Saturday, 28 April 2012

Turkish Pianist Persecuted Because of His Atheism

The acclaimed composer and pianist Fazil Say said Monday that he was turning his back on his native Turkey and would live in exile in Japan after becoming disillusioned by the rise of conservative Islam. In an interview with the Hurriyet daily, Say spoke of how he felt completely ostracised by Turkish society since he declared that he was an atheist and that the criticism he had received had highlighted a growing culture of intolerance. "I think it's time for me to move to Japan," Say told the daily. "When I said that I was an atheist, everyone insulted me and the legal authorities jumped on everything that I wrote on Twitter. I am perhaps the first person anywhere in the world to be the object of a judicial inquiry for declaring that they are an atheist." The multiple award-winning artist, who is a culture ambassador for the European Union, has drawn the ire of conservatives in Turkey with a series of provocative tweets about Islam. A senior lawmaker for the ruling AKP party, Samil Tayyar, has called Say a "son of a whore" and the composer now fears that he could end up behind bars. "If I am sentenced to prison, my career will be finished," said Say, 41. Under Turkish law, anyone convicted of insulting religious values can be sentenced to between three months and one year in prison. Turkey is an officially secular country but the AKP, which has been in power since 2002, has strong Islamist roots.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

More Turkish Colonists on the Way

In recent years, many European governments have grasped that the Muslims are using family reunification or marriage rules to bypass normal immigration requirements. Consequently, the rules have been tightened. In Austria, for example, prospective immigrants seeking admission to the country based on marriage or family reunification now have to demonstrate a basic knowledge of German. All of those efforts to limit Muslim colonisation have now been swept away by a decision of the European Court of Justice, at least in relation to Turks. The court ruled that Turks were entitled to be treated in accordance with the association agreement Turkey signed with the European Community decades ago. Any tightening of the rules since then has been invalidated. Since Austria joined the EU in 1995, Turks must now be treated in accordance with the rules in force then. That means goodbye German-language requirement. Germany is in a similar situation but, in its case, the applicable rules date from 1971. This is very bad news for Germany and Austria as most of the Muslim colonists there are Turks. Sources: SOS Heimat, Die Presse

Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day 2012

Yesterday was Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day. Events were held around the world. Here is video of one in California. And here is British QC Geoffrey Robertson speaking about the genocide.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Hollande's Position on Turkish Accession to the EU

According to the polls, Socialist candidate Hollande should prevail in the first round of the French presidential elections today and then the second round two weeks later, barring a major upset. Along with Merkel in Germany, Sarkozy has been one of the principal forces obstruction Turkey's accession to the EU. So how will a President Hollande change that? In both France and Germany, the Socialist parties are much more favourable to Turkish accession. So certainly the mood music will change a little. But in fact, Hollande has been much more stand-offish about Turkey than most of the rest of his party. Asked about the issue during the presidential campaign, Hollande was emphatic that there would be no Turkish accession during the next five-year presidential term.
"Today, there is a negotiation process which has also been underway for several years" but "no major condition has been fulfilled, and therefore, in the next five-year term, there will be no Turkish accession to the European Union." Pressed by journalists, Mr Hollande insisted: "That will not happen in the next five-year term", if he is elected on the 6 May.
Source: Le Monde For several years Hollande has let it be understood that, if he was elected president, the negotiations with Turkey would be very long. Turkey's refusal to apply the customs union to the Greek part of Cyprus is a particular sticking point, as is Turkey's failure to recognise the Armenian Genocide. In 2004, when he met Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan in his capacity as First Secretary of the Socialist Party, Hollande said he was in favour of Turkey's accession to the EU in principle, "on condition that the accession criteria are fulfilled" mentioning particularly "the question of human right and recognition of the Armenian Genocide."
Two months later, he signed, along with Mourad Papazian, president of the Armenian Socialist Party, a joint text calling for Turkey to recognise the Armenian Genocide. Because, perhaps even more than the Cypriot question, it is Ankara's failure to recognise the Armenian Genocide of 1915 that has inspired the position of Mr Hollande. For a long time the candidate has interested himself in Armenia and has gone out of his way to ensure that his party was on point in the battle for recognition of this genocide. More recently, while the socialist groups in the senate and national assembly seemed to get in a muddle on the vote on the proposed law criminalising denial of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, which was presented on the initiative of Nicolas Sarkozy's majority, he said that he personally was in favour of its adoption. He has never wavered on this object of tension between Paris and Ankara.
Source: Le Monde

So, it looks as though it's not as bad as it might have been if the Socialists win in France.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Turkish delight in epic film Fetih 1453

It's the film that is making millions of Turkish hearts swell with even more patriotic pride than usual. Fetih 1453, a turbans-and-testosterone epic, has not just smashed all Turkish box office records with its all-action, CGI retelling of Mehmet II's capture of the old Byzantine capital, Constantinople, it is being hailed as a reaffirmation that a resurgent Turkey still has world-conquering blood in its veins.

