how the world sees america

On Turkey's Republic Day, Ataturk Is Everywhere

2-Turk.jpg

ISTANBUL - Taksim Square always looks like a protest rally to me, even when people are just lounging. It's packed with shoppers, eaters, smokers and dawdlers. From its cafes, patrons spill out onto the streets like rice from a sack. At night, clubs atop clubs boom with music. And on the wide or winding streets, there’s gossip about everything: from Condoleezza Rice's upcoming visit to the importance of the Turkish Republic.

Today is "Republic Day," October 29. Turkey's founder Kemal Ataturk declared it 84 years ago. Tonight, people are celebrating with torches, fireworks, and flags.

These Turkish flags and Ataturk’s visage are everywhere here. These signs of nationhood are more prevalent than usual, I'm told, partly in reaction to recent PKK violence, and partly because of the holiday. I see an eerie similarity between the faces of Ataturk and my editor David Ignatius, so I feel like I’m being doubly watched…

Then, suddenly another protest erupts. The one I wrote about last week was the first of a number that have occurred over the past few days on Istiklal Road. As an American, I’m particularly attune to the same refrain: "Curse the PKK, Curse America.” These rallies emerge quickly, from the crowds, and then dissipate as quickly as they appear.

Now I’m drinking Turkish tea beside a chessboard and watching crowds pass under dozens of flags that wave overhead. My companion is Bulent Cinar, a local international relations buff and former Foreign Policy employee.

"This is a strange time to be in Turkey,” he says. “Nothing is on the surface.”

David-Attaturk.jpg
Portrait of Kemal Ataturk.

He’s a soft mannered man who relishes company but speaks rarely: "This Turkish nationalism is stronger than ever. But anger at America is only a part of…this current. It is [first] about Turkish nationalism; and it scares me."

Up the road, on the steps of Ataturk's statue, I hear someone who's emboldened by Turkish national spirit, not frightened by it: "We are coming together to fight PKK terror!" an elderly woman shouts, staggering past me, leaning on her stick. "We don't need America for that."

On Istiklal's busy side streets, it's hard to escape the feeling that this is a pivotal moment for Turkey, and for U.S.-Turkey relations. Everybody is talking about it.

But the subject is Turkey first -- its security, its pride, its prosperity, its people. America comes later.

Sometimes it's important to step back to reflect on when the U.S. is center-stage, and when it is one part of the busy cityscape. Here on Istiklal, protests rise and fall, Turkish flags dominate the skyline, and the "Republican Day" fireworks have just ended.

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Comments (127)

Osmanli:

Two Women were led out of a crowd when they tried to lay flowers for the Ataturk in his death anniversay in Osmaniye.

Their mistake was wearing headscarves.http://www.yenisafak.com.tr/politika/?t=11.11.2007&c=2&i=81094

They were warned about the dress code for attending such a thing.

The Ataturk hated Islam to the bones. He hated God and his Prophet s.a.s. He asked his servants that they must not perform the Janazah Prayer,which is performed on the dead, when he dies but his sister intervened in the last minute and the prayer was performed.

Turks must be really proud of this man who fought Allah and his prophet s.a.s especially when they curse the people who made Turkey, Osmanlis.

((And whomsoever Allâh disgraces, none can honour him. Verily! Allâh does what He wills.22:18))

spidon:

@ OSMANLI November 10, 2007 8:06 AM

You are right. Turkey is experiencing a whole lot of guilt and it is seen from the youngest member of society right up to the governing elite.

Wouldn't it be so much easier to admit the gross inhumanity shown toward other peoples by the Ottomans that continues to this day as seen in Turkey's actions toward the Kurds and others?

Hiding behind the veil of denial will not solve Turkey's problems. The whole country needs therapy. A good place to start is to acknowledge the Armenian genocide, repeal Article 301 and bridge gaps between the minority and special interest groups in the country.

This is a good opportunity for Turkey to show that strength is not shown by flag waving, muscle flexing, finger pointing posturing. Strength is something that does not need to be flaunted since it is the knowledge of unmovable moral certainty.

Spiridon
Montreal Canada

Osmanli:

" TO GET A PRIZE CURSE ANCESTORS"
This headline appeared in one of Edirne's local newspapers. Teachers in an elmentary school in Edirne made a composition competition and the subject was to write about Sultan Vahdettin, the last Ottoman Sultan being a traitor.
http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/egitim/anasayfa/7664074.asp?gid=180&sz=15347

Teachers are teaching thier stundents to curse their ancestors during the 69th anniversary of Mustafa Kemal's death.

Is there a nation on earth who so hateful of its ancestors!?

They also want to be a bridge between West and the Moslem World!!

SPIDON:


To anyone interested in formulating an objective and personal opinion on the matter at hand, a good place to start is by reading where the Turkish problems come from. Please copy/paste the line below into your browser and simply read the thousands of Human Rights violations by Turkey as listed by the organization HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH:

hrw.org/doc?t=europe&c=turkey

****

Spiridon
Montreal Canada

spidon:

All this Turkish bravado is so irrelevant.

We all know who the real masters are here and the dog that barks will not bite.

It is time for Turkey to put away the flags and devote some energy to developing a democracy instead of pretending it has one.
A good place to start is to acknowledge world history instead of the self-indulgent propaganda that is taught to Turkish young men, designed to make them go off to war and die for their ungrateful leadership, that does not care.

Spiridon
Montreal Canada

Zubaida Finkel:

Victoria

Add these two sites too. They are very important. It defines Modern Turkish life style. It also shows that Turkey is a secular country and that it is not an Islamic state-in fact it shows that Hindus in India have better values than Turks who call themselves Moslem.
http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=82627

http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9675837

Anonymous:

Spiridon
"Saddam and Iraq were 'friends' to the US before the Kuwait invasion by our friendly, undereducated dictator at the time. We all know how that story ended.

A word of advice:
Since the Turkish 'shop' is ready to close, as a Turk, I would not go around making any risky investments in your position. I would consider the wisdom in this, very, very carefully.

Spiridon"

No power has existed on the earth to erase turkey, and turkish. It is same for China. U know the piece of puzzles but you try to combine them in reverse side. Reas history and try to know who you re, do u have identitY?

VICTORIA:

zubaida - if you dont mind- id like to repost your post here on the first blog on the PKK here.

im responding to spidons same post


Zubaida Finkel:

"State Control of Women’s Virginity in Turkey: June 1, 1994
"...An investigation of the prevalence of forcible virginity control exams........"

This happens only in Kurdish areas. Honor killings take place in Kurdish areas. Turkish jounalists love to talk about honor killings and they allways link it to tribal stuff. As if they are telling the world that the only pure"namuslu" women are in the Kurdish areas and the rest of Turkey is modern!!!! I'm sure western Turkey is very very modern!!!!

Ali Riza Zvioglu:

"…Many Turkish secularists know full well this is not theocracy by stealth; there is, indeed, a definite whiff of class animus in their resistance to the shift in the balance of power towards Turks from the provinces and the countryside. Their outlook is ossified. They are shrine-keepers for Mustafa Kemal Atatürk who, like many of those who built republican Turkey from the remains of the Ottoman empire, was a refugee, regrouping behind an essentially defensive political (and military) culture…."
Europe should celebrate milestone in Turkey’s transition,David Gardner
Published: August 16 2007.Financial Times.

In Salonica, the place from which the Ataturk came, two thirds of the population were Non-Moslems and one third was Moslem during the Ottoman times. If Bektashi Alevis considered themselves Moslems then what is left is the Donme. Ataturk belonged to that sect. Donme are known to be mixers of two identities, Jewish and Moslem. Certainly, all sane Moslems and Jews know that you can never mix the Two. You either be a Jew or a Moslem. Donmes were Jews pretending to be Moslems.

Amar C. Bakshi:

I've come late to this thread. A whole lot going on. And it is of course clear to me how any brief mention of Turkish nationalism, without a thorough discussion of its historical, cultural, religious and political roots can stir dialogue for good or ill. As for 74 v 84, it was indeed a typo. My apologies for that. There have been a lot of fascinating conversations I've had about nationalism in Turkey that haven't made the blog: but most recently from Hakan Bural who says that Turkey has a "positive nationalism" that is "welcoming" and "grounded in religion and democratic ideals." But Bulent rejoins that even the best of things can be twisted in times of crisis for less savory ends. As a newcomer to a vast and complex place, I pass no judgment, but do want to faithfully pass on what I hear, when I hear it, and how it fits into what I'm seeing, thinking etc. day by day. Thanks for fleshing out observations with your many insights.

spidon:

The cause of all hatred is hatred itself.

See the link below:
It is from The Human Rights Watch report on Turkey: Violations.

****
hrw.org/doc?t=europe&c=turkey
****

You will find such tittles as

Turkey: Military Meddling Mars Run-Up to Elections: July 18, 2007
"...Turkish military’s interference in the political arena has threatened progress on human rights in the country..."

Turkey: Dink Murder Trial a Test for Judiciary: June 28, 2007
"...In the 18 months preceding his murder, officials in Istanbul and Trabzon also reportedly failed to act on numerous police intelligence reports revealing a plan to murder Dink."

Turkey: Displaced Villagers Denied Fair Compensation: December 20, 2006
"...the Turkish government is failing to provide fair compensation for hundreds of thousands of mainly Kurdish villagers displaced by the military’s brutal counterinsurgency campaigns in the southeast..."

Turkey: Letter to Minister Aksu calling for the abolition of the village guards:
"...The Turkish government must take immediate steps to abolish the system of village guards, which has given rise to some of the most serious human rights violations in southeast Turkey, and continues to present an obstacle to the return of displaced villagers in that area."

Turkey: Anti-Terror Law Used Against Peaceful Activists:
"...three Kurdish activists on anti-terrorism charges after they attempted to stage a peaceful protest near the Iraq border calls into question the Turkish leadership’s commitment to human rights reforms, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan."

