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hyelander

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Turkey: Erdogan's New "Secular" Islamism

by Anna Mahjar-Barducci

During a recent meeting in Cairo, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that secularism does not mean giving up religion, and called on Egyptians to adopt a secular constitution. "Do not be wary of secularism. I hope there will be a secular state in Egypt," Erdogan said. Immediately, from Cairo to Saudi Arabia, there was a shocked reaction.

Secular circles had long ago expressed their concern that the AKP-led government in Turkey wanted to change the secular nature of the Turkish Republic. With Erdogan's new, "revised" definitions of language, they may well be right.

The Saudi-owned paper Asharq Al-Awsat wrote that the Muslim Brotherhood had portrayed Erdogan as a "Muslim Caliph mounted upon his horse, commanding Muslim armies all across the world," and had thought to hear some support for their dream of having Islamic Sharia Law as the only source of legislation. Instead, Erdogan trashed their hopes. "Picture this" wrote Asharq Al-Awsat: "a moment of utter silence where the cheers died down and eyes were wide open, only to be broken by a well-known, 'moderate' Brotherhood voice, namely Essam el-Eryan, who said: 'We thank Erdogan and love Turkey, but he should not interfere in Egypt's affairs. Secularism is not a solution for us. Turkey is free to adopt its own choice. The power of the Islamic civilization lies in its diversity'…among other loaded phrases."

"Turkish secular intellectuals are still trying to understand whether an apple like Newton's had dropped on Erdogan's head," wrote the Turkish daily paper Hurriyet.

So what happened to Erdogan and why is he supporting secularism? Erdogan used to be admired by Islamist groups and even by preachers in Saudi Arabia. Now, instead, everybody is puzzled. From the icon of the imams, he became the icon of the Arab liberals. "Egypt's democratic and liberal intellectuals, who would perhaps refrain from using similar rhetoric in order not to face reactions from the brotherhood, took comfort after Erdogan's remarks," wrote Hurriyet.

Even in Turkey the population does not know what to think. Erdogan's supporters used to remember him for his pro-Islamic position; they do not recognize him in this secular attitude. "It is ironic to say that Erdogan, as the sworn opponent of classical laicism in Turkey since he appeared on the political scene, is now bringing a new air of laicism to the heavy atmosphere of the Arab Spring. Perhaps that is the reason why Islamist and conservative intellectuals in Turkey have started to criticize Erdogan strongly," Hurriyet pointed out.

The newspaper Zaman, however, close to Erdogan's political party, the AKP, wrote that Erdogan's stances on secularism were honest, as he identifies it an indispensable part of democracy. "This was a revolutionary move given that he represents a group of people who have been persecuted and belittled [...] for their anti-secularist actions and views. Besides, Erdogan made this remark not to please Western countries, but because he really believed this was the best thing to do," wrote Etyen Mahcupyan in Zaman. Other Zaman's editorial writers, however, are instead less supportive of the concept of secularism; they said they consider it a "problem," and explain that Erdogan's secularism is not the French-style one.

"Ali Bulaç, a credible voice of Islamic intellectuals with direct contact with intellectuals in the Islamic world from Cairo to Tehran, wrote in his column in the daily Zaman that Erdogan should not subscribe to a 'post-Kemalist laicism' – referring to the classical, or French Revolution-style laicism adopted under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. Bulaç asked Erdogan indirectly whether Turkey had accepted a role in a project to 'secularize Islam' to facilitate integration in the Middle East into the global system under the direction of pious rulers. The hidden answer meant a 'No,'" reported Hurriyet.

Erdogan's approach to secularism was called "neo-laicism." The Turkish Hurriyet's editorial writer, Murat Yetkin, argued that the Turkish prime minister wants to "revise" the definition of laicism, which differentiates itself from the French revolution-style "Separation of state from the church" definition. Yetkin however fails to explains what is the essence of Erdogan's secularism. Lale Kemal in the Saudi-owned website of Al-Arabiya tries arguing that "Erdogan later clarified that his party's definition of secularism is not new, which is that the state can be secular but not the people. This definition has run contrary with that of Turkey's secularists, who are of the opinion that the people should also be secular."

As Erdogan's definition on secularism does not seem to be clear, some Turkish intellectuals are suspicious of the Prime Minister's message. As Fatma Disli Zibak explains in Zaman, according to some circles the Prime Minister's remarks on secularism were actually directed to the "Turkish and Western public opinion, which have long been suspicious of Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) secular credentialm," rather than to the Arab Spring. Zibak reports also that Yeni Şafak's known editorialist Yasin Aktay shares the idea that Erdogan's messages were meant for Turkey and the West, with the goal of refuting Western claims about Erdogan's government being Islamist and anti-secular. Hilal Kaplan, Yeni Şafak's editorialist, also think that Erdogan's comments were meant for public opinion in the West.

Even if Erdogan's remarks were directed to the West, he has -- even if unwillingly -- opened a serious debate in the Arab world on the link between secularism and democracy, which is kind of a paradox given the fact -- as pointed out by Hurriyet -- that the Turkish PM never uttered such a liberal stance on laicism and religious-state affairs in Turkey.

While Erdogan suggests secularism (or neo-laicism) as a model for the Arab world, quite the opposite is happening in Turkey. Hurriyet reports that a planned government survey on the public's attitude toward religious issues is prompting concern "that secularism in Turkey could be eroded." Former Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Türk told Hurriyet that he was disappointed that the government is financing a survey on secularism. "The definition of secularism, for instance, is already clear. There is no need to conduct a survey about already-known concepts. It seems the government expects a result that is in line with its views and will make it a base for drafting the new Constitution," he said.

Erdogan, instead of "redefining" secularism, at least at home seems to be fighting its essence, depriving it of any meaning at all.

Turkey: Erdogan's New "Secular" Islamism :: Hudson New York
 
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    hyelander

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    must read

    Turkey's Elephant in the Room: Religious Freedom
    By SUSANNE GUSTEN

    ISTANBUL — With his triumphant tour of the countries of the Arab Spring this month, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has managed to set up Turkey on the international stage as a role model for a secular democracy in a Muslim country — as, in his words, “a secular state where all religions are equal.”

    The only trouble is that he has yet to make that happen for Turkey.

    The relationship between religion and the state, ever the sore spot of Turkish identity, is one of the most explosive issues of the debate on the new constitution that Mr. Erdogan has pledged to give the country in the new legislative term that opens Saturday.

