Smoke and fire to be seen as warning
In Turkey, for several days now riot police had repeatedly clashed with protesters throwing bottles, rocks and fire-bombs.
Mr Erdogan defended the police action, saying that an environmental movement had been hijacked by people who wanted to harm Turkey. At several occasions Erdogan seemed to speak about human rights, but the events on Taksim Square could have unmasked his true face which Europe should get to see before it is too late. In Egypt they understood already that behind the face of the Turk there is perhaps not such a moderate Islamic at all who would not mind accepting all secular people to live in one state with Muslims. For several Islam countries it is clear that Erdogan is not the moderate Islamite who wants to continue with the existing model of democracy.
Several people in the East also got to see that behind the mask of this politician is an other face, which does not like so much the free spirit and the love for all.
In a televised speech, he said:
“To those who… are at Taksim and elsewhere taking part in the demonstrations with sincere feelings: I call on you to leave those places and to end these incidents and I send you my love.”
Mr Erdogan says protesters’ actions have infringed on people’s freedom
“But for those who want to continue with the incidents I say: ‘It’s over.’
“As of now we have no tolerance for them.”
The deputy chairman of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party AK party says it is open to the idea of a referendum on controversial plans to redevelop Istanbul’s Gezi Park.
Erdogan’s AKP has increased its share of the vote in both elections since its initial victory in 2002, as it subjected the army to the oversight of elected politicians, took Turkey into European Union membership talks, and presided over an expanding economy and falling inflation. The AKP won just under 50 percent in the last parliamentary ballot in 2011. Municipal voting is scheduled for 2014, followed by general elections in 2015.
Those victories have given Erdogan a clear majority in Turkey’s parliament, which protesters on the street say he’s used to steamroll legislation affecting their lifestyles into law without their consent.
Huseyin Celik hoped the “gesture of goodwill” would clear the area, but said those who remained would “face the police”.
Turkish media reported on Wednesday that Mr Erdogan had told the interior minister to end the protests in Gezi Park within 24 hours.
More than 20 opposition MPs have gone to the park to try to prevent any police intervention.
Turkey and the European Union
When we see what is going on on the most eastern part of the European continent, we should seriously question if it is still appropriate to consider a possibility of Turkey becoming part of the European Union. In my opinion it should be out of the question.
European Commissioner Štefan Füle went to visit the Square. At the end he found himself caught up in the internal affairs of the Turkish government and finally he was reprimanded by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for using different language while talking to him and when writing tweets.
It is good that members of the European Union would see police brutality and how the present Turkey wants to handle the media and its public. They should question if it can be allowed that like in Italy under Berlusconi, one person could be in charge of the government and be in charge of all the media. Erdoğan seems to have absolute control of all mainstream media and shows utmost contempt for the rights of minorities of any kind. People must be blind and deaf not to see the unacceptable situation for a democratic system.
European Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton may say the unrest represented a “key moment” for Turkey, and a “chance for it to renew its commitment to European values”, but it looks she is speaking to deafman’s ears.
Senior European diplomats have expressed deep concern over Turkey’s response to the protests. There is still no obvious way out of the impasse that has seen unrest in cities across the country for the past two weeks.
Štefan Füle could see that there were not looters but children of Turkey calling for peace, freedom and respect, simply aspiring to speak up and to be listened to.
“These are typical European youngsters wishing to run their own lives.”We are at a crucial moment in European Union-Turkey relations which I believe still have the potential to develop in a more constructive spirit than before. We are in a position to open a new negotiating chapter. However, for momentum to become sustainable, we need substantive further progress, notably also through further political reforms.Considering current events and the importance we all attach to supporting Turkey in its reforms, it would in particular be important to overcome the existing blockages on the EU side and to start negotiations on the relevant chapters (23 and 24) as quickly as possible. This is as much in our genuine interest as it is in Turkey’s.How come when we talk so much about fundamental rights and freedoms, the Minister of Justice is asking me again and again: “where is the screening report of Turkey that I can use for further reforms?” And his record of reforms is solid. How come he is asking me to provide him with the benchmarks for opening and closing this important chapter 23? Why do we have to wait for three years to offer not only to the authorities but also to civil society an additional platform for interaction through another chapter to be opened?
