We have only one WORLD yet! -- Fall 2001: 7th issue -- If we destroy it, where else can we go to?
"Geographically, culturally and historically, Turkey
is ideally placed to be a key player in this emerging world. But to
become such a decisive agent of change, it must itself change. If it
does not do so soon it will lose its chance, it will lose its chance
By Bircan UNVER
new book, Crescent & Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds
has been sparking various attention for Turkey's statuesque in US media
since his book arrival this September. The translation of the book in
Turkish will be publishing next year in Turkey by Iletisim Publishers.
book, Kinzer profiles Turkey in it entirety within its Great Revolution,
its declaration of the Republic of Turkey; his admiration for the founder
Mustafa Kemal ATATURK, its history, archaeology, weaknesses, richness,
cultural and ethnic diversity, confliction between religion and secularism,
the Armenian issue, the PKK puzzle, its social changes within the last
two generations, and Turkey's highly expected role in the Islamic World
as well as in Central Asia.
In his book, Kinzer profiles Turkey in it entirety within its Great Revolution, its declaration of the Republic of Turkey; his admiration for the founder Mustafa Kemal ATATURK, its history, archaeology, weaknesses, richness, cultural and ethnic diversity, confliction between religion and secularism, the Armenian issue, the PKK puzzle, its social changes within the last two generations, and Turkey's highly expected role in the Islamic World as well as in Central Asia.
Crescent & Star introduces Turkey globally from a perspective that has never before been successful by others.
Turkey's frontline into the American media was established when Turkey had an earthquake on August 17 1999. It was an unfortunate and terrible disaster and a bad profile on Turkey's governmental incapability's. The aftermath of the earthquake has still devastated the Turkish people. Despite this, Kinzer's book has brought forth great attention to Turkey; it's potential, richness, capacity as well as its struggles and conflicts. He is the only one to open the eyes of Americans towards Turkey and its place and role in the Muslim World as well as its future direction.
For many Turks living in the United States, they have many stories like mine, which I would like to share in the following. My personal impression on Kinzer's correspondence from Istanbul had great impact over many Americans. I will also illustrate below why I feel he represents Turkey's Goodwill Ambassador to the United States.
Any individual who has been living in any part of US for several years as a Turk, probably has a similar story to mine. Still, I would like to share my own personal experiences regarding how KINZER's correspondence from Istanbul had a great impact over the Americans in addition to Turkey's recognition in America.Before KINZER
I came to New York for the first time in 1990. Many Turks living in the United States feel that most Americans lack any knowledge of Turkey and its geographical location (sounds odd, but true). Meantime, I faced several shocking questions such as: if I had to throw away my veil at my arrival in JFK!!!
In my earlier years, while I was editing my video project at Queen Public Television (QPTV), I heard beautiful music coming from the other room, so I decided to go see who was playing the music. I walked into the room and saw a man dressed in a religious garb. I thought that he was a monk. I said, "Good Morning, nice music! What kind of music is it? It's Armenian music", he responded. I said to him that it sounds very much like Turkish music. Suddenly, he became very angry and said, "You wiped out all the Armenians." I was shocked and didn't really know how to act!!!
Unfortunately, I wasn't aware of the subject much at that time because I couldn't recall anything from my entire education. Also I had long-lasting Armenian friends in Istanbul, and nothing confrontation like this came up! Suddenly, I felt as I'm the guilty one in his eyes or who to blame for, because I came from Turkey! After first shock was over, I thought a second and try to be calm, then said him: Just stopped here to say you good morning, bye. That was the end of our conversation but it was also a flame of my awareness of something that I should know more about what he referred to!
be the ignorant one blaming others and putting them down.
There was a huge gap between what he was referring to and what
I knew about it! Of course, that wasn't the first and last verbal
attack! After a couple of years later, a new producer came into the
picture on the same subject again. We run into each other at the kitchen
of QPTV. Someone at the kitchen, pointed me that I am from Turkey. And
this younger, taller and modern day dressed person went much more further,
saying that : You wiped out five millions Armenians in 1915 (Were there
five million Armenian population at that time in Turkey?). As a result,
he was the one who produced a television documentary on this issue at
my first four year experiences in Los Angeles and mostly in New York
related to Turkey's recognition so negatively and falsely were my big
for the Turkish American Bussines Forum members in NY (on October 16).
After KINZER:Since KINZER's articles had began to appear at the New York Times (1996-2000), there were some major changes towards to Turkey's recognition and being a Turk in New York. For example: While I was checking in my coat and talking with my sister in Turkish at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1996, in the coat-check room, receptionist asked me, "Where are you from?" When he heard my respond, he automatically smiled to me with an excitement, and then he referred one of KINZER's recent articles, which was appeared in that week at the New York Times.
Following this, the positive responses had become a pattern. Whenever someone asks me "Where are you from?" being Turkish and Kinzer's articles somehow come together and people know about us. Kinzer's effort to put Turkey in the American public eye is a great contribution.
Since the beginning of his very first article, he had created a new look and perspective towards Turkey in the American Public eye. News on Turkey was mostly related to country's current Political crisis, or corrupted mafia related system and only a few related on historical places or tourism.
He spotlighted Turkey with its cultural-social potential, ethnic diversity, archeological richness, current political crises and struggles underlining the importance of Turkey with a conclusion of his great expectations.
represented as one dark country with no social or cultural life in the
media. These involved the violations of Human Rights, the PKK, the Armenian
issue, religion and secularism, Turkey's attempt to enter the European
Union or its debates about changing the Turkish Constitution.
