Reporting From The Churn: Day 1, 2017

Before yesterday night, I was planning to write a new blog post [probably on Monday] about what I’m planning to do in 2017, and keep it cynical but as optimist as possible. But then, at the first hours of 2017, this happened.

It was shocking and devastating, some idiot motivated by delusional bullshit killed at least 39 people just because they were celebrating New Years Eve. But the main problem was, atmosphere for this attack created by many groups together, including some government organizations and pro-government media. Of course, many Muslim groups in Turkey didn’t liked Christmas and NYE celebrations and campaigned against those for a long time. But in the past couple years, especially in 2016, this become something more than that.

That’s why I wrote this tweet. Because even the government’s Religious Affairs Directorate practically approved every protest and attack against NYE celebrations. Those attacks were usually something like stabbing or beating people wearing Santa costumes (some acting with them, some just wearing for money), passing out threatening flyers and using their media to spread those threats. And every year, they’ve become bolder and ready to do more.

The main problem is, government and media close to the government just served them as ‘concerned citizens.’ Beating people wearing Santa costumes delivered as ‘cute news.’ They were just citizens trying to protect ‘our national values.’

But when it comes to the reality, things were not that cute. All of them wants everyone living in this country to act and live like them. Everyone in Turkey must live like a perfect Turkish citizen, which is constructed by the Sunni, Turkish men long time ago, tweaked by every government on the way. They are the ones we should be like and not anything different. And if we’re different in any way, we’re a threat.

That’s why when I wrote the tweet above, some people on Twitter started attacking me. Claiming I’m the one dividing this society, “playing politics over dead bodies.” So I wrote couple more.

The “We” I was talking about there is basically everyone who is not Sunni, Turkish and male living in Turkey. Women, LGBTQ, Christians, Jews, Atheists, Kurds, Armenians, Alevis, leftists and everyone else you can think of. We’re always seen as a threat to their values, to their nation. And every time an attack like that happens and someone like me comes out and says why people are too eager to do things like that, they say we’re dividing this country. We’re playing politics. Instead we should just shut the fuck up and be like them. Every time they say “We should unite against this attack,” they mean “You all have to be like us and instead of talking the truth, you should go along with our conspiracy theories which doesn’t explain a shit but helps us to gain more politics points. And if you don’t, we’ll declare you’re a terrorist too.” 

[Just to make it clear: This isn't something new or specific to AKP. This is the political culture in Turkey for decades. Every government in Turkey used it, just tweaked some parts or added some new conspiracy theories over it.]

I’m pissed off. Every time, every single fucking time, they do everything to divide this society and oppress us and then someone using their rhetoric kills people. And then when I say you’re helping them with doing this and saying that, I’ll become the target again. They cause all of this bullshit and then blame the people got attacked. Two days ago, Religious Affairs Directorate declared NYE celebrations against our culture [PDF], pro-government newspapers ‘warned’ people to not to celebrate, some people put a gun over someone’s head who wears a Santa costume and get away with it [in TUR], many local departments of Ministry of National Education sent notices to all schools to ‘kindly forbid’ NYE celebrations in schools (because it’s not part of our culture) [both links in TUR] and religious sect leaders close to them threatened people celebrating [people like Cübbeli Ahmet etc.]. Then someone decided to kill people celebrating NYE and now they’re acting like all of these didn’t happened and we’re the ones to blame. Just because we’re saying what they did two days ago.

FUCK THAT SHIT! I’m sick of playing the kind and good one against those secretly (and sometimes openly) wishing death to all of us; thinking either we live like them or we don’t deserve living in here; expecting me to apologize for everything I believe and do which they did not approve; doing everything to destroy every culture, art and lifestyle they didn’t like.

This is who I am and I don’t have any plans for a change or apologize just because some idiots didn’t like it. I’ll defend myself and every other minority living in here until those shitheads understand that only thing they should do is shut up. I don’t have any plans to let them get away with turning us into targets just because we want everyone to live however they want, instead of how they want.

