Sunday, December 04, 2005

Convenient outrage and unconvenient pasts

Turkeys islamist government is currently trying to exact a wee bit of revenge over the printing of 12 pictures of the alleged prophet Mohammed. The means the Turks have chosen is to complain incessantly about Denmark allowing the Kurdish television station ROJ TV to broadcast from Denmark. So far, the culmination was when Turkish prime minister Erdogan stormed out of the country when told that ROJ TV had a journalist present at the press conference scheduled with him and Danish PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Problem was that he hadnt had any problems with her attending former press conferences, and it seems he wasnt the only Turkish politician who had no problem with ROJ TV until they needed a pretext to condemn Denmark (source: Hürriyet):

Following the revelation that ruling Justice and Development (AKP) Party MP Faruk Unsal had appeared on controversial PKK-linked Roj TV in Denmark, it has also been revealed that AKP MP Mehmet Elkatmis spoke by telephone on a Roj TV program.

MP Elkatmis, who is also the head of the Turkish Parliament's Commission to Examine Human Rights, spoke by telephone on a broadcast of Roj TV's "Rojname" program, answering questions posed to him by program presented Sinan Ozturk.

There are others

As it turns out, there are many politicians from Ankara, which is trying to get Roj TV taken off the air in Denmark right now, who have either appeared on or participated in Roj TV programs. From opposition CHP, Algan Hacaloglu, Kamer Genc, and Husamettin Cindoruk have also spoken on Roj TV. Former Supreme Court prosecutor Sami Selcuk participated in a broadcast of MED-TV, Roj TV's British counterpart, subsequently shut down. From opposition ANAP, Sebgetullah Seydaoglu is also revealed to have been a studio guest at Roj TV, as well as former SHP party members Fikri Saglar and Murat Karayalcin.


The Turkish press tried out another tactic to get back at those horribly offending Danes: counter-caricature. Problem is, they dont seem to get that they are making total asses of themselves (Hürriyet):

The issue of Tempo magazine which is scheduled to hit the stands today carries an striking caricature: Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen and now-imprisoned PKK leader Apo, lying in bed together, completely naked! And what's more, they are watching Roj TV from their bed.

This is a very carefully drawn caricature.

The editors of Tempo are claiming that they are running a caricature like this in order to "test freedom of the press."

And I am really curious about what will happen. Let's see how Denmark, which spends much time championing freedom of the press, greets this caricature!

Tempo apparently thought Denmark was an authoritarian islamist state, where journalists who dont follow the party line are routinely thrown in prison - much like they are in Turkey. Had the magazine had an even cursory knowledge of Denmark, they would have known that PM Fogh Rasmussen is routinely subjected to much worse (including insinuations about homosexuality) in the press without any government action. Indeed, the Danish reaction was a collective shrug and a bit of ridicule of just how clueless the Turks were. Desperate of some reaction, the Turks had to make up their own reality (Hürriyet):

Denmark shows no tolerance over Tempo magazine's cartoon

A Turkish magazine, Tempo, published the controversial cartoon of a naked PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and Danish Prime Minister Andres Fogh Rasmussen watching TV in bed together, in reaction to the Danish stance on PKK mouthpiece Roj TV, on Saturday.

In reply to the cartoon, Denmark showed no tolerance with dailies complaining about the Turkish reaction. Danish daily Ekstra Bladet says that the cartoon had been published in retaliation for Danish refusal to ban Roj TV, and Danish daily Politiken

So if Danish papers dont tow the Turkish party line, they are "not showing tolerance". Sounds like something we have heard before, doesnt it?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

And they wonder why most Europeans don't want them in the EU?

I found this interesting
showing how a "moderate" Muslim in Australia is demanding that the word Christmas be changed to "festive". Here is a quote:

"....the Islamic-relations forum director, Kuranda Seyit, told The Sunday Mail it was time for Australia to fall in line with places such as the UK, where councils have renamed Christmas "Winterval" and replaced references to Christmas on signage with the words "Festive" and "Winter".

