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(en) Turkey, [MEDIA, History] 'Neither God, nor State' - a feature on anarchism & Turkish anarchists published in 1996

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 17 Aug 2004 10:13:19 +0200 (CEST)

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'Neither God, nor State'
We, the poison of the human machine Flowers of the
garbage box. We are the future… We are your future…
Revulsion: The only thing Turkish readers -- and
especially leftist readers -- in Turkey know about
anarchism is that they don't like it
Anarchists are not politicians, but people who express
their thoughts freely. They have different points of
view concerning subjects varying between the war in
the Southeast, the former Soviet Union, sexual
segregation and even street cats. One of them, Ozlem
Akarsu, calls on women by saying, "The state is more
male than your husbands".
By Jan Pacal
With their black T-shirts, jeans and skirts, their
black flags with a big red circle and the letter "A"
in the center, with their long hair, beards and
vagabond appearance, they can be seen at every mass
protest, as if they had come straight from 1968. These
people, who are great fans of May Day, whose most
well-known slogan is "Neither God, nor the state," are
Turkey's anarchists.

They call themselves "anarchists" and talk of living
freely and humanely. They have also found a Turkish
definition for "anarchist", which means "without
master". They don't have any leader and say their
biggest problem is being misunderstood, especially by

"The only thing Turkish readers and especially leftist
readers in Turkey know about anarchism is that they
don't like it," says Tayfun Gonul in his book entitled
"What is Anarchism?". "In Turkey, all kinds of
discussions fade away when someone talks of anarchism.
Everyone -- from the press to the people, right to
left, militant to state officer -- are opposed to

"The judge breaking his pen in court and the
revolutionist who is condemned to death are both
opposed to anarchism. Very surprising! And still the
fact is that while the defendant is an anarchist in
the eyes of the judge, the defendant claims, with all
his might, that he is not an anarchist, but that he
wants another state. In conclusion, expect us and some
honest intellectuals to give the definition of anarchy
as this: let's ask them this question and see what
kind of answer we receive.

"What is anarchism? It is chaos, destruction, a little
bourgeois ideology, lack of religion, terrorism, lack
of law, lack of authority, emnity for possession, lack
of organization, the contrary of authority,

"Anarchism is some of the answers given to this
question, but not all of them," says Tayfun Gonul,
whose own answers are what follows:

"Anarchy is chaos." No, it is not. Anarchy is harmony,
it is an order originated from the free consciousness
of individuals. The ruling order, on the other hand,
oppresses people despite their internal reactions
against this and always has revolt and chaos within
itself. The best examples of this are the wars in
which millions of people are killed.
"Anarchy is lack of law." Not true. Anarchy is a
social order where laws are determined according to
the free consciousness of people and applied on the
basis of global moral principles. They can be changed
according to the will of individuals and those that
feel themselves excluded from this group are free to
found their own life.
"Anarchy is terrorism." Wrong again.
"Anarchy is destructive." Right and wrong. Right,
because the destruction of dictatorships is essential
for the individual to develop his creativity. Wrong,
since anarchism is not a supporter of destruction for
its own sake, like nihilism.
"Anarchism is the breaking up of the machine." Right
in a sense. Anarchists do not worship machines like
Marxists. They do not entrust the future of humanity
to machines, or like machines that they consider only
to be instruments. They can break them if it is
necessary for struggle. But the breaking of machines
cannot be considered as a political principle.
"Anarchism is lack of leaders." Right in every
respect. Anarchists have only natural leaders who
appear at the most important moments of life and
struggle and who never have any official title or
"Anarchism is lack of law." Correct. The laws are made
even in the most democratic societies by a small group
of people accepted as the representatives of the whole
people. Anarchism doesn't accept laws, but approves
the moral laws that are applied by individuals in
everyday life.
Anarchism is immorality." No. There is no doubt that
the anarchists are against obeying any "slave
morality". This morality is an immorality within
itself. Anarchism is a political movement and a moral
philosophy before being a culture.
Difference as a Richness
We received a very interesting answer to the question
"what is anarchy?" from an anarchist who didn't give
his name. According to him, anarchism is "A movement
that doesn't have a spiritual or worldly sacred book,
but a very wide literature, a movement that doesn't
have prophets, but masters, a movement that considers
difference as a richness..."

