Turkish anger management issues

Turkish anger management issues

BELGİN AKALTAN - belgin.akaltan@hdn.com.tr
Turkish anger management issues

DHA Photo

I'm sorry I am repeating myself, but I think we Turks have a killer chromosome that is still active centuries after it is no longer needed. Even worse, we have another gene that protects the killer. Our justice system, whatever is left of it, also has an invisible protection shield over killers, rapists and thieves.

I think it comes from our lack of anger management and our affinity for violence (love of violence?). I detect a pattern in our local criminals, wife killers, street murderers and even in that bunch of hooligans who kicked and damaged the door of my previous apartment. They all lie so beautifully afterward that you wonder why so much creativity is wasted in criminal activities…

We first beat, kill or commit a crime, and then we lie about it. Some of us kick to death a young innocent student with a wonderful smile, Ali İsmail Korkmaz, in dark alleys in Eskişehir.  

We all need anger management training.

The former prime minister had anger issues; he was always angry, but he received half of the country’s votes because an angry person, for this society, is quite a familiar, warm person; a character from the family. People felt that they knew him, that he was one of them; they felt close to him; they voted for him.

Look at the new prime minister. He is not angry and he is not popular. 

Anger issues come from not being able to change a situation and not accepting it. Underneath “criminal” anger are sentences like “I am right; I want it my way.” Also, anger brings energy. At the same time, angry stories sustain anger; repetition makes a snowball effect in your mind. Anger, experts also say, comes from an overblown sense of self-importance.

I also just wanted to write about the defenses that these criminals present in court. Here is what police officer Mevlüt Saldoğan said at the Ali İsmail Korkmaz case in Kayseri: The principal defendant Saldoğan, as seen from the video footage (which I was never able to watch to the end), the plainclothes policemen who inflicted the fatal last two kicks to his head and chest, are now playing the victim.

He spoke to the court via a video link from Ankara Numune Hospital. The chief justice asked for the defendants’ last words.

Defendant İsmail Koyuncu, the owner of the bakery, pleaded not guilty, demanding release. Defendant Ebubekir Harlar said, “I did not beat anybody. I caught him because the police told us to catch him … I want you to treat me with justice, I want to be acquitted and released.” 

The judge said, “Geçmiş olsun,” Turkish for “get well soon,” but this created uproar in the courtroom.

Saldoğan expressed condolences to the family and said: “It has not yet been proven that the person I was beating was Ali İsmail. [Though he admits that he was beating someone.] A perception has been created based on the entry of hate and revenge against my [police] organization at the ekşi sözlük [website] by so-called witness Semih Berkay that the person I was beating was Ali İsmail. [What? Perception? Stories?] The prosecutor has not collected the evidence in support of and against the defendant. The window that the witnesses claim they saw me through is only big enough for one person to glance out of and it has a tent in front of it. Ali İsmail did not tell the first doctor who examined him that he was taking special medication. [So, it is Ali İsmail’s fault.] In the footage that I am seen in, the person beaten is not Ali İsmail. Ali İsmail had a brain hemorrhage 18 hours later. [He must have had it earlier.] What democracy and state of law includes attacking the security forces and damaging public property? In the Demonstrations Act, it says protests must end one hour before sunset. Our incident took place at midnight; this is not the use of democratic rights. [I am right syndrome?]

“If the real perpetrator is being sought … the real killer is not in the dock. Look for them among those who dragged these young people to commit these crimes. The murderer is in my [police] organization, not in the dock. Look for them among those who organized the Gezi Park [incidents].”

These words triggered a reaction in the courtroom. Lawyers objected that he was making a political speech. Saldoğan was asked to wrap it up.

This time, he said he had served his country for years in dignity and honor; that he never acted with the intention of injuring or killing anyone. “I kept my oath as a police officer; I used my body in executing the orders of my superiors. My health has deteriorated in prison.” [What?]

OK. So I wonder if he was seeking some kind of sympathy from the judges, pity or mercy. Did it work, I wonder? After all, his and the others’ sentences were reduced.

If he had said, “I am so sorry, I am a monster. I was so built up with hatred that I saw the poor young man as the enemy and I was kicking the enemy when I kicked the fatal blows. I have anger management issues. I was in another dimension. … I caused an innocent young man to die. I am so sorry. His voice saying ‘don’t hit me, I’m dying’ is still echoing in my ears … When one starts a violent act, the rest comes running. This fatal kick is the end product of hatred, polarization, estrangement and unprofessionalism…”

I don’t know if this version would have worked better.