Kuranda Seyit is originally from Turkey.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Henrik said...

Doesnt surprise me. It does seem to me, that so far it is mostly a problem in anglo-saxon countries. I havent heard anything about such things in continental countries - yet.


10:06 AM  
Blogger Turkish E.T. said...

"And they wonder why most Europeans don't want them in the EU?"
yes. I still wonder why don't the europeans want us in the EU. it will clearly help solve the Kurdistan situation and bring Turkey in a stable state as a proud and strong member of EU.

We are swamped by cultural and economic problems. On one side we have the whiny Kurds setting up terrorist organizations bombing shopping malls and cinemas in Istanbul claiming their freedom from mainland Turkey only to later on say "...human rights!!! freedom of speech!!!" ..

I wonder how many Kurdish politicians did not touch any guns in his life.

On the other side we have the Armenians claiming that Ottoman Turks did a genocide on the uprising Armenians (yes, true by the way) and trying to take it's toll on today's *Turks*.

Besides 9% unemployment we also have soft assed, latte sipping, apple macintosh using europeans sitting on their warm asses trying to mess with a democratic 3rd world country (you can only get so democratic in Turkey's state) only and only so they can find something uncomfortable in their G5 world country lifes.

oh. oh. oh. The Kurds will be so grateful to all you once a Kurdistan is established in the east of Turkey. But their sons and my sons will be in too much of a Israel-Palestine state of mind to express their gratitude to your high intelligence.

Please try to use specific addresses instead of "the Turks" ... there are many Turks who agrees with some of the things you said (including me) even in Turkey.


"...Tempo apparently thought Denmark was an authoritarian islamist state, where journalists who dont follow the party line are routinely thrown in prison - much like they are in Turkey..."

I guess that you must know the difference between secular, and islamist state. Turkey is a secular democracy. It is not an islamist state. IT HAS NEVER BEEN EVEN IN THE OTTOMAN AGE WHERE SULTANS WERE DRINKING WINE AND WRITING POEMS ABOUT LOVE*! ALMOST ALL OF THEM!

how narrow minded of you folks!

I understand Kurds do suffer. but curb your symphaty and conscience and let your intelligence guide you a bit.

"I am the Sultan of Love:
a glass of wine will do
for a crown on my head,
and the brigade of my sighs
might well serve as the dragon’s
fire-breathing troops…”
sultan suleyman the magnificent

10:25 AM  
Blogger Turkish E.T. said...

"Kuranda Seyit is originally from Turkey. "

"Doesnt surprise me"

oh my god. did I interprest this line correct?

are you guys like racist blogger trolls or something?

doesn't suprise you? why not? what is the article about?

the article mentions "The attacks" whereas it is just a stupid request from a possibly dumb Turk in the name of democracy. There is no "attack" and nothing "islamist" against it.

...and Henrik btw Hurriyet, one of the biggest newspapers in Turkey, is a tabloid.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Henrik said...

Hey Turkish

Lots to reply to, I dont hope you mind if I snip around in it:

>yes. I still wonder why don't the
>europeans want us in the EU.

The EU is a net drag on all of the EU countries save 4. And that is even not taking the new E-European members into account.

Care to tell me how adding 70 million piss-poor people of a totally different cultural circle is going to make that any better?

>it will clearly help solve the
>Kurdistan situation and bring
>Turkey in a stable state as a
>proud and strong member of EU.

Good for Turkey. How does it aid the EU?

>On one side we have the whiny

Consider how 50 million Turks would react if the EU told them there was no such thing as Turks, and that Turkish was just a dialect of French which, by the way, they all had to learn in school rather than Turkish.

Still think the Kurds are whiny?

>oh. oh. oh. The Kurds will be so
>grateful to all you once a
>Kurdistan is established in the
>east of Turkey.

Your geography seems to be off. The Kurds are simply trying to recover northern *Kurdistan*.

>Please try to use specific
>addresses instead of "the
>Turks" ...

