Could a Third Way save Afghanistan?

As Afghanistan marks its 101st Anniversary as an independent state, both the international community and the Afghan people themselves are concerned about the country’s future pathway.

Since the fall of the monarchy the political system in Afghanistan has suffered a few major crises. The establishment of the Jihadi regimes and anti-patriotic coup along with global colonialism have resulted into the country’s destruction and led to the rise of Taliban. Moreover, President Ghani’s predecessor Hamid Karzai has led the country to a corrupt state unable to deal with the terrorist groups and Taliban.

Invaded by various foreign-backed powers and different political ideas (left and right) Afghanistan has lost its national identity and failed to build its own economic and political system. Torn with corruption, bloodshed and terrorism over the decades, the country today, as some analysts believe, could be saved by a Third Way. The Third Way is a philosophy used to describe the voice of masses, the silent majority of people all the world, including Afghanistan.

The Afghan society needs a reform. The Third Way and adoption of it by a society can lead Afghanistan to a modern state, different from which the country has experienced over the pat 40 years. The Third Way is based on the idea of establishing a secure and sustainable state where the rights of the citizens are respected regardless the influence of any political parties or social groups and ethnic, racial and religious beliefs. Ensuring security and social justice in Afghanistan can be reached through following the several principles.

A balance of Power. Afghanistan has enough of security and defense to maintain and consolidate the national power. Supported by a strong and professional political leadership with pro-national interests Afghanistan will be able to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.  

A balance of domestic politics. The political and economic strategy of Afghanistan should be focused on creating sustainable living environment for its citizen and development of the economic and labor system that will allow Afghan citizens to use the country’s national resources and increase their living standards. In this scenario the Afghan people will stop looking for any possible ways to leave the country.

Balancing of economic growth and regional development will allow Afghan people to supply with jobs and comfortable life not only in major cities but also in the country’s provinces.

Finally, to achieve a Third Way the political system of the country should be based on national and democratic principles. The national principle means the country should use its own capacities and resources, while the democratic principle means that there is no other political regime acceptable in the country, but democracy.

By listening to the needs of the society and recovering its national values Afghanistan in the long-term perspective could become a safe and sovereign state with a sustainable economic growth.

Piri Reis Mapmaker Of The World

the-piri-reis-map-of-world-in-1513

Piri Reis Mapmaker Of  The World documentary has been produced on one of the great mariners of all times, Piri Reis who had an extraordinary and adventurous life. The professional research has been going from, Topkapi Palace archives to Vatican Secret archives from Venice, Geneva, Italy to Salamanca, Spain, to Lisbon Portugal with this extended historic research, using actual shootings and dramatic elements as well. At this Age of Discovery’s special period was also a natural set of Piri Reis’s extraordinary and eventful life. The documentary will examine the life of this great cartographer and captain who so marked the course of science and humanity. The story would extended by conquer stories of world famous explorers, Marco Polo to Cristopher Columbus and Piri Reis with a very dynamic and global perspective.

Drama Belgesel Film / Drama Documentary

75 Dakika / 75 Min.

Türkçe, İngilizce, İtalyanca / Turkish, English, Italian

( İspanyolca ve Portekizce / Spanish and Portuguese)

Oyuncular / Cast

Mehmet Günsür ( Piri Reis )

Riccardo Scamarcio ( Kristof Kolomb )

Deniz Özdoğan ( Ester )

Orijinal Müzik / Original Music

Can Atilla (composer)

Yaklaşık 10 yıldır, global araştırmaları süregelen belgeselin, prodüksiyon aşamasına geçilmek üzeredir. 2015 Yılında tamamlanacak olan belgeselin, sinema gösterimi de planlanmaktadır.

After 10 years of professional research and interviews of experts, we are ready to continue for the drama production. We’re intending to conclude the project in 2015 soon after, planning to go for the cinemas as well.

Desteklerinizi Bekliyoruz! / We need your support!

Uzun çalışmaların sonunda ortaya çıkan bu belgeselin son hazırlıklarını tamamlayabilmemiz için desteklerinizi bekliyoruz! Bizleri destekleyerek belgeselin daha hızlı bir şekilde hayata geçmesini sağlayabilir, sizin için hazırladığımız özel ödüllere ulaşabilirsiniz!

Projemizin duyurulması ve tanıtılması için yapacağınız her paylaşım bizim için ayrıca çok değerli olacaktır.

All these times effort and pre-production, now we need your support as well. With your special contribution, you can help as to wrap up the documentary faster. You can also reach our very special awards as well!

We would kindly appreciate your shares for publicity and the social media too.

Şimdiden çok teşekkür ederiz! / Thank you for your contributions!

