Society, Politics, and Economy in Modern Turkey: Sociology of Turkey - Maintained by Tugrul Keskin
We are at a point in our work when we can no longer ignore empires and the imperial context in our studies. (p. 5)
― Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Chorus of Imperialism and "Academic Freedom" - give a 39cents

Chorus of Imperialism and "Academic Freedom" - give a 39cents

Over the last few weeks, we have seen dramatic changes in Turkish (and Kurdish) politics. More than 1100 academicians signed the petition against the Turkish government and people of Turkey. First of all, let me clarify that I never voted for, or supported the JDP or AK Party. And most importantly, I harshly criticized the AK Party government on neoliberalism and its policy toward imperialism while some of these academicians were benefiting from the AK Party government and state institutions.

On the other hand, in the last couple of decades, Turkey has been fighting against PKK terrorism which has been supported directly or indirectly by American and European Imperialist interests to divide Turkey and create an independent Kurdish State. These imperialist powers sometime use academicians, journalists, human rights defenders, NGOs or some academic organizations (such as the MESA academic freedom committee under Zachary Lockman, who is more orientalist than Bernard Lewis). The MESA academic freedom committee is not in a moral position to judge people in Turkey or the Middle East. They are pure orientalists and imperialists, and they work with state institutions, such as the US Department of State, the Department of Education and Department of Defense. This is an example of Rudyard Kipling’s responsibility for the white man's burden.   

In the last few decades, concepts such as human rights, academic freedom, press freedom, and democracy have become commodities for American and European imperialist academia, and these concepts are used against developing nations as took place with the civilization project in Africa in the 19th and 20th centuries. They use similar methods and concepts against China on Falun Gang, and also regarding the Tibet, Uyghur, and Taiwan issues, but with a blind eye to Islamophobia, racism (just recall the Ferguson and anti- immigrant attitudes) and corrupt Chinese officials in the US and Europe who escaped from their homeland with millions, stealing the money; now with a safe heaven in beautiful San Francisco, "Irvine" or London.

Interestingly, "as you know very well the Kurdish Issue”, the Washington Propaganda machine Voice of America has a Kurdish section which was led by Michael Chyet who lived in Turkey between 1973-1980. This man, similar to Alan Makovsky (from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy) has focused on Turkey and the Kurdish issue since the 1970s. As another example; Graham Fuller and Henri Barkey (whose wife worked in the CIA – as Vice President of the Central Intelligence Council). Graham Fuller is on this list and If I am making a mistake he should correct me:) This is normal according to nation-state versus nation-state relations in international relations. The US is trying to divide Turkey and using different methods than the occupation of Iraq, which was based on a more obvious form of imperialism. In this context, the US is using academicians, NGOs, freelancers, human rights activists, and some academic organizations. This is soft imperialism which is based on NED-style democracy projections which come with code word: “freedom.” US and European governments (and their so-called freelancers) use similar methods against China on the Uyghur Issue. Most interestingly, both Uyghur and Kurdish activists (at the leadership level) get their support from governmental channels. They also use similar tactics against Iran. Whether Iran, Turkey or China is democratic or not; they are as democratic as the US, France and Britain.

On the Kurdish issue, a couple of days ago, a beautiful 4 year old girl was killed by the PKK (take a look at the picture, who have been actively supported by the US and Europe - and by some of these academicians! This is very similar to 1994 Rwanda. Some people blamed Hutus, and some of them blamed Tutsis for Genocide, but no one talked about the historical condition of imperialism in Rwanda, facilitated by Belgium, France and the US. There was no accountability from this end. What a surprise! Whatever problems we have in the colonized lands are inherited from the historical conditions of imperialism, including the Kurdish Issue or Rwandan genocide. So-called academicians who work with governmental intelligence organizations or use freedom house to classify the relative levels of democracy development. This is purely an imperialist strategy against the colonized lands.

You eat organic food, bike to school, love dogs and animals, play music, visit Qatar and met with Al-Thani, and have a pretty good life style. Also, you have a responsibility toward savage people who need to be taught how to be a democratic, or to use freedom of expression.  This is a well-regarded responsibility for those who signed this petition. However, there are more than 7 billion people on the earth and most of them have suffered rather than benefiting from this type of intervention (Humanitarian Imperialist intervention). Brother Farrakhan said that you are not in a moral position to judge:

A scholar like Noam Chomsky who signed the letter, worked at MIT and lives in Boston, goes to Starbucks and drinks his daily coffee. Chomsky is a white liberal western orientalist scholar, received funding from the NED, which was established by the CIA for his trip to Turkey in 2002. His assistant (Filiz…….) was provided by the NED on his trip to Turkey. Her husband was a close friend of Franc Carlucci (, who was the former Department Defense guy and worked as Chair of the Carlyle group ( My former advisor, Samih Farsoun (Christian Arab) who was a close friend of Edward Said (and introduced me to Dr. Said in 2000) said to me once while we visited Dr. Said in New York, that Arabs, Muslims, or colonized scholars are different than Chomsky and other white liberals/western leftist and they will never understand our struggle against Imperialism. Therefore, they use the house negroes against  us. Unfortunately, we have many of them in Muslim-populated societies. Some of these house negroes that signed the petition, come from an elitist missionary school background, from rich families in Turkey; and actually they have never been oppressed in their lifetime. They exist only in the ivory tower of capitalism, benefiting from state funding and resources. They complain about academic freedom, but they are the problem. This is a closed niche network which is based on activism, and they largely hate Turks and Islam. You really do not know them. This is not about academic freedom, because these academicians have enjoyed academic freedom by using state funding and resources. Most of them do not even know how Turkish/Kurdish people live, and what they eat!

Your writings and views remind of the white man in this video:

Don’t forget to donate your 39 cents to these freedom loving people :) 

There are also similar cases in the Iran 2009 Green Movement, the Tibet and Uyghur Issue in China, in Venezuela and Zimbabwe against Chavez and Mugabe governments, against Julius Malema in South Africa, etc.  Or more historical cases, such as the Humanitarian imperialist strategy against, Castro, Salvador Allende, Nkrumah, Mandela, and so on.
In short, Erdogan or the AKParty is not more or less authoritarian than Obama, Cameron, Merkel, NSA, Fulbright Commission or MESA. On the other hand,  of course the Erdogan or AK Party has authoritarian tendencies as much as Netanyahu, Bush, Obama, Cameron, Republicans, Democrats, MESA (Middle East Studies Association, etc). But Erdogan is not Hitler or Mussolini as some Jewish liberal scholars claim, such as a professor from St Lawrence University who is an advisor to the State Department and the HRW Turkey project; because these fascist leaders (Mussolini, Hitler, etc) belong to the West and flourished in the ashes of imperialism.  Whether Erdogan is an authoritarian or not, it is our problem; the rest is not your business. We do not need another Rudyard Kipling

Enjoy your illusionary freedom,

Tugrul Keskin

No comments:

Post a Comment