Another point to look at the AKP’s heavy-stance towards the demands on celebrating May 1 as a national holiday in the historic Taksim Square can be the dichotomy between the Cold War Mentality and the Post-Cold War developments. According to the Cold War mentality which prevailed in Turkey the left was to be silenced a la McCarthy, and this stance reflected itself through the articles 141 and 142, the demonising of the left, the Associations to Fight With Communism which spread through Anatolia and established the backbone of the bloodshed during the late 1970s, para-military organisations within the state apparatus to fight covertly for the cause. Robert Cox in his last book took this theme of “covert world”, i.e., the remnants of the Cold War logic, which continued to exist but in a mutated form within the nation states. In Turkey we saw them in the fight against the Asala, and in 90s, we saw them as local bullies, and the smoking gun of the state secret apparatus. AKP’s stance towards the demands on May 1, clearly demonstrates that this education is embedded in the minds of the AKP elite who were socialised during the 1970s, and as militants of the Islamist Erbakan school, a staunch enemy of the “reds” in Turkey.
Mr. Erdogan and his party likes to be perceived as the Europeanised face of the Islamists, or what was it? conservative-democrats. Funny that Mr. Erdogan who began his career as a member of the IETT, Istanbul’s transportation network, and was proud to take in strikes, yeah “Justice for All”, but only for all who are one of us…
Note: photo taken from
I guess this was a song of the Cardigans: Erase and Rewind… Thinking about the sale of Turkeys’s second biggest media giant Sabah Newspaper and the ATV to the Calik Group reminds me this song. Erdogan’s AKP takes its name “Adalet-Justice” from the re-loaded meaning of “Justice” in Turkey. The First one was Süleyman Demirel’s “Justice Party – Adalet Partisi” of the 1960s and 70s, it took its name “Justice” to give justice back to the former DP-members who have been purged by the 1960 military coup. SÜleyman Demirel though had the chance by the end of 1960s did not seize the opportunity to give the “justice” back to the former members of the DP, say it due to a strategic calculation or the fear of the “army”. AKP’s “justice” is an appeal to put an end to the notorious 90s. An era which witnessed all kinds of corruption, mismanagement, and calamities. One of the issues which needed “Justice” and was promised to be delivered by Mr. Erdogan was the issue of the media and the usage of state levarage to parachute government-friendly figures to own banks or other lucrative issues such as the media.
“According to Gareth Jenkins “On March 2007, Calik appointed Berat Albayrak, Erdogan’s 26 year-old son-in-law, as the holding’s general manager” (1). It is a well-known fact that the CEO of the Calik Holding, Ahmet Calik is a close associate of Mr. Erdogan. Calik Holding made its fame in its investment in Turkmenistan throughout the 1990s and 2000s. We can also trace Calik back to Turgut Özal’s Central Asian opening. He was one of the industrialists who understood Özal’s guidance in investment and carefully took the step to fill in the gap in Turkmenistan. Calik Holding became famous in Turkey especially about the Telecom bid which they lost to Oger Holding (2). However, they became ever famous by their bid to buy the Sabah-Atv Group.
On December 2007, The Calik Holding bid 1.1 billion $ for the Sabah-ATV group, in a bargain every other party refrained to take part, due to government’s implicit remarks that they want this deal to be done without meddling. The problems began in the aftermath of the sale, there were serious rumours that the Calik Holding will not be able to find the required sum, and up until three days to the deadline it seemed to be so. The interesting thing began afterwards, the Calik Holding announced that two-state owned banks, namely the Halkbank and the Vakif Bank agreed to give a 375 million § each as a loan to the holding. They also announced that the rest of the deal will be paid by the Al Wasaeel International Media Company.Al Wasaell is currently a low-profile Qatari company and according to the Turkish Daily News no entry about it can be found in the biggest search engine for companies, Bloomberg (3). According to Hurriyet “It also added that Calik accompanied Gul in February and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in April in their visits to Qatar. The Qatar Investment Authority decided to establish a separate company to invest in ATV-Sabah a couple of months ago” (4).
The contoversy around the purchase of the Sabah-ATV group grew as Hurriyet reports by the latest remarks of the President Abdullah Gül. We can also see a similarity between Turgut Özal’s “entrepreneur President Mentality” which meant heading the business circles in foreign visits, trying to contact them with the finance sectors of host countries, and from time to time directly involve in economic transactions. Özal had the capacity due to his technocratic background on economics and his closeness and sympathy around the Middle Eastern circles due to his “Naqshibendi connections”. Nevertheless, President Gül, an academic on economics and a long time member of Arab Development Bank aims to continue this heritage. Coming back to the theme, to quote:
“Turkish President Abdullah Gul admitted on Friday that he introduced the Qatari Emir to the chairman of Calik Group but claims he does not know the details of their meetings. (seriesofhopes note: February 2008)“I introduced Mr.Calik, who will construct the Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline, to the Qatari Amir regarding energy issues during my visit to Damascus. This is true. But I am not only close to him, I have close relations with all members of the business world (in Turkey). I help them with their businesses outside Turkey,“ Gul told reporters. ” (5).