Turkey: Case Against Novelist Threatens Freedom of Expression: September 29, 2005
"...Human Rights Watch was surprised and disappointed to learn that the state prosecutor has opened the proposed case against Orhan Pamuk for “insulting Turkishness” under article 301 of the criminal code." (The Novel Prize winner for Literature 2007)

A Matter of Power
State Control of Women’s Virginity in Turkey: June 1, 1994
"...An investigation of the prevalence of forcible virginity control exams and the role of the government in conducting or tolerating such exams, this report cites several separate incidents in the spring of 1992 when young females committed suicide after authorities ordered them to submit to examinations of their hymens."

***

This last one was on page 8 and is one of the oldest listed. The other ones are quite recent.

Is it reasonable to assume that a country that behaves in such ways against its very citizens has any international claim toward brutalizing them and further; and wanting to invade a foreign country with the intent of brutalizing the people there?

The conclusions on this matter are personal to those that are able to read.

Spiridon
Montreal Canada


Kurdistan:

To Amar and all dear readers: Please visit this very important video coverage. This is what is happening in Turkey. yes, This is Turkey.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJJUKEmXJfc&eurl=http://www.kurdistanpost.com/

Kurdistan:

To Amar and all dear readers: Please visit this very important video coverage. This is what is happening in Turkey. yes, This is Turkey.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJJUKEmXJfc&eurl=http://www.kurdistanpost.com/

Kurdistan:

To Amar and all dear readers: Please visit this very important video coverage. This is what is happening in Turkey. yes, This is Turkey.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJJUKEmXJfc&eurl=http://www.kurdistanpost.com/

Kurd from Kurdistan:

Dear Readers please be acquainted with the following political terms. These are the names of 4 new mini-states composing “ Great Kurdistan”. They are banned in most of the under-mentioned countries and one even could face life-imprisonment or execution for just referring to them.

Iranian occupied Kurdistan: East Kurdistan
Iraqi liberated Kurdistan: South Kurdistan
Turkish occupied Kurdistan: North Kurdistan
Syrian occupied Kurdistan: West Kurdistan

East + West + North + South = are called Great Kurdistan

Atta Turk:

Independence for Kurdistan !
Pretty soon Turkey will be partitioned. An independent Kurdish state will come into being in South Eastern Turkey called " North Kurdistan ".

laf:

Bir deli kuyuya tas atmis kirk akilli cikaramamis. Bizden nefret eden adamlara enerjinizi harcamayin.

Yorum yazarken hedefinizin Turkiye'yi tanimayanlar olsun. Amerikalilarin bircogu daha karar verebilmis degil ;)

ZEYNETTIN:

TO SPIRIDON:

AS YOU DO NOT ACCEPT THE OBJECTIVE TRUTH AS AN ANSWER -AS EXPECTED- IN REPLY TO YOUR OVER AND AGAIN QUESTION, YOU MIGHT EITHER LEVEL QUITE LOW ON AN IQ SCALE OR HAVE A SERIOUS DEMANCE PROBLEM. I AM ALMOST BEGINNING TO FEEL SORRY FOR YOU SINCE YOU SOUND AS IF YOU MIGHT AS WELL BE NEEDING SOME PROFESSIONAL HELP. OBSESSIVELY RESISTING TO GIVE ANY CREDIT TO ALTERNATIVE IDEAS ON THIS TOPIC, WHY DO NOT YOU POST ANOTHER MADE-UP STORY IN REPLY TO YOUR OWN QUESTION IN ORDER TO ENLIGHTEN (!)US WITH YOUR DEEP KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM? APPARENTLY, THIS HATRED OF TURKS OF YOURS IS WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AND COMING EVERYDAY. AND THAT'S WHAT I WANT TO CALL SICK...

spidon:

I see that the more things change in Turkey, the more these things stay the same.

The Turks are doing a splendid job of compromising themselves, and since they are about to swallow a lot of their misplaced anger, it would be wise for them to play nice with the rest of the kids in their neighbourhood.

I have one question though:
What claims does Turkey have for the territorial part of Northern Iraq, where the Kurds now live, based on historical proof?
Is there any proof to substantiate Turkey's territorial claim to the Kurdish regions?


Spiridon
Montreal Canada

ZEYNETTIN:

Well Spiridon, pretty much like repeating yourself over and over again in your writings, you keep asking the same question and insist on not accepting anything as an answer as long as it does not conform with your own dogmatic beliefs. For your information once again, Turkey is evaluating the option of using militaristic force on Northern Iraq because Northern Iraq is a terrorist heaven. It is hosting the PKK, which is a separatist terrorist organization with efforts concentrated against Turkish Republic. PKK uses Northern Iraq as a base to organize their attacks on Turkey. Because of the geographical feature of the Turkish-Iraq border, PKK uses northern Iraq also as a place to run back to when they complete their terrorist missions inside Turkish territories killing Turkish people -including Turkish citizens with Kurdish ethnicity-. They hit Turkey and run back to Iraq on and off. They have been involved in this kind of activity for over 20 years now and taken lives of over 30,000 Turkish citizens including babies and other civilians. What Turkey claims of Iraq is very simple; them to clear their own house from terrorists. If Iraq does not collaborate with Turkey in this, Iraq will have to bear the consequences since Turkey will have to take the initiative itself. In that, Turkey does not need any approval to self defend its territories and its people against terrorists. I wonder if you will accept this as an answer or prefer making up stories on how bad intentions Turkey has over the region. I am sorry that this is not an answer you would love to hear but this is the simple truth. Reality hurts...

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

Spidon today i wont spend my time with you, i am ill and got things to do. answer of your questions.
1)Turkey has no claims over iraq, turkey is trying to secure its border.
2)Read the answer 1.
bye for today

spidon:

Can anyone answer this basic question:

What claims does Turkey have for the territorial part of Northern Iraq, where the Kurds now live, based on historical proof?

Is there any proof to substantiate Turkey's claim to the Kurdish regions?

Spiridon
Montreal Canada

sri-jaggu-gandhi:

Regarding the portrait above, for some reason, I always thought Kemal Ataturk had somewhat less hair!

sri-jaggu-gandhi

stmarike @ gmail .com:


inde: sky blue
inde: (latin) therefore, for this reason, because of

pendence: hanging, awaiting a decision, settlement, adjustment

blue is for democracy.
red is for Life and Being Read-y.
pentagon has the golden ratio.


1. the Flag in Anatolia, 2D Crescent with Star, is an Alliance of Moon Earth Sun Star in 3D.

2. the Flag in Anatolia, Moon in front of Sun, is a Solar Eclipse, where some play drums in demonstrations.

sky blue is after the solar eclipse.
indigo blue is after the lunar eclipse.

inde pendence!

1. a public must know the sources of the words

2. a public must have the worths on the words from its sources.

3. there must be no quarrel between the sources of the worths on the words.

4. the sources must be open, and they must be free to apply.

Levent Alkan

Amar C. Bakshi:

Hi Tom, thanks very much for the note. I am going through the comments now. And I too hope that this dialogue can be a constructive one.

ZEYNETTIN:

TO SPIRIDON (OR SPIDON?):

I HAVE READ A COUPLE OF YOUR COMMENTS AND ALL I SEE IS THE REPETITION OF SAME SENTENCES OVER AND OVER AGAIN. INSPIRED BY THE WIDE SCOPE CAMPAIGN THAT IS CURRENTLY BEING HELD BY MASS WESTERN MEDIA, YOU ARE CURSING TURKEY'S RIGHTS BASED ON INTERNATIONAL LAW TO DEFEND ITS LAND AGAINST MILITARY ATTACKS ORIGINATING FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY. SO SIMILARLY YOU MEAN THAT, IF THERE IS A TERRORIST ATTACK FROM INSIDE U.S. BORDER TO CANADA, CANADA HAS NO RIGHT TO ACT. STILL IF THERE IS A TERRORIST ATTACK FROM MEXICO TO U.S., U.S. CAN NOT RETALIATE. NEITHER U.S. NOR CANADA CAN GO AFTER KILLERS WHO KILL 12 OF THEIR SOLDIERS AND KIDNAP 8 OF THEM! IT WOULD BE REALLY INTERESTING TO SEE HOW THINGS WOULD BE AND HOW THESE NATIONS WOULD REACT IF THEY FIND THEMSELVES SOME DAY, UNDER CONDITIONS SIMILAR TO WHAT TURKEY IS EXPERIENCING TODAY. YOU SEEM TO HAVE A LOT OF FREE TIME TO SPEND ON THE INTERNET SPIRIDON, SO JUST TO REFRESH YOUR MEMORY, PLEASE MAKE A SEARCH ON WHAT ISRAEL DID IN LEBANON VERY RECENTLY IN ORDER TO RESCUE THEIR 2 (NOT 8, NOT EVEN A KILLED 12!) KIDNAPPED SOLDIERS. TERROR AGAINST U.S. IS TERROR, TERROR AGAINST CANADA PROBABLY IS TERROR, SO IT IS IF AGAINST ISRAEL BUT NOT SO IF AGAINST TURKEY... IS THAT WHAT YOU SAY AND YOU SAY IT IS FAIR?

BASED ON INFORMATION YOU CLAIM YOU HAVE RECEIVED FROM SOME INTERNET SITES (WHICH DEFINITELY DOES NOT MAKE THE INFORMATION YOU GIVE ANY CREDIBLE SINCE ANYONE CAN HAVE A SITE AND WRITE ANYTHING ON THE INTERNET)AND ON ALLEGATIONS WHICH ARE YET TO BE PROVED BY HISTORIANS, YOU CLAIM THAT TURKEY IS PLANNING TO INVADE OTHER NATIONS' TERRITORIES AS AN EVIL POWER WHO DESERVES THE WORST OF EVERYTHING AND NOT ENTITLED TO THE BASIC LEGAL RIGHTS BECAUSE OF HAVING DONE ALL THE BAD THINGS YOU CLAIM! WHAT AN ILLUSION!

I CAN'T HELP WONDER WHAT YOUR REAL ORIGIN IS AND WHAT IS AT THE ROOT OF YOUR IMMENSE HATRED AND HUMILIATION AGAINST TURKEY AND TURKISH PEOPLE...

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

Is there any other country that is so controverys as Turkey i wonder?
Can you imagine living under a global hatred?
It makes you feel alone in the universe but also strong.
Spidon, there is too much hatred in your heart don't forget if you cant forgive others you can not expect God to forgive you for your sins.

