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Massacring Secular Identity: The Reina Incident

By Tayfun Atay
Yayınlanma tarihi: 03 Ocak 2017 Salı, 15:44

Gezi was an outcry.
An outcry raised in heart-wrenching turmoil by tens of millions of people who were concerned over the loss of their life styles, targeting the rulers they held responsible for this.
An outcry raised against boorish, brutal rulers who had turned the country into a pseudo-religious pantomime and were the enemy of all who differed from them.
As to Reina, this was a massacre.
The massacre of the outcry in Gezi in which millions begged to be heard and understood, but which in return was vilified as being a plot, provocation and coup incitement.
 
***
At the outset of the Gezi events, psychiatrist Prof. Dr. Erol Göka, known for his closeness to conservative circles, described Gezi as the ‘secular identity’s outcry’ in an incisive comment he made in a newspaper interview.
It was so true.
But, the voices of ‘reason’ that made themselves audible in the first days of the Gezi events, even those emanating from the conservative community, were rendered inaudible by the rulers who branded wholesale all of those who came out onto the streets as criminals, cursed them as ‘looters’ and deemed them to be connected with and ‘adjunct’ to terrorism.
In particular, since the 15 July coup attempt, it has been impossible to refer to Gezi using any word of a sociological nature, let alone describe it as a rebellion, outcry or scream. That would be to deem it the initial ‘rehearsal’ on the road leading to 15 July.
However, Göka was right. Gezi was an outcry. And, because that outcry went unheeded and was supressed and crushed, today we find ourselves confronted with Reina!
***
While most reluctantly penning this article, at the same time I hear the screen warriors continuing to have a field day over Reina with yet more rhetoric about the ‘Syria factor’, ‘games by internal-external forces’, ‘an imperialist plot’, etc. It makes me want to throw the pen in my hand at the screen.
That harks back to what they said at the time of Gezi, because domestically everything was hunky-dory without a cloud on the horizon! It was just a ruse by those who wanted to disturb our peace and who did not want the country to develop, grown and become stronger and who could not abide the ‘New Turkey’.
They now harp on about the same or similar themes, and then wish God’s grace on the dead and a speedy recovery to the injured.
It is as if they had not stigmatised New Year, branding it ‘Christmas’, and had not launched a witch-hunt against those who wished to enter a new year in joy, happiness and festivity!
They had not proclaimed New Year, forever calling it ‘Christmas’, to be a sin, forbidden by religion, vile, damned and, yes, in the most official of pronouncements, ‘illegitimate’.
They had not displayed posters showing Santa Claus being punched and with a gun held to his head!
Whatever next? What is left for jihadist-salafist terrorism to accomplish in such a fertile environment? Apart from saying, ‘Thanks be to the Lord’!
***
Let us turn to the Religious Affairs Department.
Its head, Mehmet Görmez, said in his statement that was put out as a news report following the massacre:
‘It makes no difference whether this was done at a market or place of worship, or at a place of entertainment. This is an act of brutality and horror, a murder and a massacre.’
I congratulate you, your excellency!
But, I advise you with a heavy heart to turn and examine your department’s sermon one or two days earlier!
What did that say?
‘Let us not forget that it does not at all befit a believer to display illegitimate attitudes and behaviour that do not correspond to our values and make no contribution to human life at the end of one year of the time allotted to them.’
Your excellency, if only you had cared to set out just what does and does not befit a ‘believer’ vis-à-vis those who have adopted by way of their own life preferences the attitudes and behaviour that you so readily and rashly declare to be ‘illegitimate.’
Then perhaps so much would not have been left open!

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Tayfun Atay

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