Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mengalahkan Tegal Biasa: keruntuhan Kemalism Di Turki

23 October 2012, Tuesday


Do not interfere with Kemalists’ mourning

Metaphorically speaking, Turkey was at one time a kind of apartheid state, like South Africa.
 A handful of secular Turks dominated the rest of society: devout Muslims, Kurds and others. Since 2002, when the current Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government came to power, this regime has been disintegrating, and has finally come to a point of total collapse. Just five or six years ago there were things that merited intense debate in society, and these things have now become ordinary facts of life in Turkey. One of them was -- an unimaginable thing in any democratic society -- whether the headscarved wives of the prime minister or the president could attend official ceremonies. In the first years of AK Party rule, in fact, they could not attend official ceremonies held in military buildings. There were many occasions that state officials and politicians had to attend, military-led official ceremonies, including almost all national days. Our commanders used to invite our prime minister and president alone, to eliminate the possibility of running into their headscarved wives.
Quite recently, the AK party government managed to change the regulation regarding commemorative ceremonies for national days and official receptions. They are now held at the presidential palace, and headscarved citizens are free to attend.
However, now something has seemingly been turned upside-down. The other day I was walking in the street and saw some youngsters distributing leaflets inviting people to Oct. 29 celebrations. They were excited and emotional. It is quite interesting to see Kemalists in the street seeking popular support. Kemalists have long been in mourning for the loss of the old privileged position that they held for a long time in Turkey. It seems to me that they have been losing their hope that the military will somehow “restore” that situation. This disappointment, I believe, is a good thing for the future of Turkish democracy.
However, for the time being, their feeling of being lost is great. I hope that over time they will cease their mourning in a healthy way and try to compete with the government through legitimate channels. As you know, if the mourning process is not completed, it can lead to unhealthy reactions, such as the seeking of revenge.
In this process, the government has some duties and obligations. They should refrain from certain behaviors and attitudes which give the other camp the feeling of being crushed and sidelined.
After I saw these Kemalists demanding support for the Oct. 29 celebrations, I realized that the Ankara governor has imposed a ban on some celebrations planned to be held in particular locations. Some Kemalist civil society organizations requested the governor allow them to celebrate the day in front of the first Grand Assembly building in Ankara -- a request that was denied. In the same vein, on some recent commemoration days the police have prevented citizens from laying flowers before statues of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, saying that flowers can only be laid by officials.
These are not only anti-democratic practices but also quite dangerous, as they may have the effect of polarizing society. These kinds of anti-democratic, nonsensical practices have the potential to interfere with the healthy mourning process of the Kemalists.
Taking down the apartheid regime is of course very important, since it clears the way for the majority to govern. However, this alone cannot bring democracy, which guarantees every single citizen the enjoyment of some basic rights, such as holding peaceful demonstrations, freedom of expression and so on.
The last thing we need in Turkey for democratization is to give the old elites the impression that they cannot express themselves freely. Let them complete their mourning process in a healthy way and return to democratic competition. I urge the Ankara governor to reconsider the anti-democratic ban he has imposed on some Oct. 29 celebrations

Catitan Sut:

Rakyat Turki puluhan tahun berada di bawah bayangan Kemalism, tentera sebagai tiang-tunggak yang terus-menerus menyokong tegaknya Kemalism dengan penuh setianya.. 

Begitu sukar untuk dirombak struktur naungan ini, ianya bukan sahaja berdiri secara fizikal di tengah-tengah kerangka kehidupan bernegara, bahkan ianya juga menghantui kehidupan peribadi rakyat. Bukan setakat perundangan yang diwujudkan, bahkan elemen-elemen budaya dan seni juga diperalatkan untuk mewujudkan bangsa Turki Baru. 

Sejarah Turki yang gemilang dengan kekuatan yang pernah dimiliki oleh Uthmaniyyah digelapkan secara sistematik, Mustafa Kemal pula dinobatkan sebagai Bapa Turki Baru.

Begitupun, tumbuh juga cedingan baru. Cedingan yang datang dengan wajah demokrasi, wajah 'hak asasi manusia', wajah keadilan masyarakat, wajah keluhuran undang-undang. Cedingan yang dituduh sebagai suatu usaha untuk mengembalikan Turki ke zaman sebelum Mustafa Kemal.

Ianya tidak mengambil rupa luaran 'golongan agama' , walaupun inspirasinya datang dari situ. Janji para pemimpinnya bukan rethorik agama, tetapi janji kemakmuranuntuk  rakyat dan keberkesanan pentadbiran.

Sokongan mereka bukan semata-mata datang dari golongan yang mahukan agama atau nostalgik dengan sejarah lama, bahkan datang dari mereka yang menyanjung nilai-nilai kemanusian dan civil-rights semasa. Golongan yang mahu tentera kembali ke kem mereka, berperanan untuk mempertahankan negara.

Begitupun ada golongan minoriti yang merindui Kemalism dan masih memuja Mustafa Kemal, walaupun mereka sedar yang jalan pulang ke arah itu sudah semakin mengecil. 

 Rakyat mana-mana negara sekalipun akan teragak-agak untuk menukar suasana , seburuk-buruk yang ada ini, masih kita kenal tetapi yang bakal mendatang kita langsung tidak punya pengalaman. Untuk mengalahkan 'tegal biasa' itu adalah suatu kerja pendakian yang memerlukan kesungguhan dan visi yang jelas....

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