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Turks and Greeks: the Human Case (Part 2 of 2)


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Addendum to Part 1 
In relation to the “light-rail” mentioned in Part 1, the following should be added:
The ‘Bay Area Rapid Transit’ (BART) System of San Francisco (in spite of scandals, etc) I think is  the most advanced system in the world, as it is based on a simple but revolutionary idea. Given that the weight of the car of a light-rail system is the basic economic factor in the cost of operating such a system, in the 1960s the BART decided to test a light-rail car made entirely of aluminum instead of steel. Such an experimental car  was tested for years at the Mt. Diablo Test Track. The weight of an aluminum car is about half the weight of a steel car. This aluminum car was put in operation in 1972.
Following the McConnell psychotic antics about the financing of US infrastructure is emetic. Yet the problem is beyond the republican primates and should concern  all of us bonobos, over the entire planet. Especially concerning highways and their rigid pavements (a.k.a concrete pavements) that constitute a great part of the US highways and of other countries. The problem is sisyphean. Each morning all over America the upper surface of the concrete slabs of the highway pavement have shrunk during the night while the lower surface of the slab remains warmer. Result: part of the slab at its edges loses contact with the ground and the first truck that passes over it causes the slab to crack. Also, the joints between the slabs constitute a most devilish problem of sealing the joint. What that means is that the maintenance of that part of infrastructure is an open economic wound for any society. Will the ‘Main Street’-town society solve the problem? Yes, to a significant degree.
Although the US is  a small-town society, there is going to be a need for choosing the site of new small-towns. Great attention is needed to avoid the sites of possible landslides, in the Western States, as well as the problem of quake-resistant structures. In the flat part of the country the main problem to be considered is the flood.
Back to the Turks and the Greeks:
Karadayi
 
In my ZNet Commentary of May 27, 2010, titled “Of Turks and of Greeks” in which a part is devoted to the Turkish serial “!001 Nights” it is mentioned: “Let us start with the reasonable admission that even a fictional movie reflects, to a certain degree, the society it describes. Otherwise, it would not “sell”. especially to the people it describes.”
So as I had promised years ago, here is the Turkey of Karadayi. Kara Black inTurkish. Dayi= Uncle or a Brave person that uses violence to mete justice. In Greek we use the same (!) Turkish word, pronounced daees (accent on ee), to describe a violent male who is a bully or a thug..
[Necessary Note: The serial of Karadayi is ‘used’ in this text to describe the life of the ordinary Turks and possibly compare it to that of the ordinary Greeks. However, inevitably in this description one has to include elements of the (early and recent) political history of both peoples.
Empire 
The word ‘Empire’ originates from the Latin verb imperare which means to command. The word command in its essence includes violence.  To exist an Empire needs three elements: 1. a Leader, 2. The military, and 3. Religion. Of the three the most effective is Religion. A Leader is and remains in History as a caricature (Alexander, Napoleon, Hitler,.. and now Trump) The military can use violence only against a fraction  of the population. However religion can easily control an entire population.The tool used to accomplish so vast control is the word ‘herd’, a word of pastoral beauty and innocence, of sheep, of goats, etc., also of shepherds. It is quite an old tool. Isaiah, about seven centuries before Christ said:”We all like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isa.53:6)”. The word him refers to Jesus. (These are the words in one of the greatest accomplishments of the human mind on our Planet; Handel’s ‘Messiah’. By the way, for that accomplishment we all should be proud as bonobo primates. On the rocket that is traveling to the edge of the Universe, of all our accomplishments we chose to put the platinum disc with Bach’s music and not something, say, that resembles a mobile phone. However, we could have added a part of Handel’s Messiah on the disc). Jeus also used the notion of the herd , the sheep, etc, in his contacts with the people.
The word that the Greeks used for ‘Empire’ was and is Auto-kratoria (Auto, pronounced: ‘afto’, means one’s own self, for example auto-motive), kratoria is the ‘lethal’ word which means ‘power’ or ‘force’, (accent on bold i) and which is the second compound of the word demo-kracy (democracy in English). Actually the word exists in English as ‘autocracy”. So, the Greeks clarified who is the one who ‘commands’, in the Roman ‘imperare’, it is the ‘self’, of some worthy primate.
But were there Empires in Classical Greece? Yes, the most important was that of Athens that included  the Aegean, part of Italy, the  Coast of Asia Minor, and extended up to the Black Sea. Of course, it so happens that Empires ‘grow’ on our Planet mostly in couples, e.g. Greeks and Persians. Stalin and FDR, or Donald and Mao’s Epigones, and so on..
Finally the Turks clarified even further who ‘commands’, they simply gave the name of an individual to the Empire. So they gave the name of a Muslim Prince, Osman I (1258 – 1326) and  ‘created’ the Ottoman Empire, which included part of Asia, part of Africa, and even part of Europe. However, after World War One, in 1918, the victors, mostly the French and the British, carved the Ottoman Empire to pieces and divided it among themselves.
The most populous Greek city after Athens is the city of Thessaloniki, also it has been one of the most cosmopolitan cities in History.. St. Paul sent two Epistles to its citizens, the ‘Thessalonians’. To honor St. Paul the Thessalonians, in our times, named a street of their city as “Apostolou Pavlou street” (street of ‘Paul the Apostle’). In a house on this street, in 1881, Mustafa Kemal (later named Ataturk) was born. It is reasonable to assume that as a child and as a young man  Ataturk was deeply influenced by the various nationalities that composed the population of Thessaloniki (‘Salonica’ from now on), especially by its progressive and populous Jewish community. Ataturk died in 1938. Five years later, in 1943, the Nazis of the 56,000 Jews of Salonica killed more than 54,000. Also as a young man Ataturk had contacts with the French and the Germans.It seems that Ataturk as an individual was an intellectually honest person. After the French, the English, et al destroyed the Ottoman Empire Ataturk had the courage, in the early 1920s to turn a theocratic Turkey into a secular country. Of course, following the patriotic western example, to survive as a politician he replaced Religiosity with Nationalism, the usual tool.of ‘law and order’.
(At this point I  have to ask for the understanding of the reader for being so late to finish this Part 2 of this article. A few weeks ago I had  a little accident, a fall, but no broken bone..) 
During the centuries-long reign of the Ottoman Empire Greece was occupied by the Ottomans, who as occupiers let the occupied retain their religion and, most important, they returned the land that had been confiscated by the Christian Church to the people. Finally, during the social revolutions of the 1800s all over Europe the Ottomans were forced out of Greece  by Greek revolutionaries, but the  European elite, French, English, and German, replaced the Ottomans with a teenage Bavarian prince, named Otto (!), as king of the Greeks. Then, after the First World War and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the French and the English sent the Greeks to help occupy Turkey (!) as Greece and Turkey were  the ‘gate’ to the Middle East oil. Ataturk managed to beat the invaders and create the modern Turkey. The result: about one million and a half Greeks who lived in the western coast of Turkey, especially in Smyrna (Izmir in Turkish) for centuries, were chased out of Turkey and ended up as refugees to the, initially inhospitable, mainland of Greece.
The contemporary Periods 
 
