Saturday, June 30, 2007

court confused too? the holy sepulchre of abashed law

all right, as long as i am here, i'd better put down this note:

i am confuused, as apparenntly every other soul who heard it is, over the court of constitution' s newwly published rationale in annullling the presidential elections in parliament.

the court's absolutely but bashfully "political" ruling assumes "compromise" (*), a totally nonexistent requirement, to forever have been haunting the spirit of the constitution, like a holy sepulchre, although it appeares nowhere in the text. the court guess-timates that the lawmakers of the military required the 367 votes (out of 550) to begin voting but not necessarily to finish the vote...

imagine... you have mr. abc on whose candidacy you agree with 367 votes, but then something happens and consenting partties begin a feud... then comes the third vote and mr. abc is elected with just a bare majority while the innter-party wars go on... where's the compromise?

actually, the only case the 367 condition can arithmeticallly be met is if two or more parties run a close race supporting two or more candidates on a parallel course, seldom if ever, reaching the election quorum, eventually, most possibly sabotaging the parliament.

hmmm... sepulchral legal mathematics is a bit heavy on this lazy day... i can only calculate up to third and a half...

excuses and ...

sorry i procrastinated the posts on marmara island and edirne. i am inordinately full (not busy, really, just full!) and cannot seem to make time for my "pleasures". i am also moving out of the apartment on the bosphorus, just accross from topkapı palace and the princes' islands further away; that surely saps one's good moods.

as always in moments of depression, the right cure is a healthy dose of the aegean. i am going to bodrum soon, for the summer at least. i can sit at the balcony, watching the shadow of the castle on the water as yachts cruise by.

i certainly will not miss istanbul: everythhing that is bad here flocks there for the holidays, plus the insufferable noise from all those seaside clubs and our pride: the catamaran disco, the tin can of rackets, the only vessel i'll be happy to see sunken...

so if i have not been able to write, i have excuses...

of the other component completing the expression, well we have... galore!

Monday, June 25, 2007


i have been running away on weekends recently. once i visited edirne, another time i took a ferry from tekirdağ to the marmara island, elafonissos (deers' island) or prokonissos (amphora island), originally.

i will try to give some information about both but before that, allow me to make an observation that causes my skin to crawl: anywhere i go, including parts of istanbul, everything that is a) not created by god; b) built after 1950 or so; is absolutely an eyesore, a monument to absolute lack of taste, a bloody handed testimony to culturicide!

culturicide? just a couple days ago, an ancient harbor was reproted discovered during the construction of a tunnel for the subterranean train in yenikapı, with remains of byzantine boats and othre archaelogical artefacts. true to type, the finds will be collected and taken to the museum and the construction of the tunnel will continue as planned, apparently, over the ruins of the antique harbor.

all right, on a hot day, this much annoying news is enough, we all know we are living in the third and a half world.

let's get to the island now...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

are only idiots surprised?

running turkey even as smoothly as a farm tractor is noticeably beyond the ken of tayyib effendi & co. so far, whatever accomplishment they can claim to their name is authored (*) not by their political acumen, but a short lived good sense to listen to common sense: the still dubious recovery in economy is due to a "sufficiently" strict compliance with imf recipes. the political "reforms", which, to many in the country are an anathema that has left turkey in the bosom of terrorism and hostile forces; is the dictate of europe.

that leaves the balance sheet of tayyib effendi & co. in great debit. the last six-seven months have passed in constant tension, caused by the akp's resurrected political-islamic tendencies, which have incrementally gained precedence in their style of government and has tainted the presidential elections as well. i am not blaming the akp for getting publicly (and electronically) rebuked by the army and slapped with the threat of a putsch but i am blaming them for not foreseeing the crisis, making the right moves to prevent it so that they could be strengthened with enough public support to resist (**) an intervention in the democratic process. instead, now they have become more obedient to the soldiery, while becoming more malevolent toward those who are not their political kins.

they grossly flunked the test in political aptitude.

the akp's mentality and mental stretch are terribly beneath the required minimum to administer a country like turkey; a fact obvious in the all-over decrepitude. beyond the "higher-up" affairs of state (which are in shambles anyway), the day-to-day management of the society has degenerated in a fashion that will take generations to repair. the stitches that hold together the social fabric have mostly come undone.