    That debate will have to deal with the elephant in the room: the total control that the state exerts over Islam through its Religious Affairs Department, and the lack of a legal status for all other religions in a predominantly Sunni Muslim society.

    “Turkey may look like a secular state on paper, but in terms of international law it is actually a Sunni Islamic state,” Izzettin Dogan, a leader of the country’s Alevi minority, charged at a joint press conference with leaders of several other minority faiths last week in Istanbul.

    Mr. Dogan is honorary president of the Federation of Alevi Foundations, which represents many of what it claims are up to 30 million adherents of the Alevi faith, an Anatolian religion close to Sufi Islam but separate and distinct in its beliefs and practices.

    “The state collects taxes from all of us and spends billions on Sunni Islam alone, while millions of Alevis as well as Christians, Jews and other faiths don’t receive a penny,” Mr. Dogan said, referring to the $1.5 billion budget of the Religious Affairs Department. “What kind of secularism is that?”

    A bureaucratic juggernaut with its own news service and a dedicated trade union, the Religious Affairs Department employs more than 106,000 civil servants, according to its latest annual report, including 60,000 imams and 10,000 muezzins, all of them trained, hired and fired by the state.

    At the institution’s ministry-size headquarters in Ankara, state-employed astronomers calculate prayer times around the world, while state-educated theologians pore over the hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad in the library and issue the religious rulings known as fatwas.

    The department writes the sermons for Friday Prayer in mosques across the country as well as the textbooks for the religious instruction that is mandatory in schools. It publishes books and periodicals in languages including Tatar, Mongol and Uygur, and issues an iPhone app featuring Koranic verses and a prayertime alarm. The department has a monopoly on Koran courses in the country, and it organizes the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, right down to the vaccination of pilgrims.

    So centralized is the department’s control that its new president, Mehmet Gormez, is considered innovative for announcing his intention to train preachers to deliver sermons in person, instead of having them piped into the mosque from the department over a public-address system.

    “In Turkey, Islam does not determine politics, but politics determine Islam,” Gunter Seufert, a sociologist, concluded in a 2004 study of the department entitled “State and Islam in Turkey.”

    “Run by a state agency, religion serves the nation state for the purpose of unifying the nation and Westernizing its Muslims,” he added.

    With historical roots in the Ottoman Empire, where state and Islam were linked in the union of sultanate and caliphate, the Religious Affairs Department was founded early in the Turkish Republic, in March 1924, on the day the caliphate was abolished.

    Charged by law with managing Islam, the department has been enshrined in the Constitution ever since the country’s first military coup in 1961, with the present Constitution, a relic of the 1982 coup, explicitly charging it with the task of furthering national unity.

    Ministering to Sunni Islam of the Hanafi school, the department does not recognize non-Sunni communities like the Alevis or Caferis as distinct religious faiths, subsuming them under the common label of “Muslim,” the basis for the depiction of Turkey as a religiously homogenous country that describes its population as “99 percent Muslim.”

    While the distribution of believers among the faiths encompassed by that term is contested, a 2007 survey by the Konda institute, a public opinion research company in Turkey, found that 82 percent of Turks describe themselves as Hanafi Sunni Muslims.

    The new constitution, Mr. Dogan of the Alevi federation demanded, must do away with their privileged status. “The state must be impartial and treat all religious communities equally and maintain equal distance to all of them,” he said. “These definitions must be written into the new constitution verbatim.”

    Mr. Dogan was speaking at the presentation of a report on the “Shared Problems and Demands of Turkey’s Religious Communities,” prepared by Ozge Genc and Ayhan Kaya, political scientists at Istanbul Bilgi University.

    The report is based on research in the Apostolic, Catholic and Protestant Armenian communities, the Greek Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant churches as well as the Jewish community and Bahai, Yezidi, Shiite, Alevi, Mevlevi, Caferi and other groups.

    As the report underlines, these communities all suffer from lack of legal status in Turkey, which renders it difficult for them to conduct even the most basic affairs and forces them into a shadowy existence at the mercy of political fashions and whims.

    The 1,700-year-old Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople, for example, has come to the brink of extinction since its seminary in Istanbul was closed down 40 years ago, drying up its source of clergymen. The Patriarchate hopes that the new constitution will “create the conditions for a reopening of the seminary,” its spokesman, Pater Dositheos Anagnostopoulos, said by e-mail this week.

    This will require a redefinition of the concept of secularism in Turkey, or simply a definition of the term in the Turkish constitution, as Mustafa Akyol, author of “Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty,” points out.

    “The present constitution states that Turkey is laic, secular, but does not define the term,” Mr. Akyol said by telephone this week. The interpretation has been left up to the constitutional court, he said, which has traditionally defined secularism as the complete absence of religion from the public sphere, as seen in its ban on head scarves for university students. It was that ban, among other things, that triggered the current secularism debate in Islamist circles, Mr. Akyol said.

    “They began to see nuances in Western secularism. They saw that religious freedoms not available to them in Turkey, like the head scarf or the freedom to join Muslim orders, were available in America and many European countries, excepting France,” he said. “They began to criticize the self-styled Turkish secularism, and to call for a redefinition of secularism.”

    While the debate still rages in Turkish society, “I think Erdogan made it clear that he is sincere” in his call for secularism, Mr. Akyol said. “That is how we would like to have it defined in the new constitution,” he added, referring to Mr. Erdogan’s remark that all religions should be equal.

    But the Religious Affairs Department may not be so easy to sideline. While most of the proposals for the constitution prepared by nongovernmental organizations for the debate agree that the department cannot continue in its present form, none suggests abolishing it.

    Even Tesev, an independent research institute in Istanbul, argues that “dissolving the Religious Affairs Department is not considered possible under present conditions.” It suggests that other religious groups should be given equal status and privileges instead.

    Other constitutional proposals suggest that the department’s reach should be extended to include other faiths, an idea unlikely to sit well with all communities.

    The Patriarchate of Constantinople, while declining to comment on the proposal, has strenuously resisted previous proposals to incorporate its seminary into the theological faculty of a state university, arguing that it cannot relinquish control over its training.

