The scarface of Zagreb Airport
It was around noon as I have entered the Zagreb Airport or the so-called Pleso Zračna luka. I took the way to the main gate, the newly made exterior, the beton modernism could not fail me, because I was focused into the inside as if I would find the old images and architecture and as I stepped in I was amazed once again to see that everything was staying as it was. This is not the interior of one of these avant-garde, super modern, super hyper, space like – constant temperature based soulless molochs. Ok, the new phenomenon of cheap airlines made their corporate corner but they were entitled to use the former interior, which makes it more interesting. If you walk towards the main entrance you will realise the colour of the marble used in this building. I guess it was done during the old times and I would speculate that it has its own internal logic of the time. The marble is not white or grey as in newer ones, it is brownish, and it gives a wood feeling to you as you walk through the large corridor. It is a dark corridor and not overly illuminated arising the awareness feeling (of course to consume, to stimulate) as in other upgraded cases. Not these hyper bulbs are used but cheap fluorescents. You will realise the metal columns holding the structure on the right and left hand sides, again coloured brownish or even darker to black. As you enter the main hole you would realise that this is not a place for consumerist cheer. This is a serious building built during serious times. There is no place for bourgeoisie fanfare, no false individualism, this is a collectivist building constructed to serve the original need, namely to fly to reach another destination. If you look up you would spot the ventilation openings, and if you turn back you would see the extra floor, completely wooden decorated reminding the corridors of a top level Yugoslavian bureaucratic institution. Seriousness is the word to describe this, boring seriousness, and a suffocating colourless. I by no means claim that this is something to be criticised or disregarded, it has its own beauty and it’s own story that is what I try to show so try not to misunderstand me.
Continue to walk through the main entrance, leave the information desk at your left hand side and continue to the end of the corridor. As you have realised by now, this is by no means a heavily consume oriented “friendly” airport. There is no bombardment of soulless, lonely beverage boxes which serve without spelling a word, no souvenir shops, no boutiques selling ties or socks, nor bombastic book stores filled with every gadget. There is a simple newspaper stand which tried a little to integrate itself to the world of capitalist airports. This is micro-macro, you may imagine from this shop on, about the development of the Croatian state/society complex and the level of it’s integration into the transnational capitalist world order. But the main topic of this story is not now this; we want to reach the scarface of Zagreb.
In order to do so, please proceed to the shop you see at the end of the corridor. You see the tables spread around like a summer holiday garden. The shop is not illuminated with neon, nor you see McDon style appetite amplifying reddish signs or friendly mascots greeting us with big friendly Walt Disney eyes. As you enter inside you realise the whole fun is going on at the back of this strange place. That’s the smoking corner. There is hardly anybody inside the non-smoking area, you just have a look at the bar corner (on the left hand side), you will see some sandwiches, not hundreds of cakes, not carefully packed triangle shaped cold cheese and ham combinations, not a Tea corner full of hundreds of herbal infusions. This is not 2010, this is 1970s Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Even if you do not smoke, I would strongly recommend you to walk into the glass-covered area of smokers corner. This is the brightest place in the airport that you have seen up till now, because it is practically built outside the airport, and covered with glass so if you are lucky like me even in February you may experience this nice feeling of being in a bright place after a long way through the dark corridors of the airport. There you will meet, if you are lucky, the scarface of Zagreb. I do not know his name, but he looks like 50, and I remember that I saw him in 1998 because of the scar he has that cuts his face into two. But the most wonderful thing with this nice man is he has a genuine smile in his face. This is not fake customer satisfactory corporate sales person; this is a real human being. He is I guess very proud to speak in many languages easy forms, like thank you, hello my friend, what do you want and so on. It was very strange that after we spoke in English he told me “merhaba, arkadas”. I also remembered that he did this last time, it was a flashback, and to pick me up rightly was nice. You may realise the noise inside this place, and also that practically the backdoor glass was open and if there is no place you will be practically sitting outside the airport although you are located logically inside it.
