İSTANBUL BULUŞMASI » 11. İstanbul Buluşması: Prof. Noam Chomsky'nin mesajı

11. İstanbul Buluşması: Prof. Noam Chomsky'nin mesajı

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slUye_Wcnzs It is painful beyond words to witness what is taking place now in Turkey. The country has remarkable potential: a rich history and culture, a vibrant...
28 Mayıs 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slUye_Wcnzs


It is painful beyond words to witness what is taking place now in Turkey. The country has remarkable potential: a rich history and culture, a vibrant society, a unique position as a bridge between East and West. And only a few years ago, it seemed that Turkey was advancing to realize this rich potential.

Turkey has suffered through miserable periods, most recently in the 1990s, years of vicious state terror directed primarily against the Kurdish population, years of slaughter and destruction, a huge flood of refugees, harsh repression.

But the flame of resistance to oppression and violence was kept alive, not only among the victims who refused to bow to cruel force, but also by a most remarkable group of intellectuals and activists: writers, journalists, artists, publishers, academics and others who not only bravely spoke out against ongoing crimes but refused to submit to harsh authority, facing and often enduring severe punishment for their courage and integrity.

I stress “remarkable,” because I know of nothing comparable elsewhere.

In this regard, Turkey was a model for the world, and it was a great privilege to be able to have a very small part in some of their activities – which succeeded. By the turn of the century, Turkey was beginning to emerge from the years of shame, and to move towards freedom and justice. It is most fitting that Turkey should host this crucially important conference on freedom of expression, our most fundamental right.

Again, it was a great privilege to witness some of this progress first-hand, to participate in conferences on freedom of speech and other events, once as a Hrant Dink lecturer at a moment of great popular enthusiasm and hopes for bright prospects ahead.

Tragically, these hopes have been dashed as the Erdogan regime has been systematically dismantling the great progress of the early years of the century, renewing brutal violence and eroding the foundations that had been laid for a free, creative, and thriving society that would play a leading role in the struggle for a better world.

But hard-won gains are not easily relinquished, and the resilience and courage of earlier years have not abated. The forces of justice and freedom remain determined and committed, and will enable Turkey to renew its impressive march towards the high ideals that were coming to prevail before the current regression set in a few years ago.