Books as ‘sources of evil’ in the 21st century

Books as ‘sources of evil’ in the 21st century

A 1953 novel by Ray Bradbury, one of the most prolific science fiction writers of American literature, titled “Fahrenheit 451” was filmed by François Truffaut in 1966. The book and the film depict a “civilization” where the burning of books and hating books are the most important values. 

In Bradbury’s imaginary society the firemen are not fire extinguishers but those who raid homes and burn books and houses together with people in them. 

Books are burned because the legislators of that society regard books as the mother of all evils. They are the “sources of evil” that make people dream non-productive dreams and cause people to be unhappy and sad because of what is written in them. 

However, there is an opposition movement in that society who loves books. They live outside the cities and they memorize books from beginning to end before they are burned. When one of them gets older, they make a younger one memorize the books before they die. 

When I read that, upon the instructions of the head of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), books that were previously published by the TÜBİTAK would be examined and destroyed if they did not fit the criteria of “local and cultural harmony,” I thought of Bradbury and “Fahrenheit 451.”
According to the story by Sevin Turan and Erdinç Çelikkan in daily Hürriyet, some 50,000 books were collected for this purpose. The fate of these books was unknown, the story said. They probably did not meet the criteria. 

It is like a bitter joke that in the 21st century Turkey’s scientific body decides to destroy books. It is a shameful, bitter joke…

They don’t trust Turkey? 

According to the European Commission, 3 billion euros will be provided for the care of Syrian refugees in Turkey. 

An interesting part of this is the EU will not give this money directly to Turkey, as they are setting up a mechanism called the Refugee Grant Facility where the funds will be transferred. 

This institution is to be administrated by a committee with representatives from EU countries and Turkey.

I don’t know whether not giving the money directly to Turkey is stemming from the suspicion that it would be spent in other places, but I should say it is degrading. 

This is why we have independent media 

The pro-government media fed by pools created by winners of state tenders and also by state advertisements is criticizing the questioning of why the Russian plane was downed. 

According to them, this is a “national issue” and since it is a national issue it should not be debated and one should stand firmly behind the government.  

What they want is that only one voice is heard and everybody writes the same thing. 

I don’t think they will understand but let me try to explain it again: This is the job of newspapers and journalists in a democracy. Journalists should ask the questions that officials avoid so people could learn what is going on. This is not a job to be done in dictatorships anyway. 

It happens in democracies. For instance, in Russia, in Egypt and in Syria no such thing happens; they would not allow it. 

Here, we can partially do it because there are still newspapers trying to stay free and independent. 

We know, as the fed-pen of the fed-press, you do not want to go into these topics. 

This is possible, don’t worry. Nothing will happen to you, keep your loyalty, but let us do our business, will you?