there… We all are… All of us…
Our lesson is “Democracy and Cowardice.” The lecturer is emeritus professor of Bosphorus University, Professor Faruk Birtek. He spoke to İzzet Çapa for daily Hürriyet.
Listen to these words and think of what you have to lose. What do we have to lose? We only have our democracy. A country, the institutions of which function, where everybody can be held accountable, where the president is everybody’s president, where its parliament represents everybody, a country where we are all attached with respect and love, not fear and pressure… Is that too much to ask for the 21st century?
What about our grandchildren and children? What are we going to leave them? Money they can spend abundantly or cowardice that will be kept as a family secret?
‘What is being done to Hürriyet is vandalism’
Upon the question “What is despotism?” Birtek said that despotism was a concept used in ancient Greece: “It expresses an administration style of one central power that is not able to be controlled.” He was asked whether we have despotism in Turkey. “For heaven’s sake, even the despotism in ancient Greece was not the one that has infiltrated us in this country.” Çapa asked him where he drew this from; Professor Birtek said, “If the regime can intercept our phones, computers and houses as it wishes, then there is no debate there. Moreover, if the police are given the authority to do everything based on a ‘reasonable cause,’ then this is the sign that we are at the point where words fail.”
It was five years ago when Professor Birtek defined himself as “cowardly modern.” Is he afraid also today? His answer is, “What else is left there to be afraid of? For fear to exist, the possibility of something occurring has to be felt. Can a person who was hit by an atom bomb fear? No! We can only fear the possibility of an atom bomb hitting us. It is too late for this fear because that bomb has been dropped. When logic ends, fears become insignificant. After all this, they are all welcome to come as they wish to. We will all have fun.”
Who is the straw?
Once upon a time, Cem Uzan snapped “godless” to President Erdoğan and ran away abroad; today, he is the most respected name in the “pool media.” They have almost made him an anchorman.
How can we explain this animosity toward Aydın Doğan in the pool dynasty? It could be that the enemy of my enemy, even if he has called me “godless,” is my friend. Or it could be “a drowning man will catch a straw.” Who is the enemy, who is the ‘straw’ who is drowning… I would not go into that. They can decide among themselves.
Hey, Muslim, what did you feel when you saw this photo? I am asking the Muslim who has a conscience. The photo is of a person tied to a vehicle and being dragged… This photo has darkened our Sunday and taken us to other places... It is even bigger than the “villagers forced to eat feces” incident of the 1990s… What are we going to do to with this photograph? What are we going to do after looking at these images?
Are we going to watch them silently, not speak out of the fear that “they would call us terrorists…”
At least, are we not going to ask this to some people: “Look, what would you say if an Israeli official did this to a Palestinian?” What if that person dragged from his feet was a downtrodden Muslim in Myanmar? What would you have done?
Just think to yourself: No matter whether that person is a member of a terrorist organization, the PKK, how could such a thing be done? Be it Turkish or be it Kurdish, can a person do this to another person?
For this reason, I am saying, whoever has done this, we should all get together and get hold of him, call them to account.
Let us not forget that there are banned things that are not allowed even during war.