    While the Religious Affairs Department may face change, it is unlikely to be abolished, Mr. Akyol said. “Society is so used to it, so many people work for it,” he said. “I don’t expect it to change with the new constitution.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/29/world/europe/turkeys-elephant-in-the-room-religious-freedom.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=world
     
    Venom

    Venom

    Legendary Member
    وأفاد مسؤولون سوريون ودبلوماسيون، أمس، أن تركيا اقترحت في أكثر من مناسبة على السلطات السورية إشراك جماعة الإخوان المسلمين في الحكومة، مقابل دعمهم لوقف حركة الاحتجاج، إلا أن السلطات السورية رفضت، أي دور للجماعة في سوريا سواء الآن أو مستقبلا، بسبب طبيعة النظام العلماني للبلد.

    ya hek secularism ya bala.
     
    Weezy

    Weezy

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    وأفاد مسؤولون سوريون ودبلوماسيون، أمس، أن تركيا اقترحت في أكثر من مناسبة على السلطات السورية إشراك جماعة الإخوان المسلمين في الحكومة، مقابل دعمهم لوقف حركة الاحتجاج، إلا أن السلطات السورية رفضت، أي دور للجماعة في سوريا سواء الآن أو مستقبلا، بسبب طبيعة النظام العلماني للبلد.

    ya hek secularism ya bala.
    Secularism means banning islamic groups from participating in the social and political life of a country?

    I guess we will never reach secularism in Lebanon
     
    Venom

    Venom

    Legendary Member
    تركيا تحذر سوريا بالرد على حظر الواردات التركية إليها بالمثل

    فرضت سوريا حظر واسع النطاق على الواردات من تركيا عدا الحبوب والمواد الخام و51 سلعة أساسية. هذا وقد ردت تركيا على لسان وزير الاقتصاد التركي ظفر جاغليان قوله انه يأمل أن تغير سوريا ممارستها في أقرب وقت ممكن ، وحذر من أن تركيا أكبر شريك تجاري لسوريا قد تقرر استهداف الصادرات السورية.
    وقال جاغليان للصحفيين ان لسوريا صادرات كبيرة الى تركيا. نحن لا نضع عوائق أمام الصادرات السورية الى تركيا التي تصل الى 700-800 مليون دولار سنويا. لكنني أريد أن أؤكد أنهم اذا وضعوا عائقا أمام السلع التركية فان تركيا ستفعل مثل ذلك .
    وافادت صحيفة "حريت" التركية اليوم الجمعة بأن وزارة الاقتصاد السورية أبلغت الشركات التركية المصدرة بالقرار السوري المتخذ.
    وذكرت "حريت" إن التوتر السياسي بين تركيا وسوريا انعكس سلبا على العلاقات الاقتصادية، وسيكون ذلك بدون أي شك بمثابة ضربة موجعة للصادارت التركية إلى سورية التي تصل قيمتها إلى 1،152 مليار دولار.

    وكالات
     
    Venom

    Venom

    Legendary Member
    Syria to boycott Turkish products

    0.09.2011 08:30
    With the Syrian economy has been reflected in the stretched ropes. Syria, 25 from September's imports from Turkey stopped .


    Turkey with Syria the rising political tension between the economy, also jumped. Performed by the Syrian side of the Turkey have decided to stop the import of all kinds of products. This decision from Turkey to Syria to break the 1 billion figure means that exports of $ 152 million.
    Fair Expedition received by Syrian Prime Minister 'is now banned imports of the products of more than 5 per cent customs duty, "the decision Posted on September 22 all the Syrian customs. Were informed as of the date the application is expected to start Sept. 25 repress and which set out the decision of the Turkish side, especially for tractor trailers that participants had trouble at customs has been extended for one more week. Associations of exporters in Turkey yesterday from all the relevant information letters began to go by the Ministry of Economy. Informs the individual companies by calling the troops engaged in the export to Syria.
    Istanbul Mineral and Metals Exporters' Association (IMMIB) Chairman Murat Akyüz, said the decision covers almost all products exported, "inside the food, the construction material, the textile product, the chemical product is entering the. Exports between Turkey and Syria say this is completely finished, "he said.

    That he thought it was the decision taken on behalf of Turkey to punish Akyüz," This is a political practice in our opinion, "he said. Never Seen the Southeastern Anatolia Exporters' Union President Abdul Qadir in the decision of Turkey's exports to Syria interpreted as reset.

    Falling export trade relations between Turkey and Syria last 5 years, a serious showed acceleration. In 2005 the trade volume of $ 823 million five-year increase of 200 percent in a short period rose to $ 2.5 billion. Syria in the first 8 months of this year, the export figure to $ 1,152 million. Syria, Turkey, vegetable oil, synthetic yarns, iron and steel products, including cement, which is usually the goods are intermediate goods. In recent years, was evidenced by a significant rise in exports of chemical products and machinery equipment.

    Revenues reflected the ongoing conflict in Syria is a serious blow to the economy. According to reports in the British Guardian newspaper in Syria exchange in order to protect reserves, automotive has prohibited importation. On the other hand, held 95 percent of Syria's energy exports in the EU to stop oil imports in November, with the sanction of console control the economy, will deepen the wound. Turkey is preparing the sanctions. Syria's most important sources of income in tourism came to a halt. According to experts, this eight-billion-dollar annual income of Syria are being deprived.
    RADICAL
     
    Joe tayyar

    Joe tayyar

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    400
    حالة اغتصاب و250 حامل.صحيفة ايدنليك التركية: إنتهاكات خطيرة ارتكبت في المخيمات.. فهل يتحرّك بان كي مون؟




    كشفت صحيفة ايدنليك التركية، عن انتهاكات خطيرة ارتكبت بحق نساء سورية في المخيمات التي أقامتها السلطات التركية ضمن سيناريو مسبق لتهجير السوريين من المناطق الحدودية القريبة من تركيا والتي شهدت أعمال تخريب وترهيب من قبل عناصر مسلحة قتلت 120 عنصراً من الأمن السوري في جسر الشغور، والتي مثلت بجثثهم قبل أن تدفنهم في مقابر جماعية، وترمي بعضهم في نهر العاصي.

    وفي التفاصيل، يقول التقرير بعد أحداث الشغب المفتعلة في سورية، نزح البعض إلى خيم تم نصبها في مدينة هتاي ولقد ظهر على بعض الفتيات آثار اعتداء جنسي وقد تمكن مراسل جريدة "ايدنلك" من الحصول على المعلومات من ثلاثة مصادر مختلفة؛ للتأكد من صحة هذا الخبر قبل نشره وقد تم التحقق من صحة المعلومة، وأن اغتصاب النسوة قد حصل فعلاً في مخيم (بوينويوغون) في منطقة التن اوز.