The situation is again an erase and rewind situation, populist political parties come to power through populist appeal, however, justice is just a name on the party’s boards.
Lately, while I was roaming around in Dublin – Ireland, I came across a bar. Its name just striked me “Turk’s Head Chop House est.1760”. I was very curious about how come a bar is called like this, I mean I never heard that Turks’ were in Ireland before. Especially, it’s icon near the door, brought me back to Istanbul in a second, and I really liked this bar. Later I sent them an email and asked whether they can help me to track back the history of the bar and why it is specifically called like this. The staff was extremely kind and spared some of their time and wrote me this email. I am putting it here so that anybody interested in the name of this bar can inform themselves… nice place to drink a pint of guiness indeed.
Full of dodgy deals and drunken seamen – the place was a wash with Scandal and rumour. The Turk`s Head Chop House was one such place and in fact one of the most popular in the area – due to the loose woman that had rooms above the pub – Because of it`s popularity – the name was selected for here.
Just before the European Union decided upon whether opening negotiations with Turkey or not (3 October 2005), during that Austrian veto threat or the “Vor Wien Syndrome” , and the diplomatic salvo, I was in Istanbul, walking through the city’s heart – Istiklal Stret. In every corner, in every little grocery, I saw people watching the news in hypnotised eyes. I do recall the time, it was around three o’clock , and I asked the shop keeper near the Cicek Passage, what happened? He said “everything is over” and turned off the TV. At the time, the news from Brussels were gloomy indeed. However, by the end of the day, after many negotiations and diplomatic arms twisting Turkey got the green light.
Many water have passed down the bridge from then on -Panta Rei… Nowadays, the European Union is getting ready to suspend relations in case of the AKP’s closure. Nevertheless, this will mean the victory of “anti-EU” coalition in Turkey. Here we have to remind that both the CHP and the MHP are harsh critics of the Europeanisation politics. The AKP, by sidelining its trump card of EU accession, in a way blocked its own ticket to salvation. Now, the AKP leadership which was accepted as the rising hope, is discussed as one failed leadership in the European Union corridors. The discussion over whether the “national order t-shirt” can be torn and burnt away as promised in many occasions also came to a near end. Erdogan in the aftermath of his election victory showed a helping hand to all, and declared to be the leader of all, but not one specific power group. However, this promise was well forgotten, like many others…Not Europe but Turkey and a Turkey under a new hegemony was the main target.
As Gramsci says, commenting on the hegemonic West European states, ” The State was only an outer ditch, behind which there stood a powerful system of fortresses and earthworks”(1). The Turkish state/society complex is by no means a hegemonic one, but one in which there is a constant struggle to achieve hegemony. However, this does not mean that the former bearers of power left no fortresses and earthworks within the domain. Erdogan’s AKP was well aware of this fact and systamtically targeted these, whether by taking it from inside, or sidelining by creating parallel institutions a la Özal. So was the European Union project of the AKP just a pawn in the game? or was it the main destination as stated, the dilemma is also by now the dilemma of the Turkey itself.
(1). Robert Cox: “Gramsci, Hegemony and International Relations: An Essay in method: Millennium: Journal of International Studies: Vol.12, No.2, pp.162-175.
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CHP’s 69 year old leader Deniz Baykal once more ready to rule the party forever. This is a kind of attitude inherited in the genetic code of the CHP. Ismet Inönü was 88 years old in his last fight against the youth in the 1972 Congress. Bülent Ecevit was 47 years old and Deniz Baykal was by then 34. Bülent Ecevit was 81 years old by the time he died and was still active in politics. We can therefore speculate that Deniz Baykal will also not choose the way nobody chose in the CHP tradition. It is of course a very strange situation for a party who officially declares itself as the centre-of left political party, a member of the Socialist International to be undemocratic in its own inner affairs.
Baykal even went ahead of Inönü and Ecevit in sidelining all possible sources of opposition within the CHP. This of course creates an atmosphere of a Stalinist leadership attitude, which is unfortunately also in great dosages exists in virtually all political parties in Turkey, which eliminates any critic and urges complete obedience to the leader. Furthermore, it closes the road of every ambitious politician to present his ideas if not in accord with the leaders. It reminds me the days of the “Milli Sef” – National Chief Inönü during the 1939-1945 period. The National Chief was the above all personality, the glorification of the Hobbesian state/society complex. 63 Years from them, the same attitude is still visible and the only rule in town.