Anarchists are not politicians, but people who express
their thoughts freely. They have different points of
view concerning subjects varying between the war in
the Southeast, the former Soviet Union, sexual
segregation and even street cats. One of them, Ozlem
Akarsu, calls on women by saying, "The state is more
male than your husbands".

"Women, who are able to do the same things as men,
given the same conditions, have now become second
class. From this day on women are the black people of
the whole world. And when mentioning the reasons of
this position, the best example are the Turks. It is
learnt from the writings of El Belhi in the 10th
century, Ibn Cibeyr in the 12th century, Marco Polo in
the 13rd century and Ibn Batuta in the 14th century
that in Turkish countries men and women have the same
responsibilities. That is to say, women were not
living under the sovereignty of men but they were
living with men. What is the force that transformed
women into a sexual instrument at the service of men?
This is, of course, religion.

"Today's women struggle with sexist policies. A very
small number are trying to put an end to this
conception in various ways on their own. One of these
ways is to enter Parliament. For a woman to enter
Parliament and defend her values, she has to have
first of all a lot of money, like the men. Besides
that, she has to know high level politicians and have
good relations with them. And there are many other
points. It can be seen that as long as the system
doesn't change, the right to choose and the right to
be chosen that is given to the woman, has no
importance. If we go further, women seem to resign to
the most powerful authority by using their right to
choose. Therefore someone has to cry out to those who
think of struggling with male authority: 'The state is
more male than your husband.'"

Levent Dalar, defining himself as a poet without name
and without identity, defines this century as a time
of absurd violence with the individual oppressed by
the chains of money and time.

Dalar claims that "The triangle of power relations is
no more than just a schema, but it is also something
that is forced into our brains in a century of

"Power is the only determining and grasping reality.
It starts with the fear originating in the uniqueness
of the individual.

"Revolution is the dream of throwing stones
continually and as much as possible, into the ocean.

"The human `self' is `me' if it is reflected in `us'".

While the "nameless drunken poet" quotes himself,
Ahmet Ersin reads one of his poems:

we were children

anger and hatred were not yet fallen into our hearts

today and tomorrow were belonging to children

cold and warmth had no meaning while running in the

four seasons are spring

the day was not enough for us

we were struggling with mud and dust

childhood lost while growing up

it was the most free period of the human

besides, we were struggling between us

but what we knew most was the beat of the adults, of
our teachers

We had to grow up to meet the cells, the tortures

but in this country

there were some who met the torture and cells when
they were

still children

and us

we learnt the truth when we grew up

we were children

we let ourselves go

within the unconditional life

it was an illuminated

and a very green life

we were children

running after nylon balls

not thinking about tomorrow from today

we had sports shoes when we were kicking the nylon

there were orange gardens at this time

we used to play at blind man's buff under the olive

we weren't grown up yet

not even thinking about that

since we were children

we were restless, "the poplar was breezing to blow in
our heads"

it was not the childhood that were eternal

and we grew up

and our individual utopias were broken down

within the broken individualism

we learnt about "socialization"

and now

we have no more our sports shoes

the sugar candies, the cotton sweat meat and the kites

hidden beyond the dreams

everything was changing

as we were growing up

nothing was the same

and since it was not the same

we could not accept the new

and then we started to struggle with our dreams."

[Ed. Note: This feature was published on 19 July,
1996, on Turkish Probe issue 187 - a weekly nespaper
which is connected with Turkish Daily News.
http://www.turkishdailynews.com/past_probe/07_19_96/featurep.htm#f1 ]

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