So this is the first story, next will come
This is my friend TifTif, his favourite hobby is to hide my keys and let me search for them for some time.
The first part of the BBC “Hardtalk” (by Stephen Sackurwith). The guest ist Alain Badiou, interview conducted on 24 March 2009.
Dogan Sirketler Grubu Holding AS, is currently one of the biggest holding in Turkey and the owner of Turkey’s widely circulated Hurriyet newspaper along with other papers, journals, TV and radio stations, and many other investments. Hurriyet and other Dogan media newspapers such as Radikal, from the very beginning showed a receptive but sceptical view towards the AKP phenomenon. We have seen a delicate balance in their policies towards the AKP. They sidelined Emin Cölasan, the voice of the radical Kemalists in Turkey, and censored another leading Kemalis, Bekir Coskun’s articles, just to keep the relations good with the PM. One of the very reasons that they want to keep the relations good, is that they need the PM in other investments, and in Turkey where nepotism and patronage are still the rules of moneymaking, they had reasons to act so.
The volcano erupted just after President Gül’s ‘unprecedented’ visit to Armenia. The CHP, after showing a hard stance against the Disli affair, carried out the case of Deniz Feneri (Lighthouse) a Germany based Turkish charity organisation. The Deniz Feneri is a charity organisation which aims to sent money to Turkey collected from Turkish diaspora in Germany. One German court took the transactions of the charity foundation under loop and it came out that the organisation was playing the role of an illegal money transfer to conservative-islamist media companies and individuals, allegedly involving Mr. Erdogan himself. Once the news were carried out to Hurriyet’s pages, Prime Minister Erdogan, openly attacked the Dogan media to ve disloyal and to produce lies to secure business transactions and government approvals.
Aydin Dogan the owner of the Holding responded Erdogan immediately and labelled him as changing Turkey into a dictatorship and not ready for press freedoms in Turkey. Erdogan continued his attack by giving one week to Aydin Dogan to openly declare his wishes from him, including the Hilton Hotel affair, or otherwise he would announce these motives publicly. He labelled Dogan Media as blackmailing government personnel to secure business transactions and approvals such as the CNN Turk incident.
The importance of the incident is three-fold. Denizfeneri and its connections with the AKP were clearly the target of the German government, after Erdogan’s comments on ‘being careful about not to be assimilated into German identity’ and to forge their ties with the homeland. This is the transnational dimension. The second dimension is the AKP’s attitude towards media and in particular Mr. Erdogan’s characteristic of being ‘critic’ unfriendly. The aim to create a loyal media was highlighted in the Calik Holdinfg’s purchase of the Sabah media group with the help of the government banks credits. Mr. Erdogan still pay tributes to radical Islamist writers by inviting them to his plane and his official travels, encourages them to continue their radical and mostly deceptive policies. And lastly it is the final count down for the Dogan Holding in terms of autonomous media holders, and financial leader. In the last months Dogan Holding’s share dropped drastically in the Turkish stock market, and the downfall continues. Mr. Dogan’s daughter is currently the head of the TUSAID, the businessmen organisation. The Dogan case is the direct link to the heart of the Turkish bourgeoisie, which looses slowly all its self-attained leadership role in Turkish economy, to conservative-Anatolian tigers. It is in this terms an intra-bourgeoise clash, a clash between the old guard and the new social forces which tries to put an end to their privilieged position as industrialists.
After a long time of extreme obsession with ‘Kemalism’ the CHP mounted a serious attack on one of the leading figures of the governing AKP. The CHP took the allegations into the Parliament and the crux of the matter was the attitude of the AKP. The word ‘justice’ is one of the motto’s of the AK-Party (A clear indication of their ‘white’ ‘clearness’ vis-a-vis the corrupt regimes of the last two century’), and one of the fundementals of its populist policy, that of putting an end to the widespread corruption of the older regime.