    وتابعت صحيفة "ايدنليك" الكشف عن الانتهاكات الخطيرة التي تتعرض لها مئات النساء السوريات في المخيمات التركية، إذ ذكرت الصحيفة أنه تبين بعد فحوصات طبية خضعت لها النساء والفتيات انقطعت عندهن الدورة الشهرية، ظهور 250 حالة حمل، الأمر الذي أثار بلبلة كبيرة داخل المخيم، مؤكدة أنه تم استغلال بعض النساء المغتصبات لتشغيلهن كمومسات خارج المخيمات لذلك رغبت أغلب العائلات بالعودة إلى وطنهم الأم.

    ويلمح التقرير إلى تواطؤ صارخ من المسؤولين الأمنيين والإداريين الاتراك عن المخيم مع شخص اسمه عبدو اصلانار وقد تم إجراء مناقصة في هذا المخيم؛ من أجل تنظيفه، حيث رست المناقصة على أحد الفروع الشبابية لأحد الأحزاب اليمينية وقد تبين أن المدعو عبدو اصلانار هو مختار القرية أيضاً، يملك صلاحية الدخول والخروج من المخيم بكل حرية بالتنسيق مع الأمنيين والإداريين رغم منع الدخول لأي شخص إلى المخيم وهذا المختار كان قواد النساء ويعمل في الدعارة، وهو الذي كان يخرجهن، ثم يعيدهن إلى داخل المخيم.

    ولفت التقرير إلى أنه بعد افتضاح عدد من الحالات جراء محاولات أصلنار إجبار بعض النسوة على العمل في الدعارة، وصل الأمر إلى محافظ منطقة هتاي الذي لم يقم بأي خطوة لوقف الانتهاكات، فاستقال نائب المحافظ كما تم إبعاد مسؤول التعليم الشعبي في إجازة إجبارية خارج المنطقة، وذلك بحسب صحيفة ايدنليك التركية، بهدف التعتيم على هذه الانتهاكات.

    وتضيف الصحيفة أن هذه الفضيحة سوف تتضخم وتكبر داخل المخيمات؛ لأن النسوة قد أكدن أن المعتدين عليهن موجودون داخل المخيمات، ويتحركون بحرية وتقع مسؤولية هذه الفضيحة على نظام أردوغان ورغم سكوت العائلات عن تلك الفضائح ستراً لشرف وأعراض النساء المسلمات فإن الوضع داخل المخيمات آخذ إلى الانفجار.

    وتتساءل الصحيفة ما هو الموقف الرسمي التركي إزاء نتائج الفحوصات الطبية لأولئك النسوة؟ هل سيزداد عدد الحوامل وكم سيصبح عددهن؟ من سيتحمل مسؤولية هذا الوضع الاجتماعي المشين؟ ومن سيحاسب الذين هتكوا أعراض النساء المسلمات؟ هذه الأسئلة بانتظار الأجوبة، فيما يحاول البعض جاهداً لملمة هذه الفضيحة، ومنع تسربها إلى الخارج.

    من جهته استنكر الاتحاد العام النسائي ما تعرضت له النساء السوريات من عمليات اغتصاب في المخيمات التركية التي احتمى فيها المواطنون السوريون هربا من وجه العصابات الارهابية المسلحة ..

    وقال الاتحاد في بيان وجهه إلى الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة بان كي مون والمنظمات المعنية أمس إننا نستنكر هذا العمل الهمجي البشع ونذكر بإتفاقية جنيف الرابعة لاسيما المادة 27 منها التي اوجبت حماية النساء من أي اعتداء على شرفهن خاصة الاغتصاب والإكراه على الدعارة وأي هتك لحرمتهن.

    وأضاف إنه في ظل الارهاب الذي تتعرض له سورية والذي وصل الى حدود استخدام العنف المسلح ضد مواطنينا الآمنين بتخطيط وتمويل خارجي على يد عصابات ارهابية مأجورة صدمتنا أحداث اغتصاب الأمهات السوريات امام أطفالهن والفتيات السوريات أمام أمهاتهن في المخيمات التركية.

    وقال الاتحاد العام النسائي إنه إنطلاقاً من دستور الجمهورية العربية السورية والقوانين والتشريعات التي تحمي كل حقوق المرأة والرجل على حد سواء فضلاً عن التشريعات السماوية التي كرمتها فإننا ندعو الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة والمنظمات المعنية الى بذل قصارى الجهود لوقف ما تتعرض له النساء السوريات من اعتداءات في المخيمات التركية

    tayyar.org - Lebanon News -400 ???? ?????? ?250 ????.????? ??????? ???????: ???????? ????? ?????? ??
     
    ecce homo

    ecce homo

    Well-Known Member
    Turkey's Kurds long for "Kurdish Spring"

    DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - With its booming economy, secular democracy and growing clout, Turkey is often cited as a role model for Middle East nations gripped by popular revolt. But Hulya Yildiz, a mother of three in the impoverished Kurdish southeast, tells a darker story.

    The use of Kurdish, the mother tongue for up 15 million Kurds in Turkey, is banned at her children's school. Scores of Kurdish activists and mayors have been arrested in recent security crackdowns. Army operations and Kurdish guerrilla attacks make even a family picnic in the woods too dangerous.

    "I would like to live in a city where we could take our kids to picnics on weekends. We don't have that freedom because we don't know if a bomb will explode or if there will be clashes," said Yildiz, a civil servant in the Kurdish city of Tunceli.

    She was speaking days before Turkey launched air and ground assaults on Kurdish militants in Iraq in retaliation for the killing on Wednesday of 24 Turkish soldiers in one of the deadliest Kurdish attacks in decades.

    "If a family is afraid to take their kids to picnics you can't talk about democracy," she said. "The prime minister (Tayyip Erdogan) has travelled to all problematic countries during this year, but he should come here and listen to his people's demands. Why can't we have a 'spring' like the Arabs?"

    The so-called Turkish model has fascinated reformists from Rabat to Sanaa to Riyadh at a time of popular revolts against repressive autocrats known as the "Arab Spring."

    With its blend of economic liberalism and social conservatism, Muslim Turkey has become one of world's fastest-growing economies and has carved out a new and more assertive identity on the global stage.

