Tranlators note:

I am continuing with my translations. Here is a propaganda article directed against Kemalists. It was published in APOLITIKA, May 1994, under the title of "Listen Kemalist!" (Others: "Listen Marxist!", "Listen ODP!" etc.)



You have begun to cry again laicism. As soon as you seized power you closed the dervish lodges and recluse's cells, but these used to reflect the cultural richness of Anatolia. In the Ottoman dynasty, Sunnite religious despotism originated in the 'ulema' [doctors of Muslim theology-trans.], though among them there were those who supported the violent and authoritarian "kingdom" of orthodox-Islam. The members of the 'ulema' used to train themselves in 'medrese'. [Muslim theological schools-trans.]. The dervish lodges and recluse's cells used to be sufic. They, whether Sunnites or Alevits ['Alevits': partisans of the Prophet Ali-trans.], were the focul points of thought of the peaceful surroundings of pantheism. They were the creators of folk Islam, which allowed the Anatolian people to live in cultural richness by making ineffective the cruel attitude of the 'ulema'.

But you destroyed, by repeating the words "the most real teacher in life is science," the spiritual nutrition sources of the Anatolian people. Yet there was enough space in this fertile land for your spiritual guidance, too. The heterodoks Alevite-Bektasi ['Bektasi': dervish of the Bektasi sect] lodges would happily, though in the direction of their own gnostic understanding, get in touch with you as well. But what did you do! You said: "I would defend you from the Sunnite authorities on one condition only; you must repudiate your identity completely and be subject to my authority."

Although you yourself did not believe in religion, by reasoning "this people needs a religion", you founded the institution of Religious Affairs (Diyanet). You imposed this on the people with the help of your official thugs. You created a clergy much worse than the 'ulema'.

On the other hand, people on this land tried to live together in spite of the fact that they felt crushed between the Islamic despotism of the East and the inanimate materialism of the West; freedom, peace, brotherhood and sisterhood they felt a lust for. And they almost did it in the market place, where the state apparatus and local usurpers could not reach to, in the neighbourhoods and in the mountains.

Buy you clothed every square of this land with the straight-jackets of the West. Then you consecrated what you did as laicism, contemporaneity, and progressivism.

You did but take over the Byzantium-Ottoman tradition in exactly the same way; yet you also put an end to your connection with the libertarian and cultural sources of the people. You did not see that in your compulsory education system, for which you have struggled for years, young generations would be educated into politicized Islam by compulsory religion lessons.

On this land Turks, Kurds, Greeks, Arabs, Zazas, Jews, Georgians, Bosnians, Pomaks, Armenian and Laz people had learnt by their centuries-old experience to live peacefully, together. But you seized power and you made Turkish nationalism an official religion, you have encouraged hostility between the peoples, you have seen Kurds as non-entities. You have practiced coercion with your gendarmerie. You have prohibited, you have repressed, you have assimilated. Now, with the Kurdish uprising, you cry: "Do not let our country be divided."

Where are the mevlevis who said:

"Come, whatever you are, come, whether you are an idolater or a Pagan, still come"

Where is the Bektasi convent, which is the symbol of tolerance? Where? Thanks to you, even the Nakshibendi, a focul point that has deep roots, has become holding-like.

And now you cry laicism. You are calling the children of Nazim Hikmet [the world-wide famous Turkish poet who was imprisoned for years-trans.] to the Kemalist-Laic front. Did you not let them rot in prison?

We feel sorry that you are still being taken seriously by the Alevites. The Islamists who burnt the Alevites alive [including poets, writers, journalists, and many others-trans.] in Sivas [an Anatolian city where the Islamists are organized-trans.] dared to do this because they knew that they would trust in the Kemalist State. Otherwise, they would come [to the festival-trans.] armed. What do you say, the writers of Nefes magazine?

About Anarchism in Turkey: Turkiye'de Anarsizm

Texts in Turkish: Turkce metinler