WOLVES AND CIRCUSES

“Damn everything but the circus.”
~ Corita Kent.

Bianet has reported that there is a serious wolf problem in Istanbul, a Gray Wolf problem, that is.

It seems that a pretty big pack had managed to congregate at the court entrance, throughout the hallways of the building and in the courtroom itself, for the hearing of journalists Hrant Dink, Serkis Seropyan and Aydin Engin. They are the editor, editor-in-chief, and columnist, respectively, of the Armenian Agos newspaper, and previously they were up on charges of “insulting Turkishness,” something that you can read about from the Jurist. This, by the way, is an Article 301 charge of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).

There is another backgrounder on the legal hassles of Hrant Dink at IHD.

In this, their most recent legal adventure, the three are facing the charge of “attempting to influence the judiciary” (Article 288 of the TCK), because they wrote and published opinions critical of Article 301, and that is the rub.

Let me see if I can make sense of all this. We have three journalists who are accused of “attempting to influence the judiciary” because they wrote something critical of that article of the TCK which makes “insulting Turkishness” a crime, meanwhile, a few hundred Gray Wolves are allowed to present themselves en pack in order to attempt to lynch the defendants, verbally and physically attacked them in the halls of Turkish justice and the courtroom itself. Not only that, the defense lawyers were also threatened and abused in the same manner. The judge had to issue a warning to the Gray Wolves for “repeatedly interfering with the case.”

So why weren’t all of their sorry asses rounded up and remanded into custody pending their trial for “attempting to influence the judiciary” under Article 288 of the TCK?!

Today Ankara witnessed a big turn out for “secularism” in the wake of the shooting of five judges in Ankara yesterday, which resulted in the death of one of them. The shooter allegedly did the dirty deed because he opposed the judges’ stand on the headscarf issue. Apparently the shooter had never given any indication of being strongly religious, and while being interrogated by an anti-terror unit, identified himself as having ultra-nationalist tendencies.

Kind of odd, isn’t it, that the AKP ministers who showed up for the funeral had to make entrances and exits just like Hrant Dink, Serkis Seropyan and Aydin Engin had to during their day in court? From The Times link above:

Later, some 40,000 people marched to the city’s main mosque to attend memorial services for Ozbilgin, many of them chanting slogans calling for the government’s resignation.

They also booed when Abdulkadir Aksu, the Interior Minister, Cemil Cicek, the Justice Minister, and Abdullatif Sener, the Deputy Prime Minister, arrived at the mosque and chanted “Murderers out”.

Police were forced to escort Mr Aksu into the memorial service, and Mr Cicek had to use a back entrance to flee a group of protesters who threw a bottle of water at him, private CNN-Turk television reported.

The biggest scandal here appears to be Mr. Erdogan’s absence from the funeral. He must have been off working on his lawsuit against the old man who called him a traitor. Now, don’t laugh! This is serious. This old guy hurt Erdogan’s feelings, and it isn’t fair to pressure Erdogan about his loyalty to the Republic with all the stress he’s been facing lately.

You have to wonder about the so-called secularism of a state that makes a headscarf illegal, while at the same time enshrines a god in the preamble to its constitution and then, at a time of apparent national crisis, has worshippers kissing the god’s temple. Well, mausoleum, in this case.

Is it just me, or is there something not quite right with these scenarios? Did everybody check items 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 12 and 13 on the fascist characteristics list?

Then we are expected to believe the Turkish state when they say that the only problem in Turkey is the “separatist problem” or the “terrorist problem” (for both, read: Kurdish problem)? The one little report on the misadventures of Hrant Dink and companions should put in perspective, for even the most feeble-minded, exactly where the real problem in Turkey lies.

As for the judge-shooting fiasco, here we have a guy, a lawyer, who is not outwardly religious, who shoots judges over a religious issue and then says he is sympathetic to the bozkurtlar. The leading political party sees its ministers booed and threatened by a 40,000-strong mob, so that the police have to escort them to safety. Not only that, but the mob also calls for an end to the government. I’m wondering how much of this spectacle was staged by the same people who brought us the dirty war and Semdinli.

I’m starting to think “coup.” Does anyone remember 1980? Does anyone remember Diyarbakir Military Prison?

We shall see. After August, we shall see.

PLEASE NOTE: Another traveling blogger has written something about Amed, the fabulous capital of Greater Kurdistan, and the legendary Kurdish hospitality, in a post called Ode to the Kurds. Enjoy!

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