    But while Erdogan has become a hero for millions of Muslims abroad by urging Arab leaders to embrace freedom and democracy and by championing Palestinian rights, Turkey's Kurds say Erdogan should first focus on problems at home.

    A three-decade-old Kurdish separatist conflict has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people and drained hundreds of billions of dollars from the European Union candidate country.

    "The Kurdish problem is a serious handicap for the Turkish model and an obstacle to regional stability," said Sinan Ulgen, from the Istanbul-based Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies thinktank.

    "Despite its economic development and its modernisation Turkey has been unable to solve the Kurdish issue. As time goes by the problem will only become harder to solve."

    An International Crisis Group report last month said that with instability in neighbouring Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad has unleashed his military on protesters, and a planned pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq, Ankara must take courageous steps to resolve its "most urgent and dangerous problem."

    PESSIMISM

    After a sound victory in a June election, Erdogan raised hopes of an end to conflict when he vowed to press ahead with cultural and political reforms for Kurds, reversing harsh state policies aimed at assimilation that bred Kurdish resentment.

    But pessimism soon set in as violence escalated once again.

    Following a surge of attacks by Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebels, Turkey's military has over the last three months launched air and artillery operations.

    In a nationwide sweep last month, Turkish police arrested more than 140 pro-Kurdish political activists, including a number of elected mayors, for alleged links to Kurdish militants. The activists joined 3,000 others who have been locked up, many on flimsy evidence under Turkey's harsh anti-terrorism legislation.

    "We are even afraid to go to the teahouses," Huseyin Kara, 60, a Kurdish farmer and father of five children, said at a teahouse. "There's no way of guessing when and where you could get killed.

    "Seeing how much importance the government is placing on Syrians and Palestinians, it's surprising to see that they are doing nothing for the Kurdish problem. The Kurdish problem is more important than the Arab Spring. We live in an era of rapid solutions, except for the Kurdish issue."

    For years, the political establishment in Ankara and in Istanbul ignored the plight of the Kurds, who comprise a fifth of Turkey's population. Turkey's state nationalism refused to recognise the Kurds' existence, and Kurdish language and culture were banned, while the army waged all-out war against the PKK.

    Erdogan, whose AK Party took office in 2002 with a reformist agenda, pushed through limited cultural and linguistic reforms to improve the rights of Kurds under changes designed to win Turkey's EU accession.

    But Kurdish politicians say more fundamental political reforms are necessary. Some say frustration at the pace of reform has led to larger numbers of Kurdish youths joining the PKK.

    Emin Aktar, head of the Bar Association in Diyarbakir, the largest Kurdish city in the southeast, said it was time to break the cycle of violence on both sides and engage in dialogue.

    "We underline once again as lawyers from Diyarbakir that the road to a solution passes through dialogue and not arms."

    Government plans to rework Turkey's constitution, which was written under military tutelage after a 1980 coup, offer the chance of a new start, Ulgen said.

    The issue of greater rights for Kurds is likely to dominate the debate on a new charter, which Erdogan has said he wants to be completed by mid 2012.

    The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), the largest pro-Kurdish party in parliament, wants school education in Kurdish and a new formulation of Turkish citizenship to include ethnic Kurds. But such concessions might spark a nationalist backlash.

    "It's nice to see Erdogan working for peace in the Middle East, but there is bloodshed here in this region," said Mehmet Emin Yaki, 45, a civil servant. "A man who has devoted himself to peace should take a step towards peace in Turkey."
     
    H

    hyelander

    Member
    the turkish racist-fascist state has released its hounds yet again, the kurd-hunt is on a high pitch once more. If the kurdish issue had been given 1/10th of the attention nowadays being given to arab hot-spots, the kurds would have been liberated decades ago. Shame and hypocrisy!


    Professor Ersanli and Publisher Zarakolu Detained

    Professor Ersanli and publisher and human rights activist Zarakolu were taken under custody. During the same KCK operation 41 people were also taken under custody on Friday.

    Professor Büşra Ersanlı and publisher and human right activist Ragip Zarakolu were taken under custody on October 28, 2011 within the framework of the KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) operation.

    Under this operation, 41 people were taken under custody as well. Police raided variouspro- Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) offices in İstanbul including the BDP İstanbul Politics Academy and several BDP branches.

    Professor Ersanli is a constitutional law expert and a member of BDP Assembly member and academician in Istanbul's Marmara University, Political Science and International Relation Faculty and the member of the BDP Constitutional Commission.

    Ragip Zarakolu, a well-known human rights activist and director of Belge Publishing House, in Turkey. Zarakolu is also the chairman of the Publishers Association Freedom to Publish Committee of Turkey.

    His son, Deniz Zarakolu, editor of the Belge Publishing House, was arrested on October 4. According to the reports, the number of detainees would increase as the operation is still under way.


    BDP Co-chairman Selahattin Demirtaş strongly criticized the new wave of detentions on Friday.

    "We will not be able to talk about a healthy constitution-making process if we go ahead like this. We will have no party member who can join efforts for [drafting] a new constitution". (BA)

    English :: Professor Ersanli and Publisher Zarakolu Detained - Bianet
     
    H

    hyelander

    Member
    It's high time to unmask the hypocrisy of Erdogan and the sanctimonious ilk that is the AKP.

    take a moment and consider signing the petition.


    Petition Urgent Appeal: Stop Arbitrary Detentions in Turkey!

    The Petition


    The international public has so far been oblivious to the so-called “KCK operations” carried out in Turkey by Prime Minister Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party for the past two years. Under the guise of “fighting terrorism,” the Erdogan government has been using the judiciary, the police, and the media to penalize all civic activism in support of rights demanded by Kurdish citizens in Turkey. The “KCK operations” in particular have been deployed to spread fear amongst activists, to silence public dissent, and to normalize the arbitrary arrest of citizens. Ironically, the Erdogan government’s suppression of dissent and of democratic politics has visibly intensified at a time when “Turkish democracy” is being hailed as a model for the Arab world.

    Since 2009, as many as 7748 people have been taken under custody on the alleged grounds that they are associated with the KCK—an organization claimed to be the urban branch of the armed organization known as the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party)—while 3895 people have been arrested and imprisoned without even the prospect of a trial in the foreseeable future. Elected mayors, public intellectuals, members of civic associations, journalists, university students, researchers, academics, and activists have all been undergoing this heavy-handed treatment.