Baykal’s method is the method of a polite bureau like an inner circle, mainly retired members of the highest echelons of the Turkish bureaucracy, members of the Vanguard. These are extremely loyal to the leader and do not question anything at any time. nobody asks the election results, and the defeat of its provocative policy. 67 year old Onur Öymen is a perfect example of the member of the inner circle. His expertise in Foreign Policy, his career and heavy stance is nevertheless works in tandem with the leader.
So we can say that the story will go long, Baykal forever, he can hop up from the foggy atmosphere in a Ritchie Martin style, he can walk 10 km at 5 o’clock in the morning, he can swim to Rhodes, he can be the PM of Turkey and the show will go on… Baykal forever…
Telephone Call from Ankara – An Overlooked Surprise: Israel’s Offer to Withdraw from the Golan Heights in Return of a lasting and solid peace
During the last days, a very important incident was overlooked in the Turkish media which in an ostrich like reflex enclosed itself to its territory due to the tiring acceleration of political events. According to the BBC (1), on Tuesday 22th of April, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan played the role of an interlocutor between the troubled neighbours of Israel and Syria and convened the message of the Israeli PM Ehud Olmert which indicates that Israel would withdraw from the Golan Heights in exchange of a long lasting peace with Syria.
To recall, the Golan Heights which plays a utmost strategic role be it in terms of reconnaissance, tactical superiority, water resources, and others was occupied by Israel during the notorious 6 Day War of 1967, and defended during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Syria urges the return of the Golan Heights for the beginning of any political opening on the issue of peace between the two parties.
According to the BBC” Mr Olmert’s office did not deny the Syrian reports, choosing only to state that they “refuse to comment on the matter”. It is also important that Erdogan’s telephone call took days prior to his official visit to the Syrian capital Damascus. Nevertheless, Turkey’s policy with Israel which began with a rapprochement during the second part of the 1990s, and the spring time entered in the aftermath of the Öcalan’s purge from Syria during the 1998 and the “Adana Agreement” between the two. The importance of the Adana Agreement was it elevated Turkey to a position to have good relations with the two simultaneously and which elevated it to a potential interlocutor. We can just say that this is a very important development for Turkey in the Middle East. If this process between Syria and Israel can work out, then Turkey should began to play a role which it aspired from the Bagdad Pact days to play the “so-called brother” policy.
This article is not finished yet. these are the preliminary ideas about this very important incident, keep updated.
the map is taken from the :
the photo is taken from the
THE ARTICLE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION WILL BE COMPLETED SOON…
“Lambda, Istanbul is the largest queer liberation group in Turkey . It was formed by a small number of gays and lesbians as a result of a police ban on Christopher Street Day celebrations in 1993. Since then, Lambda-Istanbul has grown in membership and aims to raise its voice on behalf of the gay communities in Istanbul.”(1)
During the last month according to a report of the Human Rights Watch, Istanbul police raided the centre, accordingly:
“On April 7, between twelve and fifteen men in plain clothes entered the Lambda Istanbul Cultural Center, identifying themselves as members of the Financial and Moral Police; an officer from the City Department of Associations accompanied them. The police presented a warrant, but members of Lambda Istanbul told Human Rights Watch that they were not allowed to review it thoroughly. Police refused to answer questions about why they were raiding the Center.
The attorney for Lambda Istanbul subsequently found the warrant was issued under article 227 of the Criminal Code, whereby ‘[a]ny person who encourages another person to become a prostitute, or facilitates prostitution, or acts as a go-between or provides a place for such purpose is punished with imprisonment from two years up to four years, and also a punitive fine up to three thousand days.’ Beyoglu Prosecutor Serdar Gur had demanded and received the warrant from the Magistrates’ Court of Beyoglu No. 2. The attorney also told Human Rights Watch that he received information that Lambda Istanbul had been under surveillance since the beginning of March.”(2)
On May 29th, 2008, a local court in Istanbul announced its judgement for Lambdaistanbul LGBT Solidarity Association to be shut down. The lawyers of the Lambda will appeal on the Supreme Court of Appeals.
