2 Mayıs 2013 Perşembe

23 NİSAN VE "MİLLİ MERKEZ"- APRIL- APRIL 23rd AND THE "NATIONAL CENTER"

TÜRKÇE (For English text please scroll down.)




“Bu gün yirmüçnisan, neşe doluyor insan!” 

Hatırlıyor musunuz, böyle derdik küçükken. Bayramların en neşelisiydi “Çocuk Bayramı”! Daha sayı sayamadan, ayların adını bile bilmeden bellemiştik “yirmüçnisan” bizim bayramımız diye! 

Başka önemli günler de vardı tabii, “Cumriyet  Bayramı”, “Gençlik ve Spor Bayramı”, “Ozzağustos Zafer Bayramı” gibi, anlamlarını derinlemesine kavrayamadığımız ama sevinip kutlanacak birşeyler olduğunu anladığımız! Şeker Bayramı ve Kurban Bayramı vardı, her yaptığımızı gören Allah’la ilgili; o bakımdan biraz ürkütücüydü; hele Kurban bayramı “koyunlar olmasaydı çocukları kesecektik” gibi bir mantıkla bize açıklandığı için Yaradan’a ve buyruklarına korku belası itaat etme gereğini iyi öğretiyordu! Ama sıcak pide ve bayram şekerine diyecek yoktu doğrusu! Sonra yılbaşı vardı, eğlenemesek bile eğlenmiş gibi yaptığımız! Annneler Günü vardı, harçlıklarımızı çocuksu zevkimizle annelerimize hediye alacağız diye suladığımız! Babalar günü vardı, yaz tatili başladığı için oyuna dalıp unuttuğumuz! Ve bir de yerel kutlamalar vardı ayrı ayrı... ama “yirmüçnisan” bizim bayramımızdı, biz çocuklara armağan edilmişti, ve onun için de neşe, renk, cıvıltı o bayramın özündeydi!

Büyüklerimiz ciddi bakışlı bir amcanın fotoğrafını ya da büstünü gösterir, “bak bu bayramı sana o armağan etti” derlerdi. Ondan bazen “Mustafa Kemal” diye bahsederlerdi, bazen “Atatürk”, bazen sadece “Ata”; sanki kendileri de tam bilmiyorlardı doğrusunu! “Çok sert bakıyor, ama aslında iyi bir amca olmalı ki bize bayram vermiş” diye çocuksu bir mantık yürütüp doğruyu yakalardık.

Büyüdükçe, sayıları ve ayları öğrendikçe anladık ki “yirmüçnisan” bir tarihmiş, “Mustafa Kemal”, “Atatürk” ve “Ata” meğer aynı insanın değişik adlarıymış. Asıl adı sadece “Mustafa”’ymış, onun zekasını çok takdir eden ve kendi adı da Mustafa olan bir matematik öğretmeni varmış. (Askeri Rüştiye’de Yüzbaşı Mustafa Sabri Bey), “Senin adın Mustafa, benimki de Mustafa, senin adın Kemal olsun” demiş- çünkü bu kelime “mükemmellik” demekmiş! 

Bu Mustafa Kemal’i çok sevmemiz gerekirmiş. Neden olduğunu hemen anlayamıyorduk ama bize bir bayram armağan etmiş olması dışında da birşeyler olduğunu hissediyorduk!

Birinci Dünya Harbi’ndeki yenilgimizi, mütareke ve işgâl yıllarını, Padişah ve hükümetinin aczini, Bandırma vapuru ve Samsun’u, kongreleri, 23 Nisan’da Ankara’da açılan Büyük Millet Meclisi’ni, İstanbul hükümetinin imzaladığı Sevr anlaşmasıyla yurdumuzun parçalanmasını, İnönü savaşlarını, Sakarya ve Dumlupınar’ı, düşmanın İzmir’e kadar çekilip kaçmasını, Lozan anlaşmasını, Cumhuriyet’in kuruluşunu, devrimleri, ve “açık alınla on yılda her savaştan” çıkışımızı yavaş yavaş öğrendik. 

Ve 23 Nisan’ın neden bayram olduğunu anladık. Ankara’da bir meclisin açılmasıyla Türk halkı kaderini tayin etme hakkını ne yabancıya, ne de bir hanedana bırakıyor, bundan böyle bu hakkı kendi ellerine alıyordu! Ulusun egemenliği artık ulusun elindeydi, onun için bu gün “Ulusal Egemenlik” bayramımız olmuştu. Bu Ulusal Egemenlik çocukların, “yarının büyükleri”’nin yarınlarının güvencesiydi, onun için sert bakışlı amca bu günü biz çocuklara armağan etmişti.7

Mustaf Kemal Ankara'da ilk Büyük Millet Meclisi'nin balkonunda; tarih 11 Ocak 1921, Meclis'in açılışından 9 ay sonra, Kurtuluş Savaşı'nın ortasında! 

Biz çocuklara sevmemiz, saymamız, hatta korkmamız gereken birilerinden daha bahsediliyordu; Allah, peygamberi Muhammed, ve kutsal kitabı Kuran-ı Kerim! 

Bazı büyükler bu konuda daha israrlıydı, bazıları daha hafif geçiyordu, bazıları hemen hiç değinmiyor, bazıları da ağızlarından düşürmüyordu! Yalnız şu vardı ki “Atamız” hakkında anlatılanlar fotoğraflarla, müzelerdeki ve özellikle Anıt Kabir’deki eşyalarıyla destekleniyordu, Allah ve Hz. Muhammed hakkında anlatılanlar ise esrarengizdi, hatta çoğu zaman doğrudan doğruya doğaüstüydü. Topkapı Sarayı’ndaki “Kutsal Emanetler” dışında elle tutulur, gözle görülür birşey olmadığı için çok şey hayâl gücümüze kalıyordu. Hele bazı büyükler vardı ki bütün yaratıcı güçlerini ak sakallı dedelerin başrol oynadığı çarpılmalı cehennem ateşli masallar uydurmaya harcarlardı. Hele inanmayan, hele küfür eden, hele “gâvur” olan kesin yanacaktı cehennem ateşinde! Zaten böyle korku masallarına bayılır çocuklar, artık bir yerden duyulan hurafe ağızdan ağıza anlatılır, anlatıldıkça korkunçlaşırdı. Sonunda da “ekmek Kuran çarpsın ki doğru” diye bir yemin edilirdi!

Bir de İslamın dili Arapça sayılır ve bundan çıkılmaz. Ne o duaları anlarız, ne ezanın sözlerini, ne de kutsal yazıların yazıldığı girift Arapça yazıları! Herşey esrarengiz, herşey karanlık, ilâhiler hüzünlü ve ağlamaklı, eski mezar taşları tepelerindeki kavuklarla taşlaşmış insan tasvirleri gibi, o kıvrım kıvrım yazılarla örtülü, ne dediklerini anlamayız, büyü gibi! Biz anlamadıkça anladığını iddia edenler, gerçeğiyle sahtesiyle imamlar, hocalar güçlenir, cennetin kapısıyla aramıza dikilirler, ensemizde cayır cayır cehennem ateşinin yakıcı sıcaklığını hissederiz. Anlamadıkça korkarız, bizi korkuttukça zannederler ki “Allah ve Peygamber sevgisiyle” doluyoruz.


Kuran kursu: tek kelime anlamadan ezberlenen bir kitap.
(Görüntü medyadan.)

Ama çocuktuk, sinemaya gidiyorduk, kovboy filmi seyrediyorduk ( “Vahşi Batı” janrı benim çocukluğumda halâ çok yaygındı), resimli roman, Tommiks, Teksas okuyorduk, gördüklerimizi kahraman yapıp onları taklit ederek kovboyculuk oynuyorduk. Ama kafamızı karıştıran birşey de vardı: bu kovboyların, bu Çelik Blek ve Tommiks’lerin Müslüman olmadıkları besbelliydi, yani cennette onlara ayrılmış bir yer yoktu! Bu ikileme kafa yormamaya çalışıyorduk. 

Tommiks ve Suzi'yi hatırlıyor musunuz? (Asıl adı Captain Miki olan İtalyan ürünü bir resimli romandı.)  Tom ile Suzi de cehenneme mi gidecekti yani?

Sonra turistler görüyorduk, gülümsüyorlar, şakalaşıyorlar. Bazı ailelerin içinde yabancı gelinler, damatlar vardı. Peki bu insanlara ne olacaktı? Hele evli çiftler, ölünce mecburen ayrılacaklar mıydı?