This wasn’t how I planned to start 2017 but here we are. Everything keeps going and doesn’t care if you’re hangover or not [I’m, kind of]. It’s going to be a weird and deadly interesting year, as usual. I’m here to do what I usually do, only more and more. And with hope to turn the world into a weirder place with it. Because that’s the only way I know to resist against those who wants us to become the copies of them.

A Personal Take on Turkey Elections: Hopeful But Really Tired

“I can rest, finally!”

To be honest, this was my first thought when my brain started working at June 8th. I was feeling tired, worn out. And still feel the same. My guess is the elections affected a lot of people living in here similarly.

Yes, I’m also an digital activist, including lots of other things I’m doing. But politics, especially daily politics in Turkey is nothing but a total mess. It’s not my area, I can’t fit in. I can comment or report some basic news but I’m not doing it with joy. It felt like a duty, I have to spread (translate) what’s going on in here. It was an abrasive experience, just like last two months in Turkey.

Especially in May, politics seized everyone’s life in here. I don’t know about other people, but it was unbearable for me. Lots of meaningless fights on media, roaring election vans and booths everywhere. I was able to see stress around me. There was no place to hide from it. And it was blocking you to do anything else or even think about anything else.

It felt like there was no end.


But finally, election is over. I know that there are lots of political uncertainty and these will probably continue at least for couple of months. But even though I feel more hopeful about the future of Turkey, I don’t have any more power to follow this much anymore.

I have my own interests, things I enjoy following and arguing. Things I wanted to write, create. There are lots of things I have to handle in my life. But my brain was blocked, mesmerized by the elections and now I feel like it’s filled with nothing but crap. I have to clean all of the junk and I have to take a lot of things back from where I left weeks ago.

Of course I will follow what’s going on, but as long as it’s not about technology, internet, censorship, surveillance and freedom of speech; I want to be a follower, not a commentator. I feel like I don’t have enough power for any other stuff for now.

I might write another blog post soon to what I’m planning to do in near future, what my plans for summer. But for now that’s all I want to say.


In case you’re wondering my takes on the election results, there will be an detailed post on Global Voices, collecting all Turkey authors’ comments on that. I wrote my general opinion and I guess most of it will be included. I’ll link it here. But shortly: I’m mostly happy with the outcome, like Louis Fishman said, hope is the real winner of this election. I’m just hoping that ‘the hope’ will stay in the air and we can start long-term changes in here. Otherwise, some groups (some already started to work on that) will do everything to wipe out hope to get their power back. I hope Turkey won’t let that happen.

National Security is Not An Excuse For Censorship and Surveillance

“If what we’re living through in this country is normal, we are all crazy.”

On my latest Global Voices article, I wrote about the latest censorship bill proposal and soon to be voted Security Bill in Turkey. I talked about what those bill could do and why and how Turkish government uses “national security” as an excuse for these.

The security bill proposed by AKP leaders looks scarier still, offering unprecedented powers to police and governors. The bill would authorize law enforcement to conduct telephone wiretapping for up to 48 hours without a warrant, authorizes police to arrest and detain anyone without a warrant up to 48 hours and stop and searches legal wherever police can find “reasonable doubt” of innocence.

Turkey Cites National Security as it Cranks Up Internet Controls | Global Voices

My First Article at Global Voices

Good news, everyone! I’ve joined the Global Voices.

I’ll be one of the contributors from Turkey. I’m planning to focus on my main interests such as censorship, surveillance, freedom of speech and digital activism in Turkey. Not sure how frequently I’ll write but I’ll do my best to cover every story happens in here that’s part of my interests.

My first story is published today. I’ve looked to situation of Turkey’s media on upcoming elections and of course how they are censoring candidates who isn’t Erdoğan. I want to say “hope you’ll like it” but things I wrote is not really likable.

Also if you saw the thumbnail photo but couldn’t find the original version on Global Voices article, I’ve embedded below and also uploaded it on Flickr. I took the photo yesterday and it’s licensed under CC and feel free to use if you liked it.

He's Everywhere

Turkey’s “Penguin” Media not Giving Opposition Candidates a Peak | Global Voices Online