Monday, March 24, 2008

Turkey's dogma's

The underlying charge in the chief prosecutor's indictment is that the AKP has been eroding secularism. But the origins of the current constitution, and its definition of secularism, are highly suspect.
Turkey's existing constitution was adopted in 1982 as a direct product of the Turkish military coup of 1980. The five senior generals who led the coup appointed, directly or indirectly, all 160 members of the Consultative Assembly that drafted the new constitution, and they retained veto power over the final document. In the national ratification referendum that followed, citizens were allowed to vote against the military-sponsored draft, but not to argue against it publicly.

As a result, the 1982 constitution has weaker democratic origins than any in the EU. Its democratic content was also much weaker, assigning, for example, enormous power (and a military majority) to the National Security Council. While the AKP has moderated this authoritarian feature, it is difficult to democratize such a constitution fully, and official EU reports on Turkey's prospects for accession repeatedly call for a new constitution, not merely an amended one.

With public opinion polls indicating that the AKP's draft constitution, prepared by an academic committee, would be accepted through normal democratic procedures, the chief prosecutor acted to uphold the type of secularism enshrined in the 1982 constitution, which many commentators liken to French secularism.

Yet the comparison with what the French call laicism is misleading.

Certainly, both French laicism and Turkish secularism (established by modern Turkey's founder, Mustapha Kemal Ataturk) began with a similar hostility toward religion. But now they are quite different. In Turkey, the only religious education that is tolerated is under the strict control of the state, whereas in France a wide variety of privately supported religious education establishments is allowed, and since 1959 the state has paid for much of the Catholic Church's primary school costs. In Turkey, Friday prayers are written by civil servants in the 70,000-member State Directorate of Religious Affairs, and all Turkish imams also must be civil servants.

No similar controls exist in France.

Similarly, until the AKP came to power and began to loosen restrictions, it was virtually impossible in Turkey to create a new church or synagogue, or to create a Jewish or Christian foundation. This may be why the Armenian patriarch urged ethnic Armenians in Turkey to vote for the AKP in last July's elections. Here, too, no such restrictions exist in France.

The differences between French and Turkish secularism can be put in even sharper comparative perspective. In the widely cited "Fox" index measuring state control of majority and minority religions - in which zero represents the least state control, and figures in the thirties represent the greatest degree of control - all but two current EU member states get scores that are in the zero to six range. France is at the high end of the EU norm, with a score of six.
Turkey, however, scores 24, worse even than Tunisia's authoritarian secular regime. Is this the type of secularism that needs to be perpetuated by the Turkish chief prosecutor's not so-soft constitutional coup?

What really worries some democratic secularists in Turkey and elsewhere is that the AKP's efforts at constitutional reform might be simply a first step toward introducing Islamic law, or sharia. If the constitutional court will not stop a potential AKP-led imposition of sharia, who will?
There are two responses to this question. First, the AKP insists that it opposes creating a sharia state, and experts say that there is no "
smoking gun" in the chief prosecutor's indictment showing that the AKP has moved toward such a goal. Second, support for sharia, never high in Turkey, has actually declined since the AKP came to power, from 19 percent in 1996 to 8 percent in 2007.

Given that the AKP's true power base is its support in democratic elections, any attempt to impose sharia would risk alienating many of its own voters. Given this constraint, there is no reason for anyone, except for "secular fundamentalists," to support banning the AKP, Erdogan, or Gul; and every reason for Turkey to continue on its democratic path. Only that course will enable Turkey to construct a better constitution than it has now.

A dogma tells one side of the story.

source: TheDaily Mirror

Who smiled really charming?

Finally a warm heart for a 'Bunny'...

Our enlighted God. But we missed his address...but no price for you this year.

Only Today! Watch out you infidels...

The tape, aired on Arabic television channel al-Jazeera, calls for organised resistance against invading "crusaders" in the Muslim world.
In addition to the US and the UK, the speaker singles out Australia, France, Poland, Norway, South Korea and Japan.
He says the countries cited took part in the invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq or Chechnya and gave Israel "means of survival".
Thank you, Sir.

Canada is often thought of as a land of bland consensus and multicultural harmony - the last place where you would expect to see a religious minority up in arms, and journalists accusing the state of gagging freedom of speech.
Yet in recent months, these have become fixtures of the country's public debate.
Read here.
Abu Bakar Bashir, spiritual leader in Indonesia, has likened non-Muslims to worms, snakes and maggots. Read here. He likes to smile when these snakes (Jews) worms (Christians) and maggots (Hindus and Buddhists) are crushed.
Reminds me about a movie last night, which I saw for the 5th time: Schindler's List.

