Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Category » International News

Protests in Turkey: A Turkish Spring?

The events in Turkey are being watched with interest. There have been disquieting reports over the last year that the ruling Islamic conservative party the Justice and Development Party (AKP) were beginning to tighten their grip on Turkish political and social life. All manner of citizens were concerned, liberals, nationalists, social democrats and socialists. The initial protest over turning a public park into a shopping mall started small but quickly mushroomed in reaction to the brutal police reaction. As National Liberals we view with disquiet the reaction of the Police to legitimate and peaceful protest and the steady erosion of civil liberties in general. Our National Liberal correspondent in Turkey, Ozgur Karakok, sends us this report.

At the beginning it was to save 600 trees and the park area at the center of Istanbul by Taksim square. However, faced with the horrifying attack by the Turkish police force on the protesters campaigning against the redevelopment of Gezi Park in Istanbul it grew into something more. Whilst the protest started small, it soon became an example of the struggle for more freedoms in Turkey. Mass protests spread all over Turkey because of bans and pressure on people to adopt Islamic rules and the unfair actions of public institutions. The latter in particular is seen as evidence of orchestrated political processes and control over the executive, legislative and judicial branches of Government by Turkey’s ruling party ,Islamist conservative party AKP.

The excessive use of power by police raids is in the social media on facebook, twitter, and YouTube. The police are beating everyone they catch and these attacks are often seen in many cities. This barbarous action, in the so-called name of democracy, freedom of speech, and human rights, is a disgrace. Many of us worry about the fate of the many protesters held by police at police stations and their consequences are still not known and there is a suspicion that violence is visited upon them.

Now AKP is not keeping promises and there is no democracy anymore in Turkey for there is a dictatorship regime and there is a change from a secular to Islamist state. AKP is abandoning all the good things that secularism brought to them and us all slowly but surely.

I will try to tell you that how Turks allowed AKP come to power:

First of all I can tell you that people were not happy with the previous system and legislation because for a long time it was infested with corruption and the public body lost its fidelity, dependability and reliability in the eyes of the people. This gives them (AKP) a chance to tell lies and create a scenario of hope to the public to entice them to reject the past dogmas. I can also tell you that the elections have been worth by fraud twice since 2002 and that AKP party won the election. Later I can tell you that Turkish people are not very familiar with the concept of democracy and people’s ability to adopt democracy is taking time to process, if you compare any developed country’s people with the Turkish people I can really tell you that there are couple decades of a period of maturity for Turkish people to reach those developed countries peoples level. Finally I can tell you that most of those protesters belong to younger generation so they are very adaptable to change but their future expectations are equal to their generation expectations in developed countries. They do not belong to any political party or group and all have different political point of view and thoughts. They know their individual rights and freedoms and they know that they deserve respect as citizens. And the people (the civilians) understand that they are the protectors of the Ataturk legacy and no longer the army because over the last 10 years all the secular generals have been removed from the army by AKP through several dirty tricks.

At the end of it all we will see whether these protests are able to open a door for a Turkish Spring or just the anger of the people which calms down over time? I hope it is the latter.

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From the Liberty Wall – Nations without States
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MATEBELELAND is named after its inhabitants the Ndebele, a distinct ethnic group who share a common culture and language. Situated in the West of Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) it consists of three provinces – Matebeleland North, Matebeleland South and Bulawayo.

The Ndebele are proud of their traditions, customs and way of life. They want nothing more than to simply live in peace and freedom.

However, the hated President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, has other ideas. Since the formation of Zimbabwe in 1980, Mugabe has conducted a war against the Ndebele. This has varied in intensity from tribal discrimination (Mugabe belongs to a group known as the Shona) to genocide.

With this in mind is it any wonder that the Ndebele want Self-Determination?

However, just talking about this concept has landed Paul Siwela – President of the Matebeleland Liberation Organisation – in hot water. Paul and the MLO want a negotiated settlement with Mugabe. All they want to do is peacefully break away from Zimbabwe and set up a Republic of Matebeleland. They are more than willing to live with their Shona neighbours in peace and co-operate with them when and where necessary.

Mugabe doesn’t see it like this. Thus Paul Siwela has been placed virtually under house arrest and will soon be on trial for High Treason.

Despite the unpopularity of Mugabe the world’s media has strangely been silent on this matter. As one of Paul Siwela’s supporters noted:

“The problem is that outside Bulawayo, the press is boycotting Paul’s case. Not a peep out of the usually anti-Mugabe press in the UK or South Africa. The only thing worse in their eyes than Mugabe is a so called secessionist. Believe me, we have tried – this treason trial should be big news.”

