mosque attack in Brussels

March 14, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s been long long long time since my last post. I tried to post couple of times, but my attempts failed. Either my drafts disappeared, or something went wrong with the Internet and the text was lost. Hopefully this time I will be able to publish this one.

Yesterday, a mosque attack in Brussels was on the news. Very early in the morning a Shiite mosque was attacked by some unknown person(s). Turkish media revealed this event as a “racist attack”. And I am pretty sure that most people (including Muslims, especially Euro-Muslims) also thought so. Who on earth would attack a mosque with a petroleum bomb, set a fire and kill the Imam? Of course a racist, an anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, Islamophobic person. International mainstream media (eg. AFP) made references to the densed immigrant population in the district where the mosque is located. Everybody was expecting something racist or anti-Muslim as the motive of this attack.

But, no. After a couple of hours, there were some rumors about the suspect. He was a Muslim. Yes, he is a born-Muslim (and probably born in Belgium). An official from the mosque reported that this guy is known as a Salafist in the district.

I am not interested in the religious orientation of the suspect. But, in the hidden racism in our minds. Expecting an anti-Muslim, Islamophobic bomber is not different from blaming the Muslims first, when there is a bombed attack on any part of the earth (except the mosques). Scapegoating of Muslims, especially in the Western world, is reversed in this case.

Personally, I take my lesson.

P.S.: Even though I moved Istanbul, I still read DutchNews everyday. Do not if I am gonna give up this habit. But I am fine with following the Dutch politics.

But, hey when did Job Cohen resigned, and why?  I completely missed that news. It was probably when I was dying at my new place, without any piece of Internet.

Right now, I am in a seminar course in the university. I feel ashamed because I typed this post, when listening to a friend making a presentation right now. 😦

long time, no see..

October 29, 2011 2 comments

it’s been a long time, since i wrote here. i have a paper to write, and i’ve been procrastinating behind my laptop since yesterday morning. (of course i didn’t stay up here. i am waiting for an inspiration to come, but it didn’t.) and as the final stage of procrastination i thought of blogging 🙂 so here i am, back again! things have changed a lot. i graduated, got my masters degree. i’m not living in the netherlands anymore. that’s was really hard for me first, then i got used to it. i still miss my friends living there, and the things i used to do there. i still read the dutch news every week. it seems that everything is the same. pvv is still there, economic crisis is still there, people are getting more and more against the EU etc.

however, i don’t think i’ll be writing about dutch politics again. because i am not following the news closely, and not living there. i don’t think i can make reliable observations, i am a real outsider now. i may write more about general things, like the the new global “occupy” movements, which first started in the wall street, NYC. globalization is a weird thing. those people are protesting against the global capitalism, and their protests are also becoming global. i can think of globalism as a huge monster, swallowing everything, like those protests. and you can say that’s the positive side of globalism. probably. i have confused feelings towards globalism. i am not in the right mood of writing more about it, hopefully i can write more in the coming days, in a normal day, not in a day full with procrastination. and i hope writing here becomes a hobby for me, not a tool of procrastination.

i said things have changed. i made a life-changing- decision. it was not very hard to make, i feel very confident and comfortable about it. nowadays, i am trying to get used to the presence of a new person in my life. my new significant-other. other than that, i am still a student, in a different masters program. i have thoughts about switching to a phd. getting a phd abroad is nothing but a dream for me nowadays. and the questions follow, does it really worth to get one from a Turkish university? or would it be possible to teach in a turkish university with a headscarf, after long years of studying? if not, i can think of quitting now, but this idea scares me a lot. never mind, just try to forget those problems, and focus on my paper, how Kritovoulos and Tursun Beg described the conquest of Istanbul by Mehmed II in their chronicles.

if i drew a desperate picture of me here, it’s not true. i am more than happy in those days. the pessimistic tone of this text is due to this boring paper.

that’s all for now. i hope i continue writing here and there, i still have a couple of un written recipes.

