Archive for the 'Nationalism' Category

Turkey: Some Nationalists Start War Against Wikipedia

Via TurkishPress:

The Turkish Association for Fight Against Unfounded Genocide Allegations (ASIMED) launched an e-mail campaign against Wikipedia urging it to remove the “Semi-Protection” lock over the article on Armenian allegations concerning the incidents of 1915.

Chairman of Asimed, Assistant Professor Savas Egilmez, said the best thing about Wikipedia was its feature allowing users to edit (make corrections, deletions and additions) in articles published on the website.

“When you browse the English version of Wikipedia which publishes its content in various languages, one notices an issue in complete contrast with the Wikipedia principles. In the english website while the article on Armenian allegations concerning the incidents of 1915 contain all the thesis of the Armenian diaspora, the Turkish thesis are excluded,” said Egilmez.

“The web site allows users to make editions in all subjects, but it does not allow edition of the article on Armenian allegations. The site only provides the theses of the Armenian diaspora. This is a great injustice against the Turkish Nation.”

Egilmez said they started an e-mail campaign to stop this injustice and asked Turkish nationals to support it by sending e-mails to the web site’s administrators ([email protected]) .

Wikipedia has a “Protection policy” allowing administrators to protect a page to restrict editing or moving of that page, and remove such protection.

“Editing or moving of a page can be restricted by administrators. As Wikipedia is built around the principle that anyone can edit it, this should only be done in certain situations,” says the policy.


Turkey: ‘Racist’ Politician Arrested for Terrorism

Among newly-arrested suspects in an ongoing crackdown against the Ergenekon ultranationalist gang in Turkey is Dogu Perincek, leader of the nationalist Turkish Workers’ Party, who was last year convicted of racism by a Swiss court for denying the Armenian genocide in Europe.

 Image via BBC

Azerbaijan: Singer ‘Banned’ After Performing in Israel on Massacre Anniversary

A popular singer in Azerbaijan is no longer aired on radio or television in the ex-Soviet republic after returning from Israel where he performed on the day of a national Azerbaijani commemoration.

Image from singer Nadir Gafardzadeh, de facto banned in his homeland for performing on a day of massacre commemoration

According to the Russian-language from Azerbaijan, singer Nadir Gafarzadeh “has been officially ‘prohibited’ [from appearing] in government events while citizens, shocked with the singer’s heartlessness and unprincipled [character], have stopped inviting him to [perform in] weddings.”

Gafarzadeh, on a February 2008 visit to Israel, had performed at a restaurant on the day when official Azerbaijan commemorates the 1990s killing of several hundred Azerbaijani civilians during the Armenian takeover of the town of Khojalu, Nagorno Karabakh.

Regarded as the “Khojalu Genocide” by official Azerbaijan, any challenge of the official account of the massacre has been violently suppressed in Azerbaijan. An independent Azerbaijani journalist who has suggested that Armenian forces left a humanitarian corridor for the civilians of Khojalu to leave, for example, is currently in jail with at least 10 more years to go.

Singer Nadir Gafarzadeh  has attempted to win back his audience amid the uproar. His effort to show good will by giving financial support to some Azerbaijani refugees from Khojalu, as reported by another Russian-language Azeri source, has apparently failed. Earlier, he was interviewed on a TV program in Azerbaijan in early March 2008 on his previous month’s performance in Israel, as seen in a YouTube video. During the short interview, the female host asks the singer about his performance on the anniversary of the “Khojalu genocide” to which Gafarzadeh passionately defends himself. After the host and the guest interrupt each other several times, the Azerbaijani journalist stands up and starts hysterically yelling at the singer.

At this time there are no criminal charges filed against Gafarzadeh.

Nationalist Turk ‘No Longer Raising Money’ for Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has reportedly stopped taking contributions raised by a nationalist Turkish filmmaker. Mehmet Celebi, nonetheless, is still listed on Clinton’s website as a “hillraiser” and there is no talk from the Clinton campaign of donating the $100,000 Celebi raised to a charity organization.