Bir de Emin Oktay’ın tarih kitabı vardı okulda bize okutulan. Orta Asya’dan gelen atalarımızla gurur duymamız gerekiyormuş. Cumhurbaşkanlığı armasındaki onaltı yıldız ve bir güneş tarihte arka arkaya var olmuş 17 Türk devletini temsil ediyormuş- ortada güneş olarak tasvir edilen de sonuncusu olan Türkiye Cumhuriyeti’ymiş.

Ama gelin görün ki bunlardan sadece dokuzu Müslüman olmuş, Türkler geleneksel dini şamanizm. Hristiyan Türkler de var; Sovyetler’in çökmesiyle ülkemize çalışmaya gelen Moldova’lı Gagavuz Türkleri’yle tanışalı ne kadar oldu? Cumhubaşkanlığı armasındaki yıldızlardan biri de Hazar hanlığını temsil ediyor ki onlar Musevi olmayı seçmişler. (MS 1000 civarında yıkılan bu devletin halkı, bir iddiaya göre, Avrupa’ya doğru yayılmış. Arthur Koester’in 13. Kabile başlıklı araştırma kitabının konusudur. Bu durumda 1939-45 arasında büyük torunlarınının başlarına neler gelmiş olabileceğini tahmin edebilirsiniz.)

Sonra Türkçe konuşan, sınıf arkadaşımız olan “Gayrimüslimler” vardı, oynardık, şakalaşırdık. Onlara ne olacaktı öbür dünyada? 

Ama 23 Nisan onların da bayramıydı, demek Atamız bize armağan ederken onları ayırmamıştı! 

(Bir de Sünni-Alevi meselesi var ki ona burada hiç değinmiyorum çünkü o yaşlarda öyle bir ayrışmanın hiç farkında değildim- eminim çoğu arkadaşım da değildi.)

Peki Atamız nasıl bakıyordu bu işe? Memleket işgâl edilmiş, Padişah-Halife ihanete düşmüş, kötü “gâvur” düşman müslüman halka eziyet etmiş, ama Mustafa Kemal Paşa iyi Türkleri toplamış, onlar da “Allah Allah!” diye hücum ederek gâvurları kovmuş. Demek Mustafa Kemal Paşa iyi bir Müslüman Türk’müş, Türk süngüsüyle ölen kötü gâvurlar da cehenneme gitmiş olmalı. Bu kadarı, İslam hakkında bize anlatılanlarla örtüşüyordu!

Ama dahası var: Atamız memleketimizi kurtardıktan sonra eski düşmanlarıyla barış yapmış, onları davet etmiş, onlardan bilgiler almış. İngiliz Kralı VIII. Edward’a çok misafirperver davranmış- fotoğraflarını gördük!

Dostça uzatılan yardım eli: Atatürk Türkiye'yi ziyaret eden İngitere Kralı VIII. Edward'ın kayıktan inmesine yardım ediyor. Eylül 1936.

Atamız savaşıp yendiği yabancıların adetlerini, bilimlerini, sanatlarını, kanunlarını inceleyip getirmiş, onların giyimlerini, takvimini, alfabesini, ölçü sistemlerini, kanunlarını, bilimsel yaklaşımlarını getirmiş, onlarda olduğu gibi kadınlarımıza erkeklerle eşit haklar vermiş, çok eşliliği yasaklamış. (Atatürk'ün Türkiye'si kadınlara 1930'da belediye seviyesinden başlayarak, nihayet 5 Aralık 1934'te her seviyede seçme ve seçilme hakkını vermiştir. (Fransa'da 1944, İtalya'da 1946, uygarlık yuvası İsviçre'de 1971'den itibaren, en son Appenzel Innerrhoden yarı-kantonunda 1990.) Ve onların bilimadamlarını ve sanatçılarını buyur etmiş, görelim, takdir edelim, öğrenelim diye. 

Bu duyduklarımız Kuran-ı Kerim’in  ve İslam dininin üstünlüğü meselesiyle nasıl bağdaşıyor pek anlamıyorduk ama kovboyculuk oyunlarımızı daha gönül rahatlığıyla oynayabiliyorduk.

TRT, Atatürk'ün barışçı ve dünyaya açık Cumhuriyet'ine yakışır şekilde 35 yıldır "Uluslararası 23 Nisan Çocuk Şenliği"'nin evsahipliğini yapmaktadır. Yukarıda  bu seneki 45 ülkenin gelen gruplarının temsilcileri Ankara'da TRT'nin misafiri olarak poz veriyorlar.
(Görüntü medyadan.)

Aslında o “Allah Allah” diye taarruz Müslüman Türkler’in kurtarıcısı Atatürk, kurduğu Cumhuriyeti “lâik” yapmakla çok cüretkâr, ama çok önemli bir adım atmıştı. Türk vatandaşlarının inançları ne olursa olsun, devletin dini olmayacaktı. Müslüman vatandaşların olağan dinî ihtiyaçlarını karşılamak dışında devletin din konusunda bir tavır alması mevzubahis değildi. Bu çok olumlu bir kavramdı; bir çok mümin müslüman bunu tam anlamadı ama yaşamlarına bir farklılık gelmediği için pek de aldırmayacaklardı- dinî inançlar siyasi emellerle istismar edilmeseydi! Çünkü lâik Cumhuriyet cami de yapıyordu, imam ve müezzin de tayin ediyordu, hac zamanı THY uçuşlarını da düzenliyordu, Ramazan ayında günlük sahur ve iftar saatlerini de il il veriyordu. Lâik Türkiye'de Müslüman vatandaş dininin gereklerinin her birini rahatlıkla yerine getirebiliyordu. Bundan böyle Türkiye Cumhuriyeti vatandaşı mecbur olduğu için değil, istediği için Müslüman olacaktı!

Atatürk  Kuran-ı Kerim’i Türkçe’ye çevirip yayınlatmış, ezanı bile Türkçe olarak okutmuştu- insanlar neye inandıklarını anlasınlar, anladıkları şeye inansınlar diye, din esrarengiz, anlaşılmaz, ürkütücü, istismara açık olmasın diye! Türkçe ezan ilk defa 30 Ocak 1932’de Fatih Camii’nden okunmuş, bu uygulamayı 18 yıl sonra Demokrat Parti 16 Haziran 1950’de, yani 14 Mayıs seçimleriyle iktidara geldikten sadece bir ay iki gün sonra, iptal etmişti.

Çocuk zihinlerimiz bu zıtlaşmalarla, kavram kargaşalarıyla yaşamayı bir şekilde öğrendi. Ama bu üstü örtülmüş, gizliden gizliye arttırılan gerilimlerin ileride Cumhuriyet'imizi paramparça etmek için kullanılacağını tahmin edemezdik!
AKP iktidara gelip Erdoğan Başbakan, Gül Cumhurbaşkanı olduğundan beri Türkiye gerçekten ziyade bir kâbusa benzeyen bir çözülme, ayrışma sürecine girdi.

1989’da Pentagon, Rand Corporation isimli bir devlet araştırma kurumundan “Türkiye’de radikal İslâm’ın geleceği” hakkında bir rapor istemiş. Araştırma grubunun başına Türkiye’de de bulunmuş olan eski CIA görevlisi Graham Fuller getirilmiş. Rapora göre “radikal İslâm”’ın yolunu kesmek için “ılımlı İslâm”’ın önünü açmak gerekiyormuş. Rapor, dünyadaki İslâmcıların ortak hedefinin “şeriat yönetimi” olduğunu iddia etmekle birlikte bunun Türkiye için olası olmadığını savunuyor.

Çok geçmiyor baba Bush ‘un yakın arkadaşı Turgut Özal döneminde Türk Ceza Kanunu’nun 163’üncü maddesi kaldırılıyor (1991). Madde şu:

"Devletin sosyal ve ekonomik veya siyasi veya hukuki düzenini, kısmen de olsa dini esas ve inançlara uydurmak amacıyla veya siyasi amaçla veya siyasi menfaat temin ve tesis eylemek maksadıyla, dini veya dini hissiyatı veya dince mukaddes tanınan şeyleri alet ederek (...) propaganda yapan veya telkinde bulunan kimse, beş yıldan on yıla kadar hapisle cezalandırılır"   

Ve İrtica’nın önü hukuken açılıyor.

