The things you own end up owning you.

Baykal Forever

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…


April 25, 2008 Posted by | Turkish daily, Turkish Politics | Leave a comment

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.


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April 25, 2008 Posted by | Middle Eastern Politics, Turkish daily, Turkish Politics | Leave a comment

The Case of Lambda Istanbul


“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.






April 25, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment