Turkey Insight (IV) – From today to tomorrow, the “main” issue of chapulists

#direngeziparkı, is living a troubled period between two battles it has been fighting and will have to fight tomorrow. Today’s resisters who are defined as “the youth”, will have to discuss how to overcome the issue of making ideas and creating a destination for those ideas, while taking a breath between two struggles. (13.06.2013)

Today : A fight for survival in revelry and gas

Today, lots of opinions regarding what the youth desires are being shared in Taksim Gezi Park. Though either supportive or opposing, almost the entirety of these opinions has some truth and on the common ground of these opinions, a consensus is reached that the youth desires “freedom” above all else.

Although we have excluded the existing violent elements that have been named by the Government as  “vandalism”, ”attempts of marginal groups” , “ opposition’s pursuit outside of ballot box” , “a farce perpetrated by foreign powers (our enemies)” and so forth, this movement of the youth is welcomed by almost the entirety of people (who are aware), except those with radical angles.

Upon perusing speeches of the Prime Minister clear of his tone, this “well-meaning, sincere and environmentally-conscious” youth fraction, is in an “accepted” (meaning undeniable and unignorable) status within social sphere. It is true that we are in an atmosphere where it is said that “As for these marginal groups, the Government may respond in the harshest way; yet do not let these children come to any harm.”. Of course, we wish that too; however, let alone a nosebleed, we are living times in which our children perish due to increasing violence.

What price are the youth paying, then? More importantly, why are they paying this price and what are – they and Turkey, both – going to gain when they pay it? Are they struggling in vain, or will they change some things in Turkey? Yes, they will.

Having displayed a progressive increase throughout the action, the aim and possible outputs of Gezi Parkı movement – not only for protesters but also for all its actors – has reached the point that it is today. The dilemma we are in today actually also stems from the fact that too much meaning has been attributed to this movement than a protest can bear.

Can we say, I wonder, that the youth who carry on the movement right now will return to their homes when they are told that Taksim Military Barracks shall not be constructed? In a truhful analysis, for how many of the hundreds of thousands of people who amass at squares or the people who is watching them on television does this Military Barracks mean anything? At this point, what does it mean even to the Prime Minister?

This is not a sketchy or superficial analysis. This is a question of “ the fundamental”. It also leads to the question of who the true owners of this movement – upon which everyone is attempting to apply and impose their own codes – are.

From the moment when State’s  – a corporate body with all its history – struggle of reckoning with itself and its people was intertwined with youth’s fight for survival and recognition, dissociating these two became almost impossible. Idolized connotations of the square leading back to much older times than these young people’s dates of birth have reawakened all at once. As for this reckoning, it seems that withdrawal of the owners of old codes and dedition of objectives and demands to the youth of new Turkey, is going to take a long time.

The youth gathered at the square today are incapable of indigenising the language of their older brothers dating back to two generations (not much) before them, as they are incapable of deciphering scripts of any Ottoman Sultan or comprehending Atatürk’s Nutuk despite being able to read it by his own words. While it looks natural to some, I find it a tragic situation.

As these youth, deprived of their capability to settle scores with history, try to draw their actions to the present and to their own genuine codes of freedom, they are not getting anything in return, neither from the society nor the State.

Whereas the State – its eyes looking at the square – is reading equivalences of its old codes on these marginal groups and flags, followers of youth are seeking anti-democratic instances that have been occured countless times in interventions by the State.

Everlasting: Struggle for obsolete codes

Actually, except the youth (and a bunch of people who truly understands them or try to understand at least), everyone is focused on protecting obsolete codes that were built upon Turkey’s anti-democratic history, failed to carry on to this day, touching to which is deemed a taboo.

Yet, codes have changed, language has changed, dreams of future for a better world have changed. This happened neither because of advancing technology, nor the power of social media, nor the urban architecture whose pattern has shifted from the natural towards the new and artificial, which had been well known to be stillborn. This just happened!

Turkey is now a country where there are 300 shopping malls (AVMs) in 54 cities, one third of which is located in Istanbul. It is impossible that these young people, who have been experiencing the AVM phenomenon since the day they were born, would deny this phenomenon altogether, even if they wanted to. Yet, this situation surely does not mean that the same youth does not have an environmental consciousness. In fact, we have to admit that their environmental awareness is higher than those who dates a generation back.

The youth might be born into AVMs. However, this situation that we can define as their nature; cannot be a justification for us to complacently accept that the same young people are the architects or avid users of AVMs or, more plainly, “artifical urbanisation” to which a systematic of relations is manipulated.

The youth is searching for exit roads and the seeds of their bright future amongst every kind of (economic, social, urban) architectural strangeness that is shaped artificially and outside of man’s naturality.

Actually, they are rising to a consciousness level enough to know that neither the desire to see Military Barracks erected nor the resistance towards its construction is “their own”. Am I saying it should be constructed? I am not saying that it shouldn’t, either; given I understand all circumferential oppositions. I am just mentioning that the rancidness of the ground of this debate and this rancidness does not belong to the youth gathered at the square.

At this point, I am sure that the analysis I have made will be largely dismissed (by both sides, no less, even at perspective of the youth) through every connotation and every experienced tangible indicator of the square and the movement. However, I for one would like to emphasize the necessity to reconsider (doing so from philosophical aspect) every adrift analysis that is not of “the fundamental” which I attempted to give clues about, that is not even close to “being humane” at universal scale.

What is encountered in Turkey today; is neither a complicated struggle for power, nor a wise manipulation by the government, nor a presumption by social media, nor an outcome of defeating those famous marginal groups through disclosure. It is both none of these and all of them. The movement being experienced in Turkey today is a subject of neither sociology, nor psychology, nor economy (the latter being a big lie). “One who holds a hammer sees every problem as a nail.” says Maslow.

The distant future as a note…

Today, Turkey (the whole world, if you ask me) needs to make a common reasoning and – purified of all codes and reckonings – to take a fresh look at its history of the past two centuries which ruined a civilization that lasted tens of thousand years.

Today, thinking people of Turkey – doing so contained within disciplines of their own, sadly – affirm that a lesson should be taken from this movement. As far as I was able to identify (I apologize if I missed something in this busy schedule), only a few people suggest that the square should take a lesson as well. Of course we should take a lesson, there is nothing wrong with that. While taking this lesson however, should we attempt to come to a conclusion by using every means taught us at school, our situation will be really pathetic.

Today, as human beings, the single and sole need we have is to think. To think as a human. We are on a path which we can travel by means of the pure thought, which we left behind in days of yore. This, however, is not a magic wand. Neither we can stop the movement in the square, nor can we decide on Military Barracks’ fate, by thinking. Yet, after nearly a thousand years, if we start to use our most essential ability – the ability to think – once again and do so faithfully, we can rebuild our future.

We do not have to be destroyed either as Turkey or the world and we do not have to live a future in pain. As mankind, this is not our inevitable end.

We are obliged neither to live in cities full of AVMs (as a manifestation of artificial architecture), nor to increase our population (through excessive evaluations of an old theory of demography), nor to rank amongst G20 (because these are world’s codes of success), nor to enjoy made-up city parks (which are but large flowerpots meaning nothing to the real nature).

As mankind, we must recover the intellectuals of our human history, ones who had seen today before it arrived, those who pointed us in the path of reason and comprehend what they told us.

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