Thursday, June 29, 2006

Same Old Rhetoric & Faces In Turkey

An open letter to
Mr. Kanli Yusuf
Turkish Daily News

Dear Sir,

having just glanced through we read the following:

"Early elections would bring relief." Mehmet Agar, Leader DYP

Isn't it blatantly obvious the next election will merely give the AKP another mandate to govern Turkey? Unless there is something going on the public is not privy to (of course someone somewhere always has a hidden agenda), there appears to be no substantial opposition in Turkish politics, just as there has been no substantial opposition in British politics for the last 10 years.
Why do politicians insist on nonsensical rhetoric? Why does the media insist on publishing it? Why does the public continue to swallow it?
Because, that's what politicians do, that's what the media does and the public tends to eventually consume whatever it is given.

It seems the same old faces run Turkish politics and Turkish football (it's important, 1/6 of the world watching the World Cup this month) and incredibly, there are even more of the same old faces waiting to come around yet again.

And then we read:

"Nobody has the right to attack religious and cultural values of societies. All freedoms have a limit. You cannot have unlimited freedoms, there has never been unlimited freedom of expression in history"
This is a quote from Turkish Prime Minister Tayiip Erdogan in an address to Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe as reported by The Turkish Daily News.

Surely, this matter was addressed by Turkey's founding father years ago when he stated:

"Freedom consists of man's ability to do what he thinks and desires without any influence or intervention by others. This is the broadest definition of the concept. Mankind has never attained liberty to this extent and never will because as is known, men are creations of nature and nature itself is not absolutely free either; it is subject to universal laws."
Ataturk c.1930

Maybe it's just the humid weather, but I am so bored, so incredibly bored with the same old mind set, same old games, same old rhetoric. I don't suppose it will change in the short term and why does one even bother to voice another little drop in the vast ocean of opinions? Then again, I don't suppose my opinion is any less ridiculous than those we read today.

I can only ask, please, the public of the Turkish Republic, think about who you are supporting and who you will next vote for to run your country. I know, I may be having a proverbial wee wee in the proverbial wind, but I can still hope; can't I?

Good luck Turkiye! From what we read, you need it.

Best wishes, Arther C. Withernee
Correspondent for NPP

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

English Artist Risks Trial

This article is about an English artist depicting Prime Minister Erdogan as a dog. It is copied and pasted directly from The Turkish Daily News. Thank goodness no has drawn Erdogan with his underpants outside his trousers as they did with British PM Major or with Mrs. Thatcher's testicles!
Turkish prosecutors are investigating an English artist for exhibiting a collage that depicts Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a dog receiving a prize in a pet show from U.S. President George W. Bush.
Michael Dickinson, a long-time resident of Istanbul, displayed the collage in March without permission from the organizers of an Istanbul show dedicated to peace along with other 'authorized' works themed mostly on Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and opposition to the war in Iraq.
"It came to me in a flash. I thought, 'Damn the consequences, I must put that picture up'," Dickinson told Agence France-Presse.
After the curator of the exhibit was charged with "insulting the dignity of the prime minister," Dickinson wrote to the court claiming responsibility and is now himself being investigated on the same charges.
If indicted, he will stand trial and risk one to three years in jail. The British art movement Stuckism, to which Dickinson belongs, condemned the probe as an "intolerable" repression of freedom of expression in a country seeking to join the European Union. It also wrote to Blair, asking him to put pressure on the Turkish authorities to drop the case. Last year, Erdogan sued a newspaper for publishing a cartoon depicting him as a cat. He later sued a humour magazine that protested against the lawsuit by running a cover depicting the prime minister as a variety of animals. The lawsuits prompted critics to question Erdogan's declared commitment to freedom of expression.

Arther C. Withernee, Correspondent for WEMW
Report 14 June 2006

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Image Of Modern Turkey

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silva are in Turkey for a week. It’s the first visit by a Swedish monarch in over 70 years. In 1934 , the King's Grandfather, Crown Prince Adolf VI Gustaf visited and met with Ataturk.

Queen Silva was received at a lunch hosted by Turkish Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc’s wife Munevver and attended by the PM’s wife Emine Erdogan and the Foreign Minister’s wife Hayrunnisa Gul as well as the wives of other ministers and deputies.

The photo caption in the The New Anatolian was:
“Headscarved welcome for Swedish Queen Silva.”
So, from Ataturk's vision back in 1923, this is the image of the modern Turkish Republic in 2006.

Arther C. Withernee, Correspondent for WEMW
Report 01 June 2006