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The Pres­i­dent of the Nation­al­ist Action Par­ty of Turkey (MHP) issued dec­la­ra­tions on his twit­ter account con­cern­ing “provo­ca­teurs” at Boğaz­içi Uni­ver­si­ty, fol­low­ing the des­ig­na­tion by Erdoğan of Melih Bulu as admin­is­tra­tor-tutor, as a replace­ment to the “rec­tor”.

Here is the trans­la­tion, as faith­ful as pos­si­ble, respect­ing Devlet Bahçeli’s typ­i­cal outrageousness.

The per­ni­cious and ongo­ing protests at Boğaz­içi Uni­ver­si­ty take on their full mean­ing beyond the usu­al emp­ty reac­tions to the con­sen­su­al and legit­i­mate nom­i­na­tion of a rec­tor, in accor­dance to the law. Provo­ca­teurs who wish to stran­gle Turkey are attempt­ing to estab­lish a fix­a­tion point in Boğaziçi.

Inte­ri­or and exte­ri­or forces play­ing with the sen­si­bil­i­ties of our nation with terms such as “lib­er­ty”, tar­get­ing its sacred char­ac­ter as a “democ­ra­cy”, under­min­ing the foun­da­tions of its seren­i­ty and social peace as a “right to edu­ca­tion” are all aimed at the prop­a­ga­tion of ille­gal protests through the pawns they have enrolled.

Boğaz­içi Uni­ver­si­ty which has been in the news for 28 days in our coun­try, has not been the scene of a search for demo­c­ra­t­ic rights or of an inno­cent stu­dent protest. What has shel­tered under the gates of this uni­ver­si­ty are not stu­dents but all kinds of groups of ver­min and anar­chists. Indeed, all of this is obvious.

If the entrane to Bogaz­içi Uni­ver­si­ty is pad­locked, it is in order to restrict their zone for maneu­ver and action. The prob­lem is not a stu­dent ques­tion nor one about the rec­torate. The real issue is spread­ing in the social body a pos­si­ble agi­ta­tion con­cern­ing uni­ver­si­ties and thus, to poli­tize it.

The Repub­li­can Peo­ple’s Par­ty (CHP), the Peo­ples’ Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty (HDP), the Work­ers Par­ty (IP) and their allies have direct­ly par­tic­i­pat­ed in the game play­ing out at Bogaz­içi Uni­ver­si­ty. As for the pseu­do aca­d­e­mics who turned their back on the uni­ver­si­ty, seen from anoth­er angle, with this twist­ed atti­tude, they opened their arms to Turkey’s opponents.

Those who turn their back on sci­ence, offer­ing their faces up to dark­ness, their shoul­ders to con­fu­sion, their con­fir­ma­tion to the cri­sis, their sup­port to chaos. More­over, they do not say a word about the fact that tchapould­jou 1 insult our sacred val­ues. They know full well that if they do not keep qui­et, they will be repu­di­at­ed by their blind ide­o­log­i­cal groups.

Those who praise the ones who curse the nation and its spir­i­tu­al­i­ty in uni­son, who puruse thess com­bined obec­tives are not intel­lec­tu­als but par­a­sites. As the now-deceased Cemil Mer­iç2 had so apt­ly said – “our intel­lec­tu­al is not the ene­my of reli­gion but of Islam.” Is this per­ti­nent obser­va­tion not a bit­ter truth?

Shah­mer­an is a mytho­log­i­cal crea­ture found in the cul­tures of Ana­to­lia, Iran and Irak. She has a wom­an’s head and the body of a snake.

Last Fri­day, the fact that a rag with an LGBT‑I theme, bear­ing a fig­ure of Shah­mer­an, was hung on an image of the Kaa­ba did not both­er any­one who pre­tend­ed to be an intel­lec­tu­al. The authors of this igno­ble act have no link what­so­ev­er with the fact of being a stu­dent, nor with edu­ca­tion and even less with aspi­ra­tions to sci­ence or knowledge.

Those who humil­i­ate the Kaa­ba are not dif­fer­ent from Yazid’s sol­diers who, cen­turies ago, bombed this tem­ple with cat­a­pults and destroyed it; nor with the gov­er­nor of Yemen, Abra­ha and his sol­diers on whose heads the birds of Aba­bils rained down stones; or even ter­ror­ists who seizde the Grand Mosque on Novem­ber 20 1979.