Nations without States supports the idea of Self-Determination for all. Thus they have produced an e-poster (pictured) which prominently features the recently unveiled flag of the much-longed-for future Republic of Matebeleland. The e-poster attempts to draw attention to Paul’s case in particular and the right of his people to a free and sovereign State of their own – Matebeleland.

NwS urges everyone to repost this e-poster – it needs to go viral – to draw attention to the suffering of the Ndebele under Mugabe’s near totalitarian rule.

Check out the Liberty Wall HERE

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The internet is global and so are the threats to its privacy!
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As liberals we fear the loss of our privacy to Government snooping and recently launched a petition against the Surveillance society (sign here  http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/say-no-to-the-surveillance-society.html). In the US however a bill is already being proposed to allow their Government to spy on their citizens.
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Cyber campaigners Avaaz are also running their own petition against the US ‘The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)’. They say

‘CISPA would allow companies doing business in the US to collect exact records of all of our online activities and hand them over to the US government, without ever notifying us that we are being watched. No warrant, no legal cause and no due process required. To make matters worse, the bill provides the government and corporations with blanket immunity to protect them from being sued for violation of privacy and other illegal actions. The bill’s supporters claim that consumer information will be protected, but the reality is that huge loopholes would make everything we do online fair game — and nowadays, from banking to shopping, our private information is all stored on the Internet. CISPA is being moved forward in Congress and will be voted upon in days. Let’s raise a massive outcry to stop corporations from giving the US a blank check to monitor our every move. Click below to take action: http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_cispa_corporate_global/?vl

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A NATION EMERGES INTO THE SUNLIGHT

The latest country to join the ranks of ‘statehood’ is the Republic of Southern Sudan (the 193rd sovereign state). This state was not bequeathed by a colonial power or ‘liberated’ by intervention but was born out of a struggle(s) that lasted some 55 years.

Although many areas had been under the control of the rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) for the greater part of this century it was only formally supported by the population in a UN supervised referendum in January of this year (over 98% voting yes to independence). It is remarkable that it could forge itself into a state given that it is landlocked (and therefore harder to smuggle in arms etc), a minor district within a much larger Sudan (39m against 9m) and the Organisation of African Unity’s opposition to a redrawing of African borders.

Sudan is a typical example of an ex-colony that had been created as a state by a Colonial power (in this case British) merging one or more quite distinct (ethnically and culturally) areas into one Administrative unit. Sadly, there are still many examples of this around the world where different peoples have been thrown together, largely against their wishes, and which usually resulted in the majority peoples lording it over the minority. Many have seen conflicts rumbling along for years with no political settlement in sight e.g. the Tamils in Sri Lanka, Kachins in Burma or West Papuans in ‘Indonesia’.

As National Liberals we recognise the importance of nationhood as one of the Pillars of a healthy and stable society (see http://nationalliberal.org/?page_id=11). We wish this newest nation-state the very best for the future and look forward to seeing the emergence of other new states from the ranks of ‘forgotten nations’.

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National Liberals in Turkish parliamentary election

On the Sunday 12th June Turkey will go to the polls to elect a new Parliament. Presently Turkey is ruled by a Conservative and Islamic party (Justice & Development Party – AK). Although at pains to portray itself as a ‘modern’ party there are many supporters of the secular Turkish Republic that are suspicious of attempts to introduce religion into political life. It was Kemal Ataturk who formed the Republic back in the 1920′s and united Turkey by removing the church (mosque) from interfering in the State apparatus.

Many liberals also fear an authoritarian streak in the AK. One correspondent tells us that the Government is quietly using the police to arrest dissidents, keep them in jail for a while, perhaps without trial, to intimidate them from being active. For example, “It does not matter who you are if you criticise or question then you become criminal in front of the AKP and portrayed as a betrayer of your country although it is the reverse and a lie. Democracy is gone in Turkey since the AKP islamic party took control of the judiciary and uses the power of the police and intelligence.”

Other Liberals however speak out regardless and in the forthcoming elections the National Liberals have teamed up with the Liberal Democratic Party as a ‘broad church’ coalition. Our old friend Ozgur Karakok is once again standing in his home town of Adana under the LDP list, although as a National Liberal. He is fourth on the list but a popular figure. He has kindly sent us a report on the election. We wish him well and congratulate him on his recent marriage

The parliamentary election of Turkey, 2011.

Last week to the general election and the atmosphere is so calm and voters are looking disinterested in the election. There might me several reason for this but the main ones are the minimum votes percentage required to be elected is 10% of the total voters and the government`s financial funding for the top three parties as a reward for entering parliament. This is unfair and unacceptable but it encourages those parties to announce their voice and ideas and ideals to form a cabinet.

These three parties are: AKP is Islamic and conservative party which is at the cabinet over 9 years. CHP is an opposition party in the parliament which is supporter of the republic and Populist Party and MHP is an opposition party in the parliament which is supporter of republic and nationalist party.