DESTEKLEYENLER / SUPPORTERS

  1. C. Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı

Tofaş / Fiat

TEŞEKKÜRLER / THANK YOU

Türk Deniz Kuvvetleri Komutanlığı / Turkish Naval Forces

Vatikan Gizli Arşivleri / Vatican Secret Archives

Ca Foscari Üniversitesi, Venedik / University of Ca Foscari ,Venice

Arsenal Araştırma Merkezi, Venedik / Arsenal Research Center, Venice

Cenova Belediyesi / Municipality of Genova

İtalyan, İspanyol ve Hollanda Konsolosları / Ambassy of Italy, Spain and Netherlands

 

Buraya tıklayınız: http://www.fongogo.com/p/piri-reis

Epigraphs of ancient Turkic people discovered in Mongolia

July 17, 2013

By KUNIHIKO IMAI/ Senior Staff Writer

OSAKA–Two massive slabs of stone inscribed in ancient Turkic script have been found on the steppes of eastern Mongolia, the first such discovery in over a century, a Japanese researcher said July 16.

The epigraphs date from the mid-eighth century, said Takashi Osawa, a professor of ancient Turkic history at Osaka University’s graduate school.

He said the finds may offer invaluable clues to the political systems and institutions of the Gokturk people, who faced the Sui and Tang dynasties in China in times of peace and war as they reigned over the steppes of Central Asia.

Osawa said he and researchers from the Institute of Archaeology of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences discovered remnants of two giant epigraphs in May at an archaeological site called Dongoin shiree. It is near Mount Delgerkhaan, 400 kilometers southeast of Ulan Bator, the Mongolian capital.

The epigraphs measure 4 meters and 3 meters, respectively.

Combined, they are inscribed with 2,832 symbols, in 20 lines of ancient Turkic script.

Osawa, who deciphered the writing, said it describes the lamentation of people who have to leave their beloved families and homeland behind when they die.

“Oh, my home!” reads one inscription. Another reads: “Oh, my land!”

Signs engraved in the epigraphs indicate the artifacts likely represent epitaphs dedicated to members of the Ashina tribe, the reigning family of the Second Turkic Empire (682-744).

The Gokturks are the oldest nomadic people in Central Asia that left records of their own language in their own writing system.

The discovery is significant as it is the first of its kind since the three most renowned ancient Turkic inscriptions (Bilge Kaghan, Kol Tigin and Tonyukuk) were discovered in central Mongolia about 120 years ago, experts said.

“Other parts that remain buried in the ground may offer a record of the lives of the individuals commemorated,” Osawa said.

“Research on ancient Turkic script has centered on the re-reading of known inscriptions after a Danish linguist deciphered the writing in the late 19th century,” said Takao Moriyasu, a professor of Central Asian history at Kinki University. “The latest finds could help unravel new facts.”

The history of the Gokturk state started when Yili Kaghan founded the First Turkic Empire in 552.

Political maneuvering by the Sui Dynasty of China split the Gokturk nation into an eastern and a western part, with the East Turkic Empire succumbing to Tang China’s rule in 630. The Gokturks regained independence from Tang China to found the Second Turkic Empire in 682, only to be brought down by the Uighurs in 744.

Fethullah Gulen: Turkey’s Eroding Democracy

 

SAYLORSBURG, Pa. — It is deeply disappointing to see what has become of Turkey in the last few years. Not long ago, it was the envy of Muslim-majority countries: a viable candidate for the European Union on its path to becoming a functioning democracy that upholds universal human rights, gender equality, the rule of law and the rights of Kurdish and non-Muslim citizens. This historic opportunity now appears to have been squandered as Turkey’s ruling party, known as the A.K.P., reverses that progress and clamps down on civil society, media, the judiciary and free enterprise.

Turkey’s current leaders seem to claim an absolute mandate by virtue of winning elections. But victory doesn’t grant them permission to ignore the Constitution or suppress dissent, especially when election victories are built on crony capitalism and media subservience. The A.K.P.’s leaders now depict every democratic criticism of them as an attack on the state. By viewing every critical voice as an enemy — or worse, a traitor — they are leading the country toward totalitarianism.

The latest victims of the clampdown are the staff, executives and editors of independent media organizations who were detained and are now facing charges made possible by recent changes to the laws and the court system. The director of one of the most popular TV channels, arrested in December, is still behind bars. Public officials investigating corruption charges have also been purged and jailed for simply doing their jobs. An independent judiciary, a functioning civil society and media are checks and balances against government transgressions. Such harassment sends the message that whoever stands in the way of the ruling party’s agenda will be targeted by slander, sanctions and even trumped-up charges.

Turkey’s rulers have not only alienated the West, they are also now losing credibility in the Middle East. Turkey’s ability to assert positive influence in the region depends not only on its economy but also on the health of its own democracy.