14 Ağustos 2001’de kurulup sadece onbeş ay sonra, 3 Kasım 2012’de birinci parti olarak tek başına iktidara gelen mucize parti AKP’nin başarısının arkasındaki gölgedeki güçler, ABD ve 1999’dan beri Pennsylvania’daki çiftliğinde ikâmet edip oradan “Antarktika hariç her kıtaya” ellerini uzatmayı başarmış olan Türkiye’nin Ayetullah’ı (ya da Rasputin’i, tercihi siz yapın) Fethullah Gülen hoca efendidir. 

Gülen ve Erdoğan: ne yönden bakarsanız bakın, kötü bir el!

Polise ve hukuka sızmalar, Atatürk’ün lâik Cumhuriyetini savunan, savunabilecek olan gazeteci, yazar, aydın, akademisyen ve askerlerin “dalgalar” hâlinde tutuklanmaları, kötü filmlerde bile inandırıcı olmayacak delillere dayanan ipe sapa gelmez ithamlarla içeride tutulmaları ve satın alınmış bir basının bu çirkin gösteriyi alkışlaması hep Hocaefendinin güdümünde sahneye konulan, prodüktörlüğünü ABD’nin yaptığı, getirisini globalist menfaat çevrelerinin götüreceği uluslararası bir ortak yapımdır.

Fethullah Hoca’nın 2008’deki oturma izni müracaatını bir mektupla destekleyen de, yukarıda adı geçen, Rand Corporation’daki araştırma grubunun başındaki George Fuller’dır!


Ve bu show’da halkı koltuklarına yapıştıran, “bu kadarı da fazla, inandırıcılığı kalmadı” diyerek kalkıp gitmelerini engelleyen şey de Din’dir.

(Bu aralıksız, israrlı “din” söylemleri sonucunda bir vicdan muhasebesi yaptım ve 26 Nisan 2012’de Nüfus İdaresi’ne gittim. O günden beri resmen bir dinim yok .Teolojik polemikler bundan böyle beni ilgilendirmiyor!)

O din söylemleri sayesinde halk ayaklarının altından ülkelerinin çekilip alındığını ayırdında bile olmuyor. Ne ilginç bir tezattır ki ülkeleri kayıp giderken halk genişlemeci Osmanlı hayâlleriyle ipnotize ediliyor! Öcalan’la görüşmeler belirgin bir bölünme ve doğu illerinin Kürdistan adıyla ayrılma yönünde gelişirken halka yeni oluşacak federal yapının kuzey Irak’ı da içine alarak daha büyük bir neo-Osmanlı diyarı yaratacağı anlatılıyor. Dışişleri Bakanı Ahmet Davudoğlu’nun 3 Mart 2013’te Bursa’da söylediği şu sözleri hatırlayın:  “Hiç kimseyle savaşmadan, hiç kimseyi düşman ilan etmeden, hiçbir sınıra saygısızlık yapmadan, tekrar Saraybosna'yı Şam'a Bingazi'yi Erzurum'a, Batum'a bağlayacağız... Size şimdi apayrı ülkeler gibi gelebilir ama, bundan 110 yıl önce Yemen ile Üsküp aynı ülkenin parçalarıydılar. Ya da Erzurum ile Bingazi...” 


Bu “bağlama” prosedürüne arada kalan meselâ Yunanistan, Bulgaristan, Sırbistan ne kadar sıcak bakacak? Ya bu neo-Osmanlı federasyonunun genişlemesine vesile olacak Kürdistan bu konuda ne der? BDP eş başkanı Selahattin Demirtaş’a göre “İlerde bağımsız Kürdistan olacaksa halk istedikten sonrada hiç kimse buna engel olamaz”. (27 Mart 2013, bkz: http://www.internethaber.com/demirtastan-bagimsiz-kurdistan-cikisi-516568h.htm )

Davutoğlu’nun “hiç kimseyle savaşmadan, hiç kimseyi düşman ilan etmeden, hiçbir sınıra saygısızlık yapmadan” yapacağı bu genişleme/ birleştirme operasyonunu Başbakan Erdoğan’ın nasıl hayâl ettiğini ve ne gibi bir dille sunduğunu hatırlamak istiyorsanız bkz. “Sivil Hükümetin Savaş Tamtamları”, 18 Eylül 2012, ve “Akaçakale’ye Top Mermisi ve Misillemeler”, 7 Ekim 2012.

On yılda AKP Anayasa’yı değiştire değiştire bitiremedi, “değiştirilemez” maddelere kadar geldi dayandı ve onlara da göz dikti. Hedef Türkiye Cumhuriyeti’nin ne Cumhuriyet’liğini bırakmak, ne de Türk’lüğünü! Bunun yumuşatma taktiği yavaş yavaş milli bayramları unutturmak, TC’leri ufak ufak kaldırmak, isteyeni istemeyeni İmam Hatip öğrencisi yapmak, hepimizi gönülden olmazsak zorla aynı dinin aynı mezhebinin ümmeti yapmak. Bu operasyonu biryerlerde birilerinin  planladığını operasyonun destekçileri bile inkâr etmiyor (bkz. Tuncay Güney’in sözleri, “ÇığlıkAtılası”, 12 Şubat 2013). 

Bu operasyonu planlayanlar Atatürk’ün Cumhuriyeti’nin yapay bir olgu olduğunu, Atatürk’ün Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Çavuşesku gibi zorlamayla halka kabul ettirilen bir diktatör olduğunu, zorlamanın kalkmasıyla birlikte Türk halkının koşa koşa gönlünde yatan Şeriat'a döneceğini varsaymışlar, "bu madem böyle olacak, bari liderleri bizden olsun da Türklerin İslâmı ılımlı olsun" (altyazı: “bize karşı yumuşak ve itaatkâr olsun, bizim menfatimize göre Arapları da hizaya çeksin, petrol pompalarının musluğu da bizim elimizde olsun”) demişler. 

Özgürlük istiyorlar! (2009)
(Görüntü medyadan.)


Özgürlük tadıyorlar! 23 Nisan çocukları 2012.
(Görüntü medyadan.)

Çocuklar için bunun anlamı: daha çok Din, daha çok Arapça dua, daha az Atatürk, daha az milli gurur. Bu bağlamda yine birilerinin aklına bir şey gelmiş: haydi Çocuk Bayramı’nı bir Müslüman Noel’ine çevirelim, Hz.İsa’nın doğüm günü gibi Hz. Muhammed’in doğum gününu çoluk çocuk kutladığımız bir hafta olsun, adına da Kutlu Doğum Haftası deriz!  Bunu da 23 Nisan’a rastlatırsak zamanla ilk meclisti kutuluş savaşıydı unutulur gider, çocukların bayramını tatlı tatlı hissettirmeden çalıvermiş oluruz! 

Ama durun bir dakika, İslam’da dinî bayramlar bir ay takvimi olan Hicrî takvime göre kutlanır, Ramazan ayının, Kurban Bayramı’nın her sene 11 gün kaymasından bunu hepimiz biliriz. Kandiller deseniz onlar da öyle: zaten Hz. Muhammed’in doğum gününün kutlandığı bir Kandil de var, adı Mevlid Kandili, Hicri 12 Rebiülevvel (2013’te 23 Ocak). “Kutlu Doğum Haftası” nasıl oluyor da 23 Nisan civarında çakılıp kalıyor?

Kutlu doğum haftası 1989’da “icad edilmiş”. Gerekçesi de şöyle: 12 Rebiülevvel tarihi 571 yılında 20 Nisan’a geliyormuş. (http://beyn.org/kutlu-dogum-haftasi-ile-mevlit-kandili-fark-nedir )

Ama kaynaklar Hz. Muhammed’in doğumunu, kesin olmamakla birlikte, daha ziyade 570 olarak veriyorlar, bu durumda Hz. Muhammed’in doğduğu gün 11 gün sonraya, 1 Mayıs’a gelmiş olmalı. Aslında Sünni dünyasında 12 Rebiülevvel kabul görmüşse de, bu bile kesin değil; aşağıdaki site 9 değişik muhtemel tarih veriyor; bunlardan birisi de Şiilerin kabul ettiği 17 Rebiülevvel. 


Bazıları Fethullah Gülen’in kendi doğum gününün 27 Nisan olduğunu hatırlatarak seçilen tarihte bir bir maksat aramaktadır.

http://haber.gazetevatan.com/Kutlu_Dogum_Haftasi_Fethullah_Gulen_icin_mi/234688/4/yazarlar

Bundan böyle Kutlu Doğum Haftası 23 Nisan Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı’nı içine alacak, anlamsızlaştıracak, ve Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi’nin doğum günüyle noktalanacaktır. 

