Category Archives: TURKEY

When Leftists Ruled the Airwaves: İsmail Cem, TRT, and a Divided Turkey

Reuben Silverman


İsmail Cem was thirty-three in 1974, youthful and handsome, educated at the best schools in Turkey and Europe, president of the Istanbul Journalists Union and a famous columnist in his own right. He was also the author of several books on Turkish politics with a pronounced socialist-bent. He was, in short, an ideal candidate to head the Television and Radio Institution of Turkey (TRT) when the center-left Republican People’s Party (CHP) came to power, and under his leadership TRT did indeed embark on some of its most important and artistic ventures. Yet his fifteen months in office were also marked by bitter disputes, accusations and legislative maneuvering that reflected an increasingly divided society where opposing factions saw themselves as representing the popular will and their opponents as having no legitimacy at all.


I. I: A History of Turkish Radio Television Underdevelopment

II. Mr.Cem Goes to Ankara

III. The “Sultan…

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Protesting the Death of Tahir Elçi

Tahir Elçi, a celebrated human rights lawyer and activist promoting peace, was killed in Diyarbakir after a gun battle between the police and unidentified shooters.

He was issuing a press statement, calling out for an end to violence between the Turkish state and the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) when he was shot dead. He was 49 years old.

Masses gathered after hearing the news of his death in Istanbul by organising a vigil at Istiklal Street.

It can be said that the vigil happened spontaneously as over the years Istiklal Street became the main venue to protest injustice.

His death incited anger as he was an advocate for peace and reconciliation.

Almost everyone who knew him stated that “he was a good man that helped everyone around him.”

The protestors held photos of Elci and stayed in silence to commemorate him, then chanted slogans to express their outrage.

The following slogans were chanted: “Murderer State”, “You can’t kill us all”, “Şehîd Namirin” which means martyrs never die in Kurdish.

The police tried to disperse the crowd by driving armoured vehicles towards them and fired water cannons.

Yet the crowds remained.

It was a sad day for peace in Turkey.

It was a sad day.

Testimonies: Remembering Hrant Dink

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Jonathan Fryer had defined Hrant Dink in his obituary in the Guardian as “a warm, sensitive man, who would greet an old friend with a bear hug…”

He notes how Hrant Dink experienced harassment and threats, what Dink names and Fryer records as “psychological torture.”

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Fryer further reflects on Dink’s words: “I am just like a pigeon, obsessively looking to my left and to my right, in front of me and behind me.”

This quote is remembered every year, transferred to generations.

I learned about Dink by joining these protests.

I knew little of him when I first joined and over the years got to know what he stood for and what he did.

Younger people are also learning about him by accompanying their families, friends or just turning up after hearing about this unjust death.

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Being there makes one aware of the networks of solidarity and gives the feeling that one is not alone to stand up to injustices.

Thousands march to commemorate this sincere writer who was killed due to the predominance of hate, institutional hate.

Yet the hate that is maintained in institutions is being countered by the masses, with solidarity and objection.

These photos were taken on the 19th of January, 2015.

This is the day that the Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was killed eight years ago.

The march again was commemorating the life that had a lot to give, experience and was lost in an unjust and sudden way.

Hrant Dink has become a symbol of peace for many, every year thousands remember him and chant “Never Again”, “We are here!”


Articles and Sources on Hrant Dink

Hrag Vartanian (2006). A Voice in the Wilderness

Hrant Dink Foundation

Section from his book “Two close peoples two distant Neighbours”


A Year of Terrorist Bombings in Turkey (2015)


“While the ruling elite remains emotionally and physically unaffected by the bombings, this year of violence has left thousands dead and injured, broken dozens of families, and shattered the previously fragile peace in the country’s southeast.

In a state where funerals and lawlessness have become common, the victims of these mass atrocities feel isolated.

At a time when Turkey should be protecting and defending its citizens, there is a profound lack of justice for those who are most deeply affected by the country’s many, recent tragedies.”

See full text at

Gülseren Onanç’tan Barış İçin Kadın Koalisyonu Önerisi

Bu yazının bir kısmı Bianet’de yayınlanmıştır.

Erişmek için tıklayınız.

Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi Meclis Üyesi ve eski Genel Başkan Yardımcısı Gülseren Onanç Kadın Forum’unda Kuzey İrlanda’da kurulan kadın koalisyonunun Türkiye’de barışın tesisinde önemli bir örnek olacağını belirtti ve ısrarla diyaloğun altını çizdi.