the belief in the possibility of a collective and universal legitimacy is the psychological mortar that keeps the society together. for at least a decade in turkey, the society's sense of legitimacy has multifurcated, with each splinter adhering to its own description. the scenes of corruption that resulted from that fragmentation were elemental in elevating the akp to power in 2002. however, since then, the only social reference of the akp proved still to be religion; and religion cannot suffice in keeping a complex, multi-faceted community as a going concern. when no intellectual or psychical orthodoxy could be devised to rally around, the societal mortar became too loose, too grainy to bind the public.

nobody in turkey (unless well connected) has any faith in law, its enforcement or its equal application to all. social norms are disregarded to the point of ridicule. everyone is ready to enforce his/her own rules on another by any means, very often not legal; because legality is not a consideration. morality is largely defunct, immorality is efficacious and proportionately rife. the end result is a pervasive and burgeoning anomie. the society has lost its benchmarks of fair play, because it has lost all measure of "normal" (***); which is the medium of social life.

the author-ity which derives its power from its representative status is helpless or, worse, apathetic to the plight of society. in any case, it therefore lacks the quality of being representative! in the past, there have been governments whose status was challenged, as is the current one, but even the most violently opposing social forces could hardly open their legitimacy to state for debate. the akp, due to its - apparently not unjustified - deficient confidence in its own capability and capacity, forfeited if not all, most claim to that legitimacy.

because of that overstretched capacity and the toil it extracted from the society's schemata of legitimacy, robbers and thieves galore on the streets; communal order is smothered by ubiqutious confusion; as can be observed in the brazen transgression of traffic laws (or any other law, for that matter) to which even dogs learn to obey; any stranger you talk to may pull a gun and shoot you if he does not like you; courts reach legally lame decisions after decades of trying the same case; the educational system keeps turning out religiously thwarted minds and floods of ignorance - and it is possible to prolong this list to eternity...

the problem of turkey is defining a spirit of society that can offer a meaning to individuals for being a member of that commun-ity. the flags; the almost pathological fanaticism that permeates every collective activity which is born of epidemic diffidence; the volatile tempers denoting a problem with individuality; the readiness to violence, reminiscent of friedrich nietzche's famous hammer (****); are among signals that the society is actually pleading for a covenant to muster and conjoin around.

as that hope eludes people, moral (*****) disintegration worsens.

bleak picture eh? no, not really...

the "mind" seeks homeostasis, a "normal"ity, where in the course of life, perceptive shocks to the mental apparatus are tolerably minimized. sooner or later, not by military edict, not by divine inspiration from the imams of akp, not by arcane metaphysical obsessions that keep the souls of many turks under mortgage, not by the business sector with its eager greed to get rich fast, not by knowledgeable intellectuals or academics etc. either; but probably with the contributions of each and all of them, a movement toward a covenant that will establish the criteria of that homeostasis is bound to begin - of course, in the meantime, if you are not robbed, killed and then raped by a psycho, glue sniffing taxi driver, who mugs for profit on the side and also pimps prostitutes!...

except for or absolute idiots, being surprised is an exclusive luxury of societies with a sense of normalcy.

(*) if i were a (michel) foucaultian, i'd write "auteur", with its emphasis more on authority than writing.
(**) no confrontation with the military is implied in this sentence. the message is that the akp has failed bad in inspiring confidence in its own faith in democracy or its consonance with ideas and life styles incongruent with its own ideology, or its fealty to the principle of rule of law. instead, its nepotism and partisan clientelism, its sub rosa and gradual policy of intimidating and suppressing difference in society, have alienated a sizable portion of the turkish society. there still are segments that align with akp, solely because they believe democracy can catch deeper roots if a counter-state social force can mature. still others siddle up to it because the other parties in opposition are even a sadder sight. those who essentially disaggree with akp's world view, but support it in the hope of pragmatic gains, constitute another category. if it had secured its position as a democratic and (since it is inevitable if democracy is to exist), an adequately secular party, any intervention in the akp's politics would be unacceptable even to the opposition (except, possibly, the republican peoples party).
(***) "normal" derives from "norm" (lat.), a carpenter's square, now used to describe a standard, a (social) rule.
(****) "to one who has a hammer for a tool, all problems look like nails."
(*****) less in the sense of universal ethics than a psychological source of repair where one justifies one's existence.

undignified indignation by tayyib & co.

a couple years ago, i told a journalist that the akp government of tayyib effendi is innately handicapped by a general lack of scope and capacity. "their political horizon endes at parochial administration and their sense of economy is limited to the district bazaar or the organize sanayi sitesi (*)," i said.