Hopeful:

Turkey should go it alone for awhile. It would cause them to grow up.

Tom Miller:

The original post from Amar was interesting and could have led to some serious discussion related to Turkish nationalism. Unfortunately, it appears that too many grinding axes use these forums to immaturely promote their shallow opinions picked off the net or over the media. I often hear about the dangers of Turkish nationalism but I have also heard a lot of what I believe are simply biased opinions about a nation that literally had to pull itself up almost single-handedly after World War I and navigate the alligators of Greece, Britain, France, Italy and our own bumbling Woodrow Wilson to create the Turkish state and survive as a new nation-state. I believe that if you have really read a serious history of the period you can't help but admire Ataturk and what he accomplished. The creation of Turkey was not always nice and pretty but it succeeded where so few have succeeded in creating a true democratic republic in an overwhelmingly moslem country.

I sincerely hope that Turkey will not have to intervene in Iraq because I would think that common decency would dictate that Iraqi Kurdistan and the U.S. guarantee the Turkish borders and shut down for good the violence of the PKK. I also hope that Turks will avoid an incursion because as America has learned in Iraq "to the spoils belongs the victor". It's easy to take over territory but difficult to promote peace once military action is taken. And yes, of course the PKK wants a Turkish attack because it will kill innocent people and they (and the anti-Turk elements on this blog) will simply have more ammunition to dump on Turkey before the court of world opinion. That said, 30,000 lives have been lost already due to the PKK problem and time is running out. In truth, Turkey has been patient.

Thanks Amar for an interesting visit to Istanbul and I'm looking forward to more of your visits. I don't fear opinions different from mine but I do hope that people won't use these posts to hammer their point-of-view and discount original thoughts. I guess that's just a danger of democracy and if so, I'll just have to learn to live with it.

lonewolf:

turkey should understand one thing and one thing only; it's identity will be judged by it's ability to: 1. come to a political compromise on the question of it's indigenous kudish population and: 2. it's ability to stand on it's own two feet apart from american and european influence. nothing more and nothing less. it is, in fact, the gateway to the caspian and it runs through kurdistan.

Levent:

After reading an awful lot of comments, I am, once again, convinced that we(Turks) are the outcasts and have to survive on our own.

US wages an unjustified Iraq war, we pay for it. Soviets wage a communist cold war, we pay for it. Radical Islamists wage a war against western civilization, we pay for it. Out of 7 of our neighbors, 4 of them claims our land, yet we pay for it.

And as if being the battleground for ideological and economical wars were not enough, we are criticized by the "mighty" west for not being democratic. Turks: the ugly, barbaric nomad horde..

There is not one Western civilization which has not committed atrocities (hell, whole Africa is suffering because of western policies) and here we are with the bad rep.

Well, hell with you.. Put me in your axis of evil if you like!!!

Vic van Meter:

Okay people, I'm settling this little bickering match you all have going on. Turkey is going to invade Iraq because a terrorist group is holed up in the mountains there and nobody in Iraq is doing anything about them.

Human rights abuses, government business, and America's invasion are NOT more important than the above point. If Mexican terrorists killed 30,000 people in San Francisco and Mexico didn't do anything about it, I'd be absolutely shocked if we didn't do something about it for them. If Spanish terrorists bombed Nice and the Legionnaires weren't in Spain if Madrid decided to shrug it off, I'd be shocked.

Everything else is an additive point to this original problem. If Turkey sits there and does nothing, the PKK will continue the violence. Their diplomatic course has been to wait for America and Iraq to work something out on the PKK front. If they fail, international law gives Turkey every right to go and do something about the PKK.

If you all weren't engaged in this Turkey-Kurdish spitting match, this issue wouldn't be so gummed up. Sure, there are other issues to work out. But if Turkey invades Iraq looking for the PKK, you can call foul if Turkey keeps the territory it hits. Conquering a part of Iraq is against international law. But invading to shut up the PKK certainly is. Period.

Karl:

I am saddened to see what could have been an open discourse degrade to name calling and YELLING...It takes a man to admit when they are wrong. As I alluded to earlier, the Turkish "Mantik" does not allow it to apologize.

Abu Mohsin:

I do not understand what is Turkey's fraeking business in Iraq? It is now only PKK but if Turkey attacks Iraq, then she will have to fight the Kurds all over. In Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq. This is exactly what the Kurds are looking for.

Fiona.Uk:

Please dont take serious Spidon and forgive him because he suffer enough with his hate..nobody can help him.He can live with his hatered all his life.Some people hooked with hate and anger....sorry for them.
All my love for Turkish people..

Dunbar:

To answer spidion Questions I do find across the board human right abuses but these kind of situations come from not upgrading the judical system which has been upgraded recently. There is room for improvement,however many developed countries have humand right issues too so every body has skeletons in thier closet. now answering Question2 why does turkey inted to invade? this owrd is incorrectly used. Turkey becuase thier are attacks from iraq it will use under UN mandate to defend itself its soverigny. This is the issue. Noe the assoicated press wrote a report today saying: one of Iraq's few tranquil regions,! this tranquil region manged by Barzani is abading supporting lojisticly The PKK to mount attacks which has killed 46 young Turkish soldiers who had dreams aspirations.. not just soldiers.

Now This AP report is totally one sided. A reporter goes there looks around sits down on his laptop and makes a report. What a way to do a one sided report.!

spidon:

OK, now that we have our Turkish friend's attention:

Let's talk about some current things, not just speculation and 'what-ifs':

1) I have found a very well researched thesis from 1988 that describes Turkey as having between 15,000 and 20,000 political prisoners. It is important to note that the figures cannot be properly tallied since Turkey refuses to provide them. I suspect that the problem since then has worsened based on the Islamist government in power and the agenda they enforce versus the secular modus of the government when the above figures were sited. The other reason I believe the figure to be very much higher, is that the relationship the state has with the minorities like the Kurds these days has worsened since then.
I would be very happy if some savvy reader proved me wrong but would like to know the recent data on Turkey's human rights violations and tally on the political prisoners.

2) I am very curious to read other people's thoughts on Turkey's human rights defence. The European Union has accused Turkey for lacking the basic principles and institutions to acknowledge human rights and protections, and it is one of the contentious issues that still keeps Turkey out of the EU, even after 40 years of trying.

My question for the present, aside from the matter of the Armenian Genocide:
The basic issue in question here is Turkey's brutality toward the minorities and special interest groups.

Does this policy issue contribute to the "Kurdish Problem" as Turkey has labelled it?

As well, since the topic has been raised:
Why is Turkey intent on invading Iraq, and is the reason to occupy an area where Turkey believes it has historical claim to having?


Spiridon
Montreal Canada

spidon:

@ Hasan

I think you did not catch my meaning:

I do not mean that Turkey as a place will cease to exist, I am talking about the military and government of Turkey (the Nationalist Turkey) will have to reinvent itself again, and this time, do a lot of apologizing to EVERYONE, starting with the Armenians... you know... reparations, damages, landclames... all the things Turkey is not ready to talk about...

You get it?

I think that when all of the chips are down, Turkey will be left with lots of place to house its hefty population.

Just a thought.

Spiridon
Montreal Canada

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

To Spiridon.
You are still talking about Turkey as a shop aboutto close. In last 5 years billions of dolars had been invested in Turkey by US and EU business man. Today %70 of our stockmarket in istanbul is again owned by US and EU companies.
In last 3 years 100.000 British and German (followed by greek) citizens bought houses and moved to Turkey.
Today in the town DIDIM in Turkey most of the citizens are british, in KUSADASI mostly from ireland and city of ALANYA has became a GERMAN city.

And you still see Turkey as hell? :)
Come to this shop that you curse, u might find yourself home.

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

Tim cheap labour is not a good thing because when you have an illegal worker you dont pay tax to the goverment for that person. In Turkey companies had to pay 200 $ per worker to the goverment, in return goverment covers healt and life insurance. 100.000 x 200 = 20.000.000$ per month.

spidon:

@ Anonymous:

You might try some "hot pursuit" of your problems within Turkey and leave the other countries alone. It is a proven fact that the problem Turkey has with the PKK is within Turkey not from Iraq. The objective international observers have concluded this very point. Why the incursion on foreign territory?

While we are on the topic of "hot pursuit" is that what you labelled the Cyprus invasion and subsequent occupation that is going on to this day?

Was the term "hot pursuit" used to get the Armenians before you massacred them and marched them to their death without food nor water?

Please explain what you feel the objective of the Turkish military and government is on the matter of "hot pursuit" against the Kurds in Iraq.

****

I thought I should point out at this juncture that if you are not clear on history you must become clear on history.

Saddam and Iraq were 'friends' to the US before the Kuwait invasion by our friendly, undereducated dictator at the time. We all know how that story ended.

A word of advice:
Since the Turkish 'shop' is ready to close, as a Turk, I would not go around making any risky investments in your position. I would consider the wisdom in this, very, very carefully.

Spiridon
Montreal Canada

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

To Spidon:
Dear Spidon, 1st of all if it comes to historical claims Turks can claim half of europe as Italians can claim most of the world. Historical claims makes no sense today.
At the end of WW1 the peace treatment signed between Turkey and eng/frn/gre/ etc gave Turkey right over iraqi oil. But who cares as the same treatment also prohibited Turkey to have armies in istanbul :)

Shortly nobody is going to invade iraq but US. we will just hit the terrorist camps and leave UNLESS kurish leaders try to hit turkish army then the whole thing can turn into a dangerious thing but these things wont happen because YOU HAVE CLAIMED that Turkey is a shop thats about to close :) we shall see my friend.

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

TO TIM :)
I correct the term "partners". We are on the same side.
Turkey is not getting those financial aids in return of giving free passage. That money is coming for 30 years because of US NUKES planted in Turkey during cold war and still staying here.
If that money was coming for US army transportation from Turkey, then the parliament would let US marines to invade Iraq from but it did not (what a mistake!) give the permission.

Anonymous:

turkey is not aiming any kind of "invade" Iraq. Only purpose to destroy terrorist organization. This is legal right action (International law) to follow with a title "hot pursuit" We are not at the same side with you I do not support any side but you do. I am busy too I do not just reading news, and make comments.

spidon:

The silence on this question is very telling in deed.