There were around 30 attacks today by Muslim extremists...but for today, its enough.
Time for the OIC to DO something?
Enjoy your Holidays!!!

Day Opening - March 24

Plaster by Serge Roche.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

YouTube Blocked and the Close of AK Party: Repercussions for Turkish Society

What does blocking YouTube in Turkey and the Turkish Constitutional Court trying to close the AK Party have in common? Refusal to understand the democratic right to freedom of speech for all people and for society to elect their officials.

Isn't a National Court supposed to respect people's rights instead of quashing them?

Why does the Turkish Court continue to waste time on cases which only result in less freedom, less understanding, and of greater importance, negative publicity?

Holiday Branding -Armani

As a kid, I used to leave the Easter Bunny a few carrots, just to make sure I got some good chocolates. Now that I’m an adult, what do I have to do to make sure I get some Armani Easter Eggs this year?

“Embossed with the unmistakable ‘A’ and delivered in a sky blue box dressed with a ribbon, these chocolate eggs are not for the children to hunt down in the yard, but for a special someone who deserves some sweetness this spring,” Luxist describes.

The epitome of good taste, in every sense, these golden eggs are just a matter of deciding whether or not to get one, just a question of how to accessorize. They look so good, I may just have to buy one for myself.
You don’t have to wait for Easter to pick one up, and you’ll probably miss out if you do. They hit Armani stores in mid-February. Next year?

Day Opening - March 23

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

a column

Mustafa Aykol, a dear friend wrote a column:

Introducing the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ankara

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Turkey will become a free and democratic country until the SSRA is abolished, and all institutions of the regime accept the sovereignty of the people

Turkey is often called a democracy, but that is a gross mistake. In fact, it is only a quasi-democracy. In democracies, sovereignty rests with the people. In Turkey it is shared between the people and the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ankara (SSRA). The latter lets the people make decisions on trivial issues, but never allows them to mingle with more important ones. When the representatives of the people take steps to make Turkey a real democracy, the SSRA first resists, then warns, then attacks.

Of course the SSRA does not call itself as such. It simply calls itself “the Republic.” Dictionaries will tell you that a republic is “a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives.” But in Turkey, it is precisely the opposite. The like the USSR of Moscow, the SSRA of Ankara is a “republic” which does not trust its people. It only trusts its own rigid ideology, which is often at odds with the deep-seated beliefs, values and identities of the people. That's why the SSRA is engaged in a never-ending war against “the internal enemies of the Republic,” who constitute the majority of the nation.
Vulgar (not dialectical) materialism:

Continue reading here

A famous writer

Belgian Author Hugo Claus Dies at 78

Day opening - March 20

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Turkish double standards, again.

While the Turkey's military and its bourgeois press is putting pressure on the EU to do more fighting PKK terrorists, the same press and military are saying: 'we don't want to fight in Afghanistan'. Do they have some interests in the papaver/heroin culture over there? Women trafficking as well, since Turkey is a transit country for human flesh and drugs?

While Turkey is still accusing 'the West', what that means - but my Turkish well travelled friends knows what That means - of supporting the PKK, the same regime refuse to battle the 'out of the dark ages' movements like the Taliban. Of course, the Taliban are 'brothers' of Turkey, since they have the same religion.

Turkey is not building bridges, this PR tale is off the table. For once and always; you can slaughter Christians, Jews, Hindu's, Buddhists and Turkey act still like an elephant in a porcelain store...

In the meanwhile, Turks are suing each other - fighting their own Taliban (read AKP) in Turkey- and are still finding a new way how to topple an elected government, by all means. Yes, Turkey is real democratic, on its own merits.

An excellent article

Our brave and dear friend wrote another fine article.

By Orhan Kemal Cengiz.

'Judicial memo' to open Pandora's Box?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

For the Turkish military, “legitimacy” is very important. Therefore, if you look at the history of military interventions in Turkey you can see that before each of them, “necessary conditions” had always been prepared. The military came to power “as a last resort,” to “save the country” from different kind of evils. When I say military I do not mean a homogeneous power. In terms of ideology and for their self appointed role, there is of course a consensus within this institution. If there is an institution with a rigidly defined role, it is not difficult for some people within and outside this organization doing things that will lead it in certain directions to urge it to play “its role.”