I curse those who insult the Kabe‑i Muaz­za­ma. With all my heart, I am con­vinced that the authors, both vis­i­ble and invis­i­ble, will meet the pun­ish­ment they deserve before jus­tice and the col­lec­tive con­science. Ô heart­less ones, if you are not afraid of his sub­jects, then fear Allah Him­self. Stay far away from us, and close to your atro­cious end.”

These are dec­la­ra­tions from the MHP (ultra-nation­al­ist) com­po­nent of the regime, in addi­tion to those from the AKP against the stu­dent move­ment begun in Jan­u­ary at Boğaz­içi Uni­ver­si­ty. This mobi­liza­tion is ongo­ing and receiv­ing sup­port in Turkey. Demon­stra­tions are for­bid­den and repressed. Today, Feb­ru­ary 1st, demon­stra­tors were arrest­ed again while young “grey wolves” were hold­ing a counter-demonstration.

The charge by the ultra-nation­al­ists resem­bles those launched against the Aca­d­e­mics for Peace in ear­ly 2016 whom the regime described as “obscure igno­ra­mus”. We know of the purges that fol­lowed, using as an ali­bi a con­nec­tion with the attempt­ed coup in July 2016. Some mafia groups already allied to the cur­rent car­tel hold­ing pow­er threat­ened a “blood bath”.

The alliance at the head of the regime is still trau­ma­tized by the events at Gezi in 2013, events that durably shook up the Turk­ish polit­i­cal land­scape. This is again appar­ent here.

We also notice that the ultra-nation­al­ist wing is address­ing the big­ots and reli­gious­ly-inclined as well as those for whom Turci­ty is an impor­tant con­cept, against the inte­ri­or and the exte­ri­or ene­my. The recur­rent theme of the “so-called” intel­lec­tu­al as an “ene­my of Islam” in the mouth of a Kemal­ist should also be mat­ter for reflec­tion for those in Europe for­ev­er evok­ing nos­tal­gi­cal­ly a “sec­u­lar-com­pat­i­ble Turkey”.

Despite the pan­dem­ic, part of youth, sup­port­ed by a few in the teach­ing envi­ron­ment who have escaped the purges at the end of 2016, are main­tain­ing a protest that has gone far beyond the ini­tial rea­son con­cern­ing the nom­i­na­tion of a rector/tutor by the regime. It is a mat­ter of defend­ing the remain­ing pock­ets of resis­tance against a big­ot­ted obscu­ran­tism, the gen­er­al­iza­tion of igno­rance erect­ed as a mod­el to con­trol con­scious­ness, the social back-ped­alling con­cern­ing LGBTIQ minori­ties and women.

The soft polit­i­cal under­bel­ly in Turkey (CHP and con­sort) that con­tributed to retreat­ing after Gezi is cor­nered once again. No doubt that if its age­ing pres­i­dent declines along with his entire age­ing social base, only youth can insure a con­ti­nu­ity that would allow him to move for­ward on a few advan­tages con­quered at the last munic­i­pal elec­tions. As for the HDP, the Par­ty that had col­lect­ed the major­i­ty of hopes from Gezi, should the coali­tion in pow­er be vic­to­ri­ous against youth again, and should repres­sion become even stronger, the wish for its dis­ap­pear­ance should accel­er­ate with­in the pow­er group.

In dark­ness and indif­fer­ence, a con­fronta­tion is tak­ing place the end­ing of which, although iso­lat­ed, could bear on the post-pan­dem­ic peri­od, when the mon­sters in Turkey’s eco­nom­ic and social crises will reap­pear along with the con­tra­dic­tions they con­tain. And, in this per­spec­tive, it is obvi­ous that ultra-nation­al­ism, so effec­tive for mil­i­tary inter­ven­tions beyond the bor­ders, is much less efficient.

Vis­i­ble and orga­nized sup­port to Turkey’s youth and its still-resist­ing Uni­ver­si­ty, would be most welcome.

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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Le petit mag­a­zine qui ne se laisse pas caress­er dans le sens du poil.