Ram’s horn, bells and singing through microphones
Since the protests began and enough people gave their complaints about the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan trying to impose Islamic values on a secular state. In case Turkey wants to be part of the European Union, it should be an open state, allowing all sorts of religions living next to each other. That would also demand certain adaptations for those religions. A state not wanting to impose a religion onto an other can not allow that church bells would ring early in the morning to call people to come to mass, or to have the muezzin calling for prayer five times a day, either from a minaret or from loudspeakers on houses or mosques.
In a democratic state no religion should have more rights than the other to bring undesired to the mind of every believer and non-believer the substance of the beliefs of one groups, be it Christian or Muslim, or its spiritual ideology. In modern times, loudspeakers have been installed on minarets for this purpose and in Limburg we have already many villages where the sounds confront the Belgians already very early in the morning, when certain people try to get their sleep.
Not only the noise of chimes, ram’s horns or melodiously callings, are something a democratic country has to avoid, having one religion willing to confront others unquestioned with their believes. It would be unacceptable when people their actions, clothing and possibilities to consume would be limited by certain religious groups. Certain religions may not allow alcoholic beverages, but they should accept that others, who are not of the same believe, should be allowed to use them. They should be strong believers not to be come tempted by the offer in the supermarkets, shops, cafés, bistro’s and restaurants. If they can not bear it that alcoholic beverages are available to everyone, they show their weakness in their believe. Because then they proof they are not strong believers and not strong enough in making their own choice to be faithful to their own God.
Islamites may call the adhan, ‘Athaan’, or call to prayer, one of the most lyrical, inspiring prayers for Muslims, they may not want it to be loved by all people in a mixed community.
When certain people do not like it that people walk hand in hand, they should know that in case that is an allowed custom in one region, and the majority would not object to it, it should be an allowed practice.
Free and equal or people with restrictions and unequal rights
In the West there may already be certain limitations or ethic ideas about clothing and allowance or not of nudity in public. Refusing to allow any little part of bare flesh would go too far in limiting the freedom of the body. Though we can see that certain religious groups, both in the camps of Christendom and of Islam, want to limit the body freedom of men and in particular of women. Certain religious groups want to be stronger in the division of men and women and resist equality. But we should go more for equality on all sorts of levels. For example it is not acceptable that there is still a difference of payment between men and women doing the same job.
President Kennedy called the Equal Pay Act “a first step” to ending the widespread practice of paying women less than men for the same amount of work. And that’s exactly what it was: a first step.
50 years later, in the United States, Belgium and several European countries there still are democratic people fighting this fight, and women for example Still make 23 cents less on the dollar. In the states of America House Democrats have proposed a solution — the Paycheck Fairness Act — but Republicans voted to block this legislation from even coming to a vote. That’s unacceptable.
Democracy is a demanding discipline
In case Europe wants to go for a democratic system, all, (that means all the countries wanting to be part of the Union), should try to go to hold fast on a democratic system for all the habitants in the Union.
For those in charge, or having received the right to rule the country, there shall be needed a discipline – not only during election campaigns, but every day. It requires debates, consultation and compromise.
No country or state member of the Union shall be able to tolerate divergence or totalitarianism in one particular region of the union. Those leaders who can not tolerate the slightest criticism, are leaders who are not fit for the job. In the 21st century dictatorship is something the community can not accept any more, and can not allow to happen to other regions either. In such instances where one person wants to dictate his own ideas and would not allow any other ideas, the society has to intervene.
A wolf in the sheep house
According to the reactions Erdoğan made, we should have seen already enough. the West should be warned enough that taking in such a wolf in the sheep house.
When a leader of a country is not caring at all for the danger to divide more deeply his own country, Europe should wonder if it can make agreements with such a person. That he may count on the conservative believers of one religion should frighten the other politicians more. He is aware that most of his many voters don’t like tolerance and coexistence with progressive youths.