Saban Disli is the deputy Chairman of the AKP,an influential and a close-comrade of Prime Minister Mr. Erdogan. Mr. Disli, once became a politician declared that he ended up his financial life and concentrates himself to the nation. however, the company he built with his cousin began to flourish once Disli was in the higher echelons of the AKP. Accordingly, the company bought a land for the Tesco-Kipa and once the grand law was amanded sold the parcel to the multi-national concern. The CHP clearly documented the bribery and the utilisation of political power for personal gains, which amounts a sum of nearly 1 million dollars.
The handling of the issue by the mainstream media, namely the Dogan holding was the opening of the ‘clash’ between the AKP and its critics. It was signalling the opening up of a new era in Turkish politics, virtually after three years of intense debate concerning the issue of ‘secularism’ and ‘islamism’, the century old debate between the Vanguard and the popular Islamist political movement.
The whole series of the seminar on the Kantian Project of Cosmopolitan Law By Jürgen Habermas
My ideas about “industrial vehicle experiments” are mostly a culmination of images i saw in the television, especially that of car-experiments. the ones in which there are models in cars crashing with incredible speed to a wall, and you can see the movemenets of the models in slow-motion. But though my ideas are a culmination of what i saw, i know something, in tests you do not use human beings but models. However, there are some areas in the world, which are outside the Cartesian logic, that of Istanbul in our case and the notorious Tuzla shipyard. In this shipyard, experiments are done with human beings, because in this shipyard especially, human life is worthless, to be sure, it is cheaper than installing a highly modernised technical experiment device, or section to test the lifeboats. So last week, in one of these shipyards, they put 18 people in a lifeboat and simulated an emergency situation in which the ship will be evacuated, however the rope went off and the life-boat became a death-boat. 3 workers died and others injured. We know that capitalism can have visibly dirty images in which human beings are sandboxes, and indeed we are experiencing that in Istanbul nearly every day.
Mr. Erdogan’s AKP is making holiday nowadays, all are in the south of the country, swimming and residing in 5-star yatches of wealthy businessman. and workers are dying under the salty sun of the bay of Tuzla.
The governing AKP of Turkey saved his neck at last after the decision of the Constitutional Court. The closure of a political party necessitated 7 in favour votes out of the 12 permanent members. in the process 6 members of the court voted in favour of a ban on the AKP, whereas 1 refused the allegations completely, and the key 5 members indeed agreed that the AKP was to be a cradle of Islamic politics but it should not be banned, and instead be fined bycutting half of the AKP’s treasury funding. The head of the Court Mr. Hasim Kilic whilst announcing his decision commented: “I hope the party in question will evaluate this outcome very well and get the message it should get.”
But What is the message? The previous decision of the Constitutional Court in June of this year to cancel constitutional amendments that would have otherwise opened the way to wear a headscarf in universities clearly illustrates the message. You can govern as long as you can but you cannot continue your hegemonic attempt at hegemony, that of visualising Islam in all segments of the country especially in education. The message is: if you cross this red-lines again, even we cannot save you!.
The message implies a new strategy, this can be taken as the curbing down of the edges. The Islamist politics in Turkey does have a long history of closures and political banishments. This was a teacher-student relationship, in which the old elites, the vanguard of the Republican vision repetitively showed the Islamist movement their limits and the necessity to moderate themselves if they were to govern the country. The crux of the problem is: Will the AKP take the lesson? or will it attempt to overdue it in the long run?
I would suggest that, the AKP leadership would go to its grand strategy of keeping silent until the time is rife. this is a long war of position, a strategy which is not syncronic but diachronic indeed. However, the problem is the organs of the older regime. A careful study will reveal that, the panorama of the Constitutional Court will shift in the next 10 years because many members will have to retire, and these will be shifted with people near to the AKP’s vision, due to the fact that the President plays a key role in the selection of new judges. But we can assume, for the next five years, the AKP had to sideline its plans on ‘headscarf’ the ‘red-apple’. The question is whether a counter-hegemonic movement will emerge in this five years, which would challenge the AKP or not. If the CHP continues like this, with Mr. Baykal this is impossible….