Kutlu Doğum Haftası etkinliği, Bingöl, 2013.
(Görüntü medyadan.)

Hesap doğrudur, yanlıştır, maksatlıdır, masumdur, öyle ya da böyle çocuklara verilen mesaj şu: 1927’den beri 23 Nisan’ın her nesle vadettiği mutlu geleceği, zor şartlarla kazanılmış özgür ve uygar bir hayatı, içine doğduğunuz Türk Milleti denen aileye ait olmanın gururunu, hepsini, hepsini unutun! Artık kutlamanız gereken şey yüreğinizle değil, bir önşart olarak kabul ettiğiniz bir dindir, dualarınız sözlerini anlamadan ezberleyip tekrar edeceğiniz sözlerdir, çünkü size Tanrı’yı, bir papağanın ağzından kendi sözlerini duyarak eğlenmek isteyen bir insan gibi anlatıyorlar, anlamadan, hissetmeden, korkarak, korkunuzu “sevgi” zannederek!

Nuri Kurtcebe'nin bir karikatürü.
(Nuri Hoca'nın kalemini nasıl kırdıklarını hatırlamak için 
bkz. "Acıtan Kalem",  16 Mart 2013.

Kovboylar mı dediniz çocuklar? Seyredin, okuyun, oynayın çok istiyorsanız, ama unutmayın ki onların yeri sonunda cehennemdir! Hele ki zorbayla, adaletsizlikle gereğinde yapayalnız yüzleşen kovboy kahramanlar vardır ya, aman sakın onlara benzemeye kalkmayın- o zaman bir bakarsınız, mazallah, deccal Mustafa Kemal gibi oluvermişsiniz. Siz itaat edin, biat edin, soru filan da sormayın. (Günah!) Biz biliriz hangi kovboyların emrine uyacağımızı, biz onlara uyarız, siz bize itaat edin!

 Gregory Peck "Kahraman Şerif" (High Noon, yön. Frank Zinnemann, 1952) filminde Will Kane rolünde. Haydut Frank Miller ve çetesi intikam için gelmektediir. Korkuya kapılan kasaba halkı, evlerine saklanmış, şeriflerini yalnız bırakmıştır. Şerif haydutlarla yalnız yüzleşecektir, bire karşı dört! Çocuklara çok kötü bir örnek, bir kere Müslüman değil, dahası, fazla Mustafa Kemal gibi!

Ama sürpriz! Meğer Türk halkının çoğu Cumhuriyet'ini yabancılamıyormuş, diktatör Atatürk’e gösterilen saygı zorlama değilmiş, “Allahsız” lâik Cumhuriyet’i inançlarına, ibadetlerine bir engel olarak görmemişler, “ah bir kurtulsak da Şeriat’a dönsek” demiyorlarmış. Bu sene 23 Nisan’da Anıt Kabir’e gittik. Ulusal Kanal’dan ya da başka bir yerden bu yönde bir çağrı yapılmamıştı, 29 Ekim ve 10 Kasım’da olduğu gibi, (Bkz. “Cumhuriyet Bayramı’nda Ne Gördüm”, 1 Kasım 2012, “Simba ve 10 Kasım”, 13 Kasım 2012.) ama bir çok yurttaşımız bizim gibi o gün oraya gitme arzusunu duymuştu- hem de Çocuk Bayramı’na yakışacak şekilde çoğu çocuklarını da getirmişti! Aşağıda, İngilizce metinden hemen önce, 23 Nisan 2013 Anıt Kabir izlenimlerimin bir videoklip’ini göreceksiniz.

Ata'yı ziyaret eden minikler: onların geleceği!
(Görüntü kendi objektifimde.)
 Anıt Kabir'de Ata'ya saygı ve şükran ziyareti kuyruğu: 23 nİSAN 2013.
(Görüntü kendi objektifimden..)
Onun altına bir videoklip daha var. Bu da o gün ilk defa toplanan “Milli Merkez” izlenimlerimdir. Hükümet malum, polis ve hukuka irticai karşı devrimin amaçları doğrultusunda sızılmış, TSK kafese konmuş, basın satın alınmış, hapisaneler sözde terör örgütünün sözde üyeleriyle dolmuş, mecliste muhalefet işe yaramaz bir gürültü makinesini andırıyor; bu durumda tek çare partiler ötesi alternatif bir yapıda birleşmekti, 1920 yılında aynı tarihte  birleşerek işgalci müttefiklere ve onların kuklası hâline gelmiş Padişah’a başkaldıran o ilk meclis gibi. Bu yolda bir çağrı yapıldı. Videoklipte o çağrıya cevap verenleri göreceksiniz.


 Yukarıda: Milli Merkez; Ankara Yeni Mahalle'de
Nazım Hikmet Kültür Merkezi önü, 
23 Nisan 2013. 

Görmeye alıştığımız kahramanları gördük tekrar;
Gülcemal Karakoç.
(Bkz: "Kahraman Olmak", 12 Ocak 2013, "Balyoza Balyoz", 5 Şubat 2013, 
"Provokasyon: Silivri, 8 Nisan", 13 Nisan 2013.)






Ve görmeye alışmadığımız bazı yeni kahramanlarla da karşılaştık.
 Yukarıda: dik duruş sergilemek için bacaklar bile şart değil. 
(Görüntü kendi objektifimden.)

Solda: Yapılan kötülükleri görmek için gözler bile gereksiz.
(Görüntü kendi objektifimden.)






 Aşağıda: Milli Merkez büyük final; salon boşalıp içerdekiler dışarıdakilere katıldıktan sonra.
(Görüntü kendi objektifimden.




Bütün bunlar çocuklarımız nesiller boyu 23 Nisan Çocuk Bayramını kutlamaya devam edebilsinler diye!


 23 Nisan 2003 Google internet sayfası.

Videoklip: 
Anıt Kabir, 23 Nisan 2013
(Görüntüler kendi objektifimden.)
Videoclip:
Ataturk's mausoleum in Ankara,
April 23rd, 2013.
(İmages from my own camera.)


Videoklip:
Milli Merkez Kurultayı
Nazım Hikmet Kültür Merkezi, 23 Nisan 2013.
(Görüntüler kendi objektifimden.)
Videoclip:
The "National Center" convention,
Nazım Hikmet Cultural Center, Ankara, April 23rd 2013. 
(Images from my own camera.)

ENGLISH
The footnote links do not work; you will have to scroll down to to the footnotes for expanded information. Opening the blogsite on two seperate windows and keeping one on the footnotes will make it easier to go back and forth. Sorry for the inconvenience, I'm no expert!.
Other links should work.




YİRMİÜÇ NİSAN (“Yeermeeyeutchneesahn”)- five syllables so strongly stamped in the collective memory of the generations of Turkish children growing up in Ataturk’s Republic! Even before we knew the names of numbers and months, we understood the string of sounds as a concept: the “Children’s Holiday”. To be sure, there were other important days of the year, such as the other national holidays, the significance of which went over our heads, the religious ones which had to do with Allah who saw and judged all so we had better behave- but the candy and the hot pita was good- new year’s eve when we just had to have fun- or if didn’t, we pretended- mothers’ day when we spent our allowances on gifts for our mothers, fathers’day which we often forgot because it was summer already and we had other things on our minds, and assorted local occasions and celebrations, but “Yeermeeyeutchneesahn” was ours, a day given to us “kids”, and as such it was inherently cheerful!
Our elders would point at a photo or a stern-faced bust of a man and tell us he was the one who gave us this day. Sometimes they would call him “Mustafa Kemal”, sometimes “Ataturk”, sometimes just “our Ata”; it seems they couldn’t make up their minds either! He must be a nice man in spite of his stern expression, we would think, giving us a whole day just for ourselves like that![1]

As we grew up and learned the numbers and months and realized “Yeermeeyeutchneesahn” was really “yirmi-üç-Nisan”, the 23rd of April. At school we were told to love and respect this “Mustafa Kemal” or Ataturk” or “Ata”; the reasons didn’t become immediately clear to us, but we caught on that there was more involved than a “children’s holiday”!

Our Day!

