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A. K. P-NESS: The Condition of Being AKP, Turkey's Ruling Islamic Party

By       Message James (Cem) Ryan     Permalink
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The AKP, the Islamic ruling party in Turkey, the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, the Justice and Development Party which brought neither justice nor development--

The AKP, seven years in office spent worrying about whether a woman should touch a man's hand, and calling it modernity--

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The AKP, seven years in office, squeezing the heads of women into headscarves, covering their bodies in bedsheets, and calling it freedom--

The AKP, seven years in office with a prime minister who has grabbed responsibility for both women's ovaries and men's testes (and use thererof) by encouraging, at the top of his lungs, the production of at least three children in each family, and calling it democracy--

The AKP, seven years in office, still banning thousands of websites, in the name of morality--

The AKP, seven years in office, still spewing nonsense that the reason Turkey was spared epidemics in the 16th century was due to the Islamic religious ablution five times a day--

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The AKP, seven years in office, and its education ministry still distributes maps to students that depict Armenia, Bulgaria and Georgia residing within Turkish borders--

The AKP, seven years in office, falsely imprisoning doctors, journalists, writers, businessmen, former military officers, and labor union leaders for their dissenting political views and depriving them of the constitutionally guaranteed rights--

The AKP, seven years in office, and now picking a mindless quarrel with Israel to satisfy its egomaniacal cravings--

The AKP, seven years in office, conducting stealth foreign policy initiatives under the direction of western puppet masters that lead to alienation, humiliation, and embarrassment for the Turkish people, and the Turkish Army--

The AKP, seven years in office, resulting in fabulous wealth to party members, their families, and their special friends--

The AKP, seven years in office looting the nation and trashing its culture, and calling it development--

And now this same AKP, is preparing for the big cultural event of next year by continuing to do what it does best... the P-word...PLUNDER!

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Of surprise only to those who have spent the last seven years at the North Pole watching the polar ice cap melt, the Istanbul agency in charge of next year's culture fest is being charged with corruption. Big money is missing. And, as usual, no one knows what's going on. Bear in mind that this money comes from another sweetheart deal, this one a hosing system that the AKP-controlled parliament approved two years ago. And it's a beauty. Every time a long-suffering Turkish citizen buys gasoline a few kurus are siphoned off to feed the "culture agency." The opposition party, the normally inert CHP, claims that this could amount to 250 million lira a year, adding that it smells a lot like the Deniz Feneri swindle that reaches, according to German Prosecutors, the highest levels of the Turkish government. But in typical AK-Plunder party style that investigation has been delayed, deferred, and otherwise quashed. But one thing remains absolutely clear; when the public's money goes missing, the AK Plunder-party is involved. Playing with Erdoğan's immortal words uttered in Davos: AKP, about plunder, you know stealing very well.

Beyond money, what has also gone missing is brainpower. It seems that the centerpiece "cultural" project focuses on yet another p-word: the penis. In particular, the penis of Prince Mehmet who had his prepuce removed to great and long acclaim in 1582. The prince's father was Murad III, whose reign was described in My Name is Red, the book by the relentlessly self-promoting Turkish author, Orhan Pamuk, another P-word. Pamuk also got money from the culture agency--750,000 lira. Pamuk will use the money to open a museum--the Innocence Museum--the name of his latest book. For certain, connected and cooperative Turks, the rich get richer. And Yaşar Kemal, Turkey's greatest writer gets exactly what?

It seems that back in the good old days of 1582, the celebration for paring the prince's prepuce lasted a record 52 days (some sources say 55, but who's counting). By any measure, that's a long time to celebrate a teeny-tiny piece of skin from a wee pup of a boy. Moreover, it seems a rather weird event to play such a huge role in any representation of Turkish culture, even by rock-bottom AKP standards. But maybe I'm missing something. Of course, there was much pomp associated with the prince's penis, considering where it came from and who it emulated, that is, the sultan and the sultan's. (The boy's mother seems to have played an uncredited role in the original production.) In this case, certainly pomp is important. Just examine politics and politicians for example (two more P-words). Thus one should pay notice to, and take heed of, the various and sundry processions, gift presentations, and celebratory performances that lasted so long. All this will be staged and dramatized, animated and filmed, documented and published. It will be like living in the 16th century, precisely where the AKP is bringing the country. In a somewhat penetrating article, the Turkish Daily News reported that the cultural commission's project about the princely penis would not last the full 52 days. Instead, it would be a "shortened performance." Indeed. Whether this wording was meant to be tongue-in-cheek was not immediately apparent. Nevertheless, even the "shortened" re-creation of Mehmet's circumcision ceremony is estimated to cost Turkish automobile drivers 12 million lira. And that's a whopper of a resurrection.

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James (Cem)Ryan is a writer living in Istanbul, Turkey. A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, he holds a Ph.D. in literature.

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