As the religious-minded daily newspaper Zaman noted, "Turks are feeling imperial again" after a decade of unprecedented economic growth, and are turning more and more toward their Ottoman ancestors for inspiration – in foreign policy as much as in interior design, food and fashion, with a neo-Ottomanist push to reassert Turkish diplomatic hegemony over the sultans' former Arab and eastern European domains.

The film's religious overtones – with a walk-on part for the prophet Muhammad, predicting the old Roman capital would one day fall to the faithful – have attracted a new, observant audience to cinemas and especially endeared it to the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, chiming as it does with his vision to "raise devout generations … who should embrace our historic values".

Some in his party are now demanding it be shown in schools as an antidote to Hollywood's "crusader mentality" – not that the film is itself entirely innocent of historical licence, for example its portrayal of the last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI, as a hedonist (he was mostly celibate); the city's magnificence (it had been comprehensively sacked by western crusaders in 1204); and the fact that there were far more Greeks fighting for the sultan than defending the walls. Nearly as many of Mehmet's soldiers would have been praying to the Virgin on the morning of the final assault in May 1453, as to Allah.

In another scene, sappers tunnelling under the immense land walls that had not been breached in 1,000 years, blow themselves up with a cry of "Allahu Akbar" rather than be captured by the Byzantines. In reality, Mehmet's tunnellers were orthodox Christians drafted from Serbia's silver mines.

While the public may be besieging cinemas to see the film, the critical verdict has been far from unanimous, even at Zaman. The critic Emine Yildirim warned that it pandered to "extreme nationalism" and old Turkish stereotypes of their Christian neighbours. "As we are so infuriated by seeing demeaning and Orientalist depictions of the east in western blockbusters, we should at least have the decency not to make the same mistakes," she said.

"Fetih 1453 is a muddled pool of hypocrisy. While it feeds on the common paranoia of seeing the west as unwelcoming and disreputable, it reinforces our aspirations for superiority."

As if to prove her point, the commentator Burak Bekdil received a death threat after he satirised this tendency to supremacism. What next, he quipped, a film called Conquest 1974 to celebrate the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, or Extinction 1915, the Armenian genocide?

"Instead of shyly remembering 1453, Turks remind the entire world that their biggest city once belonged to another nation and was captured by the sword. It is quite hard to think of the British commemorating the conquest of London or the Germans that of Berlin."

Infuriated bloggers later posted that Bekdil was an "ignoble Greek" who "should not be allowed to breathe air". Another pronounced that his byline photo betrayed "Armenian features".

Turkey's foremost film critic, Alin Tasçiyan said with nostalgic Ottomania riding high, it was only natural film-makers should look again at the Ottoman legacy, particularly since it was deliberately neglected by Atatürk and his secularist successors. "It is about time we looked at the empire in a more objective way. It was a huge civilisation, why demonise it? It had good points and bad points.

"But let's get one thing clear, this film is not that. Nor is it a movie made with political or religious motives. It's purely commercial, very cleverly playing to the gallery."

She said there was huge interest in Ottoman history precisely because it was taught so little and so badly. "History teaching in Turkish schools is rigidly nationalistic. The Ottomans were the opposite. They themselves were very mixed. At school, we were told the Ottomans conquered half the world then suddenly became bad, no explanation. Before you know it the sultan is plotting with the British. Luckily Ataturk came along and saved us."

Yildirim said the film revealed a telling contradiction in the way Turks see themselves: on the one hand, an "authoritarian drive for power, but then trying to make amends with an all-embracing tolerance which you see in the final scene in which Mehmet II, having entered [the church of] Hagia Sophia, holds a blond child in his arms and declares, 'Not to worry, people of Constantinople, you can practise your religion however you like.'"

Nothing sells like nationalism in Turkey, and the film's director/producer, Faruk Aksoy – who has already made the $17m (£11m) budget back three times – is planning another epic on Gallipoli, where Atatürk, the founder of the modern republic, fought off the British. It's a fair bet it won't be Churchill's finest hour.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Turkey Stepping Up Artefacts Extortion

These artefacts were produced in the culture that the invading Turks destroyed. This is the equivalent of the German government asking for the return of ancient Hebrew sculptures that had been owned by wealthy Jews in Germany but was looted from them during the war then sold to collectors abroad.

These objects are part of the heritage of European civilisation and therefore more properly belong in Britain than they do in the victory trophy collection of an invading Asiatic power.
Turkey has become only the second country after Greece to lay formal claim to an object in the British Museum, and is also demanding the return of a marble head in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The Turkish Government wrote to the British Museum in January to demand the return of an unprepossessing carved stone slab from the 1st century BC, known as the Samsat Stela, which is on display in Room 52 of the museum.

The 1.3m (4.3ft) basalt stone is neither as well known nor as attractive as the Elgin Marbles, the most celebrated outstanding restitution case on the museum’s books, but it is now part of a new frontline in international museum politics.

The stele was discovered in 1882 in a field near Samsat in the south of modern-day Turkey. The slab, which depicts the ancient King Antiochus I greeting Herakles, had previously been used as an olive press and had a large hole drilled through the centre. It was bought by Sir Charles Leonard Woolley, the museum’s director of excavations, and became part of its collection in 1927.