    One of the latest victims of the Erdogan government’s assault on public dissent is Professor Busra Ersanli of Marmara University, a highly respected academic. Her only apparent “crime” is to have played an active role within BDP (Peace and Democracy Party), which has been struggling for the rights of Kurdish citizens in Turkey. The members of this party have been systematically targeted by counterterrorism units’ arbitrary arrests, even as the party currently holds seats in the parliament. Professor Ersanli was to attend a conference on “Controversial Issues in the History of the Turkish Republic” at Istanbul Bilgi University on 29 October 2011, but she was taken under custody on 28 October. On the same day, Ragıp Zarakolu—a founding member of the Human Rights Association and the former chair of the “Writers in Prison Committee” of the International PEN organization in Turkey—was also taken under custody within the framework of the “KCK operations.”

    Earlier in October 2011, Ayse Berktay (Hacimirzaoglu)—a renowned translator, researcher, and global peace and justice activist—was taken by the police from her home in Istanbul five o’clock in the morning and subsequently arrested. She still remains imprisoned for the foreseeable future. Professor Busra Ersanli, Ragip Zarakolu, and Ayse Berktay are among thousands of people who have been imprisoned and silenced in the last two years.

    Under such political conditions that are only getting worse, it has become an urgent task to unmask the arbitrary and authoritarian character of the Turkish government's handling of the Kurdish issue. We are calling on friends abroad to spread the news and to build international pressure, which has become especially crucial and urgent at this time when any citizen of Turkey could be targeted by the Erdogan government, the judiciary, and the police for engaging in political acts of solidarity with those detained under the “KCK operations.”

    Peace can never be achieved under the current conditions of public fear, paranoia, and authoritarian politics. Please sign the petition below to put pressure on the Turkish government to immediately release all those who have been taken under custody as part of the “KCK operations” and to demand that Prime Minister Erdogan’s government make a sincere commitment to ending its suppression of civic efforts in support of rights demanded by Kurdish citizens in Turkey.
     
    H

    hyelander

    Member
    Erdogan's religious acrobatics: Nicaea council church back to being a mosque
    by NAT da Polis

    The church of Aghia Sophia in Nicaea (Izmit), in which the 787 Council was held, was used as a museum. A controversial decision by the Directorate General of Religious Affairs transforms it into a Muslim place of worship. Erdogan' contents Islamic sectors of society.

    Istanbul (AsiaNews) - The specter of Aghia Sophia continues to plague the Islamic world of Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey. Not the most famous symbol of the church of Constantinople, but another church, Aghia Sophia in Nicaea (now Izmit), which predates the Constantinople church, having been built in the fourth century. It passed into history in 787 AD, when it was the last church to host a united Christendom drawn to discuss the iconoclastic question, in a truly ecumenical synod, before the fatal schism of 1024.

    This Christian church, the Aghia Sophia in Nicaea (Izmit), was transformed into a mosque in 1331 by Orhan Gazi who led the Ottomans and which was later made a museum in 1920, has returned once again to being a mosque.

    All that was needed was a directive from the Directorate General for Religious Affairs led by Mehmet Gormez, appointed by Erdogan instead of Ali Bardakoglu, the man behind the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Turkey, since retired. The move has elicited several considerations in Turkey and abroad in a period in which much importance and emphasis is placed on religious freedom. It is also noted that this decision by the Directorate for Religious Affairs, made in accordance with the Directorate General of Religious Foundations, to which the church of Aghia Sophia in Izmit belongs, is in complete contrast with the decisions of the Ministry of Culture in Ankara, which granted permission for religious celebrations in Christian monuments that have since been transformed into museums.

    The President of the Republic of Germany, Christian Wulf, in his recent visit to Turkey, made the request for permission for a mass to be celebrated at the Church of St. Paul in Tarsus, a request that was granted by the Turkish authorities . The same Patriarch Bartholomew I, 26 December 2000 celebrated a liturgy in the church of Aghia Sophia in Izmit on the anniversary of the second millennium of the birth of our Lord, as the church of Aghia Sophia in Izmit was counted, according to the Directive of the Ministry of Culture in Ankara, among those Christians monuments turned into museums.

    Erdogan's decision is puzzling, but also brings to light lurking divisions within Turkish society. In recent times, especially after the 2007 elections, Erdogan's policy has been characterized by an opening towards non-Muslim religious minorities,. Thanks to these re-openings, religious communities have begun to breathe once again. In is enough to mention the recent decree that provides for the restitution of property illegally confiscated in the past, from the religious foundations, and the grant of permission to celebrate religious functions in Christian monuments that have since become museums. The most symbolic outcome was the celebration of the Mass officiated by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in 2010 in the historic Monastery of Our Lady of Sumela on the Black Sea, the first after 80 years.

    These initiatives by Erdogan have never been welcomed by his Islamic-nationalist followers, who are not only present in Bahceli’s nationalist MHP party (which achieved about 14% in the last election), but they are also lurking in the ruling AKP party, under the wing of the Vice President Bulent Arinc, perhaps the most prominent politician in the Islamic conformist current within the ruling party. Arinc said during the inauguration the day before yesterday: "With this act we have regained the favor of our ancestors. The church of Aghia Sophia in Izmit is the result of conquest and as such, as it was used then, is right. A church can be transformed into a mosque. Both are places of prayer to God”. Bulent Arinc concluded, "How many mosques have been transformed into our churches?".

    There have however, been sstrong negative reactions within the Turkish intellectual world among which that of Professor. Selcuk Mulayim of Marmara University, who said that the church of Aghia Sophia in Izmit has played an important role in Christian history and as such should be considered as with the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople: a museum.

    Istanbul's comment diplomatic circles mummer that Erdogan, making a symbolic and instrumental use of the name of Aghia Sofia, has tried to satisfy certain sectors of his party, and not only. Consenting to the transformation of the church of Aghia Sophia in Nicaea (Izmit) into a mosque, he has calculated that certain "targeted" concessions will lengthen his stay in power.

    TURKEY Erdogan's religious acrobatics: Nicaea council church back to being a mosque - Asia News
     
    H

    hyelander

    Member
    Erdogan ‘Apologizes’ for Dersim Killings, Insults Diaspora

    ISTANBUL, Turkey (A.W.)—Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan apologized today for the killings in Dersim (now Tunceli) from 1936-1939.


