Category Archives: Turkey

Erdogan: Who Are You??

Turkish President Recep Erdogan is very angry. He has increasingly gained more and more power in the Turkish government and has reached the point where any, and I mean, any, criticism of what he does is an act of terrorism against his rule. He did begin years ago as a reformer seeking to end power of the Turkish military to overthrow governments, and he successfully has gained control of those men. But, something happened along the road toward creating a Turkish democracy. Power, Power, is now the only issue in his mind. An editorial in The New York Times which was critical of his policies toward journalists has sent Erdogan on a furious denial campaign. The Times said: “Mr. Erdogan appears increasingly hostile to truth telling.” Gee, those are fighting words. Erdogan responded: “Who are you? Can you write such a thing against the United States administration?”

The answer is: YES. At this moment in time the nation of Turkey is holding dozens of journalists in jail for writing what the New York Times writes every day. In a democracy, the government does not decide what is “truth telling.

SingWrong Tune In Turkey

There are moments in life when one no longer is surprised at what SOME Muslims consider to be against the will of God. Throughout human history people throughout the world have played music and sung and drawn pictures. Name a human society without some form of music, name a human society without some form of singing? A young Turkish girl named Mutle Kaya just loved to sing and sing. A Turkish musical star, Sibel Can, heard her lovely voice and encouraged her to enter a contest. Alas, some members of her father’s tribe or clan or whatever, decided that she had become possessed by evil spirits and after sending death threats they physically attacked the girl.

During the year 2014 in Turkey, at least 294 women were murdered for some form of incorrect behavior. Just add singing to the list. I wonder if women in Turkey can sing in the shower?

Turkish President Explains How To Prevent ISIS

Until the advent to power of President Recep Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party, the Muslim nation of Turkey had created a balance between civil rights and religious rights. Although a majority of Muslims in Turkey are Sunni there are minor Muslim groups, Christians and Jews along with a sizable number of Muslims who are really not that religious. Once assuming power Erdogan did end the power of the Turkish military to interfere in the political process. However, he also moved to impose greater and greater religious ideas throughout the school system, the judiciary, and the world of politics. With each passing day there are steady changes in Turkey such as imposing required religious classes in school which are controlled by imams who support the government.

President Erdogan issued a challenge to his political enemies and argued the reason there was no ISIS or Boko Haram was due to his fight to expand religious education and practice in Turkey. One has nothing to do with the other. Turkish Muslims inhabit a society with a booming economy and have no interest in crazy imams urging a jihad or suicide bombers. Create a dynamic economy, have the semblance of democracy and few seek ISIS.

Sad Times In Turkey

The modern nation of Turkey was formed from the dying Ottoman empire about 89 years ago when a soldier named Ataturk decided to lead a movement that would end a world of corruption and create a modern society based upon secular principles. I am not arguing that he wanted to create a democratic nation, but he did desire to end religious power. His followers are known as Kemalists and they reject the concept that religion should be the basis of modern life. Turkey for decades was based upon this principle of secularism. But, with the advent of the Justice and Development Party-AKP-Turkey has taken a new turn-and it is not for the better. Instead of military leaders the people of Turkey are now confronted with President Erdogan who believes a modern society requires strong religious values. I am not arguing that he suppresses those of different religions, but his government slowly, but surely is instituting more and more religious values–Muslim that is–into all aspects of society. In addition, he is slowly, but surely, eroding the democratic desires of a high percent of the population.

It has reached the point when Kemalists seeking to honor Ataturk are now accused of fostering violence. All they want to do is celebrate the work of a great Turkish leader. Something is very wrong in Turkey these days and religious freedom is being threatened. Erdogan is to Turkey what the Tea Party and our religious right are to America.

Oops, Putin Said A Bad Word!

Vladimir Putin has an ability to irritate one and all in this world. He is so confident that whatever he utters will be accepted in the Soviet Union, –oops, I meant, Russia, that he once again angered another government. He was attending a meeting in the nation of Armenia to remember the murder of 1.5 million Armenians residing in Turkey during World War I, when he referred to this disaster as a GENOCIDE. Naturally, the government of Turkey is upset because they prefer living in a world that never happened. Either the Armenians in Turkey killed themselves or they were collaborating with the invading Russian army, but somehow in some way about 1.5 million wound up dead. Actually, the American Ambassador Henry Morgenthau described the atrocities frankly and clearly to his government. Armenians were murdered and it is time for Turkey to recognize this sloughier and initiate an educational program that teaches the truth.

What happened a hundred years is not the fault of modern Turks anymore than the Holocaust is the fault of modern Germans or the massacre of Indians in the West is the fault of modern Americans. As a society we must accept the truth of what happened in the past and work to ensure it does not happen today.