I will rephrase the question:

Why is Turkey intent on invading Iraq, and is the reason to occupy an area where Turkey believes it has historical claim to having?

Spiridon
Montreal Canada

spidon:

@ Anonymous:

Are you telling us that Turkey is intending to invade Iraq with the 'legitimacy' it 'believes it has' to the territory now occupied by the Kurdish people?

I want an answer to this.

Spiridon
Montreal Canada

Anonymous:

I am not a nationalist or such kind of ideology I follow, as possible as I try to make out objective approach if this blogs are read by US. people. I can say that we can cover U.S. and its foreign policy and I find rational for Iraq. However, there is missed point that U.S. people do not know well turkey's conditions against the PKK. Pkk is recognized as a terrorist by Eu and U.S. like a Al Qaeda and should be stopped. Turkey actually does not need to be a partner in rich oil places. Because turkey is placed in critical geopolitic place for energy and other resources it has oil too. One thing is demanded by Turkey to stop terrorist organization PKK. 16 months turkey has waited for promises of U.S. to stop Pkk and there is no action so result thus, Turkey wants to handle with it.

spidon:

@ Anonymous:

Are you telling us that Turkey is intending to invade Iraq with the 'legitimacy' it 'believes it has' to the territory now occupied by the Kurdish people?

I want an answer to this.

Spiridon
Montreal Canada

Anonymous:

What is the purpose for Turkey wanting into the oil rich part of the only stable part of Iraq?
It could be same with purpose of U.S. :D
Kerkuk and mosul unresolved problem for turkey, especially during the Lausanne treaty issue could not resolved, LoN consulted, and comission was established to calculate the number of kurds, turks, arabs for leting the establishment of sovereign. And through this Kurds counted more than Turks that was not reflecting truth because lots of Kurds and Turks have exchanged each othere for counting. Turkey did not accept the comission report. As ı understood your question that could be answer for you.

Tim Grey:

Hasan, I thought cheep labor was good for a growing economy. Look at us in the US, we have many illegal aliens that do the jobs that most others won't. When I talk about Turkey, I'm not just talking about Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara. I'm talking about the rest of the country too. It may be democratic of some sorts, but far from compared in equal terms in human rights, even by our - US - imperfect standards.

It scares me when one male says to another male that they are partners, but even though, why would you limit my supply route, when you're the third highest recipient of my money and aid?

Turkey needs the US more than the US needs Turkey, and this is why I believe that Turkey is closing the door on itself.

spidon:

To my Turkish friends:

What claim does Turkey make to Tikrik in Norther Iraq. There are reports, even in your nationalist website that the Turkish government is making claim to the patch of bloodied rock that is now the Kurdish area in an already beading country (Iraq).

Tell us why the Turkish government wants to invade Iraq if the PKK is actively seeking to confront the Turkish military within Turkey proper.

What is the purpose for Turkey wanting into the oil rich part of the only stable part of Iraq?

We are not talking genocide yet but there is enough ethnic cleansing going on in the South Eastern part of Turkey for the international community to start asking a lot of questions.

Spiridon
Montreal Canada

Anonymous:

" from Dunbar:

After Reading some hate monger postings ( most likely greek or armenian origin) the comments seems reasonable. It is really hard for anyone to understand Turkish nationalism. You have to raised in Turkey to understand it. Its not nationalisim as the western ideals describe it. It is base on totally different values. There is nothing wrong with The turkish citizens wawing flags celebrating.! Any human being who lives ona lad will defnd it and celebrate it otherwise it cannot call it its country. As amar was going around Turkey he probably forgot to interview millions of Turkish citizens who are intermarried with kurdish father or mother. These citizens are waving the turkish flag too. They are also in the Army fighting the Terrosit acts. also He forgot to mention that the governing party AKP has over 50 Congressman who are kurdish origin. THe kurds and the turks have cohesioned over a 1000 yrs. The PKK issue is the Creation of our Europenan allies to destabilize and breakup Turkey if possible. The european neocon elite does not want Turkey to become a regional superpower. However Turkey is already there and anything in the middleast will not be manipulated without Turkeys approval." this is enough to explain but you can not understand with experiencing, living.

Anonymous:

"my question for the present, aside from the matter of the Armenian Genocide:
The basic issue in question here is Turkey's brutality toward the minorities and special interest groups.

Does this policy issue contribute to the "Kurdish Problem" as Turkey has labelled it?"
reply: except the nortern Iraq racist Kurds, Turkey and turkish citizens have no any conflict with kurdish minorities, because they are the members of turkey, not illegal terrorist group. Moreover, Racist kurds kill kurds more than turks in northern Iraq. you can search died soldiers from turkey, majority of their ethnicity are kurdish. Turkey allows the minorities to represent them in Assembly in democratic and peaceful ways like the last election. However, racist ones do not stop the terrorist actions.

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

Dear Spidon, have you realized that more you want to take side with Kurds more you loose your stand with your Armenian issue...

Thats what happenes when u choose a wrong ally. Assuming you are an Armenian, your grand fathers took side with the russian and betrayed their own country and lost the war. Now you want to take your side with Kurds? Be my guest but it is sad to see someone never learning from history.

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

TO TIM GREY:

1) Many of the Turks does not want EU either, because there is allready 100.000 (Armenian, Russian, etc..) illegal workers in Turkey and it is hurting the economy. If Turkey enters EU we will loose all our profit from our energy translation lines.

2) Turkey is not an islamic country threating USA. Turkey is a hardcore secular country. Turkey is the second biggest partner of NATO, all the US soldiers that are fighting in Iraq and Afghn. are getting %70 of their supplies from turkey.

TIM we are not enemies we are partners.

Anonymous:

"Turkish state sponsored military extermination of whole villages in South-East Turkey, and now, Northern Iraq?" this claim has no any legal aprove on any platform, this is just a vision you want to see. Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction of an ethnic, religious or national group. your "armenian genocide" suits on this explanation_? it is not. I do now want to repeat similar things. lastly, I want to say that you see the world and political issues as you want to see, subjective.

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

One thing i have to make it clear is this. Turkish people have never been anti-american in their history.
These new anti-us movement in Turkey has only 1 reason.
If USA can travel 10.000 miles to Afghanistan and Iraq to fight against terrorism why Turkey cant travel 100 miles to do the same thing.
Eventually USA will let Turkish troops into iraq and US planes and satelites will help Turkish army and Turkish people will love USA as they did before - end of story.

Tim Grey:

To Hasan Can, Turkey will close the door on itself. EU doesn't want them and the US doesn't appreciate threats and ultimatums from Islamic governments. Do the math

Anonymous:

great powers have cut the trees and got apples even they were satisfied, now they do not let the small powers to cut and get the apple while they are starving, instead of it they are suggesting that wait I can give you a piece of apple to survive. This is the fact!

spidon:

OK, Anonymous,
So, it is the fault of everyone else, not the Turkish state sponsored military extermination of whole villages in South-East Turkey, and now, Northern Iraq?

Is that what you want us to understand?

I think the facts speak against you anonymous: I think the facts reported daily are proving you a liar or worse yet, undereducated.

Please check your facts before you publish them please.

****

My question for the present, aside from the matter of the Armenian Genocide:
The basic issue in question here is Turkey's brutality toward the minorities and special interest groups.

Does this policy issue contribute to the "Kurdish Problem" as Turkey has labelled it?

Spiridon
Montreal Canada

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

TO SPIDON

You have mentioned Turkey as a shop that is about to be closed!

How do you plan to "close" Turkey?
Do you plan to kill Turkish emmbassadors just like Armenians did before?
Do you plan to nuke Turkey?
Do you have a secret terrorist attack plan in your hand?

If you claim that Turkey is about to be closed, can i take this as a key sentence for the rest of your comments?

If Turkey will not be closed in a year, do you plan to apologize from 70 million people because you have desired their extermination?

Anonymous:

Which human rights you claim_? under what doctrines_? Which countries determine today's values like human rights_? you can read Nietzsche too, could be beneficial for you. this is realy ugly, like a using a condom and throwing it, then blaming the others "dont use condom"

Vic van Meter:

CHRIST SAKES PEOPLE, IT'S INDEPENDENCE DAY!

Come to America on the Fourth of July and see if we seem a little nationalistic to you? See if we're celebrating ourselves and talking our allies and enemies alike down. It's the spirit of the times.

Still, there is a repeating comment string above I'd like to address. Sometimes Turkey gets a bad rap for being allied to NATO and America. Sometimes they get a bad rap for being in the Middle East and not always 100% acting in the interest of the West only. Sometimes they're nailed for being secularists and sometimes for having a huge Muslim population.

And having a foot in the door everywhere has given Turkey a LOT of clout.

Their economy, their politics, and their situation would be much worse if they hadn't been smart and played the political games to the best of their advantage. Right now the Turks are angry with America for invading Iraq and ignoring the PKK situation. They certainly have the right. Are they shutting down the American airbase? No, the government doesn't seem to be taking that step. They spoke with protests and amazingly, considering it happens to be ignored all over the rest of the world when anti-American protests erupt, America has largely listened. The deal with Iraq wouldn't have probably come about peacefully if Turkey hadn't said anything, but of all the Middle Eastern countries (if you even consider Turkey part of the Middle East).

The point being that the American government takes Turkish statements much more seriously than those of other countries in the Middle East, not solely because of our status as Allies, but because they're the "stable ones." And you can rail on the Turks for their lack of democracy all day, nobody can say that they're as wild as their neighbors to the south (particularly their southwest...).

I have a lot of respect for Turkey in the grand scheme of things. No, things aren't always perfect (and they never are). But Turkey has managed to keep a foot in Europe and a foot in the Middle East. They have a hand in secularism and in Islam. And their head just seems to be swimming figuring out where the pulse of all four of these vastly different oceans leads them. They have the strange situation of being everywhere all at once. It isn't like Europe is largely Secular/Christian and suddenly you hit the Middle East and that's where all the Muslims are. No, there's a blending, and a lot of it happens in Turkey.