    The apology on behalf of the Turkish Republic came on the heels of the release of documents showing that military operations had killed thousands in the Dersim region in the late thirties. Erdogan showed documents during his speech implicating the Turkish leadership in the massacres.

    According to Anatolia News Agency, Erdogan referred to the Dersim killings as “the most tragic incident of our near past.”

    Erdogan laid the blame squarely on the Republican People’s Party (CHP), which was the single party ruling Turkey until the mid-20th century. Erdogan called on the leadership of CHP, currently the main opposition party in Turkey, to apologize for the massacres as well.

    “Is it me who should apologize or you [CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu]? If there is the need for an apology on behalf of the state and if there is such an opportunity, I can do it and I am apologizing. But if there is someone who should apologize on behalf of the CHP, it is you, as you are from Dersim. You were saying you felt honored to be from Dersim. Now, save your honor,” Erdogan said.

    “Dersim is among the most tragic events in recent history. It is a disaster that should now be questioned with courage. The party that should confront this incident is not the ruling Justice and Development Party [AK Party]. It is the CHP, which is behind this bloody disaster, who should face this incident and its chairman from Tunceli,” Erdogan added, referring to Kilicdaroglu.

    ‘Don’t compare me to the diaspora’

    In response to an accusation from CHP that this is a prelude to apologizing to the Armenians for 1915, Erdogan said, “You are putting me in the same basket with the Armenian Diaspora. Shame on you! How dare you put me and the Armenian diaspora in the same basket!”

    ‘Hypocritical and insincere’

    “The current discourse is highly hypocritical and insincere. At this very moment, more than 10 dams are being built in Dersim. To build dams in order to flood the region and displace people were items of the reports in the 1930s about the ‘Dersim problem,’” said Dr. Bilgin Ayata in an interview with Armenian Weekly editor Khatchig Mouradian.

    She added, “While under the AKP government, the last phase of the systematic destruction of Dersim from 1938 is being implemented and carried out today, any reference to the ‘Dersim massacres’ by Prime Minister Erdogan serves first and foremost to portray and frame the state intervention in Dersim as a past event, while in fact, it is being completed at this very moment.”


    Ayata, who is at the Free University of Berlin, noted that many important, sacred and religious sites of Alevis and Armenians in Dersim have been flooded since last year because of the dams. “People in Dersim regard this as the last phase of the destruction of the Dersim culture. By bringing up the Dersim issue, Erdogan is not only hunting for votes amongst Alevis or abusing this issue in order to discredit his political opponent Kilicdaroglu, he is actually killing two birds with one stone by diverting the issue of the dam building in Dersim that his government is responsible for. I also do not think that he ‘opens up’ the discourse. in fact, he sets limits to the discourse of Dersim 1938 by framing it as a ‘massacre.’ The term ‘Dersim massacre’ is only an improvement in the discourse if your starting point is the Turkish official ideology.”

    “If your reference point is the International Genocide Convention from 1948, it is merely a sophisticated continuation of denial policies, as the case of the mass violence between 1936-38 easily fits the criteria set in the convention to constitute genocide,” concluded Ayata.

    Background

    Tens of thousands of men, women, and children were massacred by Turkish troops during the destruction of Kurds and Zazas of Dersim (now Tunceli) in 1937-38. For decades, this genocide was denied and framed as “suppression of an uprising” by the Turkish state. In November 2009, the Turkish Republican People’s Party deputy chairman Onur Oymen said that the destruction of the Kurds in Dersim was an example of the struggle against terrorism, and a heated public debate ensued. Columnists and political figures harshly criticized Oymen’s statement, and even high-ranking Turkish officials called the events of Dersim a “massacre.” Some thought Turkey was finally coming to terms with at least one horrible chapter of its past.

    Erdogan ‘Apologizes’ for Dersim Killings, Insults Diaspora | Armenian Weekly

    for further background and important perspective: Kahraman: Dersim ’38: From Rebellion to Massacre? | Armenian Weekly
     
    Xguy

    Xguy

    Well-Known Member
    Erdogan ‘Apologizes’ for Dersim Killings, Insults Diaspora

    ISTANBUL, Turkey (A.W.)—Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan apologized today for the killings in Dersim (now Tunceli) from 1936-1939.


    The apology on behalf of the Turkish Republic came on the heels of the release of documents showing that military operations had killed thousands in the Dersim region in the late thirties. Erdogan showed documents during his speech implicating the Turkish leadership in the massacres.

    According to Anatolia News Agency, Erdogan referred to the Dersim killings as “the most tragic incident of our near past.”

    Erdogan laid the blame squarely on the Republican People’s Party (CHP), which was the single party ruling Turkey until the mid-20th century. Erdogan called on the leadership of CHP, currently the main opposition party in Turkey, to apologize for the massacres as well.

    “Is it me who should apologize or you [CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu]? If there is the need for an apology on behalf of the state and if there is such an opportunity, I can do it and I am apologizing. But if there is someone who should apologize on behalf of the CHP, it is you, as you are from Dersim. You were saying you felt honored to be from Dersim. Now, save your honor,” Erdogan said.

    “Dersim is among the most tragic events in recent history. It is a disaster that should now be questioned with courage. The party that should confront this incident is not the ruling Justice and Development Party [AK Party]. It is the CHP, which is behind this bloody disaster, who should face this incident and its chairman from Tunceli,” Erdogan added, referring to Kilicdaroglu.

    ‘Don’t compare me to the diaspora’

    In response to an accusation from CHP that this is a prelude to apologizing to the Armenians for 1915, Erdogan said, “You are putting me in the same basket with the Armenian Diaspora. Shame on you! How dare you put me and the Armenian diaspora in the same basket!”

    ‘Hypocritical and insincere’

    “The current discourse is highly hypocritical and insincere. At this very moment, more than 10 dams are being built in Dersim. To build dams in order to flood the region and displace people were items of the reports in the 1930s about the ‘Dersim problem,’” said Dr. Bilgin Ayata in an interview with Armenian Weekly editor Khatchig Mouradian.

    She added, “While under the AKP government, the last phase of the systematic destruction of Dersim from 1938 is being implemented and carried out today, any reference to the ‘Dersim massacres’ by Prime Minister Erdogan serves first and foremost to portray and frame the state intervention in Dersim as a past event, while in fact, it is being completed at this very moment.”