We learned, with time, that our country had been defeated in the First World War, that we were occupied and partitioned, that the Sultan and his Government in Istanbul had been unable or unwilling to resist, that there were splintered regional attempts to curtail the invasion, that an officer named Mustafa Kemal, already a war hero, went to Anatolia[2] where he managed to unite the different factions in a unified parliament in Ankara, on April 23rd, 1920. We learned that this new “Government of the Parliament” became the heart of the resistance, mustering an organized army[3] and finally achieving victory in 1922, forcing the allies back to the negotiating table, sidetracking the Sultan’s government, wresting back from the victors of the Great War the right to remain a unified and independent state which on October 29th, 1923 became the Republic of Turkey.[4]

April 23rd, the day that parliament convened in Ankara, became “National Sovereignity Day”, the day the Turkish people took its destiny in its own hands, no longer authorizing a dynasty or any foreign power to make decisions in its name. We were told that this Mustafa Kemal, this Ataturk, our “Ata”, stern of face but warm of heart, had given this day to us children, because we were the adults of tomorrow, and this “national sovereignity” was for us to enjoy and to exercise in the future.

Mustafa Kemal (later Ataturk) at the balcony of the first parliament in Ankara. The photo is from January 11th, 1921, nine months after the opening, right in the midst of the Turkish War of Independence.

We children were told to love, fear, and respect, and obey other powerful entities- Allah, and his Prophet Mohammed. Some grownups were more empathic about this, some less, some hardly dwelt on the subject, some would speak of nothing else! But whereas the stories of “our Ata” were supported by photographs and authentic museum pieces, the stories of Allah and his Prophet Mohammed were full of mystery and more than a whiff of the supernatural.[5] Once in a while an adult with nothing better to do with his/her imagination would spin a tale about the terrible horrors wrought upon unbelievers by Allah, his Prophet, and even by the Holy Koran itself, and the tale would spread like wildfire among kids, who always display a natural weakness for eerie stuff. Each wide-eyed boy and girl would add suitable exaggerations and pass it on, often swearing with the accustomed formula: “Let the Koran strike me down if I’m lying!” 

The language of Islam is Arabic- and in spite of many borrowings from that language into the Turkish vocabulary, Arabic is completely incomprehensible to Turkish speakers. Prayers are routinely recited in Arabic, the Muezzin’s call to prayer is chanted in Arabic, and we don’t understand a word. Not being understandable, it becomes even more mysterious, otherworldly, supernatural, and, yes, even eerie! The insistence on keeping the prayers and incantations in Arabic serves well to control the masses through fear of the unseen, the scarcely understood, lending power and authority to any hodja or mullah who claims to hold the key[6]. The Turkish people, ever suffering from low literacy, regarded the swirling Arabic script with the same kind of reverence it reserved to the Arabic incantation. When Ataturk introduced latin characters for the Turkish Language, this increased literacy, but did nothing to reduce the adulation of the cryptic Arabic script! 

Meanwhile, we children watched westerns in the movies, in comic books, and played at being cowboys. There was something confusing about emulating cowboy heroes who were manifestly not Muslims and therefore did not have their places reserved in heaven, but we tried not to dwell on that discrepancy. 


Most of my generation will remember the adventures ofyoung Captain Tommiks, (originally Captain  Miki, an Italian comic) here trying to appease jealous sweetheart Suzi. How much did it bother us that they were not Muslims? Did we believe Tom and Suzi would end up in hell?

We would also see tourists, and even people from other countries who had married into Turkish families, and were further confused about where they would end up. Would the couple necessarily have to be seperated in the afterlife? 

And our history books also wanted us to be proud of forefathers who dwelt in Central Asia, then migrated steadily westwards forming nation after nation. A good deal of them were never Muslims, but we were meant to revere them anyway![7]

Then as we came to realized that not all Turkish citizens were Muslims, things became harder to reconcile. (But April 23rd was for all their children as well!)

And where did Mustafa Kemal, “our Ata”, figure in all of this! We were told that we had been invaded, that even the Sultan-Caliph had been in treason, that the Invaders were Christians, mistreated the good Muslim Turks, but that Mustafa Kemal managed to rally the good Turkish people who charged the enemy with the battle cry of “Allah Allah” drove them out! So he must have been a good Muslim Turk, and the bad Christians who died on the Turkish bayonets must have gone to hell, as, according to some grownups, infidels do. This seemed consistent with what we were hearing about Islam!

But we were also told that, after “our Ata” saved the country and made peace, he became friends with everybody, and not only that, started to invite them, and even learn from them! He was a most gracious host to the English King Edward the VIII- we saw photos! 

Extending the hand of friendship after years of conflict: President Kemal Ataturk helping King Edward VIII out of a rowboat in Istanbul, September 1936.
Our “Ata” also introduced Western attire, calender, alphabet, weights and measures, law, science, and Western style equal rights for women, doing away with the veil and polygamy[8]. He welcomed Western influences in the arts, and invited the best representatives of the arts and sciences of the West to perform and to teach. All this did not gel very well with what we were being told about the supermacy of the Koran but it did make it acceptable for us kids to make role models out of cowboys!

For 35 years Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) hosts an international Children's Festival on april 23rd, in keeping with Atatürk's concepts of a day given for children, and a nation open to the world. Here, representatives of the groups from 45 countries as guestrs of the TRT in Ankara, 2013. 
(Image from the media.)

Ataturk, the saviour of the “Muslim Turks” had taken the daring step of making his republic secular. Whatever the beliefs of the citizens, the Turkish State was not to be Islamic, in fact, it was to be completely divorced of religious considerations outside of normal services to citizens when required. It was a laudable concept. Many pious muslims did not understand this, but because nothing much changed for the pious, they could have perfectly accomodated themselves to this way of looking at things.[9] In the Republic of Turkey, you were to be a Muslim if you wanted to be so, not because you were told to be so! Still, there were many who sought power and control by exploiting the suspicions, fears, and the superstitions of the simple faithful.[10]

Our young minds learned to accomodate these opposing concepts and somehow live with them all, not realizing that the latent tension would one day be insturmental in pulling the Republic of Turkey apart!

Since the AKP[11] came to power, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan became Prime Minister, and Abdullah Gül President, the Republic has entered a process of disintegration that feels more like a nightmare than reality. The éminence grise behind this newly hatched party was an exiled Turkish cleric named Fethullah Gülen.[12] 

Gülen and Erdoğan: two faces of the same raw deal!
(The lightbulb is the emblem of the AKP.)

The arrests came in wave after wave, the most respected and influential spokesmen for Ataturk’s secular Republic found themselves imprisoned for “terrorist activity”.[13] The single most powerful hold of the AKP over the public has been religion, the surefire vote-getter, the opiate that can make the masses ignore the fact that their country is being pulled away right from under their feet! And, irony of ironies, all the while feeding on dreams of the aggressively expansionist glories of the Ottomans, for centuries the swords of Islam![14] The institutions of the Republic are being dismantled either by privatization and selling- often to foreign “global” enterprises- like state-owned banks, railways, oil refineries, hospitals, schools- or outright liquidation, like the mercheant fleet. The armed forces, already decimated through the arrests and trials of the “conspiracy” allegations, is made to yield more and more of their area of reponsibility to the police. Throughout its ten years in power the AKP has never so much as paused in its meddling with the constitution; not even its narrow margin of victory on the referendum of September 12th, 2010 has appeased its hunger. Now Erdoğan’s AKP is poised to deal the final blow: the “unalterable” clauses.[15] Never mind that the AKP has opened the way to the seperation of the eastern provinces as an independent Kurdistan through direct talks with (imprisoned) PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, the very existence of a secular Turkish Republic, or any kind of Turkish Republic, or indeed anything Turkish, is on the crosshairs.[16] The opposition, CHP and MHP[17], loud as they can be in denouncing the AKP’s aims and tactics, keep lending credence to the constitutional talks by staying at the table!

It is not even a secret anymore that the AKP aims to dissolve the Turkish identity that holds the citizens of Turkey together, replacing it with Islam- they have been making declarations to that effect for quite some time now. Their backers abroad- even that is no longer a conspiracy theory- were apparently convinced that Ataturk’s Republic was an artificial entity, held together by force, with no real support from the population.[18] This grand project was launched on the assumption that once Turkey was “liberated” from the artificially enforced adulation of the Republic’s founder, once Atatürk went the way of other dictators like Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, and Ceausescu, the Turks would revert to their Muslim selves, pious to the point of gullibility! 

