Where Are The Women?

Not here:

The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) has elected 211 judges to the Supreme Court of Appeals and the Council of State. Six are women. (click here, in Turkish)

But here (click on the video in the link):

The governor of Ankara province wanted the stands handing out brochures to be removed from Yüksel Boulevard, one of Ankara’s main thoroughfares. A mass of police in full riot gear arrived to carry out his order and got into a discussion with a young woman at a stand promoting organ donorship. Young people gathered and surrounded her protectively, chanting “No to Fascism.” Watch the film. In seconds the police had moved in violently, as they have done with other protests and public civic actions in recent years, often by students and other young people. You can see them dragging people off (the news account said some were dragged away by the hair), throwing them about like paper dolls, and in the film if you watch carefully, you will see a policeman punching one of the young women hard in the face twice.

What was it that Erdogan said about the praiseworthy youth in Egypt demonstrating for their rights, that Mubarak should heed his people’s wishes?

Over-the-top police violence against men and women has been the norm in Turkey since I first went there in the 1970s. The problem has been police immunity and a continuing culture of disrespect for youth, for women, and for civil rights; a widespread acceptance and even approval of violence as a sign of masculinity and love of nation; and a lack of understanding of the principles of liberal democracy — making a safe space for alternative views and lifestyles. Democracy too often means I got the most votes, so everyone else should fall in line with my ideas and my values. A 2006 survey by Çarkoğlu and Toprak shows that the majority of the population values democracy and civil liberties, but shows little sensitivity toward others’ rights. Democracy is understood as a system that represents the views of the majority, rather than protecting the rights of minorities.

And here:

31-year-old Şehri Filiz, mother of two children, had been separated from her husband for three years and lived with 26-year-old Tarık E. During an argument in the street he killed her, stabbing her in the neck and stomach with a bread knife. He told police that he did it because while they were arguing “she pushed me.”

Moral to women: Don’t be pushy. Know your place. Agree with your betters.

20 Responses to “Where Are The Women?”

  1. Over-the-top police violence against men and women has been the norm in Turkey since I first went there in the 1970s.
    Yes. Recurring nightmare.
    If it were possible to do so, I’d look into the backgrounds of the guys who started the chanting as that woman was negotiating. Not that it ever happens here, of course, but we know odd things sometimes happen in Canada.

  2. thank you, Jenny. Excellent job!

  3. Here, two of the 6 women elected are wives of HSYK (sub.) members: http://www.radikal.com.tr/Radikal.aspx?aType=RadikalDetayV3&ArticleID=1041249

  4. On the kind of democracy that’s longed for: ‘Tefrika’ Düzeninden ‘Tesanüt’ Düzenine. This is and has been a more or less common theme in Turkish ‘right.’ Here we see what/who the enemy is and are told that, now, for the first time the government-state-society unity has been attained (ask the next slick US-educated political scientist cemaat propagandist you meet what they call such ‘unity’ in their universities[1]):
    Bakar mısınız, hükümet-devlet-toplum ilk defa el ele, gönül gönüle. Ruhu şad olsun, hayalleri gerçek oluyor, bir milletin yürekleri artık toplu vuruyor. Devletin hariciye çalışanları artık halkımızı konsoloslukların kapısından kovmuyor, trajikomik ancak, gidip diğer ülkelere ‘bunları kovun’ diye kendi vatandaşlarını jurnallemiyor, tersine yardım ediyor, işbirliği yapıyorlar. Anlayacağınız, ABD’de Yuppi, Ağlama Duvarı’nın dibinde üniformalı-kippalı, Rusya’da Leninci, kısacası bu bin-bir surat masonik tiyatro ekibi sahneden çekiliyor.
    It is against this backdrop any dissent is evaluated, and, as Gulerce recently explained, organized dissent is attributed to scheming by “bin-bir surat masonik tiyatro ekibi.”

  5. Lots of gems in that article.

    Bakar mısınız, hükümet-devlet-toplum ilk defa el ele, gönül gönüle. Ruhu şad olsun, hayalleri gerçek oluyor, bir milletin yürekleri artık toplu vuruyor.

    If they want to condense these sentiments into a pithy slogan, I suggest “One People, One Nation, One Leader”.