    Ayata, who is at the Free University of Berlin, noted that many important, sacred and religious sites of Alevis and Armenians in Dersim have been flooded since last year because of the dams. “People in Dersim regard this as the last phase of the destruction of the Dersim culture. By bringing up the Dersim issue, Erdogan is not only hunting for votes amongst Alevis or abusing this issue in order to discredit his political opponent Kilicdaroglu, he is actually killing two birds with one stone by diverting the issue of the dam building in Dersim that his government is responsible for. I also do not think that he ‘opens up’ the discourse. in fact, he sets limits to the discourse of Dersim 1938 by framing it as a ‘massacre.’ The term ‘Dersim massacre’ is only an improvement in the discourse if your starting point is the Turkish official ideology.”

    “If your reference point is the International Genocide Convention from 1948, it is merely a sophisticated continuation of denial policies, as the case of the mass violence between 1936-38 easily fits the criteria set in the convention to constitute genocide,” concluded Ayata.

    Background

    Tens of thousands of men, women, and children were massacred by Turkish troops during the destruction of Kurds and Zazas of Dersim (now Tunceli) in 1937-38. For decades, this genocide was denied and framed as “suppression of an uprising” by the Turkish state. In November 2009, the Turkish Republican People’s Party deputy chairman Onur Oymen said that the destruction of the Kurds in Dersim was an example of the struggle against terrorism, and a heated public debate ensued. Columnists and political figures harshly criticized Oymen’s statement, and even high-ranking Turkish officials called the events of Dersim a “massacre.” Some thought Turkey was finally coming to terms with at least one horrible chapter of its past.

    Erdogan ‘Apologizes’ for Dersim Killings, Insults Diaspora | Armenian Weekly

    for further background and important perspective: Kahraman: Dersim ’38: From Rebellion to Massacre? | Armenian Weekly
    This looks to me like a test drive for the Apology to the Syrian innocent blood shed he's about to cause by establishing the buffer zone he was talking about
     
    H

    hyelander

    Member
    Over thousand people turned themselves in to protest KCK arrests
    December 15 2011

    At least 1220 people have turned themselves in in the last one month within the scope of the "I turn myself in" campaign launched on 16 November as a protest action by Kurdish organizations against “KCK” arrests evaluated as a “political blast”.


    “We are members of the KCK, we want to be tried too” said demonstrators in their petitions against KCK operations which have been conducted regularly since 2009 and targeted all voices in solidarity with Kurds.

    More than eight thousand people have been taken into custody in the context of the so called Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) operation. The number of those remanded in custody is around four thousand. Among the detainees are mayors, journalists, students, union members and human rights defenders.

    Following a heavy blow on intellectuals, the wave of KCK operations have most recently targeted the right of defense. Lawyers of PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) Leader Abdullah ضcalan were remanded in custody on charges of conveying ضcalan’s messages to Kandil, which as a matter of fact the state itself has done until the election process in June of 2011. Within the last nine years, the process of AKP government, Turkey has turned into the biggest prison on the world.

    Those remanded in custody at Turkish prisons today consist of over 70 journalists and authors, at least 38 lawyers, nearly 40 union members, 500 students, hundreds of children, 18 mayors, eight deputies and hundreds of elected representatives. The current conditions of human rights are not very different from those in Nazi Germany in 1930’s.

    The protest campaign started with BDP Co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and Deputy Co-chair Gültan Kışanak’s denouncing themselves to Istanbul and Diyarbakır courts on 16 November. The campaign organization also consisted of two mass meetings on 20 November in Istanbul and on 3 December in Diyarbakır. Meetings were joined by tens of thousands of people.

    The partial figures of denouncements gathered from ANF and DIHA news agencies are as follows; 200 people in Ağrı, 165 in Adana, 151 in Istanbul, 150 in İzmir, 107 in Bitlis, 101 in Mardin, 100 in Mersin, 54 in Muş, 35 in Hatay, 35 in Kars, 30 in Aydın, 29 in Iğdır, 26 in Elazığ, 25 in Bursa and 12 in Bilecik province.

    While no information is available as to the figures in Diyarbakır, the general number is thought to be higher when considering many individual applications in many cities.

    The campaign continues in all provinces and districts with Kurdish population.



    ANF / NEWS DESK

    ANF NEWS AGENCY


    Kurdish Info - Over thousand people turned themselves in to protest KCK arrests
     
    Venom

    Venom

    Legendary Member
    تركيا تستعد لفرض عقوبات على فرنسا
    elnachra

    What's next putting sanctions on the whole world after Israel, syria and France?
     
    HannaTheCrusader

    HannaTheCrusader

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    تركيا تستعد لفرض عقوبات على فرنسا
    elnachra

    What's next putting sanctions on the whole world after Israel, syria and France?
    i think we are in the making of a delusional leader who combines kaddafi madness with saddam blood thirstiness
     
    Armenian

    Armenian

    Well-Known Member
    Turkey Recalls Ambassador to France

    ANKARA, Turkey (A.W.)–Official Ankara announced that it has recalled its ambassador to France. The Turkish government’s decision came on the heels of the French Parliament vote to criminalize Armenian Genocide denial.

    According to Turkish State Television TRT ambassador Tahsin Burcuoglu will return to Ankara.



    On Dec. 22, the French Parliament approved a bill criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide, and rendering it punishable with a year in jail and a fine of 45,000 euros ($58,000).

    Several proposed amendments that aimed at diluting the bill were voted down.

    More than two thousand Turks demonstrated against the bill outside the French Parliament building.

    The French Senate is expected to vote on the bill in March 2012.

    A special delegation of Turkish officials had arrived in Paris on Dec. 19 to prevent the bill from passing.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had likened the move as one from the Middle Ages. “If this proposal is legislated, France will pioneer the return of the Middle Ages mindset to Europe,” Anatolia News Agency quoted him as saying. The law would “create a new dogma about understanding history, to forbid alternative thoughts. This is the mentality of the Middle Ages. The adoption of this mindset in France is the greatest danger to Europe.”

    Addressing his government officials, Davutoglu said it would be “out of the question to leave unanswered an attempt by any country leader, government, or parliament to dishonor our country and nation.”

    Turkey Recalls Ambassador to France
     
    CitizenOfTheRepublic

    CitizenOfTheRepublic

    Legendary Member
    تركيا تستعد لفرض عقوبات على فرنسا
    elnachra

    What's next putting sanctions on the whole world after Israel, syria and France?
    LOL, and I also declare sanctions against Turkey.
    This is ridic.
     
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