According to Cemil Cicek, promulgation of May 1 as a public day would cost Turkey 2bliion YTL’s and therefore is not on the agenda. However, the AKP government proudly decides that May 1 will be celebrated as “labour and Solidarity Day”, whereas PM Erdogan openly humiliates the workers’ demands to celebrate May 1 as a public day in the historical meeting point namely the “Taksim Square” by saying: ““Chaos is created in a place where the foot governs the head,” (1). This shows one importance aspect of the AKP that of sudden eruptions of ignorance. Furthermore, it also illustrates AKP’s selective bazaar mentality concerning the adoption of the EU Standards in Turkey. When it comes to closure of the Political Parties, the AKP is a proud follower of the “Venice Criteria”, although they did not move any finger about the DTP closure. When it comes to save the day, AKP believes in Europe, when it comes to reach consensus with domestic actors and elevate the country to the EU standards, the AKP is ignorant.
In face of these latest attacks and ignorance, the trade unions and the workers feel themselves completely alienated from the government. Remembering the “Tuzla Harbour Incidents” where many workers died due to the lack of workers security precautions, we can clearly see that the AKP is allergic towards the workers’ rights. KESK, DİSK and Türk-İş, Turkey’s largest trade unions, following Erdogan’s highly provocative statements decided to celebrate May 1 in Taksim and not to step back. Lately, the AKP also declared that Erdogan’s statements were exagerrated and he did not say in his speech the “footsoldiers” but “foots”… (1)
I mean all these reminds me the “newspeak” and the paperwork done in the Ministry of Truth, recalling the genius of Orwell’s 1984. Changing the name of the May 1, refusing critics on Erdogan’s speech and re-writing his ideas with other tones. The only thing is we wont be able to see a peaceful May 1 demonstration in Taksim, which clearly shows the government’s attitude on the issue of labourers.
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The brain child of Turkey’s 8th President Turgut Özal, the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation died silently in Ukraine this week. According to Yalcin Dogan (1) of Turkish daily Hurriyet, the latest meeting of the BSEC in Ukraine was only represented at the Foreign Ministry level by the host nation Ukraine and the initiator of the organisation Turkey. Foreign Minister Babacan had to leave the meeting after only one hour due to lack of equal diplomatic representation.
The strange thing is, how come the Turkish MFA cannot be informed about this diplomatic fiasco in advance and send his minister to the empty saloon? According to Baris Yinanc’s report in the Turkish daily Referans, Foreign Minister Babacan had to attend the meeting due to Turkey’s special position within the organisation. (2) However, we should not forget that it would be Babacan’s first visit with the FM of member states.
This is nevertheless a great blow for the rhetoric of BSEC which existed mostly in the heads of the Turkish politicians, as a distant dream of Turkish leadership in a region which in 1992 was in chaos, but now much more stable unlike the still volatile Turkish state/society complex. Following the European Union’s eastern expansion, the membership of Romania, Bulgaria and Greece, the members of the BSEC put the organisation to a lower-key profile.
The fall of the BSEC also shows the fall of Turgut Özal’s imprint on Turkish Foreign Policy. to recall, the organisation was the brainchild of Özal, some say that the Sükrü Elekdag was the origin of the idea, nevertheless, it was Özal who elevated it to the highest echelons, and in an era in which the refusal of the EEC of the time paved the way to a great shock for the Turkish aspirations and the humiliation of the national ego. Özal, nevertheless, was a believer of regional interdependency schemes and was eager to show that Turkey is a vital player in the Eurasian region and not a player to be sidelined. He also envisaged a stable Turkey playing a vital financial role in the region.
This was nevertheless the illusion of Özal neo-Ottomanism. Without the economic capabilities and political strength, the ideas and the institutions would nevertheless be fragile and unimportant details. Özal truely had a vision but his vision was mostly utopia, because it had lost the ground with the reality, especially the financial weakness of Turkey and its non-hegemonic state/society complexity.
for more check:
a wonderful documentary on the coup of 12 sep 1980
Eric Hobsbawm : “Globalisation, Democracy and Terrorism
Hardcover: 192 pages – Publisher: Little, Brown (5 Jul 2007)
The latest book of Eric Hobsbawm is comprised of “10” essays, most of what are the manuscripts of speeches given by the author in different episodes in different venues. However, we can overall say that the main motivation of piling these essays under a general heading derives from Hobsbawm in his words “lifetime habit of wanting to teach, that is, to persuade as well as to expound”. Therefore we can discern repetitions in his book, but these are indeed vital to emphasise a point which the author tries to communicate with the broader audience.
Hobsbawm says in the introduction that he wants to focus on “five” main themes:
– the general question of the war and peace in the 21st century,
– the past and future of world empires,
– the nature and the changing context of nationalism,
– the prospects of liberal democracy,
– the question of political violence and terror.
