‘Boğazımı kesen bıçağı yalamam’ diyen Ahmet Turan Alkan’ın çok değil iki sene sonra bıçağı tutan eli öpüp af dilenmesini nasıl anlamak gerek?

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Yazarlar Ahmet Altan (soldaki) ve Ahmet Alkan.

15 Temmuz rejiminin bir deprem gibi bütün toplumsal mahalleleri, kamu vicdanını ve entellektüel ahlakı yerle bir etmesi akabinde kollektif bellekte iz bırakan birkaç direniş öyküsü, mahkemede yaşanan destansı bir savunma ve hattı karşı iddianame, bir jenerasyona mal olacak jenerik bir ifadeye imza atan edebiyatçı bir yazarın mahkeme salonundaki sözleri var. Ta ki düne kadar.

“Boğazımı kesen bıçağı yalamam,” demişti Ahmet Turan Alkan, hem bir yazar hem de edebiyat profesörü.

Beyaz Türk Engin Ardıç’ın adeta Ankara’ya bir ‘Yaban’ gibi gelen Cumhuriyet aydınını andırır bir şekilde Sivası züppece aşağılamasına içerleyen Alkan, biraz Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’dan mülhem bir motivasyonla Altıncı Şehir kitabını yazar. Kitap bir bozkır kenti olan Sivas’ın savunmasıdır. Yoksun, yoksul ve haşin bir şehir olagelmiştir Sivas. Timurdan bu yana, hatta 1930larda maruz kaldığı Mozart senfonisi “işkence”sinden bu yana makus talihi pek değişmeyen bu şehirde bir Sivasspor, bir Cumhuriyet Üniversitesi ve mahkeme salonunda yukarıdaki sözleri sarfeden Ahmet Turan Alkan vardır. Hatırı sayılır bir okur kitlesine erişmesine karşın yazar, Ardıç gibilerin mütecaviz tasvirlerine inat, şehri ve ders verdiği Cumhuriyet Üniversitesini terketmez. …


The picking of a loyalist as caretaker to lead Turkey’s most prestigious university reveals Erdogan’s longstanding push to totally subdue the academic landscape.

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Anti-riot police use tear gas to disperse protesting students in front of Istanbul Bogazici University on Monday. (Photo Credit: AP)

The appointment of Melih Bulu by the president as the new rector of Istanbul-based Bogazici University, Turkey’s most elite college, and the subsequent mayhem that followed on Monday has once again revealed that the war on academia is far from over. The battle between students and the anti-riot police in Istanbul, when seen from the prism of the country’s recent political context, had indeed a prologue. …


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Candidates (new prosecutors and judges who are on the shortlist) wait in excitement for their new appointment posts in this archive photo from 2016.

The secular obsession with the hijab as an anathema to the constitutional principle of laicism rekindles an arcane debate around identity politics and culture wars in Turkey.

When I go before a judge wearing a headscarf while I’m on trial, I doubt that she would protect my rights and do justice to me. (Fikri Saglar, former CHP lawmaker)

A former lawmaker from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said those words at a televised debate program on Halk TV last week. His remarks rekindled an old but “recently settled” matter of the dress code in the public service. …


Amid newfound enthusiasm, hopes, and subtle cynicism ignited by a pandemic and increasing poverty in 2020, what 2021 would bring to Turkey was a mystery. Until a picture from a hospital.

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A woman, who just gave birth to a baby in a hospital in Ankara, terrifyingly looks at a police officer waiting for her arrest.

As the entire world embraced the new year with an exalted hope that 2020 would be part of history after going through a brutal stress test ignited by a global pandemic, warming climate, ravaging wildfires, famine in some countries, racial and ethnic violence, the expectations about 2021 were sky-high. The arrival of the new year, under the lights of the increasing vaccinations across the world, has unmistakably brought fresh hopes to an unsettled world teetering on edge amid a global surge in Covid-19 cases.

Turkey also entered 2021 amid this confused global mood of hope and caution, perseverance and dithering, faith and fear. But whatever expectations are in store, a picture from a hospital in Ankara has brutally shattered the nascent optimism that faintly exists. …


Uighurs across the world seek Ankara’s snub of Chinese demand for the extradition of Uighurs as a perceived precondition for the shipment of Covid vaccines to Turkey.

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After China announced this past weekend that it ratified an extradition deal signed with Turkey back in 2017, Uighurs around the world marshaled their efforts to persuade Ankara to spurn the agreement that envisions sending back Uighur Turks stranded across Turkey. The latest move startled Uighurs and generated an abiding source of concern about the state of their brethren, the majority of whose legal status is far from being properly settled in Turkey.

What animated the recent round of debate was the allegations of a precondition put by China for the shipment of Covid-19 vaccines to Turkey. This last-minute change has generated an ensuing public controversy and prompted demonstrations to protest China’s cajoling, while urging the Erdogan administration to snub Beijing. …


Justice and Politics

While the ECHR ruling establishes that the rights of purge victims were violated in Turkey after the coup, it unwittingly justifies the entire legal context of the emergency rule.