In the past two years Turkey has stepped up claims to objects in museums around the world, including the Louvre in Paris, the State Museums of Berlin, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

While many of the claims are longstanding, they have been revived with a fresh vigour since the appointment of Osman Murat Suslu, a director-general of cultural heritage and museums, in 2010. Turkey has started refusing loan requests to museums with disputed objects, affecting exhibition planning.

The V&A has had to postpone a show on Ottoman culture. The British Museum is trying to work out how to mount an exhibition about the Eastern Mediterranean in the time of Tutankhamun without what would have been pivotal loans from Turkey.

Last week Neil MacGregor, the director of the British Museum, wrote to the Turkish authorities laying out the museum’s case for retaining the stele. According to the museum: “At no point between 1927 and 2005 have the Turkish authorities, who were fully aware of the stele’s location, suggested that it had been improperly acquired or should be returned.”

As with the Elgin Marbles, the museum has offered to loan the stele to Turkey for temporary exhibition if Turkey recognises the British Museum’s ownership of the object.

Meanwhile, the V&A is waiting to hear Ankara’s response to its offer of an indefinite loan of a marble head of a child that was excavated and brought to Britain in 1882. It dates to the 3rd century AD was removed from the Sidamara Sarcophagus that is now in Turkey.

Privately, the V&A is more sympathetic to the Turkish claim than the British Museum because of the circumstances of how the head found its way into the collection, but it is forbidden by law to transfer ownership of the object.

In each case, the disputes have a distinct political flavour. There is suspicion inside both institutions that individuals within the Turkish Government are more interested in publicising the disputes for political purposes than finding a resolution.

A senior source at the V&A said: “The ball is now very much in their court and we really don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Source: The Times (£)

Sunday, 8 April 2012

OIC Calls for Recognition of Turkish-Occupied Cyprus

The head of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference welcomed Saturday a request by the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to open a permanent mission to the pan-Muslim body.

"The organisation welcomes this and is in contact with the host state (Saudi Arabia) to study and implement it," OIC chief Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, who is a Turkish national, told reporters after meeting Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.

The TRNC — which is recognised internationally only by Turkey — currently holds only observer status in the 57-member OIC.

"The time has come for the international community to recognise the TRNC and review UN resolutions," on the matter, said Eroglu.

"If peace negotiations [with the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot-led government] fail, despite our efforts and those of the United Nations, then there will be no choice left but to recognise the TRNC," he said.

Ihsanoglu called for "putting an end to the unjust isolation of Turkish Cypriots," an OIC statement said.

The statement called on OIC member states, Muslims around the world and the entire international community "to strengthen effective solidarity and continue to expand relations with the Turkish Cypriot people."

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops occupied the east Mediterranean island's northern third in response to a Greek-inspired coup in Nicosia aimed at union with Greece.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Dhimmitude on Display: the EU Parliament's Debate on Turkey

Normally, the spirit of dhimmitude is something we have to infer. Here we get to see it on display. This is the EU Parliament debating the draft progress report on Turkey's accession to the European Union, prepared by the Dutch MEP Rita Oomen-Ruijten.

It is a sorry display of dhimmitude and treason. Those who are supposed to defend our interests instead are betraying them. There are a few honourable exceptions of course, including: Barry Madlener, the Earl of Dartmouth and Philip Claes.

You can read the report they are debating here.

Non-Muslims Not Allowed to Buy Property on Turkish Island

Turkey’s Greek Orthodox citizens living on the island of Gökçeada (Imbros) in the north Aegean cannot buy property on the island, the Taraf daily claimed on Sunday.

The issue emerged when lawyer Erhan Gökçe complained in court about officials who put up difficulties before non-Muslims on the island who want to obtain property. He first petitioned Gökçeada’s Land Registry and Cadastre Department, demanding to know why Muslims can easily buy property on Gökçeada while members of the Greek Orthodox community cannot. The Land Registry office has admitted to preventing non-Muslims from buying property, citing a National Security Council (MGK) decision, but refused to give further details. The office said details constituted state secrets and giving out the information might harm national security, foreign relations and national defense. Gökçe took the issue to an administrative court in Bursa earlier this year. The court ruled that Gökçe has the right to be informed by the bureau about the dubious property sale procedures on the island. However, the Gökçeada Land Registry and Cadastre Department appealed the ruling at the Council of State. The office argued in its appeal that both Gökçeada and Bozcaada are located in a strategic area in terms of national security.
Source: Today's Zaman

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The Earl of Dartmouth vs. the Dhimmis

The UKIP MEP William Dartmouth, aka the Earl of Dartmouth, takes on the dhimmis in the European parliament in the recent debate on Turkish accession. I hope to be able to post video of the entire debate tomorrow.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Barry Madlener Sticks it to the Turks in the EU Parliament

Barry Madlener, of Geert Wilders' PVV party in the Netherlands, sticks it to the Turks in a recent EU parliament debate on Turkish accession negotiations.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Shameful Dhimmi Geoffrey Van Orden Shills For Turkey In European Parliament

This disgusting creature, who is a Conservative MEP for the East of England, seems to think the EU is applying to join Turkey, not the other way around.