Yesterday Commissioner Štefan Füle, responsible for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy to Turkey, was in Strasbourg to participate in a debate on Turkey at the Plenary Session of the European Parliament, where he was obliged to tell the truth about what he saw in Istanbul. We, in the west of the European continent had enough opportunities to read Twitter messages, Facebook messages and see enough coverage on European television channels to be dumb. Legislators were completely aware of what had happened in Turkey and the Commissioner knew it. So he understood that it was the time for no-nonsense.
And the No-nonsense Europe has to face. It takes already to many years where people of the Union are not sure which way the Union wants to go for either allowing an growing Islamic state to set her Muslim rules on others or to make a proper vote for a progressive commercial partner.
That the European Union should make a choice about its stance for openness, freedom of religion should also come forward in the reaching out with a more decisive hand. In case Europe wants to open one more chapter in the EU-Turkey relations the European Parliament should show its fist more.
“In the light of what is at stake, Turkey needs more European engagement, and with it more of European Union standards and values, not less. I followed the events last night with growing concern. It is crucial that in the following days and weeks a policy of appeasement, dialogue and compromise is implemented and that free media coverage is ensured. Any approach based on confrontation and division is a source of even more serious concern, not only for Turkish society, but also for the European Union”.
Free media and respect for the inhabitants
In case Turkey is not willing to accept that freedom of speech is a very important element of the Democratic European Union, it should know that it is not ready to become part of it. And when it wants to become an associate trading partner it should know we are a state that demands respects for the employees and for the inhabitants of the countries whom we want to associate with.
In case Turkey does not want to accept that there live different people with different ideas in their country, they should know that they can not associate with people who might have other ideas than them.
If they do not like Christians or non-believers, the many Christians and atheists from the European Union would have a problem in the confrontation with this country that does detest them. this would not be a good start for a better relationship, contrary it is demanding for more problems in the future.
I think Europe has already enough other fish to fry. We should never allow to have Europeans to feel like a fish out of water. It is the task for our parliamentarians to take care that every European citizen shall fell himself or herself at his or her own place, feeling at home where free expression is a matter of right and not something to still be fought for.
We in the European Union should strive to become one great unit where many sorts of people can live together. We want to see a state where the human race and the world is one in their feelings, emotions and intelligence. A state where nowadays never minds it that people can have other languages or dialects, other colour, other religion or no religion. A state where everybody is willing to accept the other with his or her differences, and knowing that there are more similarities and synchronization to behave each other like brothers than there are those differences.
In case Turkey is not willing to reach the hand to the different people in its own country, and does not want people in its own country to express themselves freely, it is no worthy partner for our community.
Our daughters and granddaughters should know that they’ll enter the workforce as equals to their male counterparts. But it’s going to take a real effort to get this done.
Add your name to the American petition right now and say you support equal pay.
Please do read also:
- European Union disenchanted with Turkey
- Turkey and Pictures for the times coming
- Migrants to the West #6
- Problems by losing the borders
- Self inflicted misery #1 The root by man
- Self inflicted misery #2 Weakness of human race
- Erdogan: from “rock star” to mixed reviews from Arabs (acturca.wordpress.com)
Turkish prime minister was feted during the Arab Spring. But some Arabs disappointed by his crackdown. His fate may now be linked to that of Arab Islamists.Two years ago, Tayyip Erdogan was mobbed by adoring crowds in Arab capitals and Turkey seemed set to expand its trade and influence across the region on the back of his support for the upstart democrats of the Arab Spring.Today, his crackdown on protests at home has sickened some of those who hailed an unlikely liberator from the land of their former Ottoman overlords; they now scorn the prime minister as little better than the dictators they ousted.
In Tunis, Monem Layouni, whose bushy beard is a mark of his Islamist views, praised how the Turkish leader had clashed with Ankara’s historic regional ally Israel. He said: “Erdogan is an example, who made his country a model for democracy and Islam.”
there is little evidence that troubles at home, or the poor opinion of disenchanted Arab liberals, will deter Ankara from expanding its economic and diplomatic presence in its old Ottoman backyard, a move that has accompanied a cooling of its long efforts to join the European Union.