Explaining Turkey

There should be another category in awarding Nobel prizes for peace that is focused on deterring if the nation of Turkey is for or against peace in the Middle East. President Recep Erdogan has been opposed from day one of the government of President Assad in Syria. He opposes this man because Assad is really not a very devout Muslim and he is close to the government of Iran. Of course, the government of Turkey engages in trade and good relations with Iran, but Erdogan does not want them having anything to do with the government of Syria. The Kurds who reside in parts of Turkey and Syria were fighting against ISIS which is another group that Erdogan does not like, but when the Kurds asked for some help, President Erdogan refused. In other words when a group that opposes the group he does not like, he refuses to help them.

The story goes on and on. At no point has Turkey engaged in military action against Syria. As Erdogan notes, ” I do not believe air strikes are sufficient to defeat Daesh(ISIS) in either Syria or Iraq. A rand offensive is needed align with air strikes so that operations can be successful.” Ok, he wants an offensive operation, but for some reason he does not wish Turkish troops to be involved, just the other guys. Of course if the other guys ask for his aid the answer is-NO. At this point Turkey has the best armed force of any Arab nation. But, he wants the other guys to fight.

Attack Of Balloons

The nation of Turkey each day slides ever closer to a semi autocratic society in which President Recep Erdogan rules the roost and no one dares to question his decisions. Ironically, Erdogan attained power because most Turks were tired of being ruled by generals. He crushed the power of these military leaders and offered a new road to democracy. But, once in power, like so many other tin pot rulers, the man of last year decided to consolidate his authority and impose a new version of democracy. In his early days, Erdogan was a moderate Muslim, but even this has changed and creeping Muslim religion is slowly working its way through education systems.

The Turkish government has announced it is investigating a set of horrible terrorist actions that include, planting trees, inflating balloons, and dancing the halay, a traditional folk dance, that were done without official permission. Some of the balloons were placed on poles near the literature faculty of a university. What next, clowns in the streets–without official permission??

Pope Does It Again!

Pope Francis has a tendency to utter words of common sense which apparently cause others to rise up in arms. Heck, he said that gays and lesbians are welcomed in the Church which sort of antagonized some of the conservative members of his religion. He has now angered and infuriated the government of Turkey because he uttered some words which at this point in time are illegal in the nation of Turkey. Pope Francis commented that the murder of nearly one million Armenians in Turkey was “the first genocide in the 21st century.” Among the words that one can utter in the nation of Turkey that lead to prison are:

Armenians and genocide.

Armenians and murder.

Turks killing Armenians.

Armenians dying at the hands of Turkish soldiers.

Believe it or not but saying any of those words in the country of Turkey is against the law!

Just Wash Your Hands

The Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs has just issued a fatawa. NO, it is not against the bad people who are murdering thousands of Muslims in the Middle East. NO, it is not against beheading of Muslims, No, it is not against bombing hospitals or schools, this fatawa is about an important issue for the Muslim people of Turkey. The fatawa states that under certain conditions it is OK for Muslims to use toilet paper when wiping their behind after a shit. Ordinarily, according to this religious group, one must wipe the behind with water, but then again one might be in the desert so this does allow for bringing along some toilet paper to do the wiping. But, if you live in a city then please wipe the behind with water in order to avoid doing something bad.

Here are some other pieces of advice from this organization.

People who beg in order to get money beyond their immediate needs are “demanding the fire of Hell.”

If substances containing alcohol spill on a dress or the body they must be washed before uttering a prayer.

I guess God really does observe what we do!

More Chaos In Turkey

These days the only certainty is that someplace and somewhere in the Middle East some militants will do something horrific. I hate to inform the Republican party or Fox News, but the United States of America is unable to control the multitude of terrorists, gangsters and nut cases who wander the streets of some Middle Eastern city. The latest episode occurred in Turkey. Ironically, this act of terrorism had absolutely not connection to al-Qaeda or to the H out his or to ISIS or to any other Muslim group in the area. It was an old fashioned Turkish example of terrorism. The Turkish government has refused to institute reforms that would benefit its 20% Kurdish minority and with each passing day insists that all must obey the Great Leader named Recep Erdogan. Believe it or not but there are still some old fashioned Marxists still alive in Turkey!

Members of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Force entered a court room and captured a prosecutor. He was held as a hostage until Special Forces charged into the room which led to his murder. IN Turkey they do not believe in negotiation, they just blast ahead and the hell with a hostage who is now dead. The prosecutor was investigating a case in which an eleven year old boy was killed by Turkish police because he was at the scene of a demonstration. Frankly, it was amazing that in the world of Recep Erdogan anyone is placed on trial for killing an innocent protester.

I must admit surprise there are still some Marxists left in this world.