"their understanding of democracy consists of shaking their heads in assent and accord to what the chief or 'imam' says or at best, extrapolating on his wisdom. their concept of contrariety, opposition, dissent and diversity stops at splintering over details that poorly mask a contention over booty, and is akin to political patricide (**), so common in the third world and, especially islamic third world".

the akp and its leaders have come to the end of their nervous tether. they are blasphemously abandoning their so-called "islamic" tolerance to difference. they are enraged, because people are protesting them at funerals of soldiers killed in the war against the pkk, actually, blaming the government for the deaths.

enraged, instead of doing something solid, they are furiously attempting to squelch the demonstrations. the government, slapped around ungraciously by the military since april, now indignantly turns on the people. the sincereity of their indignation is also suspect, guessing that they know that the akp has not the slightest hope of garnering the votes of the protesters.

the speaker of the assembly, a target of the protests during an officer's funeral in manisa, claimed "provocators", who were traced by security cameras, had instigated the demonstrations. he asked the government and other "authorities" that "such protests should be stopped". the speaker has a bizarre notion of politics that probably would suit iran better than turkey; but the pseudo-democratic vein in the akp revealed itself again under stress when the effendi himself also reacted, promising retribution to those who yelled such slogans as "murderous government". he complianed that these persons were members of various parties, implicitly underlining the militant role of the nationalist movement party (mhp) in the funeral-protests.

the mhp expects its anti-pkk, pro-army and definitely pro-soldier nationalism will bankroll its entry into parlaiment on july 22; but it is at best simplistic to attribute the funeral demonstrations to any party's politics. furthermore, even if that is the case, it is legitimate politics and a legitimate reaction to the government's bungling southeast/kurdish policy and therefore, legitimate opposition which now, the government seems to be trying to suppress using the means of state in its disposal.

then again, the effendi apparently overlooks that even if there may be provocators, they do seem to find a mass rather ready to provoke! also by that token, the widow of the army major killed last week also is a provocator: she refused to acknowledge the cabinet members' offers of condolences and shook hands only with abdullatif şener (***). "you are the honorable cabinet minister," the lady told him.

when you cannot tolerate criticism and are not sure of your own standing, anger is the first recourse, than the tongued begins to loosen! i remember, as a kid, i'd listen to hippies walking in front of the white house, shouting " l.b.j. (****) how many kids you killed today?". then came the "tricky" dick nixon era of low intensity civil war in america that climaxed with soldiers butchering four students at kent state university, ohio.

tayyib effendi & co., with another obvious dent in their democracy-armor, are at least as aware as i am that they cannot stop the protesters and have, with their loosened tongues, already provoked more of the same to come - since, unfortunately, deaths back east do not look like they will stop tomorrow. hence, tayyib effendi & co. will look even more yellow, with more of the yolk from that egg in their face.

an eagle has far more powerful eyesight than a human, but in the end, all it can see is mice and rats, because that is the extent of its vision!

(*) see previous posts
(**) like what tayyib effendi did to his master necmeddin erbakan "hodja".
(***) whose decision not to run in this ballot made him the akp' s fair haired child.
(****) president lyndon b. johnson, who escalated the vietnam war and was on the receiving end of the first protests.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

garfucius blasphemeth...

betrayal is an essentailly positive action. it is an act, an unexpected act, reviled by the others because it is detrimental to them. for the doer, though, the betraying act is reaching out for something (s)he is deprived of, in hope of expansion. therefore it has an ethical defendability.

denial on the other hand, is the greater sin. denial erases an experience already savored from all time, all history, collective and individual.

it is an attempt to drill an infinite black hole in life, to make it unlived...

alas then... who is the bigger sinner? the one who betrayeth with a kiss; or the one who denieth thrice ere the cock croweth thrice?

faith is a thorny and thistly business, is it not?

garfucius sayeth...

the cliché, every picture is worth a million words, only denotes a readiness to admit limited ability of abstraction.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

garfucius sayeth...

once there were opinionated cusses.

in this age of linearization and standard cogitation, even cusses are