In a recent opinion piece, we have mentioned that there are indeed two clashing alternatives for the future transformation of the Turkish state/society complex. The first option was that of the territorial option which would take the upper hand in case of a ban on the AKP and its highest echelons. The second was that of the transnational option that would manifest itself in case of AKP’s saving its neck from the Constitutional Court. By now we can say that the second option prevailed for Turkey. The purges of the “nationalist-leftist” so-called red apple coalition and its complete removal from the Turkish Armed Forces, in case of a legitimacy source also means the normalisation of politics for Turkey.
Now the ball – using the Prime Minister’s favourite terminology of “football” – is on the side of the AKP and we will see if short-passes in the narrow field would continue or a systematic attack would take place. The new epoch can be both the same old game up-loaded or a genuine change in the AKP’s former pattern of behaviour and politics. I am not sure the second option can take place, because change albeit possible takes place drop by drop. I await a short-time honeymoon which will erupt with the decision on the DTP. In my opinion, AKP will be forced to back up the DTP and put an end to its closure in terms of being loyal to its cause and sympathising with the European Union and the ‘Empire’. The ancient coalition of the MHP and CHP would fuell the discussion by pumping populist nationalism into the veins of their supporters and constrain the relations once more.
We will see, at least this scene is closed, it was really getting bored and banal…
According to Turkish daily Hürriyet:
Kuzey Birliği Varese Gençlik Kolu Başkanı Marco Pinti: “Avrupa dışından bir ülke bu şampiyonaya katılıyorsa Uganda’nın da katılma hakkı doğar.
Kuzey Birliği Başkanı Umberto Bossi’nin oğlu Renzo: “Eğer Türkiye, şampiyon olursa o zaman İnebahtı’na gidip Andrea Doria adına günah çıkartmamız gerekecek.”
Kuzey Birliği Milano sorumlusu Alessandro Morelli: “Eğer Türkiye, kupayı havaya kaldırırsa kebaptan başlayarak tüm Türk ürünlerine karşı savaş açarız.”
Novara Belediye Başkan Massimo Giordano: “Türkiye ne siyasette ne futbolda hiçbir yere gidemez. Çünkü Avrupalı değil.”
Haider: Şampiyon olsalar da Avrupa kapısı açılmasın
AVUSTURYALI aşırı sağcı Jörg Haider, yarı finale kalan Türkiye ve Rusya’nın Avrupa ülkesi olup olmadığını sorguladı. İtalyan Corriere della Sera’ya konuşan Haider, “Bu iki ülkenin Avrupa ile ortak neleri var? Türkiye, Viyana’da final oynayabilir. Ama Avrupa’nın Türkiye’ye kapıları kapalı kalmalıdır. Avrupa’nın değerlerini ve kültürünü kabul edecek bir pozisyonda olduklarını sanmıyorum” dedi. Avusturya’da aşırı milliyetçi BZO partisinin lideri olan Haider, Türkiye’nin AB üyeliğine destek vermeyen tavrıyla tanınıyor.
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.
a wonderful documentary on the coup of 12 sep 1980
straight from the horse’s mouth, nice article…
photo is taken from
the interview with Hobsbawm can be found at:
Mr. Koala: There is also mass – line
In Feminine , in turkish there is “nine” which means grandmother 🙂
Scene title: This film should be called “The Children of Marx and Coca-Cola.”
Paul: How’s it going?
Robert: [Seated at cafe table] Terrible!
Paul: What’s wrong?
Robert: I’m saying things are terrible until 10:00.
Paul: [To the waiter] An espresso.
Paul: It’s 10.05 now.
Robert: Really? Then everything’s all right.