The core tenets of a functioning democracy — the rule of law, respect for individual freedoms — are also the most basic of Islamic values bestowed upon us by God. No political or religious leader has the authority to take them away. It is disheartening to see religious scholars provide theological justification for the ruling party’s oppression and corruption or simply stay silent. Those who use the language and symbols of religious observance but violate the core principles of their religion do not deserve such loyalty from religious scholars.

Speaking against oppression is a democratic right, a civic duty and for believers, a religious obligation. The Quran makes clear that people should not remain silent in the face of injustice: “O you who believe! Be upholders and standard-bearers of justice, bearing witness to the truth for God’s sake, even though it be against your own selves, or parents or kindred.”

For the past 50 years, I have been fortunate to take part in a civil society movement, sometimes referred to as Hizmet, whose participants and supporters include millions of Turkish citizens. These citizens have committed themselves to interfaith dialogue, community service, relief efforts and making life-changing education accessible. They have established more than 1,000 modern secular schools, tutoring centers, colleges, hospitals and relief organizations in over 150 countries. They are teachers, journalists, businessmen and ordinary citizens.

The rhetoric used by the ruling party repeatedly to crack down on Hizmet participants is nothing but a pretext to justify their own authoritarianism. Hizmet participants have never formed a political party nor have they pursued political ambitions. Their participation in the movement is driven by intrinsic rewards, not extrinsic ones.

I have spent over 50 years preaching and teaching the values of peace, mutual respect and altruism. I’ve advocated for education, community service and interfaith dialogue. I have always believed in seeking happiness in the happiness of others and the virtue of seeking God’s pleasure in helping His people. Whatever influence is attributed to me, I have used it as a means to promote educational and social projects that help nurture virtuous individuals. I have no interest in political power.

Many Hizmet participants, including me, once supported the ruling party’s agenda, including the 2005 opening of accession negotiations with the European Union. Our support then was based on principle, as is our criticism today. It is our right and duty to speak out about government policies that have a deep impact on society. Unfortunately, our democratic expression against public corruption and authoritarianism has made us victims of a witch-hunt; both the Hizmet movement and I are being targeted with hate speech, media smear campaigns and legal harassment.

Like all segments of Turkish society, Hizmet participants have a presence in government organizations and in the private sector. These citizens cannot be denied their constitutional rights or be subjected to discrimination for their sympathy to Hizmet’s ideals, as long as they abide by the laws of the country, the rules of their institutions and basic ethical principles. Profiling any segment of society and viewing them as a threat is a sign of intolerance.

We are not the only victims of the A.K.P.’s crackdown. Peaceful environmental protesters, Kurds, Alevis, non-Muslim citizens and some Sunni Muslim groups not aligned with the ruling party have suffered, too. Without checks and balances, no individual or group is safe from the ruling party’s wrath. Regardless of their religious observance, citizens can and should unite around universal human rights and freedoms, and democratically oppose those who violate them.

Turkey has now reached a point where democracy and human rights have almost been shelved. I hope and pray that those in power reverse their current domineering path. In the past the Turkish people have rejected elected leaders who strayed from a democratic path. I hope they will exercise their legal and democratic rights again to reclaim the future of their country.

MEMORY LANE : Turkish Prime Minister Is Practicing Landscape Architecture Without a License

THIS  ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) DIRT Blog. TF SELECTED TO REMIND US……

riot
I have been under stress watching the recent events take place in my native Turkey. These events began with peaceful demonstrations on May 29 by environmentally-minded citizens who wanted to preserve one of the last remaining green spaces in Istanbul. They did not want to see the demolition and privatization of a public park known as Gezi (Promenade) Park in a major public open space in the district of Taksim. However, excessive use of force by the riot police — with their use of water cannons, rubber bullets, and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators — quickly brought more protesters, who then introduced an anti-government agenda. Public gatherings in support of the Gezi Park as well as anti-government demonstrations quickly spread over to other major cities and 78 of Turkey’s 81 provinces. The use of excessive force by police to disperse the protestors in Istanbul, the capital city of Ankara, and the third largest city Izmir, has been clearly documented by the international media. As a result, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his religious-based conservative government look vulnerable for the first time in his ten-year administration. Despite significant economic successes under his leadership, this episode has the potential to tarnish the international image and reputation of Turkey, a majority Muslim country with a strongly secular tradition.

stone
I believe these sad developments can be linked to the top-down planning style of the Prime Minister, who once again took center stage to explain his vision for this public square and park during these tragic events. Furthermore, instead of trying to calm the protestors and approve the requested dialog for public participation, the PM sent in his supporters in addition to riot police.

riot
The plans by the Istanbul city government, which were strongly promoted by the PM, initially called for razing the park to build a shopping mall inspired by a demolished Ottoman Military Barracks. Based on initial protests, the PM backed off plans for a shopping mall on the site, but there are still plans to remove the existing park and building “something” there. For the rest of the Taksim Square, the PM calls for removing several stores to bring an existing church into the open and build a “major mosque” on the other side of the street, in a location that used to be a private theater for musical performances. This is proposed under the guise of open dialog and respect for both religions.