So right now they're angry, and some of it is against America. But their anger is addressed, certainly, much more quickly and deliberately than anyone else in the area. And I think I speak for the majority of Americans (most of the ones I've spoken to lately, at any rate) when I say that most Americans would say that if the PKK doesn't back down with Turkey threatening invasion and America holding them back for the sake of the reconstruction there, then Turkey probably stands the best chance of stopping the PKK with an armed invasion. There's no contention that Turkey has every right and probably most American's support in crossing the border to attack the PKK.

So celebrate your independence, Turkey! Here's to 84 years being at the crossroads of the world and to many more going strong! Turkey has been the turbulent cauldron of a lot of different ideas for so long that sometimes it can be difficult for those of us elsewhere to understand who is supporting what. It's part of what makes Turkey unique and ultimately Turkish. With all that pressure coming from everywhere on the outside and all the movements that happen inside, Turkey has taken the chaos and walked with it. Stumbled sometimes, but walked with it anyway.

That takes guts.

Tim Grey:

Here's a poem I'd like to share from an Armenian addressing the Turkish denial of the Armenian Genocide. It's written for Justin A McCarthy, Distinguished Professor of History, which is just another disingenuous historian. This letter is a prime example of the sentiment from the Turkish opposition.

--

The world around, even those renowned, voice their cries for the Armenian demise
You sit there proud, at times, even endowed, as you silence the bawl a century aloud

You braid the truth with red lies, leaving doubt for compromise
"Distinguished" by title, or by Turkish ties, then you redden when confronted in public eyes

You allude to facts, friction and time, then protrude with blasphemy in mind
With no thought of who and what you'll offend, leaving no room for any amend

You line your pockets, with lies and lira; thinking to yourself, "well, I'm not the killer"
Sitting fine and righteous with intellectual height, as you shroud yourself in Armenian "hide"

How much longer must your soul descend? for your nonsense to burn in a fiery end
Perhaps you serve the will of God, as your idiocracy helps the Armenian cause

I proclaim an anathema unto you and your kind, to awake in the middle of every night
To find yourself under a Turkish sword, and hear the cries of the sacrificial horde

Your disguise is revealed in this masquerade, shed the facade quick and with haste
A grey "wolf in sheep's clothing" noless, uncertainty builds as you taunt Armenian Affairs

"Harm Seek, Harm Find"
-Aesop

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

TO SPIDON:

Sometimes you need to shout out the truth. Thats how walls of Jericho came down! I am trying to take down the walls of "LIE".

TO PERSON WHO USED MY NAME:

Your IP adress has been labelled.

Anonymous:

to spiridon
I have answered your questions above. please move up, and read 3-5 times could be sufficient to get I guess. also, "he relationship the state has with the minorities like the Kurds these days has worsened since then." Turkey in itself has no any conflict with kurd minorities since PKK killed the kurdish people more than Turk ones.

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

SOME BODY USED MY NAME AND WRITE "F.." COMMENTS.

THATS WHAT I CALL A INTERNETT TERRORISM, BUT DONT FORGET THERE IS SOMETHING CALLED IP ADRESS.. W.POST HAS MY IP ADRESS AND PERSON WHO USES MY NAME HAS DIFFERENT IP ADRESS.

W.POST KNOWS WHO TO BLOCK :))

DID SOME BODY SAID THAT DONKEYS HAVE MORE BRAINS THAN TURKS :)))))

Anonymous:

Direct or indirect, with conventional weapon or political tools, US caused that kind of murder.

spidon:

I am now certain, though I wanted to give them the benefit of basic human intelligence, that because of their training, Turks hold a lot more hot air than anyone else in recorded history.

Just the facts!

@ Hasan, stop yelling, a lie is as easy to detect even if it is whispered.

I pity the great amount of time and money you spent getting an education because I am sorry to tell you my friend, the only place you may be hired is in Turkey, and that 'shop' is about to close.


****

My questions again:
1) I have found a very well researched thesis from 1988 that describes Turkey as having between 15,000 and 20,000 political prisoners. It is important to note that the figures cannot be properly tallied since Turkey refuses to provide them. I suspect that the problem since then has worsened based on the Islamist government in power and the agenda they enforce versus the secular modus of the government when the above figures were sited. The other reason I believe the figure to be very much higher, is that the relationship the state has with the minorities like the Kurds these days has worsened since then.
I would be very happy if some savvy reader proved me wrong but would like to know the recent data on Turkey's human rights violations and tally on the political prisoners.

2) I am very curious to read other people's thoughts on Turkey's human rights defence. The European Union has accused Turkey for lacking the basic principles and institutions to acknowledge human rights and protections, and it is one of the contentious issues that still keeps Turkey out of the EU, even after 40 years of trying.

My question for the present, aside from the matter of the Armenian Genocide:
The basic issue in question here is Turkey's brutality toward the minorities and special interest groups.

Does this policy issue contribute to the "Kurdish Problem" as Turkey has labelled it?

Spiridon
Montreal Canada

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

TO DARA TURK:

1) IN TURKISH THERE IS NO WORD "DARA" :)))
2) I DONT HAVE TO BE A TURK TO BE AGAINST TERRORISM AND BE AGAINST HYPOCRASY.
3) TERRORISM AND RACISM IS BAD DARA PLEASE CHANGE YOUR WAYS.

:)

James:

To: Anonymous

It is a million. But who kiiled them? The Sunni and Shiite continue to butcher and massacre each other. Why do you balme on the US admin. Why is North of Iraq stable and peaceful?

Iran Aram:

To: W.Post Editor

Please block
HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY.

Anonymous:

Over 650,000 Civilians Killed in Iraq War. Woow what a humanitarian actions is that, I am amazed. U.S. is the symbol of Human Rights or fuel oil resources? I am confused. ( I guess this is allowed number for represent in news)

(http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,219638,00.html)

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:


F the Americans. F the Persians, the Arabs and the Kurds. Turks are the best. F you all. Long Live Turkey and Turkish race.

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

TO IRAN ARAM:

ARE YOU THE EDITOR OF W.POST?
WHO GAVE YOU AUTHORITY TO JUDGE MY COMMENT AND MORE THAN THAT DO TERRORIST PRORAGANDA?

ARE YOU WITH TERRORISTS? DO YOU PLAN TO KILL MORE TURKS? DO YOU BELEIVE THAT IF YOU KILL ALL THE TURKS YOU WILL FEEL BETTER? HAVE YOU SEEN EVER BEEN LOVED ONCE IN YOUR LIFE? DO YOU KNOW WHAT LOVE IS?

Dara Turk:

To: Iran ARAM. I agree with you. This guy (Hasan can) is very uneducated. He is damaging our reputation. Readers lease pardon his attitude. He is not a Turk.

monet11744:

Spidon:
http://www.amnestyusa.org/By_Country/Turkey/page.do?id=1011258&n1=3&n2=30&n3=1008
As far as human rights issues, the website above (Amnesty International) and Human Rights Watch each have plenty of info to help cross-check your numbers. Since 1988, the numbers of prisoners of conscience and political prisoners has been reduced. Due to coups and other national crises in the 80's and even the 90's there were various groups imprisoned or released based on a wide variety of issues. This trend has calmed down since there has been more stability over the past couple of terms. however, there are still issues with the "denigration of Turkishness" and refusal of conscientious objection to military service, still issues with women's rights, and law enforcement accountability and implementation of human rights laws that the government agreed to.

Turkey has progressed quite a bit, but they still have a ways to go. Unfortunately, the same can be said for many incidents taking place here in the United States. There were mass demonstrations when the Turkish-Armenian writer was killed. Unfortunately, he did not have armed guards protecting him but there have been Black, Native American, and Chicano leaders/activists, White activists sympathetic to minority causes (and so on)who have been framed and executed by this government or assassinated in the streets and nothing has ever been done about it...it has continued up into this decade.

There is a lot of cleaning up to do everywhere, including here. It's in everyone's best interest to be informed from multiple perspectives and to gain a more nuanced understanding of social and political situations.....while in my opinion, many of the solutions are more simple and do not necessitate violence, people's reasoning, frustration and anger, and ignorance all come from much more delicate, intricate, and sometimes convoluted places.

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

To Arab..

i just read your comment again and again saying that a donkey is better than a turk..wooaaawwww that is very racist my friend..
What happened to you? Have you been abused when you were a kid? Have been kidnapped or lost your dear one recently?
I beleive that racism is the biggest physological illness and you should leave your home and run to a hospital and ask for a cure.

RACISM ONLY HURTS HUMAN RACE! STOP RACISM!

Iran Aram:

Hasan Can:

Kindly clear off somewhere else. Do not publish your non-sense in Washington post. We are sick and tired of them.

Anonymous:

to arab
you re drinking the soup with your hands, you have sold your identity, what you doing here homeless.

To every one:

A puzzle and a $ 1000 reward to any one solving it.

Here we go. 3 people who do not know how to swim jump into a river. 2 of them die right away. But not the Turk? Why? The Turk stayed on the surface of the water?

Please post your answers. I will check back next few hours and swear if any body answers this puzzle, I will send him a check for a $1000.

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

TO ARAB,

You have said that "Since you have helped prove the old saying that a donekey has more brain and value than a Turk.."

That is a racist statment myfriens Racists have no place in here and in the future of the world.

I hope you will stop being a racist as you know we are all human beings after all.

We all breath the same air and drink the same water.

Choose love not hate my friend Arab. Racism is bad. I will pray for your heart to change.

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

TO "EVERY BODY PLEASE READ THESE FACTS":

YOU HAVE SAID THAT "According to Pentagon classified reports..." IT IS LIKE SAYING,
ACCORDING TO SECRET REPORTS BUSH IS AN ALIEN :p

WAKE UP LIER, ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE SAYING IS LIE AND TERRORIST PROPOGANDA WHICH IS ILLEGAL.

IF YOU HAVE THE GUTS TO IDENTIFY YOURSELF LETS GO TO COURT AND YOU WILL GIVE THE COURT THOSE REPORTS"

JUST STOP LIEING MR. DENIAL.. YOU JUST LOVE TERROR AND YOU KNOW IT IS A SICKNESS.