 

The Power of Words

When we watched this movie with my students, they were all impresses by it. They wanted to watch it few more times. When I asked them, “tell me your feelings about that film, then”, one said, “it is obvious, Hocam, what can we say more?”. And “that must be the power of images”, I thought.

This short film is directed by Seth Gardner (2010). Music is by Giles Lamb.

Go away to your own country!

June 12, 2011 3 comments

Today, there was no class in the mosque. We wanted to have a picnic, everyone brought home-made nice food. But the weather was a bit chilly and the ground was still wet, so it is decided that we’ll have an “indoor picnic”. That was easy, really easy. We could “control” the children within the mosque, it would have been harder to do that in the park. Other teachers very much liked this idea.

After the “picnic”, I decided to take the students in my class to the park, just to have a walk and spend time together. While we were on the way to the park, two “autochtone” teenage girls were passing by to the opposite direction. There happened a dialogue (I’d rather call it a squabble) between my girls and those two. I hadn’t seen how it started, later learnt from the students.

We were walking with a group of eight-nine students (all with headscarves -normally only two of them wear headscarves regularly, others do not. but it is compulsory to wear it, when coming to the mosque-), they were making jokes, playing with their mobile phones and laughing. There were these two girls a few steps ahead. First, students and the approaching two girls stared at each other, in a strange way. Then the two girls asked ‘what are you doing, why are you laughing?’. ‘We are not laughing at you’, said the students.

(Here, I really do not understand how the discussion came to that point..)
Then the two girls shouted: ‘go away to your own country!’
My girls got really angry.
(Although they always say that they do not like this country, and would prefer living in Turkey, they reacted against these girls.. That’s good, there is a sign of love for this country 😉 )
All of them had something to tell for those girls.

‘We are alright in this country, if you are not, then you should go away!’, said one of them.

Some nasty memories of mine came to my mind. I remember hearing very similar sentences on the streets of Istanbul, from some old ladies, sometimes from old men.. ‘You, go away to Iran/Saudi Arabia with your headscarf!’, ‘You, brainwashed people of Hezbollah!’..
Those reactions, of course, did hurt. But I believed those old people had different mindsets which make them reject and react against anything or anyone ‘different’ from theirs. So, I just tried to ignore them.

Today, it was different. This time, similar ‘go away’ sentences were said by young people, other fellow girls, who are supposed to share and shape the future.

Sometimes I feel worried about the future. But not always. Today I do. I really do.

game over dude*..

May 30, 2011 2 comments

it is over, my thesis is over, defence is over, the school year is over, my student life is over..
yes game is over!

*i used to hear this sentence hundreds of times, when we were playing computer games. if the enemies came and killed your hero, a strange voice repeated this sentence. game over dude!

Categories: diary

good morning after supper

i have sooooooooo many mistakes in my thesis.. i still cannot believe that i finished in at the very last minute.. and the worst of all, slept for hours and hours instead of editing it.

in those times, i hate myself.

Categories: diary

this thesis thing.. th th th..

May 15, 2011 2 comments

Warning: terribly boring content. Scratches from the final part of my thesis. (although there is still a lot to complete in the earlier parts)

My thesis subject has evolved and evolved and evolved and ended up being protest vote and non-voting. Non-voting is self-evident. Protest vote is voting for radical parties on either edges of political spectrum. In the dutch case, it is PVV on the right, and the SP on the left.

Now, I am looking at the relationship between representation of social classes by political parties and electoral behavior. Representation here is a very simple one. Measured just with the presence of MP candidates from different social classes in political parties.

Secondly, I focus on the cynical attitudes of voters about the political system and politicians. And pose the question whether the relation between representation and electoral behavior is mediated through cynical attitudes.

To put differently, if one social class is not well represented by mainstream political parties, the people of this class may become more cynical and in the elections they may vote for the radical parties (PVV or SP).

Results of many statistical analyses are in line with my expectations. (Yayy, for me!)

Yes, people are more cynical if there are few MP candidates from their social classes in mainstream political parties. And they have a greater tendency to vote for PVV or the SP or even for abstention (non-voting).

to be continued..