So the AKP started using this excuse and that to cancel national celebrations, while exaggerating religious ones in the extreme.[19] The AKP leaders frequently suffered health problems when it came to fulfilling their duties in observing national occasions, or else, they have important matters to discuss in faraway places.[20]

Children demanding "unconditional, unlimited freedom for the headscarf", 2009.
 (Image from the media.) 
April 23rd in, 2012. 
(Image from the media.)
For the children it meant: less patriotism, more religion on their day as well. Someone somewhere hit on the great idea of providing them with a Muslim Christmas and they hatched something called “The Felicitious Birth Week”[21], to coincide with April 23rd, apparently to weken and ultimately remove the historic connection of “Children’s Holiday” with the convening of the Ankara parliament in 1920 and by inference with the birth of Ataturk’s secular Republic, and pulling it into the realm of Islam, with all the veils of mystery they are so happy to weave around it.[22] 

Turkish speaking children memorizing the Arabic text of the Koran, without understanding a single word, in a Koranic class. 
(Image from the media.)

That this “Felicitious Birth Week” is a direct assault on April 23rd, “Children’s Holiday”, becomes more obvious when one considers the fact that all Muslim holidays are observed according to the lunar calendar, moving 11 days earlier each year. Only this newly concocted “Felicitious Birth Week” is anchored around April 23rd.[23] The traditional celebration of the birth of the Prophet is the Mawlid, on the the 12th of Rabi-al-Awwal according to the Islamic lunar calendar. On 571, this is supposed to have landed on April 20th, though the generally accepted year is 570![24] There are some sceptics who point out that Fethullah Gülen himself was born on April 27th, 1941.[25] A “week” of celebration would plow right through our “Children’s Holiday” and culminate on the 27th.

Celebrating the "Felicitious Birth Week" in Bingöl, 2013.
(Image from the media.)

 These are all niceties, the outcome for Turkish children is: forget about the refresing celebration of a free and civilized life won through great sacrifice against overwhelming odds, the pride and joy of belonging to this great young family called the Turkish nation you have been told you belong to, forget about the hope in a happy future that April 23rd has promised every young generation growing up in this country since 1927. Forget it, forget it all, celebrate a religion you must accept not with your heart, but as a precondition, with prayers you must repeat from memory without understanding a word, to honor a God that is apparently happy to hear his own words repeated without awareness, as if amusing himself with a pet parakeet.

"This is the question: TO BE or NOT TO BE"
Cartoonist Nuri Kurtcebe's view on what is in store for Turkish children.
(For how the powerful pencil of Nuri Kurrtcebe was silenced, see
"A Pencil Jab that Hurt", 16 March- Mart 2013.

Cowboys? Watch them if you must, but remember they must go to hell in the end! And certainly do not emulate the lonesome cowboy who stands alone to face injustice- too much like Mustafa Kemal, who will go to hell anyway. You just learn to obey- no questions. We know which cowboys to obey, we obey them, you obey us!

Gregory Peck in High Noon (1952, Dir. Fred Zinnemann) as marshal Will Kane, left alone by the frightened citizens of Hadleyville to face Frank Miller and his gang alone. Undaunted, he goes to face his destiny, one against four. A highly unsuitable role model; not a Muslim, and far too much like Ataturk!

But surprise surprise, the Turkish nation does not feel the Republic is an artificial entity, most Turks are not yearning to be rid of the “dictatorial” Ataturk, they do not feel the “godless” secular Republic has been an obstruction to their faith. On the 23rd of April this year we visited Ataturk’s mausoleum in Ankara, and were pleasantly surprised to see how many had had the same idea- even though there hadn’t been an appeal for an action like on Nov. 10th an Oct. 29th[26]. You will see a videoclip of my impressions that day.

Children visiting their Ata; their day, their future!
(Image from my own camera.)

Queuing to express their gratitude; Atatürk's mausoleum, Ankara, April 23rd, 2013.
(Image from my own camera.)

Just under that, there is another videoclip; that is a montage of my impressions of the “National Center Congress” held that same afternoon. Because the opposition in parliament is so ineffectual, and because the nation is tied hand and foot through a compromised judiciary, an infiltrated police organization, a practically disbanded army, a bought up press, and prisons hungry for yet more alleged “terrorists”, there was a call to unite in a new “National Center”, almost an alternative parliament, like the one that assembled on the same day in 1920, defying the defeated puppet government of the Sultan in Istanbul, defying their overlords, the victorious allies. 

 Above:
Outside the Nazım Hikmet Cultural Center,
"The National Center Congress", Yenimahalle, Ankara, April 23rd, 2013.
(Image from my own camera.)

 Right: 
The usual heroes were there: Mr. Gülcemal Karakoç, retired Colonel. (See: "Being a Hero", 12 January- Ocak 2013, "Hammering the Sledgehammer" 5 February- Şubat 2013,  and "Provokation: Silivri, April 8th", 13 April- Nisan 2013.  (Image from my own camera.)

And some unusual, extraordinary heroes as well!
Above: Standing up for what is right!



Left: Even the blind can see the wrong that is being done!

(Images from my own camera.)







Below:  General view of the "Finale", the people in the auditorium having joined those outside!
(Image from my own camera.)


The videoclip montage at the beginning of the English text will give an impression of the people who answered the call.
So that our children may keep celebrating “their holiday”, on April 23rd,  “Yeermeeyeutchneesahn”, for years and years, generation after generation!


Turkish Google web page for April 23rd, 2013.



[1] The real name of the founder of the Turkish Republic is Mustafa. The second name, Kemal (“Perfection”), was given to him by another Mustafa, Capt. Mustafa Sabri, his mathematics teacher at military school who appreciated his student’s quick learning. Turks had no official family names at the time.

After the successful culmination of the war of independence in 1922  and the founding of the Republic on October 29th, 1923, Mustafa Kemal, now the first President, initiated an extensive program of reforms. One such reform was the “Surname Law”, the law requiring every Turkish citizen to have a family name. It was passed on June 21st, 1934, and put into effect on July 2nd. On November 4th of the same year the Parliaement conferred the surname Atatürk to President Mustafa Kemal. Ata means “forefather” (and also father in many Turkish dialects), so Atatürk is the “father” or “Forefather” of the Turks.  A commonly used expression of endearment when referring to the founder is Atamız= “our Ata”!

[2] Disembarking at the port of Samsun, May 19th, 1919. The next national holiday coming up commemorates this occasion and promises further tension between the government and the Kemalist opponents.

[3] Kuvva-yı Milliye, “National Forces”. 

[4] During the new peace conference in Lausanne there was an attempt on the part of the allies to divide the Turkish front by inviting representatives of both Mustafa Kemal’s Parliament in Ankara, and the puppet Sultan in Istanbul. Grand Vizir Rıza Tevfik, representing the Sultan, bowed out, acknowledging the Government of the Ankara parliament as the sole authority to negotiate terms. After long bargaining and haggling, the Government of the Ankara Parliament signed the precious Lausanne treaty on July 24th, 1923, assuring a sovereign and unified Turkish state. Three monts later, on October 29th, 1923, the Republic of Turkey was declared, officially ending the Ottoman era. Today’s AKP government is attempting to reverse this! (Words of Minister of Exterior Ahmet Davutoğlu: "for us, the last century opened a bracket, which we will now close", speech delivered in Bursa on March 3rd, 2013, same speech as the one I refer to in footnote 14.)  For the spectacle of the Turkish Government attempting to curtail public celebrationation of Republic Day 2012 see: “What I Saw on Republic Day”, 1 November-Kasım 2012. 

[5] The only museum pieces remaining from the prophet and reputedly authentic are the holy relics kept at the Topkapı Palace museum, including the Prophet Mohammed’s  bow, swords, earth from his grave, a garment, a footprint, and a single hair from his beard. They were brought to Istanbul by Sultan Selim I, “the Grim”, on his return from his conquests in Arab lands including Egypt. 

Selim also brought back a real live Caliph, Mutawakkil III, the last of the Abbasid dynasty. From him Selim ceremoniously took over the office; the Sultans of the House of Osman would henceforward  be Caliphs of Islam as well, in effect the Muslim Popes. (Ironically, this was exactly the point in time when Martin Luther was challenging the authority of the Catholic Pope in Europe- 1517 was the year he hammered the 95 Theses on the portal of the Schloßkirche in Wittenberg.  It can be said the Ottoman Empire was entering an era of more authoritative religion when Europe was starting to question it.