I ADVISE YOU TO GO TO A DOCTOR :))))

Anonymous:

to EVERY BODY PLEASE READ THESE FACTS

do you know U.S. has hidrogenic and nuclear core bombs against all over the world and threat the world countries as saying " if you do not follow my policy, or if you do not give your resources I will bomb you". What you are aiming_? will we talk on these ways, come one, all you present "the facts" are basic and normal actions should happen.

Arab:

TO: Hasan can from Turkey

I would like to express my deepest gratitute for proving your real Turksihness. You need to be awarded the medal of honor. Since you have helped prove the old saying that a donekey has more brain and value than a Turk.

EVERY BODY PLEASE READ THESE FACTS:

To: Mustafa Kamal and his alike:

You guys repeatedly cite that it was turkey that opened its gates to the dodging Kurds from the Saddam brutal chemical bombs.

Do you have any clue that right now the EU court of human rights is investigating claims that Turkey is employing chemical weapons against the PKK fighters? A decision is due by March 8 2008. Meanwhile, let me add up one more point very briefly here.

According to Pentagon classified reports, Turkey has increased its production of chemical and biological weapons by 300% percent merely this year. What for? Why?

At present, Turkey possesses the largest stockpiles of f WMD in the Middle East!!
11 times more than Syria d 3 times more than Iran!

An immediate probe should be launched and necessary measures should be taken to stop the proliferation and production of WMD by Turkey.

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

TO SPIDON:

KURDS ARE BEING EXTERMINATED LIKE ARMENIANS?

YEAH RIGHT THATS WHY 150 OF THEM ARE IN THE PARLIEMENT.

SPIDON YOU JUST CANT STOP LYING, YOU NEED TO SEE A DOCTOR BEFORE YOU HARM ANYONE OR EVEN YOURSELF :))))))))))))))

YOU ARE LIVING A LIFE OF ILLISUONS. TOO MUCH WEED I GUESS :)))

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

TO SPIDON:

You dont know what you are talking about :) EU take Turkey as a candidate member and accepted Turkey into customs union BECAUSE IT HAS FULFILLED THE CRITERIA.
If we havent had fulfilled we would be still on the enterance door. We had waited for 50 years we would wait for 10 more..
Please dont speak about the things you dont know.
The only defence you know is "turks are denial"
I beleive that you are denial of Greek genocide in CREETE ISLAND!
CAN YOU EXPLAIN HOW COME 100.000 TURKS VANISHED FROM AN ISLAND IN ONE WEEK?
MR. DENIAL SPIDON TELL ME HOW COME GREEKS BURNED THE CITY OF SMYRNA JUST BEFORE TURKS SAVED IT FROM GREEK INVASION ARMY?
MR. DENIAL SPIDON HOW COULD YOU SPEAK GREEK TODAY IF TURKS WERE BARBARIANS WHO DID NOT GAVE U RIGHTS FOR 6 CENTURIES!

DONT DENY THE TRUTH SPIDON YOU ARE A RACIST!

I AM URGING YOU TO CONFESS MR. DENIAL!

IT WILL MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER!

Anonymous:

If U.S. recognizes both al Qaeda and PKK as a terrorist group why does not allow to stop it? these are crucial important points we should discuss.

Michal Likam:

Turkey's threats to attack Kurdish rebels in Iraq's northern region are motivated by an unspoken fear of the democracy developing beyond its southern border.The Turks do like the experiment in democracy.

Anonymous:

If you find someone guilty easily, you should send them to jail. "political prisoners" are founded guilty by the interventions of military courts.

Baran Kurdi:

The chauvinistic mentality of Ata Turk was the root cause of all evils we are coping with today in Turkey. Unfortunately, it still remains strong among most of his believers. Turkey will face the same fate as India did. A disintegration and partition of Turkey into 2 news states. The same Turkish republic along with a detached mini independent Kurdish state.

Mustafa Kemal:

to spidon

you have lack of knowledge about historic events emerged. what dictatorship you are claiming_? which were kurdish be exterminated_? you are just talking you dont show. revise Saddam's brutish chemical bombing times, which country opened the gates for thousands of Kurdish people_? this is the humanitarian action that can not be reflected even from super power state. Please read and gain some information then claim something rational.

Mustafa Kemal:

to spidon

you have lack of knowledge about historic events emerged. what dictatorship you are claiming_? which were kurdish be exterminated_? you are just talking you dont show. revise Saddam's brutish chemical bombing times, which country opened the gates for thousands of Kurdish people_? this is the humanitarian action that can not be reflected even from super power state. Please read and gain some information then claim something rational.

Amy:

Erol, chill it's a typo. 7 is close to 8 and he should have confirmed the numbers before submitting. Your quick call to label the Authors writing flawed, makes me question your motive and credibility.

So, I think I'll go ahead and SECOND this article!

Amy:

Erol, chill it's a typo. 7 is close to 8 and he should have confirmed the numbers before submitting. Your quick call to label the Authors writing flawed, makes me question your motive and credibility.

So, I think I'll go ahead and SECOND this article!

spidon:

I am still amazed that Turkish resistance to change from the habitual, brutal, inhumane, and nationalistic tradition of flag waving, red-hot-hatred and cruelty has changed not a bit since the Armenian Genocide.

All I was asking for was some details on Turkey's political prisoner tally and some idea as to what Turkey is doing to affirm both the human rights and dignity of its minorities, and instead, we are all witness to a lot of abuse by flag waving, angry, Turkish nationals.

Point to the reports you make reference to and let the rest of us judge for ourselves what Turkey is doing to correct its International image of a brutal, friendless, dictatorial regime.

The Kurdish people are about to be exterminated like the Armenians were, and our Turkish friends want to tell us how their country is so tolerant.

Don't just talk about it, do something!

SHOW US!

Spiridon
Montreal Canada

Erol:

ok how can any 1 really trust this article when they got the age of the republic wrong it was formed in 1923 making it 84 years old not 74 its simple mathematics, so straight away this article is flawed

Mehmet:

Although I am not in the habit of answering "idiotic" comments, You need education! So here I am writing to educate an ignorant person;

1) You found a "very well researched thesis from 1988" and "suspect that the problem since then has worsened". What can I say, I am speachless! My dear sir you are very well informed!
2) Do you know what "Copenhagen Criteria" is? If not check WWW (I am sure you know how to read - am I wrong?). For a country to start Accession Talks (Turkey started in 2005) It has to satisfy these criterias.

For your information sir; Kurdish "minority" is represented in the Turkish Parliament by more than 20 "Nationalist Kurds" (DTP) and more than 30 "Kurdish Turks".

The word "Kurd" discribes a race, "Turk" discribes a Nation.

Mustafa Kemal:

to Spiridon
Human rights is a optimistic, easy topic for such kind of liberals. Which human rights you talk about_? More than 852 million people -- about 13 percent of the world population -- do not have enough food each day to sustain a healthy life, according to the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
An additional $28 billion a year would make basic education, clean water, healthcare and nutrition available to all the poor people in the world. Yet Western Europe and America spend $35 billion a year on cosmetics, ice cream and pet food. Something is not right in this grossly unequal equation. (InfoChange News & Features, January 2005: www.infochangeindia.org) It is the fact, this note does not include theory. Why do not you make a criticism for U.S.' failure policies against human rights_?

Mustafa Kemal:

to Spiridon
Human rights is a optimistic, easy topic for such kind of liberals. Which human rights you talk about_? More than 852 million people -- about 13 percent of the world population -- do not have enough food each day to sustain a healthy life, according to the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
An additional $28 billion a year would make basic education, clean water, healthcare and nutrition available to all the poor people in the world. Yet Western Europe and America spend $35 billion a year on cosmetics, ice cream and pet food. Something is not right in this grossly unequal equation. (InfoChange News & Features, January 2005: www.infochangeindia.org) It is the fact, this note does not include theory. Why do not you make a criticism for U.S.' failure policies against human rights_? Why do not you make a criticism about the what caused to Usame Bin Laden become exist with terrorism. Do you know that, explotion of Saudi Arabia by U.S.(there is an agreement betw. U.S. and Saudi Arabia for the fuels and security, mandates.) caused that kind of terrorist action. Laden could not stand on explotion of his country. You should care abour your country more than Turkey, because with a highest power capability, U.S. can not promote good jobs. Turkey is a unique country includes such kind of issues that I can not express right here in details.
"Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Horthy, Nasser, Nkrumah, Toure, Peron, Franco, Castro. Cheered by claques of American and European admirers, these and lesser men like them succumbed to fashionable fads, developed messiah complexes, and unleashed violence to have their way both at home and abroad. The damage they did to their people, their countries, and to others was enormous and lasting. Ataturk avoided the traps so many of his contemporaries fell into: Virulent Nationalism, Imperial Restoration, Utopian Economics, Violence, Glorification of the Military, Idolization of Leadership and Power, (Ref. What Ataturk Did Not Do, By Paul B.Henze)"
"Atatürk reminds one of this century’s greatest man’s historic successes, leadership that gives inspiration to the Turkish people, foresighted comprehension of the modern world and the power and high courage of a military leader. The birth of a free Turkey out of a collapsing empire, the declaration with honour of New Turkey’s freedom and independence and to preserve it since then, is the work of Atatürk’s Turkish People. Without doubt, there’s no other example of Turkey’s undertaking of deep and large revolutions together with the trust that a crowd has in him.
John F.KENNEDY" in addition to this please read the report has just published in Washington D.C. (www.wilsoncenter.org,BEYOND SUSPICION:
RETHINKING US–TURKISH RELATIONS)

spidon:

I am a mazed with all of the defencive Turkish talk on here. It would take much less effort for the people of Turkey to come to the understanding that the country and the people in it are suffering from denial.

@ Hasan: Turkey has been recommended to the EU for membership because the whole world believed that Turkey would be improved by it and as a result, the world would be improved by Turkey's maturity. The intended purpose has failed. It is now time for Turkey to either correct its human rights record, decentralize power from the military and government and accept and accommodate the minorities it has brutalized for too long. Failure to address these matters will result in the death of a country that everyone wants to see survive. It is that plain and simple!

