Thursday, February 10, 2005


Hijabs, Ass-Kissing and Death

Turkey is involved in controversy over the death-penalty (or possible life imprisonment) of Gulan Intisar Saatcioglu for attempting to subvert the country's secular constitution.

If you are not aware of Turkey's history, it is a fascinating example of a secular country which has fought off Islamic extremism in the region. This dates back in varying forms more than a century and to the late Ottomans, under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk who reformed Turkey into a modern, secular, and western-oriented republic. Turkey had a general election in 1950, more than 50 years before free elections in Afghanistan or Iraq.

There is considerable unrest there at the moment between the historically secular Turkish Muslim public and a rise in political parties who are seen as radical Islamic in focus.

There is a controversy over Gulan Intisar Saatcioglu who was charged with attempting to overthrow the consititution by reading a poem and may face death or life-imprisonment.

And here is the poem in question:
We are from mountain and plateau
Working the machines, studying at school

Our fight will go on
Until the tyrants drown

The ignited flame will not die
Nor our song of freedom end,

Our fists held high in defiance
Will never come down

Before the tyrants are overthrown.
Come join us sisters young and old
Our cries increase aloud

To ensure Allah's Word prevails
And infidelity fails.

Never will the burning flame die out,
Or our song of freedom end.

Our defiant fists will not
Fall before the tyrants are overthrown.
You can probably see the issue.

Turkey is facing an existential problem but as a non-expert I'm not going to comment.

What does concern me however is this Indymedia article which claims:
For much too long Turkey has been an ass kisser to the United States and Great Britian and their Puppet Master, Israel. The Turkish government has banned the public wearing of the hijabs on women. Now it seems Turkey can't prove her loyality to the goons in Washington, London and Israel enough!!!
What the hell?

The Hijab was banned by Atatürk (more here) when the Republic of Turkey was created in 1923. That's 25 years before the modern state of Israel was even created.

Perhaps the fact that Turkey and the US and Israel get on is because of this secular separation between church and state. It's also why Turkey has avoided several wars and is one of the nicest countries in the area (I've been to plenty). There's a difference between being friendly versus ass-kissing. Perhaps it's not actually a bad thing.

Apparently not for the Indymedia poster however who couldn't care less about the girl in question anyway, and is merely using her as another excuse to bash Israel, the US and the West. And this is of course what they are facing in Turkey as well.

I also think it's a new record for Israel to have done things 25 years before even existing.

Heh, you didn't honestly expect Indymedia to be more than 20% accurate at any point, did you?
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