A charity organization that empowers Turkey’s minorities would be a perfect recipient for the $100,000. The movie is not only anti-Kurdish and anti-Semitic but also spreads a universal message of hate against all minorities in Turkey. A Turkish columnist suggested two months ago that Celebi’s “Valley of the Wolves” ultra-nationalist TV series had influenced the killings of Christians in Turkey, including the assassination of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in January of 2007.

So the $100,000 money that Celebi has already raised for the Clinton campaign should be given to an organization that helps Jewish, Kurdish, Armenian and other minorities in Turkey. One possibility could be putting the money into erecting a statue for Hrant Dink in Istanbul.

Although Clinton’s Celebi link is not a new discovery, it gained national attention after the content of a video, that I was first to post, was republished by several Kurdish websites, then noticed by other blogs and was soon picked up by the New York Post.

Turkey: Armenian Hangings Clarification

My first post on a Turkish celebration that features ‘Armenian bandits’ who kill Turkish children and are later ‘punished’ in the play was somewhat confusing given that actually the ‘Armenian bandits’ hang a Turkish priest (imam) and are later killed – as I clarified in my second post.

Nonetheless, an ultra-nationalist Turk has left a comment on my initial post saying that the “headline is just a lie.” Justifying the ceremony as “funny” and historically accurate in depicting “the crimes which armenians did,” the commentator demonstrates the mindset that allows such “celebrations” in Turkey (let alone the deliberate usage of lower-case “a” in the word “armenian”):

I know that celebrity.. :Dactually it is a funny ametour one.. maden by the civils at Erzurum who celebrities to save their lifes from armenian bandits.. :D
and It makes me suprise how your diaspora follow the things in Turkey and inform you with changing everything.. :D

“armenians hanged in turkish ceremony” haha.. :Dlook at the pictures.. there is an İmam hanging on the picture.. and they are showing the crimes which armenians did to Erzurum civilians.. and after that Turkish army comes and save the civilians..

white clothed mans and the people who wears “cross” symbolize the armenians at that show.. :Dthe man who wears imam cloths symbolize the Turkish imam ofcourse.. and at that ceremony only that imam was hanged.. :D

These headline is just a lie

In a sense, the demonstration isn’t just anti-Armenian but anti-Christian too. As the ultra-nationalist Turk writes, some of those who played Armenians had crosses on their acting shirts and hats.

It is important to note, however, that many Turks have harshly criticized the anti-Armenian ceremony – including some hard-liner nationalist newspapers. Sabah, a nationalist newspaper that has played down its anti-Armenian rhetoric after the January 2007 murder of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in Turkey, has published an article titled, “Ceremony of Hate.”

In the meantime, another article in The Turkish Daily News gives more details about the “celebration.” Interestingly, the actors who played Armenians were reportedly forced to do so:


Municipality workers who played the Armenians said the mayor issued orders and they obeyed.

One worker, Celal Akar, said his family, friends and neighbors criticized him for playing an Armenian. “Sometimes they even make fun of us. We don’t want to be part of the play, but when the mayor says it we can’t object. We have been doing this for at least 20 years,” he said.

The municipality is responsible for the organizing the event, but [town administrator – not the mayor] Şener was upset when he saw the play. “Next year’s celebrations will be without Armenians,” he said.


Some say that the celebration dates back to 1938 and is found in other places around Turkey. There is no doubt Turkey is changing and the omnipresent chauvinism is being challenged. But how long will it take for Turkey to honestly face its past is a question with many opposing answers.

Armenians Hanged in Turkish Ceremony

Some of the Turkish media, including the nationalist Sabah and Hurriyet, have criticized yesterday’s celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Turkish “liberation” of the Armenian city of Erzurum. (An important part of Armenia’s historic homeland until the 1915 Genocide, there is not a single Armenian left in the city.)

