Saturday, November 15, 2008

Constructing the Nation-State

From Bianet:
The Organization of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed People (MAZLUMDER), filed a criminal complaint against Ministry of Defense Vecdi Gönül, accusing him of discrimination.

In the complaint, the association said Gönül justified the discrimination between ethnic groups and praised the discrimination witnessed at the period of the founding of the Turkish Republic by stating in his speech that “If there would be Greeks in the Aegean region and Armenians in many regions in Turkey today, then could there be today’s national state?”

MAZLUMDER claimed that Gönül violated the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) as well as the international conventions that Turkey is also a member, praising “the crime and the criminal.”

The Association to Research and Face the Social Events sends out an invitation for a “maturation” meeting
Cafer Olgun of the Association to Research and Face the Social Events has invited Gönül to a meeting of facing the past events held in the organization.

In the text handed out to the public, Olgun says “they do not want to hide their feelings of regret”, asking the following questions.

“Did you think how much you offended our Armenian and Greek citizens who live in this country and everyone with a good sense, when you emphasized that the “state” and the “nation” came into existence through forced migration, disciplining and forced exchange of populations? What have you understood from the critics and reactions? Have you thought of apologizing and resigning?”

While wishing that Gönül should see this meeting as an opportunity to develop himself democratically, he said that he should realize that the position he occupies should also come with the responsibility of rendering account of his deeds to the civil society.” (TK/TB)
For a very polemical article on the construction of the Turkish nation-state, see Uğur Ümit Üngör "Seeing Like a Nation-State: Young Turk Social Engineering 1913-1950."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lovely, isn't it? A human rights group is filing a criminal complaint for speech. They are doing this seriously too, not simply as a protest. Why stop there? Let's get all the web sites that say pretty much the same thing banned too.