[6] Spokesmen for Islam will tell you that in Islam, there is no “intermediary clergy”  to stand between the individual and the Almighty. Even if this might be true in theory- and I am not convinced- it is far from the case in reality. The Sultan of Turkey was the Caliph of Islam until Ataturk abolished both offices. (The Sultanate on Novemer 1 st, 1922, the Caliphate on March 3rd, 1924.) A Caliph, as the supreme head of Islam, his Ulema- the “Knowledgeable” of the Faith- and their head the Sheikh-ul Islam, constituted as powerful and authoritative a class of clergy as could be created. The myriad cults, creeds, and dens of dervishes around the Empire held their own kind of control over the population. Ataturk closed down most of these and at the same time tried to remove the mysterious aspect of Islam, so open to exploitation, by having the Koran translated and published, and even having the muezzins chant, the traditional call to the prayer, in Turkish. (On January 30th, 1932, the ezan, or the traditional call to prayer, was chanted in Turkish for the very first time, from the Fatih Mosque in Istanbul.) This wise reform was reversed on June 16th, 1950, by the Democratic Party  just a month after it came to power with the elections of  May 14th 1950.

Todays AKP government under Prime Minister  Erdoğan and President Gül exploits religious sentiments to a degree undreamed of by even the most right wing and retrograde government and party of the Republican era, perhaps even the later Sultans, freely hinting at dismantling the Republic completely and returning to the Ottoman system with Sultan and Caliph. The old sects are back in business, not only enjoying legal status but government favor, the system of education is being remodelled to give “imams” and “hatips”- in effect, the clergy- , greater numbers and greater power. Regular high schools are being converted to clerical schools- İmam Hatip Okulu- often against the wishes of the students already studying in them, and their parents as well. See: “A Fine Audience”,  7 March- Mart  2013.

The “Cleric of Clerics” is of course the notorious Fethullah Gülen, resident in Pennsylvania, wielding enormous power through his hundreds of schools  across the world. and lionized as well as supported  by centers of power in the West for his “moderate” version of Islam. The Republic of Turkey, secular since Ataturk, was never a representative of “aggressive Islam”, being a NATO ally and recognizing Israel. The US/ European definition of “moderate Islam” is a dumbed down, superstitious Middle East delivering cheap oil and obeying all wishes of the new globalism so long as they come through the “intermediary clergy”. I have had frequent occasion to allude to Mr. Gülen, see for example: “Adultery and Espionage”, 28 April- Nisan 2013.

[7] The tradition was of seventeen independent Turkish states in succession throughout history, represented as a circle of sixteen stars on the Turkish Presidential Seal, plus a sun at the center for the present  one. Only nine of these states embraced Islam ; for the greatest part of their history, Turkic races practiced Shamanism.

There are Turkic people who have chosen Christianity. We became aware of the Christian Gagauz of Moldova only after the collapse of  the Soviet Union, when they started to come seeking employment in Turkey because they speak a version of Turkish very close to ours.

A curious chapter of history is the Khazar Empire (one of the sixteen in the circle); the Turkic population having converted en masse to Judaism, apparently for political reasons. When that empire collapsed in at around 1000 AD, it’s population apparently dispersed into Europe, their descendants probably sharing the fate of the European Jews under Nazism. The history of the Khazar people was the subject of the book The Thirteenth Tribe by Arthur Koestler.

The collapse of the Soviet Union has made the tradition of “The Seventeen free Turkish States in History” irrevelant, seeing as so many more independent Turkic Republics have emerged in the aftermath. (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan  and Uzbekistan. Not counting the autonomus Turkish entities in China and Russia, nor the de facto “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”, recognized only by Turkey.)

[8] Ataturk’s reforms included extending the right to vote to women, even before some Western countries. This right was given progressively, starting at the municipal level in 1930, culminating on Dec. 5th, 1934 with full rights to vote and to stand for election at the highest level. French women had to wait until 1944, Italian women until 1946, most of the Swiss until 1971, but some even longer, with the women of the the half-canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden having to hold out until1990.

[9] Building, maintenance and staffing of mosques, of clerical (İmam Hatip) schools, services during the two religious feasts, undertaking rituals, organization of Turkish Airlines flights to Mecca during the Haj (pilgrimage to Mecca) season remained the responsibilities of the secular Turkish State.

[10] I mentioned in footnote 6 that Ataturk had even had the Muezzin’s call translated and chanted in Turkish. This unique action was reversed by the Democratic Party which returned to the tradition of abusing religious sentiments  to achieve power and maintain control. The Democratic Party was overthrown in a military coup- much supported by the youth- on May 27th, 1960; three of the party leaders were executed. The party’s policies left a scar in the national consciousness, the coup left another one. Turkey never recovered from either.

May 27th was celebrated as ”Victory and Constitution Day” afterwards, but feelings were- and stll are- very much mixed about it. After the Military Intervention  of September 12th, 1980, Gen. Kenan Evren suspended May 27th as a national holiday because it was divisive.  Now, with the AKP apparently unstoppable, there is growing resentment that the Armed Forces, much maligned for “meddling in politics”, is now staying out of politics. After years of expressing anti-military sentiment, few can make an about-turn to put in a good word for Gen. Evren for the intervention of September 12th 1980. (But I do; see: “The Trial of Evrenand Şahinkaya” 1 December-Aralık 2012, "1980 minus One”, 1 December-Aralık 2012, and “The Stuff they Hoarded?", 2 December-Aralık 2012.

The issue of Secular vs. Islamist has continued to be debated. Though the Islamists have constantly challenged the secular state, my personal conviction is that  it was never secular enough! The practice of putting “Islam” for one’s religon right on the citizenship identity cards at birth, based on what it says on the parents’ cards, is as clear an abuse of the right to individual choice as any. Many people live with it, even if they experience qualms. I did too, and would have blithely continued . Then came the AKP, Erdoğan, Gül, Gülen et al.and filled me with so much revulsion towardst their “Islamst “ policies that I have had the inscription removed, exercising my right as a citizen of the (still) secular Turkish Republic to decide personally on what and what not to believe in.
  
[11] Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, “Justice and Development Party” ruling party by a comfortable majority since Nov. 3rd, 2003,

[12] Gülen was a practising imam in Turkey, whose preachings against the Secular System and his web of indoctrination centers- called “Houses of Light”- brought him in conflict with the secular system . He went on self imposed exile in the US in 1999, settling in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, from which point he has been directing his operations ever since. He was tried in absentia in Turkey under anti-terrorism laws for  “conspiring against to overthrow the state”. He was acquitted in 2006 because, according to European Union harmonizaton rulings, to be a “terrorist organization”, the said organization would have to have committed or at least prepared for violent acts. 

From his Pennsylvania ranch, Gülen exercises tremendous influence through schools spread all over the world, commanding seemingly inexhaustible funds. Apparently the US, finding in Gülen a useful tool through which to reshape the Middle East, does not hesitate to use him to dismantle and destroy its long-time NATO ally, the Turkish Republic, as a step in reshaping the Middle East into a more Globalist-US-Israel-friendly form. Not that Secular Turkey was a threat to any of these, but somehow needed to be sacrificed for “the greater plan”. (The Greater Middle-East Project, see footnote 7 of "A Pencil Jab that Hurt", March 16th, 2013.)

The Gülen cult infiltrated the police and judiciary and the next step was launched. The lessons of Gülen’s trial was learned well: a terrorist organization must have weapons. So weapons were hidden in houses, buried in fields, and clandestine informants or captured convicts “denounced” targeted journalists. intellectuals, academicians, and officers for alleged conspiracies to overthrow the government by force. This has been the story of the Ergenekon and “Sledgehammer” roundups and  trials that have been going on for seven years now, divesting the Turkish Republic of all institutions and intellectual force willing and capable of protecting it.
See for example:  “Now It’s OurShift”, 6 November-Kasım 2012, “Hammering the Sledgehammer”, 5 February- Şubat 2013, “Makes You Want to Scream”, 12 February-Şubat 2013, and “Devouring his OwnChildren”

Gülen continues to enjoy the favor and acclaim of Western  staespersons and intelligensia as a spokesman for “moderate Islam.” In reality, the allegatons that had taken him to court before his self-imposed exile in the US have turned out to be true- he has been leading an organization to overthrow the existing Republic.  As for arms, they are in the hands of the police his cult has infiltrated!