  6. I see many people here are Turkish and they are anti-AKP but they do not do anything else but cursing AKP and Gulen. Why do not you come back to Turkey and save your country from “backward people.” Come and convince Turkish people that they make a big mistake and they should vote for CHP. I know it is easier to type messages cursing AKP while drinking your coffe at sweet home. Yes by cursing AKP, you relax a little bit. But you guys will see that AKP will win the elections in June 2011. Why do not you come back to Turkey and elighten turkish people so that they vote for CHP in June 2011. Otherwise, you waste your time by cursing people and parties. Do something besides cursing AKP and Gulen:)

  7. Yes, Emre, that kind of sentiment does exist here spread throughout the political spectrum. What may make it dangerous is mass support. We had authoritarianism w/o much of a base before. It is one thing for people to do/think as they wish when the authorities aren’t looking and quite another for them to adopt some ideology and obey some hierarchy wholesale when the coercion isn’t imminent. I don’t know to what extent it is happening though.

  8. Do we curse here AKP and Erdogan or simple discuss a blog post?
    Regarding Erdogan’s victory.
    There can be a little surprise after this week EU visit of Erdogan.
    Will write about that later this week.

  9. Does anyone know why the governor ordered the stand(s) to be removed?

  10. Here’s what might turn into gov’t policy on ‘family’: http://www.gyv.org.tr/index.php/main/component/option/frontpage/content/3151/offset/541
    And here’s the conference site in English:

  11. Interesting and frightening pointers, Bulent. International conference! My **s! American evangelism is alleged to have had a hand behind Uganda’s harsh anti-gay laws. To wit, they sent speakers to conferences over there, too.
    There was a somewhat funny news piece the other week that caught my attention. In Pakistan, gays were going to be employed as tax collectors, said the piece. I asked to myself: what the hell? Aren’t they hated enough in a backward Muslim society simply for being gay? Then I read some more, and found that the government’s intentions were pure: by this policy, the afflicted would be able to earn enough to afford seeking cure for their condition.

  12. Amazing, Nihat, I also thought of the humanoids who inspired the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This conservative nexus needs to be scrutinized.

  13. Nihat I don’t think GYV needs any American help to come up with this stuff. They must have flown the guy over so they get to say esteemed American professor or whatever. Check out the committees, there’s even a Taraf columnist there. Of course the minister and at least one of the PM’s staff members also appeared. All women. (The entry says ” Where Are The Women?” this is why I’m saying this, in fact that’s why I remembered the conference.)
    Not that any of this stuff is truly scary in a novel way, mind you. I think it was an especially nice touch to ask for measures against homosexuality and incest in the same sentence.

  14. Bulent, I hear you. I didn’t mean to say American help/hand was particularly noteworthy in the usual conspiratorial sense.
    To me, another sparkling gem in there was where they spoke against domestic violence on the grounds that it would undermine women’s participation in the grand scheme. (Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t describe it as a scheme, let alone a grand one, but I digress… They had it coming IOW. 🙂 )

  15. And here: another calculated callous murder.
    Bir töre cinayeti daha: Bu kez kurban 19 yaşındaki Hatice
    Source: Radikal
    (Sorry, wp won’t allow me to give the link like it sometimes does for no apparent reason.)

  16. Where are the women? Murat Belge, with a bit of a stretch, says they are still not to be seen where drinking takes place in the West: http://www.t24.com.tr/murat-belge-icki-yasaklari-yayiliyor/haber/131624.aspx

  17. […] Where Are The Women? from Kamil Pasha by Jenny White […]

  18. Where are the women? Taking awards and saying things that they think needs to be said right in front of several cabinet ministers: http://video.ntvmsnbc.com/ahmet-sik-ve-nedim-senerin-yanindayiz.html#sik-ve-senerin-yanindayiz.html

  19. According to the WSJ: Turkish Women Throw Weight Around in Ring

  20. Another woman. This one’s trying to secure her MP candidacy by defying a court order: http://video.ntvmsnbc.com/#imamin-ordusuna-polis-mudahalesi.html
    Now that I am looking and finding things, things don’t look quite as bad. I’m not sure this particular woman will get into the parliament, but by the looks of it, if she does, it doesn’t look like she’ll be a pushover. OTOH, such women have always existed here and risen to positions of visibility — sometimes to the detriment of others as evidenced by the aggressively pro-headscarf-ban female MPs.
    You might want to check out what’s going with the platform for headscarved MPs and Ali Bulac BTW. Bulac is being his usual self, but some of the women are now taking more aggressive positions.

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