Tag Archives: Turkey

Macedonians: wow, people are speaking out

4 Jun

See video at Twitter :

Correction: The Greek Church was on of the main actors of assimilation. Pretty irrelevant on those grounds today. Nor do I see Vlachs or Albanians or even Macedonians leaving their respective Orthodox Churches at any point in the future.

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Photo: Bosporus, winter 1954

16 Jan

Exact location and provenance unknown.

CENGIZ AKTAR: Don’t think Turkey is going back to normal any time soon; its civil society institutions (for what they were, let’s not exaggerate) are just too damaged.

29 Dec

Even if Erdie loses next elections…

Sometimes you come across a piece that sums things up so well that you’re embarrassed at everything else you’ve read, tweeted, retweeted and posted in the recent past because they now all seem superfluous and redundant. This Cengiz Aktar article in AhvalNews is exactly that: Taking account of the damages to Turkey.

Money quote:

“A strong state tradition manifests as the guarantee of the country, which is the guarantee of property. The main pillars of the state’s guarantee are courts of law, military, foreign affairs, academia, treasury, and civil services. Today, we are living through a rapid discrediting of these institutions, as their institutional memories are emptied. These institutions are being abolished by the government, instead of being transformed and democratised in line with tendencies of the world.”

Read it.

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Map: HDP members jailed in Turkey, municipalities they come from and where they’re jailed

29 Dec

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Erdie: “The people of Turkey are behind me!”

29 Dec

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Minarets and belltowers and erections on Twitter

29 Dec

But before we start feeling all outraged and superior, the fate of Ottoman mosques in the Balkans has not been much better. How the few — like Jiannena’s — that survived did so is a miracle. And even in Jiannena we have two perfectly preserved mosques, thankfully, and one in a bad state, and a fourth that is not even recognizable unless you know it’s there; this out of a total of 18 mosques before the 1920s.

Plus while we’re on phalluses and hard-ons, it’s become the thing for both Serbian Orthodox and Croatian Catholic churches in Bosnia to build ridiculously high bell-towers, under the unspoken order that they be conspicuously higher than any neighboring minarets.

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Nesi Altaras: “We do not live in the Ottoman Empire and we are not subjects. As citizens we demand and deserve EQUAL CITIZENSHIP not TOLERANCE.”

28 Dec

Watch Nesi Altaras‘ — one of the editors of Avlaremoz, Istanbul Jewish daily — commentary on Twitter.

And check out full discussion at the USCIRF: Conversation with USCIRF: Religious Freedom in Turkey.

(And enjoy Altaras himself, a cute, smart Jewish boy fluent in Ladino, which, from what I gather, is not such a common skill anymore among Turkey’s young Jews. Embarrassed-smile emoji…)

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Turkey and its Jews: Avlaremoz, the Varlık Vergisi and Şekip Bey, the appropriation of minority capital, Sephardic Jews and Spain

26 Dec

Next time a Turk or Turkey/Islam apologist tells you that progressive, tolerant, cosmopolitan Turkey gave refuge to Jewish intellectuals and scientists persecuted by the Nazis during the 1930s, remind them that a few years later the Turkish Republic imposed an over 100% estate tax — the Varlık Vergisi, also imposed on Greeks and Armenians — on its own Jews, which ruined most and saw many sent to lethal work camps in Anatolia as punishment, where many died.

One voice of protest:

Context: from the massacres of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Lausanne Population Exchange, the various rulings and legal restrictions placed on non-Turkish speakers and non-Muslims following the founding of the Republic, the 1934 Thrace Pogrom against Jews, the estate tax (above), the anti-Greek Pogrom of 1955, the Deportations of Greeks in 1964-65 and the general climate of fear and violence and harassment non-Muslims still live under in contemporary Turkey — the Varlık Vergisi represents just one episode in a process of a massive transfer of capital from non-Muslim to Muslim hands in the 20th century – a transfer which laid the groundwork for late 20th and early 21st century Turkey’s booming (or now not-so-booming) economy.

But history does provide us with some delicious ironies: currently, when Turks need a visa to travel anywhere in Europe or North America — given they could even afford such travel with their steadily plunging Erdo-lira — Turkish Jews can just go and fill out some paperwork at the Spanish consulate and be granted the Spanish citizenship with which they can start a new life in any country in Europe tomorrow! Snag…

And follow Avlaremoz (“Hablaremos” in Ladino, of course) on Twitter; it’s a fascinating, informative account.

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Viken Berberian in the NYRB: Armenia’s Tragedy in Shushi — “Will the apocryphal stories continue or will one day both sides acknowledge the other’s memories?”

23 Dec

Will the apocryphal stories continue or will one day both sides acknowledge the other’s memories? For answers, I revisited the pages of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. “The city of Zora is like a honeycomb,” he wrote, “in whose cells each of us can place the things he wants to remember: names of famous men, virtues, numbers, vegetable and mineral classifications, dates of battles, constellations, parts of speech.” And what if Shushi, too, were to become a honeycomb in whose cells memories coexisted without vitiating or privileging one over the other? What if we included in those cells not just the names of famous women, places, fictions, and nonfictions that we have been taught or lived and gotten to know, but other such signs, peoples, and meanings that can be acquired outside ourselves and communities? Can we not meet halfway in those liminal spaces to build new histories of inclusion?

[my emphases]
SHOUSHI, NAGORNO-KARABAKH – OCTOBER 12: A view of the inside of a church which was struck twice by UAV strike on October 12, 2020 in Shoushi, Nagorno-Karabakh. On the day after a ceasefire was broken between Azerbaijan and Armenia, war continues to wage between the two countries over the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. The Nagorno-Karabakh’s capital was left largely untouched by the latest spate of Azeri shelling, with fighting in the south intensifying and the city of Hadrut sustaining the heaviest damage. (Photo by Alex McBride/Getty Images)

See full text of article below.

Continue reading

“Turks complete first freight train line to China”: Cool, can they go back home now?

20 Dec

See whole story.

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