It is an odd sight to see, I must admit for me. Pro-Erdogan protestors. According to RT the demonstration in Cologne on the 31st of July, 2016, attracted tens of thousands. Ranging from 35,000 to 50,000 and many more tried to get in. Their demonstration was titled:
Yes to democracy, no to the coup.
by the Union of European Turkish Democrats, a highly pro-Erdogan party that tries to garner influence towards the AKP and make his party appear in a positive light. Now the title on the surface seems like a positive thing. A democracy is a rule of the majority. The majority, would be positively inclined towards a democracy. A coup, in this case a tentatively aggressive and militaristic coup, is a threat to democracy. We can all agree on that aspect. A rule of a minority that is inclined to threaten political freedom, civil rights, and marginalise the economy towards specific interest groups, is highly undesirable. But what if the majority, in this case, welcomes less political freedom? What if the majority risk to surrender their civil rights, for more security?
Amongst the blind the one-eyed is King
Imagine the situation, from a Turkish person’s perspective. They are living close to the border of a war-torn nation embroiled in a chaotic civil war that has gained a momentum of it’s own. As a Turkish citizen, would you not prefer to feel safer, rather than be able to voice your opinion on everything? It seems, from our standpoint, from our safe ivory towers, an unfair trade. How highly have we emphasised the strength and value of expressing our opinions, and being able to live in liberty and freely. However, this is the gateway to an oppressive society forming itself in the long-run with a government being created that will capture their citizens in their own homes.
First they came for the Gülen movement…
They will monitor you under the guise of protecting your freedom, you being the Turkish citizen you are imagining yourself as right now. You will be fine with it, since you did not follow Gülen and the Hizmet movement that is being prosecuted. It is an estimated 10% of the population that follow Gülen, who is being claimed to be the initiator of this coup, and the Hizmet movement that is a liberal transnational religious and social movement. You are pro-Erdogan, since he is a strong man that does not bend to the western imperialists that meddle in everything.
Then they came for the refugees…
Next you know they will round up the estimated 2.7 million refugees in Turkey and begin to send them back to Syria. Why would you be worried? You are a Turkish citizen, and have been for all of your life. Your parents are, your friends are, everyone you know is. Thankfully they will get rid of the refugees. Sure, some of them are surely good people, but how many are terrorists? This is a sentiment that is widespread in Europe as well. There is a fear that more refugees will bring terrorism and unemployment.
Then they came for the liberals…
Ultimately, you can rest assured that all political opponents will be taken care of as well. The liberals with their open-minded multiculturalism are the real root of the decay in the world these days! They are uprooting traditions and bringing in a change unwanted. Their liberal media goes on spouting their “truths” and coming forward with discussions. The time for discussions have passed! We need people of action, and people that get things done.
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.
History is repeating itself, and always has, always will. But we must increase our awareness for the truth of the matter before us. There are people who will willingly give up their freedoms for they are desperate. It is easy for me to say, they do not know better, but it is fear that encourages them. Fear that drives people on. But we cannot let that fear be drilled into their hearts. The truly depressing part of the pro-Erdogan rally is not that people showed up for Erdogan, the AKP and for “democracy” but the fact that there was not enough headwind (headwind is wind that moves against the direction of travel).
We need to create a headwind. Do you know how many people, according to RT, showed up to counter these demonstrations? An estimated 250 people of the far-right; an anti-Nazi rally of an estimated 600 people; and 1,500 people against “Erdomania”. This is the truly depressing part. That, to counter over 40,000 people at least, less than 2,500 people showed up to prove that they will have no part of it, regardless of their political affiliations.
This has to change. We need to rise up from the comfort of our chairs and our desks. We cry out through social media and create hashtags and whine for a minute, before we are distracted by a video of a puppy, or some other news. We need to go to the streets and create headwind, least the wind knock us all over. Another rally will come, and another, and our apathetic generation will look on in horror, but what will we do? This is the question, and the answer is to rise up.
Rise up, generation of apathy.
Rise up, generation of sympathetic apologists.
Rise up, rise up and show them that we have numbers.
Rise up to the call of humanity, brotherhood and equality.
Rise up, and prove that liberty, democracy and freedom should be available to every man woman and child.
Rise up together, or we will fall divided.