America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

24 December 2005

Orhan Pamuk- Renegade or Pioneer?

"30,000 Kurds and one million Armenians were killed in these lands, and nobody but me dares talk about it".

Orhan Pamuk, I am told, is one of the greatest writers of this time, if not the very best from Turkey. Shame on me for never reading any of his work, but I have no choice but to take everyone's word for it. His words, as spoken to a Swiss newspaper are judged to be an "insult to Turkishness".

For this crime, he is being prosecuted as a criminal, and he is being hated by all flavors of nationalist "halk" in Turkey. Apparently in Turkey, freedom of speech is limited, especially as it relates to anything involving the devlet, past or present. This comes as no surprise to anyone, least of all to those who are critical of Turkey's acceptance into the EU.

I do not want to debate the oppression of Kurds or the "so-called" Armenian genocide. I am in no position to confirm or deny either with any certainty. Who truly is?

What I believe is certain is that this fiasco that the Turkish courts have brought upon themselves is completely un-necessary, an embarrassment, and a detriment to the aspirations of joining the EU. In my view, Pamuk spoke his mind about subjects which I believe haunt every Turk at some level. He has "said what everyone is already thinking", as the saying goes.

Right or wrong, Kurdish language and culture is subjugated in Turkey. Click here for a previous contribution related to this subject Genocide or not, a very large number of Armenians died in Turkey. These are not un-truths, fabricated by Pamuk and set forth for the first time. They are issues which should stop being censored and brought out into the open. Outright dismissal of these issues, and incarceration of those who dare to put them on the table, is what's wrong here.

Do I believe there are valid reasons for the oppression of Kurds by the Turkish government? Yes I do, but valid does not necessarily mean correct. Do I refuse to define the 1915 deaths of Armenians using the word "genocide"? Yes I do, but the alternatives to using "that word" aren't so attractive either. Death is death.

NO I do not believe that Orhan Pamuk's remarks were appropriate or patriotic. I can't confirm or deny that 30,000 Kurds have died at the hands of Turkish security forces. To the contrary, Turkish sources state that 30-50,000 TURKS have died as a result of fighting between Turkish military and PKK guerillas and terrorists. The numbers need better definition because the Turkish government considers all ethnicities living in Turkey to be Turks, meaning that the figures set forth by the Turkish government MAY refer largely to Turks of Kurdish ethnicity. At any rate, I'm in over my head a little bit here. The main gist of what I feel about this is that Orhan Pamuk has committed no crime. It is hard for any red-blooded American to call it any other way, even if they are an American of Turkish ethnicity. Where's that "Iamnotamerican" guy? He should think about selling "FREE PAMUK" t-shirts and bumper stickers. I'll be the first in line. Here is a poem that reached me through circulation on a Boston Yahoo group, by "Ozan Erbabi":

YÜZDE yüz bir pislik var ki kaninda,
Soykirim icadi yapti sonunda,
Türkiye'nin su en hassas aninda,
Onu yalanlayan tarihe kizar,
Böylesi HAÝNLER oluyor yazar.

Nerden çikti simdi durup dururken?
Dört yandan ülkeyi düsman bürürken,
AB'ye gün be gün hesap verirken,
Hayali ölüye mezar kazar,
Böylesi HAÝNLER oluyor yazar.

Kivirmayi birak, erkek ol erkek,
Bir buçuk milyonu saydin mi tek tek?
Üç kurus paraya satilmis KÖPEK
Eline bir kemik geçince azar,
Böylesi HAÝNLER oluyor yazar.

Dönen dolaplari ibretle seyret,
Ermeni bu kadar göstermez gayret,
Kraldan daha kralci, hayret!
Kafayi 'SOYKIRIMI' sözüyle bozar,
Böylesi HAÝNLER oluyor yazar.

Eðer bir soykirim varsa ortada,
Türklere yapildi ERZURUM, KARS'TA.
Tarihi git ögren, birazcik sus da,
Dogu bastan sona hep toplu mezar,
Böylesi HAÝNLER oluyor yazar.

Azerbaycan’a git, gör soykirimi,
Yürekler acisi Türk'ün durumu.
Bir daha bilmeden yapma yorumu,
Azeri kaniyla doluyken HAZAR,
Böylesi HAÝNLER oluyor yazar.

Bati’nin gözünde artti degerin,
Onlardan bir daha kaptin 'AFERÝN' .
Küpede taktimi mi efendilerin?
Midesi dolunca dili hep uzar,
Böylesi HAÝNLER oluyor yazar.

Anan mi Ermeni, Baban mi senin?
Ailenden var mi hiç katledilenin?
Seni bu ülkede aydin edenin?
Alçaklik yaptikça bulursun Pazar,-
Böylesi HAÝNLER oluyor yazar.

Ekmegini yedigin bu Devlete,
Seni adam sayan yüce Millete,
Ihanet ederek düstün ZiLLETE!
Aman dikkat et, degmesin nazar,
Böylesi HAÝNLER oluyor yazar.

Bir adam olursa dogustan yamuk,
Soyuna düsmandir, Düþmana pamuk,
ERBABI, yakana yapiþir OMUK,
Unutma, bu millet oyunu bozar,
Böylesi HAÝNLER oluyor yaza.


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