My questions again:
1) I have found a very well researched thesis from 1988 that describes Turkey as having between 15,000 and 20,000 political prisoners. It is important to note that the figures cannot be properly tallied since Turkey refuses to provide them. I suspect that the problem since then has worsened based on the Islamist government in power and the agenda they enforce versus the secular modus of the government when the above figures were sited. The other reason I believe the figure to be very much higher, is that the relationship the state has with the minorities like the Kurds these days has worsened since then.
I would be very happy if some savvy reader proved me wrong but would like to know the recent data on Turkey's human rights violations and tally on the political prisoners.

2) I am very curious to read other people's thoughts on Turkey's human rights defence. The European Union has accused Turkey for lacking the basic principles and institutions to acknowledge human rights and protections, and it is one of the contentious issues that still keeps Turkey out of the EU, even after 40 years of trying.

My question for the present, aside from the matter of the Armenian Genocide:
The basic issue in question here is Turkey's brutality toward the minorities and special interest groups.

Does this policy issue contribute to the "Kurdish Problem" as Turkey has labelled it?


Spiridon
Montreal Canada

ZEYNETTIN:

TO MIKE DRAKE:

THOSE WHO LIVE IN GLASS HOUSES SHOULD BE CAREFUL WHEN THROWING STONES. IT IS ADVISABLE TO LOOK BACK INTO YOUR OWN HISTORY IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO REMAIN FAIR AND OBJECTIVE WHILE USING BIG WORDS LIKE "GENOCIDE" AND "OPPRESSION". ALL WESTERN NATIONS, INCLUDING UNITED STATES WERE BUILT OR MAINTAINED THROUGH WARS, NOURISHED BY EXPLOITING HUMAN AND NATURAL RESOURCES OF OTHER NATIONS. AS AN EXAMPLE, UNITED STATES OCCUPIES A LAND WHICH USED TO BELONG TO INDIANS. IT IS SAD FACT TODAY THAT IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO SEE MUCH INDIANS AROUND IN THE STREETS OF THE UNITED STATES. COULD THE REASON BE THE "GENOCIDE" OR "OPPRESSION" THAT MR. DRAKE IS BLAMING TURKEY WITH OR IS IT EASIER TO USE THE WORDS LIBERALLY WHEN IT IS USED FOR A COUNTRY NOT AS STRONG OR DEAR AS THE UNITED STATES? 100 YEARS FROM NOW, IF UNITED STATES LOSES THE SUPER POWER POSITION IT ENJOYS TODAY AND IT IS NO LONGER TO DOMINATE WITH ITS IMMENSE MILITARISTIC POWER THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA AND THE INTERNATIONAL POLITICS, I DO NOT SEE IT A DISTANT POSSIBILITY FOR THE UNITED STATES TO BE BLAMED FOR "GENOCIDE" DUE TO TODAY'S KILLINGS OF IRAQI PEOPLE. EVERY NATION HAS THEIR SIN AND IT IS VERY UNJUST TO BLAME TURKEY ALONE ESPECIALLY WHEN THE BLAMING COMES FROM SUSPECTS THEMSELVES.

Pragmatist:

Bakhshi:
Good report. A little error, probably typo, the Turkey became Republic in 84 years ago and not 74 years ago as you reported.

mike s:

If Turkish nationalism is linked to the founding of the republic, then it is a very good thing. Turkey is the one durable secular Islamic state, an anomaly that can aspire to be an example, and only its citizens can sustain it. If a little sprinkle of anti-Americanism improves the binder, them I'm fine with it.

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

I empathy with Nancy Pelosi,
Since she was a child she had a dream, she has worked all of her life to be in whitehouse, she wants to rice and reach the top, she dreams of being the first Lady President of The USA.. She works for armenians to get 5.000.000 votes. she is just a simple person with big dreams..
Dear Nancy we dont hate you.

Amadeus:

The US has trashed Turkey's next door neighbour. Afraid of their power slipping away, the belt-way insiders (Cheney, Biden, neo-cons, et al) are hoping to continue to divide and rule the people of the region by slicing Turkey and Iraq into smaller pieces. Perversely, "pro-democracy" Americans are protecting the Maoist-Stalinist PKK as a trump card in their game.

Even in America, people are sick of ethnic minority priviliges and they do expect all the hispanics, Irish and Poles to be Americans first. The US would never stand by if one minority group wanted "autonomy" on its territory.

Anyway, Turks are sick of it, and they don't care what Nancy Pelosi thinks about them.

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

TO ANTI-TURKS HERE:
IF I WAS A KURD AND SAY THAT TURKISH COPS TORTURED ME YOU WOULD BELEIVE JUST BECAUSE I AM SAYING SOMETHING BAD ABOUT TURKS.
BUT IF I AM A TURK AND I SAY THAT I HAVE BEEN TORTURED BY KURDS YOU WOULD NOT BELEIVE ME JUST BECAUSE I AM A TURK.

MY FRIENDS THATS CALLED "RACISM."

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

TO SPIDON:
I don't know if u have been Turkey. But i hope one day you will visit Turkey. I don't know where you get these "EVIL EMPIRE" theory but it is so unreal. In the begining i find you funny but now i feel sorry for you.
1) If Turkey did not have basic human rights it would not get the OK from EU PARLIEMENT to be a candidate.
2) Turkey paid millions of dollars to a Kurd whose father was shot by Turkish cops while fighting against PKK. You are talking about 20.000?? Turkey is under the rule of European Human Rights Court and pays the penalty of every mistake he makes. Check their web site and see how many Kurds applied and proved that they were exterminated.. Very few.
3) Extermination of Kurds is a lie maded up by Kurds to get green card and other visas. Many european countries have understood that they had been told a lie by Kurds. ENGLAND has deported many many kurds out of England after investigating that it was nothing but lies.
4) SPIDON, u may hate Turks for your own reasons but it does not gives you right to jump into the conclusion to beleive everything Kurds say.
5) IF TURKS had killed Kurds as you have claimed, beleive me UN would take over turkey by now. What the west wants is Turks and Kurds to kill each other so that they can take over Turkey.

wake up Spidon.

Dunbar:

After Reading some hate monger postings ( most likely greek or armenian origin) the comments seems reasonable. It is really hard for anyone to understand Turkish nationalism. You have to raised in Turkey to understand it. Its not nationalisim as the western ideals describe it. It is base on totally different values. There is nothing wrong with The turkish citizens wawing flags celebrating.! Any human being who lives ona lad will defnd it and celebrate it otherwise it cannot call it its country. As amar was going around Turkey he probably forgot to interview millions of Turkish citizens who are intermarried with kurdish father or mother. These citizens are waving the turkish flag too. They are also in the Army fighting the Terrosit acts. also He forgot to mention that the governing party AKP has over 50 Congressman who are kurdish origin. THe kurds and the turks have cohesioned over a 1000 yrs. The PKK issue is the Creation of our Europenan allies to destabilize and breakup Turkey if possible. The european neocon elite does not want Turkey to become a regional superpower. However Turkey is already there and anything in the middleast will not be manipulated without Turkeys approval.

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

TO MOZART:
It is a fact that west has contributed to science more than east in last 5 centuries of humankind. But that does not means that "KURDISH terrorist can kill the Turks" and it is OK because Turks could not invent the radio?

What is your next step MOZART a genocide over the world killing nations who could not invent television?

Historic Mozart has composed a song "Turkish March" he adored Turks.. Don't use his name if u r a racist!

Accusations... :

It is quite true Turkey had always deep democratic problems. The reason behind them is stress of the country, the tension instead of "marriage of cousins" , It is not easy to be the part of the middle east with an unaceptable regime, unacceptable goals, unacceptable history and without powerful firends.

Turkey is alone, no matter what you say it is not a part of Arabic world, even Islamic world, it is not a part of West which would change the definition of Western to avoid accept being alike with Turkey.

With all these aspects, Turkey has did a pretty good job with keeping Secular Republic safe for last 84 years.

spidon:

It is amazing to me what control the military and government hold on the media and educational institutions in Turkey.
Judging by Professor Soli Ozel's article on Post Global, and the most creative fabrications he has made to world history, one living outside of Turkey cannot help but wonder if the Turkish people are for real. I think the whole country needs to sit in the psychologist's chair and let it all out.

If Turkey does not come to grips with the sign of the times and adopt even the most basic human rights, it will decline to the state that it will soon be called 'The Dead Man Of Europe'.

Is Turkey senile?

What other explanation could there be for a country to be so uninformed even about what is happening within it's borders?

The Kurdish problem is manufactured by the military and government to push the ethnic minority out of the South East and thereby prevent them from making claim to the oil rich area in Northern Iraq. Turkey has tried several times already to exterminate the Kurds in the late 80s and early 90s unsuccessfully(we even saw the video footage on CNN). Now it is attempting to do it again. We cannot forget what they did to the Armenians, nor can we forget that they had assassinated the only Armenian journalist working in Turkey recently, just because he was pushing the idea of dialogue with the minorities. His assassin was featured on national television and front covers of all the news papers, wrapped in the Turkish flag and cheered on by the very police who were supposed to arrest him.

Every time we get a glimpse of Turkey, we are confronted with a sea of red, rising out of the plebeian crowds like the anger they project against the whole world; the dysfunctional, bloodied, unified soul of a people that is in the throws of deathly anguish with the shame of the past. It smells like death for this friendless country with no hope, nor aspiration, but a false pretence to greatness... It is almost a sad joke.

Is Turkey for real?

****

For the meanwhile, I would like to have anyone with knowledge of the following two matters, contribute and bring this discussion to a whole other level.

1) I have found a very well researched thesis from 1988 that describes Turkey as having between 15,000 and 20,000 political prisoners. It is important to note that the figures cannot be properly tallied since Turkey refuses to provide them. I suspect that the problem since then has worsened based on the Islamist government in power and the agenda they enforce versus the secular modus of the government when the above figures were sited. The other reason I believe the figure to be very much higher, is that the relationship the state has with the minorities like the Kurds these days has worsened since then.
I would be very happy if some savvy reader proved me wrong but would like to know the recent data on Turkey's human rights violations and tally on the political prisoners.