When it gets to nationalist pissing matches, my experience is that Turks band together. All Turkish media I have been able to access have spouted the same BS, too.

Feel free to enlighten me, though, Im in it for the learning.

>there are many Turks who agrees
>with some of the things you said
>(including me) even in Turkey.

Know of any english-language Turkish blogs along those lines?

>>...Tempo apparently thought
>>Denmark was an authoritarian
>>islamist state, .."

>I guess that you must know the
>difference between secular, and
>islamist state. Turkey is a
>secular democracy. It is not an
>islamist state.

Brain fart on my part. I was going after Erdogans party and the authoritarian Turkish state at the same time - the two things got mixed up.

Sorry ´bout that.

As to Christmas:

Kuranda Seyit is the spokesman for Forum on Australia's Islamic Relations. So we are not just dealing with one dumb Turk.

What doesnt suprise me is, that a muslim is throwing another stone while standing in a glass house.

She didnt ask for the Ramadan or Eid to be renamed "Festive" at the same time because it "excludes too many people in multi-cultural Australia", fex.

Oh, and it has nothing to do with democracy.

>There is no "attack" and
>nothing "islamist" against it.

Requesting another religion rename its festivities is an attack on it. And the only one saying islamist is you. The only one saying islamic is Kuranda, in the name of her organisation.

Outrage only makes sense if its justified.

>...and Henrik btw Hurriyet, one
>of the biggest newspapers in
>Turkey, is a tabloid.

Thanks. Could I make you give me a run-down of the 6-10 major Turkish papers? Whether they are tabloids or serious, right- or left-wing?

Would make sorting things like this out a great deal easier.


1:15 PM  
Blogger Turkish E.T. said...

"...Care to tell me how adding 70 million piss-poor people of a totally different cultural circle is going to make that any better?..."

I'm sure you are thinking this you said is just an honest comment that has nothing to do with racism. But when you say "different cultural circle" , I feel like I do not belong to America, whereas I only came here 4 years ago, at a well past 22 years of age, with only good enough English. Now, sitting in my cubicle as the only European in the whole company, I can only grin at this comment because it is far below my tolerance in the level of misunderstanding. Many cultures in Europe is indeed different. Many cultures were indeed different in the past yes they borrowed a lot from each other, which made them only richer, culture wise. Many cultures are different in America. I live in Chinatown. My deli is Palestenian. The people who work in the Chinese restaurant below me do not speak a single word of english.

I do not have the will to explain you this offtopic -EU- subject. especially In the comments section of your blog. "Piss poor" is right although I prefer the term "third world country". I believe it is a more civilized word for addressing a country and it's citizens. Turkey's strategic importance, it's population youth, it's strong military system, the natural resources, it's economic opportunities, these are complex topics. I can only hope you will see that time will prove me right. I hope that you indeed -wish- to be proved wrong in this subject.

"The Kurds are simply trying to recover northern *Kurdistan*. "
No. See this is wrong too. There was never a autonomous Kurdistan there. Never. Yes a Kurdistan was established with the Sevr treaty but Sevr treaty is known as the "treaty that sold Turkey piece by piece" and it is not a valid treaty, it is not recognized.
It is a treaty that shows the ignorance of the west towards eastern cultures which they see -racially- inferior.

Here is what I really don't understand. Today, Turkey has internatially accepted, well established country borders. I don't give a damn about these borders, I don't care if they dissapear and we merge with Iraq or Syria or Armenia or Greece, but I sure would mind if they are redrawn to create a Kurdistan. To claim that Kurds deserve a land in Turkey because their culture has been there for thousands of years, is just irrelevant! It is like saying Indians in America need an Indianistan established in Nevada / Florida or Chinese should have a autonomous little China established in Nyc. After all 100 years isn't that small of a time period for a culture to establish. Who cares if Chinese already have their own country!?? They simply have the right to do so! Kurds have been there what... 8000 years ago. If you put it on a percentage, the earths age being 4.5 billion years you will see that there is no difference between 100 years or 8000 years.

