Sunday, July 29, 2007

Dark Glasses

Think, for a moment, of the Susurluk trials, Şemdinli, political party closures, murders committed by unknown perpetrators. Reflect on patriotic gang organizations that have been uncovered in recent days, the general who had bombs placed left and right so that ‘some officials would smarten up’, the murders of Priest Santoro and Hrant Dink, the savageries of Maraş, Sivas and Malatya...

It seems that in all these issues, that are important in determining what kind of a country Turkey will become, on what sort of principles it will exist, public opinion is always formed around the separation between ‘us’ and the ‘other’. Patriots vs. non-patriots, nationalists vs. those with roots outside, Turks vs. enemies of Turks, army supporters vs. army opposers, those that love their state vs. enemies of the state...

As long as this is the prime determinant and the level to look out on the world and deliberate issues, it is obviously not possible to reach any healthy conclusion. Since those in positions in judiciary or work in law enforcement are not beamed from outer space, but are a product of this society’s values, traumas, mental laziness etc., the sentencing of actions that stray outside the law can be done through the glasses of us/others.

The policemen who pose for heroic posters with the murder suspect, the investigator who did not find sufficient cause to open an investigation against these policemen, the police director who said “the planners of the murder are not a terrorist organization but a group of friends,” the lawyer who said “All of you have Armenian passports, get out of the country,” to the Dink family and their lawyers in front of the court building, all of these are under the influence of this mind warping that has severed all ties to reality.

This warp in perceptions results in the murderer transformed into a hero, and idolized for his brutality and savagery, the murdered transformed into an enemy, demonized for having been brutalized and victimized.

Is it necessary to say that this does not portend a bright future for the society of Turkey?

Translated by Deniz Akkuş
June 6, 2007

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