Sunday, October 25, 2009

State of Denial - Turkey?

In my opinion Turkey and the USA has a lot in common. I keep on saying that. Both are political polarized, both are dominated by religion. Both have a tendency to be aggressive and both have many allies and enemies. Both are well known for their service and hospitality and both are hard working countries. And both have a boulevard press: in the USA FOX network and in Turkey the Dogan group. Both manipulate and both don’t do their country a favor with their biased uncultivated journalism. But there is one difference, the USA have a track record of independent journalism and Turkey not. in Turkey the exception. And Orhan Kemel Gengiz, a human right lawyer, is one of those columnists who open write and open up their minds. Although still moving around with a bodygurad!
Here his latest article. I would rather call it State of Denial. In fact he writes down the words what so many Turks told me face to face...

Denial, confrontation and a recipe for disaster by ORHAN KEMAL CENGİZ

Turkey’s confrontation with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has been a unique experience which has never been fully understood nor has it attracted the attention it deserves.


Everyone knows that Turkey has been one of the most frequently condemned countries by the European Court of Human Rights. Some know that it was Turkey which had been found guilty by the ECtHR for the first time in its history of some “specific human rights violations.” The first judgments with regard to torture (Aksoy), rape in custody (Aydın) and village destruction (Akdivar) were delivered against Turkey.

The facts were denied, institutions were denied and practices were denied. Victims talking, giving incredibly detailed accounts about the activities of JİTEM (an illegal extension of the gendarmerie), but the Turkish state denied the very existence of this organization. These cases brought before the ECtHR covered a small portion of the atrocities committed in the Southeast. There are 17,500 unsolved murders and 3,000 village destructions attributed to JİTEM and other “deep state elements” in Turkey.

Read here the full article.

Some facts about education in the Arab world

A recent research, study and survey by the American Association of for the Advancement of Science in the Arab world shows the following results:

- Barely a third of the Egyptian adults have ever heard about Charles Darwin.

- Only 8% of these Egyptians think there is evidence to back up Darwin famous theory.

- At a private university in the UAE only 15% of the faculty members thought there was good evidence to support evolution.

- State primairy schools in Saudie Arabia devoted 32% of the time to Islam, only 20% to math.

Day Opening - October 25

Iceskating in Morzine, France