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The European Court of Human Rights in a session. (Photo Courtesy: ECHR)

In a landmark decision that could set a precedent, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) unanimously ruled last week that the rights of a purge victim, Hamit Piskin, were violated by the Turkish authorities in the aftermath of 2016. The outcome has generated mixed reactions across Turkey. As observers and purge victims were braced for the long-anticipated ruling, it not only created a glimmer of hope but also radiated anxiety over the long-term implications for the ongoing trials in Turkey.

While many embraced it as a welcoming step vindicating the gross violations that took place during the sweeping purge, some exercised caution. Several Turkish legal experts, who command a decent understanding of the details, even exuded an unconcealed sense of dismay over the ECHR’s not-so-subtle justification of the legal context of the emergency rule itself. …


MEDIA AND POLITICS

Sirin Payzin, a former anchorwoman at CNN Turk, confesses that the selection of guest contributors was recently shaped by the government. But her confession is too late, too little.

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Sirin Payzin confessed that guest lists for her programs were imposed by the government.

A famous journalist offered a scathing account of the mounting political pressure on Turkish media from a personal angle. “The blacklisted figures was relayed by our Ankara bureau chief,” Sirin Payzin, a former anchorwoman and moderator in CNN Turk, recently revealed in an acknowledgment of the government’s extended sway over the editorial policies of the channel over the past decade. Payzin noted that politicians from the pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy Party (HDP) were banished from programs at the behest of the ruling Justice and Development (AK Party) Party. …


METOO MOMENT AND TURKEY’S WOMEN

Turkey’s belated moment of #MeToo reveals long-hidden painful memories, sexual abuses experienced by women while condemning predatory men to public shaming.

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A march by feminist groups in Istanbul’s iconic Istiklal Street against domestic violence and abuse of women in this archive photo.

“I did not prepare myself for such an end. I wished to be a good person, I could not achieve it. I could write for hours, days, but that won’t bring anything back. From now on, I cannot look at my wife, my children, my friends in the face.”

This farewell note posted by Ibrahim Colak on Twitter just before he committed suicide on Friday. What brought the downfall of the conservative writer was the emergence of revelations that raised sexual abuse charges against him. …


Ağaç kökü yemeye mahkum edilenlerin ülkesinde açlık, rejimin muhaliflere yönelik olarak kullandığı, öldürmeyen ama süründüren biyolojik bir silahtır.

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“Ağaç kökü yiyin.”

İktidar partisinin yerel bir yetkilisinin darbe akabinde muhtemelen gayr-ı ihtiyari sarfettiği bu sözler, bu dönemin rejim politikasını özetleyen ve kini yeni din olarak benimseyenlerin bilinçaltını ortaya koyan özlü bir ifade. Rastgele söylense de münferit bir bakış açısını yansıtmaz; bir bireyin ani öfke patlaması sonucu, kendinden yardım isteyen, eşi hapiste olan çocuklu bir kadını terslemesi değil sadece mevzuu.

Yaşadığımız dönemin bütün hikayesini sembolize eder bu cümle. Yüzlerce doktora tezinin post-2016 sürecini tahlil etme kapasitesine mukabil bütün analitik ve mantıksal çabayı tek bir cümlede halleder, bu jeneriklik ifade.

Çünkü sarfedilen sözler lafızda kalmamış, dört yıl her Allahın günü bilfiil icra edilmiş ve edilmektedir. Yani insanları ağaç köküne mahkum etmek isteyen, açlığı biyolojik bir silah olarak kullanan bir rejim politikası var karşımızda. …


Yazarak yas tuttuğum bugünlerde, hayattaki herşey tek bir hakikat (ölüm) etrafında şekilleniyor. Yaşamak bile.

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Kozmosun ücra köşesinden gelen bir meteor dünyama çarptı. Adeta bir zamanlar dünyanın buzul çağına girmesi gibi, pederin vefatı, hayatla kurduğum teması ve dünyevi ilgiyi buz gibi dondurdu. Geçen hafta ağzımın suyunun aktığı kitaplıktaki kitap, şuan bana hiçbir anlam ifade etmiyor. Gazete ve dergilerin vediği havadislerin hiçbir cazibesi ya da aciliyeti söz konusu değil. Geçen hafta izlediğim Maradona videoları, biraz enstrümental ve slow müzik açmak için internete girdiğimde karşıma çıkınca ifrit oluyorum. Müzik bile kesmiyor; telefonda bir iki dinlemeye tenezzül ettiğim şeyler müzikal ve estetik anlamda gürültüden başka bir şey değil. (Alex Ross kitabını benim için yazmış sanki.)

About

Abdullah Ayasun

Virginia-based journalist and writer. Politics, culture, art, and technology. American political affairs, Turkey, the MidEast, and beyond. Twitter: @abyasun

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