- Turkish PM Erdogan Vows to Remove ‘Troublemakers’ from Park (blackchristiannews.com)
The EU assembly said it “deplores the reactions of the Turkish Government and of Prime Minister Erdogan” – and accused him of adding to the polarization of the situation.Just minutes before the legislature approved the motion in a show of hands, Erdogan thundered to raucous applause: “I won’t recognize the decision that the European Union Parliament is going to take about us … Who do you think you are by taking such a decision?”
- Turkish Caliphate and Fourth Reich pretend they want to unite! (venitism.blogspot.com)
I call on Turkey not to give up on values of freedom and fundamental rights, and to do everything to avoid undermining the new momentum we aim at creating in our relations. Because, as the High Representative stated, Turkey, as a candidate country, needs to aspire to the highest possible democratic standards and practices, which would imply the protection of the rights of all Turkish citizens, irrespective of the majority in Parliament at a given time. Such an approach should obviously include also the young people in Taksim, in Ankara, Izmir and everywhere in Turkey.In the light of what is at stake, Turkey needs more European engagement, and with it more of European Union standards and values, not less.
- Erdoğan accuses EU members of hypocrisy over Turkey protests (altahrir.wordpress.com)
Turkey‘s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has accused European Union member states of hypocrisy and double standards, and rejected criticism by Brussels of his crackdown on anti-government protesters whom he branded “vandals”.Erdoğan said the forceful methods used by Turkish riot police to quell protests against the demolition of an Istanbul park were little different from those used previously in the US and UK. He said that Turkey’s democratic record was the best it had been in the country’s history, and superior to that of many EU states.
- Erdoğan accuses EU members of hypocrisy over Turkey protests (guardian.co.uk)
Speaking at an EU-Turkey conference in Istanbul on Friday, a defiant Erdoğan shrugged off criticism of his environmental record and said that he planted lots of trees when he was the city’s mayor. He again vowed to press ahead with controversial plans to redevelop Istanbul’s Gezi Park and the adjoining Taksim Square, despite opposition from tens of thousands of protesters who have transformed the area into a colourful Glastonbury festival-style camp.”Those who demand freedom and democracy should also act democratically,” Erdoğan said. He renewed his attack on Twitter, which he previously dismissed as a “menace”, and said social media had spread lies about what was really happening in Turkey. Erdoğan also suggested that the international media was complicit in writing “paid” articles hostile to his government. He said an advertisement in the New York Times decrying his government style was the work of lobbyists.
+Addressing Erdoğan earlier, a senior European Union official delivered a surprisingly frank dressing-down to Turkey’s leader, who was sitting in the front row. Štefan Füle, the EU’s enlargement commissioner, described the protests in Taksim Square as “legitimate” in a democratic society, and hinted that Turkey would only be allowed to join the EU if it truly embraced European values. He also criticised Turkey’s pro-Erdoğan media, which initially censored the uprising. Füle said: “There should be freedom to report on what is happening as it is happening,” he declared.
An unimpressed Erdoğan then stood up and offered his own counter-blast. He complained that the EU’s record on media freedoms was also poor and cited Germany, which prohibited Turkish journalists from attending the trial of neo-Nazis who murdered eight Turks. He also lamented that talks on Turkey’s accession to the EU had made no progress in the past three years – a “tragi-comical situation”. He explicitly blamed France’s former president Nicolas Sarkozy for the lack of progress and unfair obstacles shoved in Ankara’s way by several EU players. Most of the European leaders in power a decade ago were no longer in power, he added, pointing out: “I’m the only one who is still around.”
- Erdogan’s Barber Among Backers Saying It’s Time to Cool Down (bloomberg.com)
Not all Erdogan’s supporters are advocating conciliation. In a post-midnight rally at the airport in Istanbul on his return, the premier addressed a crowed that chanted, “Open the way and let us crush Taksim,” which protesters had blocked off after fierce battles with police.Ali Gunes, a municipal worker in Ankara, said he’d do just that if Erdogan ordered it.“Erdogan is a world leader who took us from the bottom to where we are today,” Gunes said in an interview in the Subayevleri district of Ankara, a stronghold of AKP support and the prime minister’s residence in the Turkish capital. “If the prime minister says ‘die,’ we’ll die, and if he lets us, we’ll make the provocateurs pay.”