Diyaloğun önemi

Onanç konuşmasına kendi deneyiminden yola çıkarak, kadın hareketindeki deneyimin onun dönüşümünde önemli rol oynadığının belirterek başladı. 10 yıl önce kadın ve Kürt meselelerinin beraber tartışılmasının bugün Kürt sorununa empati kurmasına katkıda bulunduğunu belirtti ve diyaloğun sadece kendileri gibi düşünenlerle değil karşı taraflarla da yürütülmesi gerektiğini söyledi.

AKP’li kadın vekiller sürece katılmalı

AKP’den de vekilleri sürece katarak kadın kimliği üzerinden bilinci arttırmanın değişimini tetiklenebileceğini söyleyen Onanç uzun dönemli barış için karşı taraftakileri kendi saflarına çekmeleri gerektiğini belirtti.

Kadın koalisyonu fikri

Bu Mart ayında hem siyasi partilerinde hem de sivil toplum örgütlerinin katıldığı , DPI’ın (Democratic Progress Institute) ev sahipliğinde Kuzey İrlanda’ya giden ve kadınların barış sürecindeki rolünü inceleyen Onanç İrlanda’dakine benzer bir koalisyonun Türkiye’de oluşabilmesinin imkanlarını sorgulayarak, girişimlerini belirtti.
‘IRA ile İngiltere arasındaki süreçte kadın koalisyonu bir oyuncu olarak geliyor ama kurulurken kendine prensipler belirliyor
  1. Çatışmaların silahla değil müzakere ve diyalog ile çözülmesi
  2. İdeolojiler üstü bir siyaset zeminine duyulan ihtiyaca cevap verme
  3. Ayrıştıran siyaset yerine uzlaştıran, ilkeler yerine iş yapan siyaset anlayışın tesis edilmesi
  4. Kadınlar çatışmaların mağdurudur ve dayanışma içinde olmalıdır ilkesi
  5. Dünyada çözülemeyecek hiç bir çatışma yoktur yeter ki diyalog ve müzakereler olsun anlayışı.’


‘Diyalogu bizim başlatmamız gerekiyor’

‘Çatışma çözümlerinde etkili olmanın yolu ayrım yapmayan kapsayıcı bir iletişim ve ilişki sürdürmek adına önyargıları kırmaktan korkmamalıdır. Öncelikle önyargılarımızı kırmak üzere diyalogu bizim başlatmamız gerekiyor. Diyaloğun çok  önemli olduğuna inanıyorum ve insanı kadını ve sistemi değiştirebileceğine inanıyorum.
Uzun dönemde yapılacak barış görüşmeleri içerisinde kurulacak bir kadın koalisyonunun, fakat bütün siyasi yelpazeyi içeren bir koalisyonun yarın kurulacak her hangi bir masada yer alması gerekiyor’ dedi.

The 2015 Renault Strike in Turkey


At the end of their shift, almost half of the workers at the Renault factory in Bursa, Turkey decided that they will not be working the next day.

“Oyak Renault”, as it is known in Turkey, is a joint venture between the French automaker and the Turkish army pension fund Oyak.


The strike started on a Thursday night.

It lasted 14 days.

The number of those who launched the strike amounted to 2,500.

They expressed discontent both with the company and their union.


The strike spread to other companies such as Fiat’s affiliate company factory Tofas and automobile part suppliers in other industrial zones of Turkey as well.

I was able to go there a couple of days later, take these photos and witness the slogans and the atmosphere of “resistance” and “solidarity.”

This was the post in Turkish.


In this photo, it can be seen that a popular slogan from the Gezi Park Protests is diffused. The slogan states: “Everywhere Reno, resistance everywhere.” Those who write it probably belong to the supporter group of sports team Beşiktaş, named Çarşı.


Those who were striking and their supporters rallied in front of the factory, while some of the workers camped inside. Cheers and voices were loud when these small rallies took place.


Also, there was some hostility towards the “foreigners” as one worker stated: “We do not trust those “foreigners” coming from İstanbul. They may exploit us!”


Yet, the negative encounters with journalists were limited. They stressed some of the workers cards for entering the factory were not working. There was anger and mistrust towards the authorities. Mostly, the messages of solidarity and resistance were dominant.


In this placard it writes: “if you do not resist today, you will beg tomorrow.”


Oguz Alyanak wrote probably the best, a comprehensive article on the dynamics of the protest at Open Democracy. Definitely recommended.