He opened up Turkey's thick and layered curtains within each of his articles and his new book to the whole world. Kinzer's sophistication on Turkey creates an international awareness about the country. He is the only one, who internationally reflected Turkey's two-sided mirror as well as its future direction and "Godfather" role in the Middle East and Central Asia. He states in his book, "Turkey will certainly change in time, but Turkey does not have time. At the beginning of the twenty-first century it is presented with an opportunity that does not come often in the lives of nations." (Crescent & Star, The Prize, p.224)
Turkish meze (appetizer) - raki, or known as "lion's milk", culture and incomplete democracy is one of his extraordinary analogies in his book as well as in his various presentations. Why hasn't this main course still arrived? Everything is ready and we've waited long enough. We can even smell the aroma of main Course, but it isn't arrived yet.
between Latin America and Turkey in terms of military power, is very
sharp and astonishing. In his comparison to Latin America, when the
military gained power, the people were suffering, when the people overthrew
the military, they were very happy and social life was increasing. In
Turkey, Turkish people have integrated with the military. He underlines
the differences by saying that; "I had to change my scale."
He addressed a speech in the Middle East Forum (New York, Oct. 16, 2001), and drew Turkey's importance and its increasing new role in The Middle East. He also stated that Turkey can be a great model for the fifty Islamic countries if Turkey changes itself. Turkey is the only country that prepared this role better than any other country. No other country can play this role other than Turkey. There were several disagreements on his statement. The argument was that Turkey's existing conflicts will not allow Turkey to be a model country for the fifty Muslim countries, and also how other Muslim countries will be convinced that Turkey is a strong Islamic country. His response was based on his comment in his book, and it is as follows:
During KINZER's book signing at
the Marmara Manhattan Hotel
During KINZER's book signing at the Marmara Manhattan Hotel
presentation at the Marmara Manhattan Hotel, he was signing his books
to his readers in the early evening (October 16, 2001) at the terrace,
there wasn't enough light and he was autobiographing his book in half
dark. I was on the line, and realized that the existing light wasn't
enough, and then I said, "You need a candle."
His analogy was remarkable. "This is very Turkish. You have
everything. You have light, heat, a place to sign the books but we are
at the terrace, in the dark and cold!" I suddenly realized that
he could transform any moment from our daily lives into a great analogy
referring to Turkish culture or the political system. Short after, he
gave one of his most energetic and enthusiastic presentations to the
Turkish-American Business Forum members. More than one hundred members
attended with great interest and excitement. It was obvious that the
Turkish community also benefited from his articles over the years and
by welcoming his book and views.
another presentation, which was organized by the Turkish-American Society
in New York (Oct. 17, 2001), he made an outstanding comment on the Armenian
issue. He visited Kars (Turkey) and Armenia. During his trip to Kars,
the mayor told him that he had considered opening the borders between
Armenia and Turkey! Armenians are much more aware that Turkey is their
neighbor and will be their neighbor forever. In this context, they consider
how to establish mutual relationships between the two. There was a reaction
to his new statement. He highlighted it very clearly by asking, "who
sponsors the Armenians? America and Russia." In this new coalition
against terrorism in the US and Turkey may help lift up all those sponsorships.
This is the most incredible approach to look forwards to for Turkey
and Armenia's positive relationship in the near future. Accordingly, if I'd be an official authority, without doubt, I
would like to honor him as Turkeys Goodwill Ambassador in the US.
Accordingly, if I'd be an official authority, without doubt, I
would like to honor him as Turkeys Goodwill Ambassador in the US.
Another his book presentation & signing took place at the Dervish
Restaurant and organized
In contrast, one or another reason, some Turks or official representatives may not feel comfortable when he points out our struggles, conflicts, critics on military's control controling the government or the democratic rights or an urgent needs to change and etc.
In this approach, Turkey's expectations are like a teenage girl who is either aware of her weaknesses, her likeable or unlikeable sides, or becomes a self-contained person, and not dealing with her problems but rather acting, as she is perfect. Then when a friend of hers or someone points out to her that she is not perfect, she gets mad and blames others instead of finding out what caused and created the negative impression about her in her surroundings. Turkey wishes to present itself as a perfect country without any wrongdoings, historical mistakes, or major social and economic crises and problems between the elite and almost all of the population.
Turkey is like having too much make-up whenever she needs to present herself. If Turkey were to accept what didn't work for the country or what won't work, then the great change will be in progress.
contributions to Turkey didn't end when he left Turkey. His new book
added a rich, attractive cream on his "Turkish cake" which is
his book, "Crescent & Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds."
Overall, he expects that his book will bring out several issues
on the table to debate about Turkey's options and possibility's for
the solutions internally and internationally. His book has already prompted
this process and
KINZER's contributions to Turkey didn't end when he left Turkey. His new book added a rich, attractive cream on his "Turkish cake"or a crown all his painstakingly effort towards to Turkey,
which is his book, "Crescent & Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds." Overall, he expects that his book will bring out several issues on the table to debate about Turkey's options and possibility's for the solutions internally and internationally. His book has already prompted this process andit has been happening.
We will be celebrating the second anniversary with the Winter-2002 issue. Deadline: January 7, 2002