Is the case against the Justice and Development Party (AKP) a case that the chief prosecutor at the Court of Appeals has decided to take it on his own? I do not think so. It is clear that the prosecutor is acting on behalf of a coalition of bureaucrats, most of which consist of soldiers. Kemalist elites have been trying to find new ways and means to intervene in political processes. The military has got a harsh lesson at the last elections on July 22, 2007. Therefore, it is obvious that they would refrain from making open moves but instead would prefer to use a kind of shield, a different exterior.

They are now calculating what kind of reactions they would have if they make an intervention. They are trying to understand what would the reaction be from within the country and abroad if they try to make more open interventions. This is my good case scenario. My worst case scenario is that this case may just be a first move for a chain of actions. It may be followed by some provocative moves that will be used against the government again. If I were the government I would take all precautions to protect the chief prosecutor and the members of the high courts against any assassination. However, from the first reactions of the leaders of the AKP, I could see that they do not understand the gravity of the situation. The prime minister and other forefront figures in the AKP are making angry comments about the prosecutor, unaware of the fact that all these comments may well be used as a part of another conspiracy which will lead this country into uncertainty and crisis.

What I hope of course, that the first scenario is in making in Turkey. Namely Kemalist elites are just making a blind move to understand and analyse “the situation” in order to explore the possibilities.

The lessons to be drawn:
Continue reading here.

You Tube chronicles

A ton of money is going to online video advertising, but very little of that is going to user-generated amateur videos.
For now, advertisers fear their ads could accidentally appear in clips that have nudity, foul language or even criticism of their brand. According to Jayant Kadambi, chief executive for YuMe Inc. "That’s a holdover from the TV days. If someone runs a TV show that the general audience doesn’t like, the advertiser gets yelled at.” And fined.
Janet Jackson Superbowl fiasco, anyone? Even though Google has been showing new video formats to generate money from its purchase of YouTube, it has been very cautious not alienating users or advertisers.
Success will finally depend on video-sharing sites separating quality video from the gargabe and tagging ads accordingly.
"You really don't know what you are going to get until you see it," she said. "A user-generated (clip) could be 30 seconds or three minutes.
You have no idea of the quality. To make a user pay with their time with any type of preroll is risky."
But by contrast, she said, a user can expect a certain level of quality from a specific show or sports highlights offered online.
With education and innovation, Greenspan said, "by and large we can close the gap. I don't think it's ever going to consistently match top brands, but we're still talking about a huge move upwards from where it is. Right now it's just ridiculous."

And YouTube is again banned in Turkey.
Turkey's prosecutors have to understand that not YouTube but one of its users are (mis)using YouTube for its own purposes.

Day Opening - March 19

Ancient Mayan Ruins Chichen Itza Mexico.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


At a press conference today The Dalai Lama said he would have to resign as leader of Tibet's government-in-exile if violence by protesters in the region worsens.

Yesterday Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao blamed supporters of the Dalai Lama for the recent violence in Tibet.

The Dalai Lama dared Wen to investigate the protest in China.
He said “Prime minister come here and investigate thoroughly all our files, or record my speeches.“

The current protest’s are the most violent ones until now.

The power of the Greek Orthodox church

If you are living in Greece, and you have a relation, don't live together...

The Greek Orthodox church, which plays a significant role in the life of the Greeks, considered this to be tantamount to "prostitution".

The Greek government, who is trying to harmonise their law to 'European standards' (I still don't know what that means), is under fire by the Greek Orthodox church. A church which also have a powerful influence on Greek politics.

The proposed new law would allow unmarried couples to make their relationship legally binding, by signing a simple notarial contract.

But still, homosexual couples don't have any rights like heterosexual couples.

Money Money Money!

Paul McCartney's ex-wife received nearly 24.3 million pounds payout in divorce ruling.
McCartney (65) married the former model and charity campaigner Heather Mills (40) in 2002.
They separated four years later, blaming media intrusion into their private lives. The settlement equated to £17,000 for every day of the couple's marriage. Not bad...

Ban on t-shirts?

Cool brands are working more and launching products related to sex, whether it's perfume, t-shirts or boards.

Here, Addict launched an artist series with 3 XXX sketches to wear, made by Mode 2 artists, showing intimate parts of female body, beautiful drawn. Is sex the uner new trend to 'wear'? We know sex sells but the way the the brand delivers the 'sex' message is what matters for the consumer. Common people think it would be inappropriate, but some consumers, the target group, the trendsetters, would agree that this is a good marketing move.
Do you think that wearing this t-shirt will be allowed while attending class at an university in Turkey?
The t-shirts are not religious and/or political related...
The box of Pandora is open at the moment...