The separatist and illegal PKK (Kurdish communist party) supporters are willing to have their members enter parliament under another legalized party banner, ironically a Kurdish nationalist party such as BDP, so that they are calling themselves the representatives of the Kurds which is an historical and factual lie. They are also hope to enter parliament as independent candidates, then those candidates will come together in the parliament under the party banner.

Hopeless situation

The rest of the political parties with their own ideas, views and ideologies are in a hopeless situation. Those political parties which have rights to enter the election have no financial funding chance from government to announce themselves to voters and they have no hope of reaching the 10% of the votes to enter parliament. So this means that those parties will stay as a family owned party, small and inactive. This is the real example of anti- democracy and insignificance of democratic elections. It is a very well known scenario that the winners and the members of parliament will come from specific parties, there will be no change in the point of view of Turkey to make it richer politically and there will be no other voice at the scene to affect the words of the play of the ‘theatre’.

Liberal Coalition

Under those heavy conditions Turkish National liberals are at the election with their representative under the Liberal Democratic Party coalition of liberals. It means LDP is not only for liberal democrats but for all the liberal thoughts and of course for National Liberals. LDP is the roof for all those until the election. A poor result is fatal for the LDP, if the LDP gets 1% of the total votes they had better think of the support of the all other liberal thoughts including the National Liberals otherwise they will be face with crashing.

Create, Convert or work within?

From a National Liberal point of view for the election soon after the elections the National Liberals will try to find the best way to further the future struggle. Until the establishment of their own party for NL`s there are couple ways to provide political representation of the NL ideas in the local and parliament elections.

One of the ways is to force the LDP to convert to a proud and considerable party as the NLP of Turkey. But this process takes time and this process needs strong financial support. This is why National Liberals looks for this because National liberalism has supporters and sympathizer among LDP members who feel emotionally national and liberal.

On the other hand the second way is to support and perpetuate National liberal values and ideas under another political party as a National Liberal group. This choice may give strength to survive National Liberalism and this may give us the time to teach people about National Liberalism and an opportunity for representation of National Liberals in local and parliamentary institutions. National Liberals prefer to become a group within a political party for realize their first aim to enter parliament to announce them to all citizens of Turkish Republic such as CHP or MHP or any other democratic and republic supporter party which will take a place at the parliament for a long term and also take place within Turkey’s political history.

Bright future

Finally, it is very obvious that when we look at the picture above and see voters disinterested and unexcited in terms of the election of 2011, this is a very critical and turning point for the democracy, the nation state and justice. But the citizens, the members of the great nation, are hopeless and thrown away from the real life and transformed into blind men to impede the freedom of those who see the truth. On the other side there are rich and abandoned political parties such as AKP, separatist BDP and LDP and some other small parties. Those parties have valuable political and financial support and advice from their foreign big brothers and foreign foundations and endowments. When we look at the great picture of Turkey; Turkish National Liberals are somewhere in it and fighting for a bright future!

Ozgur Karakok

5 June 2011
Adana- Turkey

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WHY RON PAUL IS GOOD FOR THE USA…… AND THE WORLD!

The news that Ron Paul is seriously considering running for the US Presidency again in 2012 is good news not just for North Americans but for the world!

When Ron Paul first came onto the scene in his run for the Republican Presidential candidature in 2008 he was regarded as a part of the ‘small government’ movement that would likely fade away. In truth he mushroomed throughout the country and galvanised many young people, particularly students, to his ‘Civil Liberty at home, non-interventionism abroad’ message.

This was a breath of fresh air for many Americans, worried about their global image following the country’s military intervention in Iraq and their ‘muscular’ pursuit for an elusive Al-Qaeda. The novelty was that an anti-war pro-civil liberty message came not from the left from the ‘right’, albeit the libertarian end! Independent Moneybombs swelled his war chest and the Ron Paul R3volution began to attract many previously non-aligned voters who were looking for an alternative to the Bush Dynasty.

In the end the US Republican voter followed the money and backed establishment insider John McCain and to a crushing defeat to another ‘outsider’ Barack Obama. Sadly the latter promised big but delivered little! The world (and many Americans too) pinned it’s hope on him to pull in US horns. In reality, ex-President Eisenhower’s ‘military-Industrial complex’ seems to have captured the President as he signed off a troop surge in Afghanistan, held back on closing Guantanamo Bay and is now dabbling in Libya.

A resurgent Ron Paul on the other hand has already begun to re-attack US foreign policy for maintaining an interventionist policy. We hope he runs again on an anti-war civil liberty ticket and we wish him well. We think the world needs Ron Paul more than the USA!

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