I am only writing these to prove you the nonsense of drawing borders. Seperating a country. Establishing a new country in an already established country. I am only saying these to prove you that you, yourselves, who go around as liberals, are actually hardline right extremists. You believe there should be borders, seperation of cultures, isolation. You believe the west is supreme.

Again, I understand your symphaty for Kurds, poor them, but then, please do understand that that whole region is under economic suffering. Turkey is a third world country and that whole region is poor! It's not just Kurds who doesn't suffer. Please try to approach news pieces as little biased as possible. To say that Turkey is an "islamist republic" is a big mistake, it is not something that I, as a Turk, as a strict atheist, can handle. Turkey is a secular country. It is a democracy. It has clearly drawn, internationally recognized borders. There is a race living in Turkey, called Kurds. Some of these Kurds, only *some* are for the establishment of Kurdistan. These a seperatist Kurds, and you should not like them, or have symphaty for them, just because they do not have their own country.

9:53 AM  
Blogger Henrik said...


About two thirds worth of your last post makes no sense.

As to the remainder:

Kurdistan is, quite simply, the name for a region where Kurds live. I dont really care whether they suffer or not, but if they want independence, that is due to them. Give them a referendum, and see who the Kurds choose - the Turks who have oppressed them for centuries, or themselves.

If they choose Turkey, no harm done, and you can go on crushing the separatists.

But you cant do away with national self-determination. Its in the UN charter, and the reason most other colonies have gained their independence - they have that right.


10:52 AM  
Blogger bordergal said...

But when you say "different cultural circle" , I feel like I do not belong to America, whereas I only came here 4 years ago, at a well past 22 years of age, with only good enough English.

Note to Turkish:

This is a European, not an American blog. Why does Henrik's calling Turkey a different cultural circle have any impact on how you are accepted in America?

9:37 AM  
Blogger Turkish E.T. said...

give them a referandum?

my friend your absolute trust in democracy is beautiful but your ignorance of how things work third world countries is just nonsense.

Countries are established by blood. not by referandum? things might have been different for UK and such however Turkey does not have the strength to let go a whole kurdistan just because it's for the benefit of the west; and some kurds?

bordegal what I meant was that cultures of America and Europe are not that different indeed. I hope you would agree with that...

And the logic was that if I don't feel like a foreigner in America, no Turk would feel like a foreigner in Spain; Germany.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Henrik said...


I just dont get you. You whine about Turkish terrorism, but then you say that nations are established by blood. Which is it? Its not as if the creation of Turkey as (sort of) a national state wasnt accompanied by a torrent of terrorism against millions of Greeks and Armenians.

You earlier compared the Turkish-Kurdish conflict with the Jewish-Arab one in Palestine. I´d actually agree.

You have a people that have lived in a region for thousands of years (Kurds and Jews). Then you have a people that immigrated into the lands/took control when they saw and opportunity (Turks and Arabs). Your problem is, that contrary to the situation in western and central Turkey, where you quite successfully exterminated the non-Turkish presence in two rounds (11th-15th centuries and 1920s), the facts on the ground still are, that the Kurds people the land. The UN charter (which has nothing to do with democracy) specifies the right to national self-determination. So there.

3rd World Countries give independence to nations that dont want to be colonized, too. See Eritrea from Ethiopia and East Timor from Indonesia.

As to Turkey being too weak: give me a break. You have 70m citizens, 50 when Kurds are subtracted. You have, going by memory, an army in the top-five internationally.


1:39 AM  
Blogger Nora (LV) said...


I am Spanish. What do you mean about not being a foreigner in Spain? In a coutry which your Governement has demanded we must ask for forgiveness for Lepanto and the Alpujarras' revolution while the Turks does not ask for forgiveness for the martyrdom of Bragadino, of all the Spanish natives they just captured like animals in the beaches to make them nothing that slaves or prostitutes to the Sultans??? Or for the FOUR sieges of Vienna??? Or for maintaining all the Pirates (Barbarroja, for instance) of the Mediterranean???