For a US viewpoint on the Gülen movement:

[13] I have referrred over and over to these conspiracy allegations, roundups, and trials. For Ergenekon see “The Flag and the Ribbon”, 30 May-Mayıs 2012, “FadedGlory”, 28 October- Ekim 2012, “Silivri”, 18 December-Aralık 2012, “Being aHero”, 17 January- Ocak 2013, “Silivri, 18-02-2013”, 25 February –Şubat 2013, “The Dardanelles Broken Through”, 19 March- Mart 2012,  “To Silivri Again”, 29 March- Mart 2013,  and “Provocation:Silivri, April 8th”, 13 April-Nisan 2013, for the “Sledghammer” see: “TheSledgehammer”, 6 September-Eylül 2013, “’Sledgehammer’ Verdicts”, 22 September- Eylül 2012, “Reacting to the ‘Sledgehammer’ Verdicts”,  26 September-Eylül 2012,  “Now It’s OurShift”, 6 November-Kasım 2012, “Hammering the Sledgehammer”, 5 February- Şubat 2013, “Makes You Want to Scream”, 12 February-Şubat 2013, and “Devouring his OwnChildren”, 19 February- Şubat 2013, for “February 28th” see “A Turban by AnyOther Name”, 16 July- Temmuz 2012, and “Ataturk Out of Time”,  2 March- Mart 2013, for “September 12th” see:“The Trial of Evren and Şahinkaya”, 1 December-Aralık 2012, “1980 Minus One”, 1 December-Aralık 2012, and “The Stuff They Hoarded?”, 2 December 2012,.

[14] The AKP government is introducing the coming “autonomy” of the Eastern provinces as a “federal” Kurdish entity as an expansion that will incorporate nothern Iraq into a neo-Ottoman state.  In a speech he delivered  in Bursa on March 3rd, 2013  Minister of Exterior Ahmet  Davudoğlu declared his government’s aim “..to bind Sarajevo to Damascus, Benghazi to Erzurum,and Batum. .. These may sound like different countries today but 110 years ago Yemen and Skopje were in the same country...”  

Kurdish leaders tell another story. Selahattin Demirtaş, co-chairman  of  the BDP (Barış ve Demokrasi Partisi, “Peace and Democracy Party”, ethnic Kurdish party in Turkey) declared on March 23rd, 2013 that  “if in the future the people want an independent Kurdistan, no one can stop this...”. 

As for the aggressive attitude of Prime Minister Erdoğan and the AKP leaders towards Syria, this is often accompanied by similar expansionist neo-Ottoman rethoric. See:“War Drums of a Civilian Government”, 18 Octoberr- Ekim 2012, “The Shelling ofAkçakale and Reprisals”, 7 October- Ekim 2012.

[15] The “unchangeable” clauses of the Turkish constitution (by now Erdoğan’s AKP has changed practically  everything else):
1) The Turkish State is a Republic. 2) The Turkish Republic is a democratic, secular State under Rule of Law, in a spirit of national solidarity and of justice, respecting Human Rights, loyal to Kemalist Nationalism and to the main principles delineated at the beginning. 3)The Turkish State, with its nation and territory, compose an undivisible whole. It’s language is Turkish. It’s flag is the red flag with a white crescent moon and star, as specified in the relevant law. It’s national anthem is the “Independence March”. It’s capital is Ankara. 4) The declaration in clause 1, to the effect that the form of government is a Republic, those in clause 2 delineating the qualities of this Republic, and the precepts in clause 3 cannot be changed, nor may such a proposal be voiced.

Because clause 4 says the first three cannot be changed, the AKP wants to start with 4. Clever, clever!

[16] To appease Kurdish feelings, which are really the feelings of the PKK and its sympathizers- I am sure no one has made a survey of all the ethnic Kurdish population- parliamnetary talks on the new constitution has called even for the suppression of the word Türk- for “Turk” and “Turkish”- from the Turkish constitution.

[17] CHP= Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi (“Republican People’s Party”) and MHP= Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi (“National Movement Party”) are the two main opposition parties, with their barks much worse than their bites. Also represented is the BDP= Barış ve Demokrasi Partisi, (The Party of Peace and Democracy, the ethnic  Kurdish party, the deputies having been elected as independents to circumnavigate the 10% election threshold imposed on parties. The BDP collaborates closely with the ruling AKP on controversial issues like the new constitution in return for the AKP’s overtures towards an autonomous, eventually independent Kurdistan.

[18] In 1989 the Pentagon asked the Rand Corporation to submit a report on “the future of Islam and radicalism in Turkey”. A study group was formed under the leadership of Graham Fuller. For 20 years Fuller had been operations officer for the CIA before becoming  vice-chairman of the National Intelligence Council from 1986. Fuller left the CIA in 1988 for the Rand Corporation.

In the report, it was suggested that, to keep Radical Islam from coming to power, it was necessary to give “moderate Islam” more leeway. The report acknowledges the common goal of Islamists around the world to be the return to a theocratic Islamist state structure (i.e. rule by Sharia, Koranic Law, as state Law), but sees this outcome as an impossibility in Turkey.

Shortly afterwards, in 1991, Clause 163 of the Turkish Penal Code curtailing “...propaganda or persuasion towards founding the social, economic, political or judicial system on religious principles or the exploitation of religious feelings for propaganda purposes...” was removed under Prime Minister Özal, who often flaunted his chummy relationship with George Bush Sr.

In December 2002 AKP leader Tayyip Erdoğan was in Washington visiting George Bush Jr. The AKP had won a clear victory on the elections of Nov. 3rd, 2002, only fifteen months after the party was founded on August 14th 2001, a spectacular rise in Turkey where unestablished parties have never had a chance. When  Erdoğan was visiting Bush, he had not yet become Prime Minister, or even a Member of Parliament, having been banned from politics at the time.  President Bush did not even wait long enough for Erdoğan to find a back door into the Parliament and the office of the Prime Minister of Turkey to confer his blessings. The circuitious way Erdoğan took to claim the title of Prime Minister is recounted in footnote 18 of “A Pencil Jab that Hurt”, 16 March- Mart 2013.

The above-mentioned George Fuller wrote a letter in support of Fethullah Gülen’s visa application in the US in 2008.

[19] I expressed my disenchantment with the religious celebrations in “Ramadan, August 30th, and Mr. Incredible”, 17 Ağustos- August 2012.

[20] This past 23rd of April Prime Minister Erdoğan suffered a problem with his voice- unfortunately for the rest of us, he recovered quickly. Last Nov. 10th, anniversary of Ataturk’s death, Prime Minister Erdoğan was again unable to attend commemorative ceremonies, being on an important state visit to the Sultan of Brunei. He will be with his friend Barack Obama on May 19th.

[21] Kutlu Doğum Haftası.

[22] An important bone of contention between secular and “Islamist” Turks has been Koranic classes. There used to be restrictions applied to them, they had to be licensed to operate. The Islamists have always called these restrictions “oppression” and “infringement of liberties”. The AKP has lifted all restrictions, and even encourages them. You must relize that in these “Koranic Classes”, the students are MADE TO MEMORIZE THE ENTIRE TEXT BY ROTE, they DO NOT, repeat NOT understand what they are reding. These students, their ages getting ever younger (down to six now and falling), are Turkish speakers; the classes do not include any instruction of Arabic. When challenged on this point, the Islamists say the text is too elevated for tefsir (“interpretation”) by the layman. If you ask them why the students do not study it in Turkishn, they say “it loses too much in translation.”

The point here is they want the mystery, the veiled, not quite understood quality. A “Muslim Christmas”” will not have the charm,  color and playfulness  of a Santa Claus Christmas familiar to foreign readers. It will be veiled, sinister and opressive reflecting the character of the people who are concocting it.

[23] The “Felicitious Birth Week” was “invented” in 1989.

[24] I got the information about why April 20th was selected from: http://beyn.org/kutlu-dogum-haftasi-ile-mevlit-kandili-fark-nedir  The Prophet is generally believed to have been born a year before 571, in 570. his birthday would have been 11 days later, on May 1st! There are various date converters between the Gregorian and Islamic calendars on the web but because the birth occured well before the Hejra, year one of the Islamic calendar (622 AD), none of these converters seems to be able to make a reliable conversion when the years run in the negative.

A website on the net gives no less than  9 conflicting dates reported. (http://islamandpsychology.blogspot.com/2011/02/date-of-birth-and-date-of-death-of.html), with the Shiites accepting the 17th of  Rabi-al-Awwal.

[25] Source:                                                                                                           http://haber.gazetevatan.com/Kutlu_Dogum_Haftasi_Fethullah_Gulen_icin_mi/234688/4/yazarlar

[26] See “WhatI saw on Republic Day”, 1 November- Kasım 2012, and “Simba and Nov. 10th”, 13 November-Kasım 2013.

1 yorum:

  1. Sevgili müslümanlığı, islam dinini tam anlayamamış kavrayamamış kardeşim/büyüğüm umarım bir gün kalbin ve ruhun islam dininin huzurunu, müslümanlığın mutluluğunu ve Allah sevgisinin muhteşemliğini tadar..

    YanıtlaSil