autumnus: A purple monochrome portrait of Zoe from Dreamfall, with drawn stars in background and "the Dreamer" written on bottom. (Default)
Many people who knows me well knows my attitude toward bigotry of any form, as benign as might look. There are reasons like this one that will keep me cautious and leery even all years later.

Turkey is better these days but not better enough. Not nearly better enough. You are less likely to get killed in such a showy way. Instead it is silent pressure in those small Anatolian cities. Disapproving glares, discrimination if you don't follow the rules. In some ways it is even more dangerous, since it is not so obvious, so out in the open.

The problem is neither the hicab, nor being devoutly religious. One can be devout while being very compassionate and tolerant. Similarly extremism is not synonym to religion. It can be any other ideology or identity. You don't need to be member of a terrorist organization to burst into hateful violence against those who do not fit into your world views.

It is the disrespect toward other people's choices and hatred that is the core, hiding under the ideology of the day, and the inability to understand that other ways of living is not threat to you or the sign of evil. This is unfortunately very hard to remove from a nation, and very easy to restore.


edit: looking more closely to the Wikipedia article, it simplifies the whole thing to an attack by religious extremists to a minority sect. It is a bit more complicated than that. It is an impromptu mob exploding over Islamic identity and against "heathens" in a all you can eat hate buffet: against alevis, against secularism, one of the catalysis being the presence atheist author (Aziz Nesin) in the earlier festivities.

If you have some time, youtube has a video documentary. While it might be not the easiest material to decipher for a foreigner since the the documentary was intended for a national audience with the some familiarity with recent Turkish history, not an international one, the subtitles are more then decent and the narrative gives a pretty good overview of the events and the context.

Anyhow, below are the links: 1 2 3 4 5.

edit (the videos and the event itself involves mention of extreme violence and video also have  a couple of gruesome shots).


autumnus: A purple monochrome portrait of Zoe from Dreamfall, with drawn stars in background and "the Dreamer" written on bottom. (Default)

January 2016

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