The main part of the celebration includes a play in which drunken ‘Armenian bandits’ fire at a mosque, kill the Muslim leader and massacre women and children. Then, the Turkish army rescues the city and hangs the Armenians.

“Another important problem in these performances is casting. Nobody wants to be Armenian,” writes a Turkish acquaintance who shared the news in a mass e-mail. 




American Patriotism: Conservative Style Adopted by the Associated Press?

A highly-disliked Associated Press article titled “Obama may face grilling on patriotism” – rated 2.5 out of 5 stars by Yahoo! users – seems to take the somewhat xenophobic definition of “patriotism” by Red Scare-style conservatives for granted.

The Associated Press article starts off by stating:

Sen. Barack Obama‘s refusal to wear an American flag lapel pin along with a photo of him not putting his hand over his heart during the National Anthem led conservatives on Internet and in the media to question his patriotism.

Now Obama’s wife, Michelle, has drawn their ire, too, for saying recently that she’s really proud of her country for the first time in her adult life.


Although the article does end up reporting factual information and interpretation that disclose the black pr against the Democratic candidate later in the article, the anti-Obama lynching campaign by some conservative and nationalist circles to label the Illinois Senator as “un-American” seems to satisfy the Associated Press to use the word “patriotism” without quotation marks in reporting the hateful attempt to make an enemy of a person millions of Americans have voted for.  

And while the lynching campaign against Barack Obama by nationalist circles comes as no surprise – and will definitely become worse in the months to come – it is surprising to see the Associated Press stating that “Obama may face grilling on patriotism” suggesting that it has been somehow demonstrated that Obama is not a “patriot.” The Associated Press is the one that should face grilling… on (un)ethical journalism.

Turkish Blogger Says the Genocide Continues

Discussing nationalism and particularly the fascist Turkish group known as the Grey Wolves, Mental Notes from a Feisty Turkish Girl, a blog I wrote about a few days ago, concludes that denial of minority rights in Turkey and the persecution of those who publicly acknowledge the Armenian genocide is the continuation of the latter. 

The blogger also raises the question of Turkish-European identity stating that she herself is very confused:


Well, 99% of Turkish people claim to be Muslim. Most of these people cannot recite anything from the Koran, explain Islamic history or advances in technology nor can they truly explain what secularism is, or even democracy for that matter. I have asked. Secularism in Turkey means there can be no other religion except Islam, but it should be kept to oneself. Completely confusing. Turkish Democracy means secularism.

Authors and journalists like, Orhan Pamuk and Elif Shafak, have been systematically targeted in Turkey simply for speaking their truths. The genocide continues, my friends. Turkey’s only hope for an honest EU membership, is acceptance of the past and the rebuilding of the many burnt bridges. Turkey at this juncture is not ready for the EU. Turkey first needs to accept and protect its own diversity, as the Copenhagen Criteria calls for, before it can even dream of calling itself European, if indeed that is who she really is.

I don’t know about everybody else, but I can say for myself, I am tired of pretending to be European. I don’t even know who I am anymore.

I can relate to the issue of European identity especially when some Armenians militantly proclaim themselves Europeans and other claim the exact opposite. But it becomes more frustrating when “real Europeans” ask you whether you consider yourself European.

Past summer, for example, I met two Dutch visitors in Armenia who asked me whether I considered Armenia part of Europe or Asia. I told them that I refused to answer that question because of its Eurocentric connotation. “European” is unreservedly thought to be “progressive” and “positive” something that reflects the actual cultural oppression of the rest of the world by Europe. The latter often forgets that many of its “inventions” didn’t start in Europe – including much of women’s rights, which started – or were first institutionalized – in some of the Native American communities.

Had the Turkish blogger from Seattle been a nationalist, she would feel better about being European since as Native Americans are Turks, women’s rights come from Turkey! OK just kidding 🙂

Ultra-Nationalist Plot Thwarted in Turkey

The newly-arrested group of dangerous ultra-nationalists in Turkey has apparently not only planned to assassinate Orhan Pamuk but also overthrow the government and establish a fascist regime in the Republic of Turkey.