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ARTICLE IN PROGRESS. THIS ARTICLE IS NOT COMPLETE – I UPDATE IT FROM TIME TO TIME
an article on the methods to cope with permanent or temporarily depression.
First of all, the writer of this “how to file” is by no means a professional within the field of the “medicine”. Therefore, anybody who reads this file, should be well aware that these are the ideas, and comments of a “non-professional”, thus should by no means be taken as professional advices. Anybody seeking advices on the issue of “depression” should seek a professional and not waste her or his time with reading this page. after you see a doctor or a therapist and after you learn the professional skills and methods, you can come and pop-in to see what other people think about this very serious illness. however, if you insist on reading my article, it is perfectly “ok” for me, but just let me re-iterate the bottom line- this is no professional help page! it is just a bunch of ideas of an individual who coped with both depression and people with depression.
Ok , after this preliminary remarks, we can move on the discussion. first of all, in this article, i will use the world “depression” as a category, not as a specific form of “depression” because there are many, from dystimic to seasonal and many more others. however, for me depression is, a feeling of uneasiness, a permanent fight with the self, which continued more than 6 months, and which though dissapearing from time to time comes back with same pace it once was.
How can we assess the level of depression we have? my golden method is to check the psychosomatic symptoms. these can be stomach aches, fastening of heart beats, headaches, sleep disturbances, obsessive thinking on specific subjects… if these clearly stop you from functioning in your own rhythm, than it is obvious that the bells are ringing, the question is for whom? obviously for the one who feels it at the first, but also for every individual surrounding.
think about the power of a laugh, if someone laughs or smiles at you, it is though without verbal communication has an affect on the other. such is depression, and depressive mood, it also projects itself to the immediate environment. so to ask friends or close people, hey do you see something different in me nowadays? or do i look ok to you? is also a good method to assess the level. not to forget, our brain works selectively and cannot deduct all, but others do see us, and do feel us, so their ideas , not so deepen just about the mood will be helpful to realise the current state of mind.
how to cope with depression? hmmm, first you have to understand your own depression. and it requires a great deal of time and energy and professional help is a prerequisite.
Can be downloaded under:
FROM BEIRUT TO BOSNIA: BEIRUT TO BOSNIA
- DUTFIELD, Mike
- Production Company
- Chameleon Television
- Production Company
- Barraclough Carey Productions
- Executive Producer
- LANDIS, Tomi Bednar
- WALSH, Dennis
- FISK, Robert
- FOSTER, Stephen
- HODGE, Frank
- WHITE, Phil
- REYNOLDS, Barry
- WOOD, Ernie
- FISK, Robert
- PALMER, John
Robert Fisk talks about his book – (Ghent, Belgium) - 25th of March 2006 (Part I and PArt II)
straight from the horse’s mouth, nice article…
photo is taken from
the interview with Hobsbawm can be found at:
During the 1955, some members of the DP resigned from their posts and decided to leave the party to create a new movement albeit with small chance of success.
this will be an article on the Hürriyet Partisi the Freedom Party.
such themes will be covered:
– The Forum Magazine and the intellectuals in 1950s
– The DP as a coalition of rural and urban elements, Menderes representing the rural base, Bayar representing the Is Bankasi – aferistler – or to say the urban elements.
– the clash between the urban intellectuals and liberal minded bourgeoisie, especially that of the manufacturing or the industrial bourgeoisie and the rural, populist elements
– populism versus technocratism
– uneducated masses and the self-attained role of the “enlighters” which means in the Turkish context the “importers of knowledge and ideas”, the interlocutors between the wider world and the historical structures, and the Enver’s Albania like, closed Turkey,
– The connection between the dissidents and the 1960 coup’s aftermath, the ideas of the Hurriyet Partisi and the Forum and the Hedefler Beyannamesi of the CHP, and the 1961 constitution,
– 1957 elections and the plan to portray the parliament as a constitutional assembly, aiming to write the new constitution and change the election law and then lead the country to elections,
– Menderes’ perceptions and the importance of them being the DNA of the Turkish populism, or the conservative-nationalist wing.
– Lütfi Karaosmanoglu, the portrait of a unusual politician
– The correlation between the Hurriyet Partisi and the Yeni Demokrasi Hareketi – the NEw Democracy Movement of the 1990s,
– HP’s economic and social policies
Furthermore look at the article by Burak Özcetin and Sibel Demirci “Hürriyet Partisi” in Modern Türkiye’de Siyasi Düsünce, Iletisim Yayinlari, Cilt 7 – “Liberalizm” pp.541-547
The Brazilian capital of Brasilia was the brainchild of the President of Brazil by the time Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveria.
This page will be about the great Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer…
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