Friday, 21 June 2013

Meet The New Boss - Same As The Old Boss

After all the hard-man tactics that the Turkish Prime Minister and Police have shown in recent days, its a bit of mystery as to why the UK continues to back Turkeys membership of the EU?

Its an increasingly Islamic state, which uses words like 'hooligans', 'foreign (read Israeli) plots' and 'terrorists' to describe civil unrest, and they even threatened to send in army against the civilians  ..... much like the Syrian regime in fact (although they would totally fail to recognise the irony). The Further South and East you go from Istanbul, the more medieval the social state of Turkey - about 100 yrs per 100k.

Taksim Square - Centre of Protest and Police Action

Many years ago I went to 'Adana' (or a name like that) in the South of Turkey, it wasn't really a tourist spot at the time, and may not be now, although it had some nice spots. It was in fact a Turkish / Kurdish town, at a time when it was illegal to claim to be 'Kurdish'. These were the days of Kurdish attacks and a semi-military 'civilian' regime, and such was the atmosphere that I was followed for a time by men in dark suits and sun glasses. I guess they realised that I was 'harmless' and left me after a couple of days.

I left not long after them, because apart from a few superficial modern trappings (electricity, cars, TV's and telephones etc), socially, you might as well have been back in the late 17th century or even earlier - this even though many people I met in bars claimed to be non religious - which as they were drinking makes sense I guess.

Outside of the town centre, it was only 70 yrs or so from the genocide of the Armenian Christians in the town ..... which saw up to 30,000 massacred (ignore the revisionist Turkish Historians who always claim hardly anyone was hurt - although they can't explain where the several million Christians who lived in Turkey for millennia, disappeared to). You could still find those in the town, whose parents remembered it being discussed by their parents, and they weren't shy about talking about it (this included throat slitting signs by one elderly gentleman). As I was only staying there to look at the ruins of Tarsus (about 10 minutes on a 'dolmus'), and then head westward back to the 20th century, I chose not to hang around.

Most certainly Sweden it was not .... this was not a town where social enlightenment was going to sprout of the ground, certainly not in the outlying rural areas surrounding the main town, or even the town centre. I seem to recall that not long before I arrived in the area, there had been some sort of incident with the villagers of one of those minor Islamic religions that the rest hated, and they had been burnt out (but I could be wrong on this date, as it was a long time ago and my memory of events may be mixed up).

Thirty five years later, the current Islamic regime seems very much in the same mould as their predecessors  ..... the descriptions of the protesters in terms that the Iranians or Syrians would understand, is a sign that despite a few Western politicians wet dreams, this is not a cuddly liberal regime, but rather one as hard-line as any other in the region.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
and Mehmet VI - The Last Ottoman Sultan

Meet the new boss. Same as the old Boss.

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