And even in that case, it would not be the same: Turks attacked every part of the civilized Europe to convert it into Islam (that is what Souleiman the Magnificent said). We were defending ourselves.

Well, I am astonished. I do not like Turkey in the EU just because you are not of the same culture as me. And EU is debating about what it is, so the perfect solution is to let some countries like Turkey to find a solution to the issue.

And about being a "secular" country. Yes that is the NAME. But about the party the Turks have voted in the last elections??? Erdogan is an Islamist that now wants to "regulate" the alcohol consumption. And that has threatened the EU with "very bad consequences" if it does not accept the negociations. Unluckly, of the kemalism, each and every day just happens to be less.

And well, I am not going to talk about the freedom of religion in Turkey... Yes, it's formally appointed, but when you want to build any temple but a Mosque, the bureaucracy just do not let you (20 years to obtain the passes, I think it's OK). There is a very interesting repost of the EU about it.

Ooh, and you have not answered about the very good consequences of letting Turkey in EU for EUROPE.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Nora (LV) said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Nora (LV) said...

I was forgetting about this link:

The clash of civilization comes to a shop near you

8:12 PM  
Blogger Turkish E.T. said...

Blueslord. I deeply apologize but personally, I think you are a crazy person.

I tell you that culturally we are not that seperate, you give me stories from the past, hundreds of years ago!!! Interesting stories and thank you for them but they don't make sense.

Here is another story I'll tell you that will not make any sense:

"...In the 15th century the Jews in Spain faced strong pressures to convert to Christianity and many yielded to this pressure and became Christians... When the news of expulsion reached the Ottoman Empire, the Sultan (Emperor) Beyazit II issued a decree to welcome the Jews... A significant portion of those expelled thus came to Ottoman Empire and settled mostly in European parts of the Empire...."
Also, I have poems written by Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. He is writing about wine, drinking wine, desire, and the ignorant leader of the religious sect (islam) not understanding about love.

Now what does this tell you about the Islamic behaviours of Ottomans, thus Turks?

Btw, women were not made the -prostitutes- of sultans. They were actually made wives of the sultans. Thus most sultans head foreigner mothers. A little nuance from factual historical data there...

Thank you for your interest in ERDOGAN. But you have to know that as far as I see the whole world, including all of *Turkey!* fears his islamist past. And he has done nothing so. Europe "fearing the consequences" of not accepting Turkey is a factual sentence. You are refusing a country in your rich mans club which was formed by sucking the resources of the world in the first place. Spain is basically a gold thief of a country. How do you think the refusal of Turkey will look the the east? To Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia? They will probably mock Turkey even for the attempt and claim that west if full of ignorant pretentious noble assholes like yourself, but you don't give a damn thats for sure.

HENRIK. Brother, there is a difference between an actual war and a terrorist war which you fight by bombing touristic locations, killing tourists, and establishing blogs that distribute your lies. It is indeed a parasite behaviour. That is wrong.

Terrorism against Greeks? I believe that was called a war.

Armenians? I don't even want to bring that headache of a subject in here. But 1) there was no Turkey back then 2) Kurds killed armenians more than Turks did 3) Armenians choose a very wrong time to establish terrorist groups against the Turks with the help of other nations.

You totally hurt me with the "exterminated the non-Turkish presence" sentence. Again, see the jewish example I gave above, and please understand that Armenians (until the seperatist attempts) and many many other cultures and religions lived peacefully, even more peacefully they could under any other empire, for hundreds of years.

Henrik, Turkey is a third world country. A strong, democratic third world country. Some people of the west prefer and desire Turkey to be as ignorant as Iran, as stupidly islamic as Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, as chaotic as Syria, but it will never be. I will not allow Turkey turn into the uncivilized level you want to see it, but I see your civilized level only gave you the ignorance to build such a stupid term as "culturally different"

9:38 AM  

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