As for the proposed plans and designs: The overall plan, which calls for the removal of the park, would create several underground tunnels to alleviate the traffic congestion that currently plagues the square. They would add very large turf areas in the shape of tulips, which are a revered flower in Turkey and also known to have religious symbolism referring to the Prophet Muhammad. The PM’s statement suggesting that “something” will be built there proves there is no design thought given either to the master plan or the street-level designs (see videos below):

As an educator, I would call the proposed overall plan for the square and the park sophomoric at best. This park has been the subject of many of my projects when I was an undergraduate student in late 1970s. Over the years the park has been encroached upon along its edges and has received minimal maintenance and care; an occasional bench replacement is about that seems to be done.

Despite their neglect, trees have matured and provide the only shaded area and refuge from the highly-motorized greater Taksim square. The current state of the park reminds me of Bryant Park in New York City prior to its most recent renovations. It’s true that something needs to be done to take advantage of this wonderful green oasis in the sea of cars dominating Taksim Square. However, the proposed removal of the park to establish a private shopping center or “something” is not what is needed.

taksim
The use of earlier Ottoman Military Barracks as an inspiration for the proposed shopping center (or some other type of building) is also highly questionable. These barracks were the scene of one of the bloodiest uprisings by mullahs, who wanted religious laws enacted during the last decades of the Ottoman Empire (similar to those used in Iran or by the Taliban today). Atatürk (Father of Turks), the founder of today’s modern Turkey, was the Ottoman Military commander who quashed these uprisings in the late 1800s and consequently ordered the destruction of the barracks after the establishment of Turkey in 1923. The promotion of the image of these barracks by the PM as a back drop to the proposed developments begs the question: how much respect does the current government have for the strong secular traditions of the country?

The proposed plans do not seem to give even a cursory thought to the needs of pedestrians. They do not offer any significant design elements for the human scale. Perhaps another unstated objective of the PM is to minimize and eventually remove the monument to the Independence War, which houses sculptures of Atatürk, his commanders, and the unknown soldiers during the final days of the occupied Ottoman Empire. The videos released by the metropolitan city government of the proposed development make this meaningful landmark look as insignificant as an ant.

taksim2
PM Erdoğan’s government owes some of its economic successes to the privatization of many government institutions, holdings, and services. Some of these privatization efforts were perhaps necessary to encourage private financing and development. But selling national treasures is highly questionable. The government has sold parts of the first model farm in Ankara established by Ataturk to international clients to establish a private resort. At the present, there is extensive clear cutting in the Atatürk Farm.

Let me explain the significance of this: Could you imagine the U.S. Government selling President Jefferson’s Monticello? Similarly, how would the American public react if the U.S. Government or the National Parks Service were to sell some of much-cherished open fields not covered by memorials in the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for a private shopping mall development? This is exactly what is happening in Istanbul and other cities in Turkey.

All of these tragic events could have been avoided if either the PM Erdoğan or his representatives were to institute a public hearing system in their planning and design process. Instead the PM is more concerned with the demonstrators questioning his authority and calls them “çapulcu,” meaning marginal and extreme. At other times, he’s called these concerned citizens of Turkey “terrorists.” This is quite ironic considering that it’s the PM’s government who is holding talks with a convicted killer and the head of the internationally recognized terrorist group PKK (Kurdish Separatists).

Prime Minister Erdogan PM and all of his representatives must recognize they are elected to represent the people. These people have shown up in unprecedented numbers to express their opinions and represent themselves. If the PM and his government continue to ignore the voice of the people, they may not be re-elected as the peoples’ representatives. Finally, Mr. Erdoğan needs to make up his mind if he wants to be the Prime Minister of Turkey, the Mayor of City of Istanbul, or an urban designer. If the Prime Minister has no intention of going back to school, then he should let the real design professionals do their job and concentrate on managing the government in a way that will make all Turkish citizens proud.

This guest post is by Professor Sadik Artunc, FASLA, RLA, head of the department of landscape architecture, Mississippi State University. A native of Turkey, Professor Artunc has a BS and MS in forestry and forest engineering from the University of Istanbul and an MLA from the University of Michigan. Prior to arriving in the United States in 1975, he worked in Turkey as a forester for the Ministry of Forestry, as a recreation planner in the Central Planning Office, and as the planning director of the Olympus National Park for the Department of National Parks.

Image credits: (1-2) Turkish Revolution, (3) The Huffington Post, (4-5) Taksim Square / Wikipedia