Bianet from Turkey informs:

Retired Major General Veli Kücük, nationalist lawyer Kemal Kerincsiz, lawyer Fuat Turgut, who is the defense lawyer of Yasin Hayal, a murder suspect in the Hrant Dink case, Aksam newspaper journalist Güler Kömürcü, retired Colonel Fikri Karadag, who is the leader of the ultra-nationalist Kuvayi Milliye Association, and Turkish Orthodox Patriarchy spokesperson Sevgi Erenerol, are under police custody. 

All 33 taken from their homes on Tuesday (22 January) are charged with forming a clandestine group to plot against the governmnet, and attempts at the lives of Kurdish politicians, a well as storing weapons in a secret arsenal.

The ultra-nationalist group is known as Ergenekon and includes Turkey’s infamous lawyer Kemal Kerincsiz – the key person in persecuting Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink and Nobel Prize winning author Orhan Pamuk under Amendment 301 for talking on the Armenian Genocide – and the Azerbaijani-trained Yasin Hayal (the suspected mastermind of Dink’s assassination).

Surprisingly, Turkey’s nationalist Sabah newspaper now refers to the fascist group as a “terrorist organization” and a “gang.”

Turkey: Ultra-nationalist Lawyer Arrested in Plot to Kill Nobel Prize Author

If I read the news correctly, Turkey’s top ultra-nationalist lawyer Kemal Kerincsiz has been detained among others for a plot to kill Turkey’s Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk who has angered fascist circles for bringing up the topic of the Armenian Genocide.  The ultra-nationalist detainees are also being investigated for a possible role in the assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.

Image: Kemal Kerincsiz

Kemal Kerincsiz has been the key person in bringing charges against both Pamuk and Dink under Article 301.

Turkish nationalists plotted to kill Nobel winner
(AFP)23 January 2008 ISTANBUL – Police believe Nobel laureate novelist Orhan Pamuk and Kurdish politicians were on the hit list of an ultranationalist group whose alleged members were detained this week, newspapers reported Wednesday.

Thirty-three people, including retired soldiers, journalists, nationalist lawyers and underworld figures, are being interrogated in Istanbul, prosecutors said in a statement.They were detained Tuesday as part of a probe into the discovery of hand grenades and bomb detonators in a house in Istanbul in June, the statement said, without giving other details.Police believe the suspects were planning to assassinate Pamuk, who won the 2006 Nobel literature prize, prominent journalist Fehmi Koru and Kurdish politicians Leyla Zana, Osman Baydemir and Ahmet Turk, the daily Milliyet reported.Police are also investigating whether the suspects were involved in several politically motivated attacks that shocked Turkey over the past two years, the daily Sabah said.They include the murders of ethnic Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, Italian Catholic priest Andrea Santoro and a senior judge killed by a gunman who stormed into the country’s top administrative court, the daily said.Officials said the suspects include Kemal Kerincsiz, a lawyer notorious for initiating legal action against Pamuk, Dink and other intellectuals for disputing the official line on the World War I Ottoman era massacres of Armenians.Turkey fiercely rejects Armenian claims, backed by several Western countries, that the killings were genocide.Another prominent detainee is retired general Veli Kucuk, who has been accused of organising extra-judicial killings of Kurds in the 1990s.The suspects also include a retired colonel, a newspaper columnist, the spokeswoman of the Turkish Orthodox Church and two prominent underworld figures.Sabah termed the detentions a blow against the ‘deep state’-a term used here to describe members of the security forces acting outside the law to preserve what they consider Turkey’s best interests, often employing the services of the underworld.Dink’s family claims that the journalist’s self-confessed teenage assassin was incited by people who remain at large and enjoy the protection of some members of the security forces.

« Previous PageNext Page »