New Turkey: Eyes on the Ground

“Eat, ye gentlemen; this appetizing feast is yours. Till you are satisfied, nauseous- eat till you burst.”

 

These are the best words to describe Turkey’s last 12 years under an Islamo-fascist regime. Since the ruling party -namely AKP- became the absolute and suppressive power, Turkey has undergone numerous radical changes, especially in social norms, education, economy, and foreign affairs. Popping up out of almost nowhere – with astonishing global support and financial resources- AKP won the votes of conservatives and liberals.

 

During their first five-year-long rule, even the most skeptical secularists started to question their biases about these allegedly conservative figures; hence a minority of them actually voted for them. During the time of the general elections in 2007, a great number of people were expecting a coalition, until the unexpected happened, and once again, overwhelmingly, AKP became the ruling party.

 

During the Istanbul Bing Overseas Seminar, Asia Chiao and her classmates explored the city's complex history through a study of sties, sounds, and smells. Photo courtesy of Ali Yaycioğlu.
Photo courtesy of Ali Yaycioğlu.

That is when all the nightmarish years began. First, on claims of unproven treason scenarios the regime took thousands of soldiers, journalists, and politicians into custody, then sent them to prison without solid proof they committed such crimes. Concomitantly, Islamic rules and regulations hit the education and civic institutions. The State started to convert more than half of the public schools into religious education spheres. Then came the speculations to open mesjids in kindergartens which grew violent. People started to protest these alarming changes, though civil rights organizations have been faced with several charges; not surprisingly, yet again the main allegations included secret witnesses. Whilst society was in shock, the government, under a cloud, started to engage in conflicts, first with Israel and then with Syria.
Continue reading “New Turkey: Eyes on the Ground”