2) I am very curious to read other people's thoughts on Turkey's human rights defence. The European Union has accused Turkey for lacking the basic principles and institutions to acknowledge human rights and protections, and it is one of the contentious issues that still keeps Turkey out of the EU, even after 40 years of trying.

My question for the present, aside from the matter of the Armenian Genocide:
The basic issue in question here is Turkey's brutality toward the minorities and special interest groups.

Does this policy issue contribute to the "Kurdish Problem" as Turkey has labelled it?


Spiridon
Montreal Canada

Mike Drake:

To Ali

I know a great deal about Turkey because my family is from there! I am not making any shallow statements - my comments are filled with an intense seriousness about the dysfunctional nature of the Turkish state and society. Yes it is horrible that lives are lost to the PKK but you don't seem to get it that the Turkish state has brought this misery on themselves through the oppression they have perpetrated that gave rise to the PKK. What about the terror that the Turkish army has inflicted on the Kurdish people in the southeast of Turkey? What about the innocent civilians murdered by the Turkish army during the invasion of Cyprus in 1974? You want sympathy from the world over the PKK terror yet you can not express sympathy for the victims of Turkish terror.

Tom Miller:

I agree with Mehmet that the loss of Turkish lives to the PKK is undoubtably the source of any extra nationalistic energy in the Independence Celebrations this year in Turkey. If the U.S. had lost 30,000 lives to a single terrorist group inside their territory would we be somewhat "nationalistic" about the matter? Of course we would. The Turkish border with Iraq was made very unstable by our misadventure into Iraq and unfortunately our friendship with Turkey has been yet another casualty of that thoughtless blunder. Add to that the misguided politically motivated fiasco of the Armenian genocide resolution promoted by the leadership of our other "brilliant" political party and what should we expect from the Turks? Can you imagine what we as Americans would think if France removed the government of Canada and floundered around in the violence of a Canadian civil war between French and English Canadians while the French Parliament passed a resolution comdemning our treatment of the Native Americans? Would we be displeased with France? OK, yes that's a little silly but I hope you get the point. In spite of circumstances today, I personally hope that Turkey for it's own sake will be patient and that other nations including those sleeping Europeans who like to complain about the U.S. on the sidelines will join the U.S. and others in comdemning the PKK and forcing (yes get serious) Iraqi Kurdistan to get serious about working with Turkey to control the problem. It seems to me that we Americans, who hardly understand Turkey at all are amazingly critical of the single democratic Muslim nation on earth. I believe that Turkey has a long and distinquished history of overcoming struggles and will prevail. I congratulate them on their national day of independence and wish them only the best for the future. And to Americans, I hope that you will put your prejudice aside and take the time to read an honest account of Ataturk and the founding of the Turkish Republic and then come back to this blog and criticize the Turks. I bet you won't. Thanks for your report Amar.

Vadi Mecin:

Karl,
I have a question for you. Would you prefer a sharia law that's put into effect through means of democracy or a full democracy which respects human rights but put into effect by guided military intervention (remembering USA invasion of Iraq might help)?
In Usa you let blacks be black and hispanics be hispanics that's true but it is also true that these identities entail much more than their simple representations if you know what I mean!
Moreover, you crushed seperatist movements long ago (texas, california, north-south) when there was no mass media so nobody cared about what ypu have done in your home soil. But today's Turkey is different every little action of Turkey is analyzed, criticized and etc. what goes on in Turkey is also mostly mispresented by the western media who thinks the world of politics is just a star trek civilization game and turks are the klingons.

Karl Akinc:

Baris Tarim....Peaceful like your name? Come on. How many times have the Kemalist fanatical Kurmay Subay (Staff Officers) toppled an elected government? Don't forget the last coup by memorandum!!! Turkey has failed to be a leader in the Middle East. It's military and elected government are two entirely different entities. One that follows a liberalist form and the other a realist...bet you can put them in order. The Ottoman empire was the sick man of Europe. It today is no better. It has too many internal problems between the Turkish General Staff and the government. Until the military decides to be a true advocate for democratic rule, there will be no "many bright years" ahead. I lived in Turkey for two years and I love Turks. They are my ikinci ailem...second family. But I must say that once one rises above the individual into the hierarchies of politics and the military, things become dysfunctional. Furthermore the cult of personality surrounding Ataturk is of need of sun and fading. The Mantik with which Ataturk advanced Turkishness went beyond the saturation point and is a huge problem today. The racis of "inclusion" vice exclusion is at the heart of the matter vis a vis the Kurdish issue...we in America let Irish be Irish, Hispanic be hispanic, and Kurds be Kurds. Why can't Turkey do that? The environment has changed and there is no longer the threat or likes of the Treaty of Sevres. Why can't Turkey recognize that? Until such time that the cultural aspects of Turkey and the Middle East can separate the events that occurred yesterday from the events that happened 300 years ago, etc., then I fear Turkey is doomed to stay in the situation where mindless violence and ethnic chauvinism are the standard and not "all men are created equal." Perhaps Ataturk should have studied the longest lasting democracy after Switzerland, the USA just a little more and applied those standards. I do hope for Turkey many bright years ahead but unfortunately, I don't think it is in the cards. Iyi aksamlar!

Ali:

TO Mike Drake:
What do you know about Turkey and its problems to make shallow judgements about Turkey and its people. Its all about US helping Turkey right ? Well its NOT! The main reason for the substantial decrease in US popularity in Turkey is due to the war in Iraq. Turkish people believe the war was not justified in Iraq. Not only that it makes the situation much worse for Turkey. Besides look at how much progress Turkey has made recently in democratization and minority rights for Kurds.

You just dont understand the issue because you have NOT lost anyone you know in this PKK Terror.

Mike:

Mehmet:

Well you have to give Bakshi credit. He is bringing both those sympathetic to America and those sympathetic to Turkey. He has engendered a shared understanding of his incompetence.

Mehmet:

I am surprised and disappointed by continued observations coming from a professional journalist that does not even measure up to that of an informed tourist.

People lost their sons, they are hurting. Have you seen the pictures of mothers hugging the flag draped coffins of their sons?

What you observe there is the pain of losing a son, a brother and the reflex of a nation coming from the desire to punish those who killed their children. Take a look around, what you describe as nationalism is nothing but the reflection of emotions flowing for being attacked without provocation.

And a final footnote; the reference drawn to national sentiment on relations with the US vs the observed pain is nothing but adding apples and oranges.

lonewolf:

turkey has always been the crossroads between asia and europe. from the times of marco polo and the roman empire, the turks have been forced to defend it's geographical advantage. ironically it's advantage has also quite often proven to be a handycap as well. this brings us to tdays question of just what is the united states' position in asia minor. the turks after nearly falling for teh european union ruse have seen the light. the light being that the country sees no real advantage to joining europe in it's endeavors to find a weak spot in the geographical wall that turkey forms set dead against the caspian sea. the united states has seen fit to worm it's way into turkey via sweetheart deals in exchange for the use of airfields and supply routes into iraq. what the turks realized to late, of course, is that once the united states gains a foothold in someone elses country we become like the bad neighbor. you know, the one that is always reluctant to leave. what is the connection btween the european union and the actions of the u.s.? as the us proves it's reluctance to leave turkey then sees that only so many outside influences will fit into it's territorial soviergnty. while already allowing oil and gas pipelines to be built from the caspian sea to the mediterranean, it sees that the roman influence of empire building to be a real threat to it's future as a more or less neutral party in the u.s.'s attempt to gain more access to the caspian. a new tug of war has begun and the turks realize that they are the "swing state" in terms of who gains the most influence in the region. they now see themselves threatened as a battle ground between these influences as they have found themselves to be the battleground in the past. the turks, i believe therefore have begun to develop a case of cold feet towards the intentions of not only the u.s., but the european union as well. and let us not forget the russians who will simply not allow the u.s. to simply walk in a take all that precious oil.

Mike:

I just don't understand why Bakshi finds it so amazing that the Turkish "fourth of July" has little to do with America. I can't imagine why it would.

Mike Drake:

If it were not for the support that the United States has given Turkey over the years this country would still be in Third World status. It is the third highest recipient of US foreign aid in the world and what do we get for that? Recent polls show that the Turkish public has the highest degree of anti-American attitudes in the world. Turks are quick to cast blame and and find fault with all other nations but they are unable and unwilling to take a critical look at themselves. While the PKK is in fact a vicious terrorist group they are a result of the constant oppression and denial of human rights that the Kurdish people of Turkey face now and have faced in the past. The willingness of Turks to blame America for the PKK is pathetic considering that the Kurds have been in an on and off state of rebellion since the founding of modern Turkey in 1923. The scorched earth policy used by the Turkish Army in the Kurdish region of southeast Turkey has created a wasteland of burned out villages and exiled people. The fanatic nationalism the world is seeing right now is the legacy of a nation founded on oppression and genocide against previous inhabitants (Armenians,Greeks and Assyrians) of the land the Turks now live in. This dark history of their nation causes modern Turks to either explode into fits of rage or to engage in a tirade of revisionist history and denial that only the most ignorant person would believe.

Baris Tarim:

It is normal that nationalism flares up following attacks such as those perpetrated by the PKK.

Moreover, Turks are also angry because they feel stupid: stupid because they are in an alliance with a country that has let them, a beacon of stability, democracy and secularism (albeit its shortcomings) in the region, down against a threat directly aimed at the constitutional and free order of their country by a weirdo Stalinist and schizophrenic terror group.

Let's not forget: Turkish revolution of 1923 was a great event for the Balkans and the Middle East:

It established a secular constitutional republic, abolished the caliphate and decided to forge its own way based on an economy based in labor, not oil - and is currently the 14th biggest in the world. It has been a bastion of stability in a part of the world notorious for its wars and never-ending disputes.

With a growing and young population, immense territory, booming economy, a unique and exquisite blend of Eastern and Western traditions, its secular democracy and place as a crossroads of human civilizations; many bright years lie ahead for the Turkish Republic.

Mike:

"Amar C. Bakshi: It's Turkey's "Republic Day" today. The face of their founder, Kemal Ataturk, is everywhere, keeping me and America in our place."

I am confused. What is "our place"?

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