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El Mundo Gazetesine Röportaj

1. You were charge under the article 301 for doing a report about minorities that was ordered to you by the goverment. What did you think when you got acussed?

This Report was not ordered by the Government. Worse still, it was an exigency of Art. 5 of the by-laws of the Prime Ministry’s Consultative Assembly on Human Rights. In other words, it was our duty of expert to produce such a report.

When accused, I said: “It’s normal that I be accused of neglecting my duties. But not for doing my work required by law”. And then I said: “Now is starting the real discussion about human and minority rights”.In developing countries such cases are dangerous for the individual who starts it but definitely profitable for the society. That’s how democracy develops here: by “causes célèbres”.

2. What is your opinion about this article?

It clearly codifies (especially its Aliena One on insulting Turkishness) an archaic societal order started in 1454: The Millet System. “Muslims are the Dominant Nation, and the non-Muslims the Dominated Nation” (nation here means community).

“Turk” in this country is an ethno-religious term denoting Muslim Turks and the very laicist Kemalist are not even conscious of this fact. For instance, this article has never been applied when Kurds or non-Muslims were openly insulted. Quite recently, an interior minister said: “Armenian sperm”, meaning Öcalan. She insulted both the Armenians and Kurds in Turkey. Nothing happened.

In the mean time Kemalists continue to argue that “Turk” means all the citizens of the Turkish Republic. This is what we said in the Minority Report: “To use ‘Turk’ as a supra-identity is divisive. It should be replaced by ‘Turkiyeli’ meaning ‘from Turkey’.” This distinction is simply the one between “English” and “British”.

3.What do you think about the reform that it will be introduce?

Is it enough to guaranty the freedom of expression in Turkey ?If not, what else is needed?The government is now scared to hell by the “Sevres Paranoia” atmosphere (Sevres Treaty of 1920 dismembering Ottomans) prevalent in the country since end 2004, the date when EU reforms ended: “If democracy comes, we’ll be split.” So the Government will now only replace “Turkishness” by “Turkish nation” and NOTHING will change.

The road is long the more so because the European Union has now put off the light at the other end of the tunnel. Why? Because you have your Sevres Paranoia as well: Islamophobia. “Chosen Trauma” in always and everywhere very handy in times of hardship.

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