The French Period (End of the 1800s to 1923)
 
‘Advanced’ countries or ‘advanced’ Empires possess an extremely effective instrument with which to subjugate and control less ‘advanced’ countries: the University! The elite of the less ‘advanced’ countries send their offspring to the Universities of the ‘advanced’ ones to be educated. Interestingly, the offspring are sent at an early stage of their youth so that they acquire the accent of the language of the host country, because children at the age of 16 to 18 still retain the innate ability to mimic the accent. This will not only be useful for them, as future leaders of their country,, especially with the English-speaking Empire officials, but they are also proud of their ability to do that. That is they are proud of something that is …instinctive.
So during the “French Period” the elite of Turkey and Greece were in essence a kind of ‘representatives’ of the French. They transferred to their mother-country all the ‘culture’ of the French. The name of the Greek one was Venizelos, Prime Minister, etc, whose great accomplishment was to ‘create’ a Law, he named, ‘ideeoneemon’ (“special law”, accent on bold o) by means of which the Police could apply their brutality on the Greek communists or other leftists.
The Nazi period (1924 to 1945)
 
The Greeks from 1924 up to  1936 were divided to pro-French, pro-German and pro-British. The majority were the pro-British royalists, that is rightists. The pro-French were the ‘cultured’ ones, while the pro-German were not so numerous (maybe one reason was that the German language is more difficult for an adult to learn). In 1936 things changed radically. Greece following the ‘vogue’ of the time, finally ‘managed’ to acquire a fascist goverment under a Nazi-educated retired military officer of the Greek Corps Of Engineers by the name of Metaxas (which in Greek means the one dealing in silk!). Metaxas is an interesting socio-political case. Metaxas, the one nursed by the Nazis, inexplicably concocted a completely Moussolini-type fascist Greece. One of his accomplishments was the artistic creation of the inevitable ‘National Symbol’. The Germans, the Ameicans, the Bysantin Christians and maybe others, have  the eagle as their quasi-religious national symbol..The symbol of Metaxas, the Nazi, for the Greek Youth consisted of  the Moussolini fascist axe (!) which had two cutting edges in the shape of the Christian cross, instead of the one cutting edge of the Italian-Roman one, of Moussolini. Above the axe thare was the British Crown (!), as the King of the Greeks at the time, named George, a relative of ‘Fil-ippos’ of Britain who died a few days ago, was the head of the Greek State. All this was enclosed in a circular branch of laurel to symbolize the ancient Greek Olympic Spirit. These would have been simply laughable if they were not accompanied with brutal torture and imprisonment of Greeks opposing Fascism, especially the Leftists.
The majority of the Greeks as “admirers” of the English, the French, or the Germans were, in reality, ‘apolitical’, excepting the Communist Party,.and, also, in their majority were comfortable with the dictatorship. Especially the young, even the children! So, when on October 28 of 1940, the Italian army of Mussolini attacked Greece, the Greeks found themselves facing the Fascists while the national symbol of the Greek Youth was the fascist double axe! The Greeks defeated Mussolini and finally Hitler had to occupy Greece by attacking Greece himself. A German Nazi occupation followed from 1941 to 1944.
The Nazis desperately needed the turkish chrome for their military industry, concerning the problem of alloys. If the Turks refused to sell chrome to the Nazis they would have to invade Turkey. The Turks decided to sell chrome to the Nazis and avoid the war and the death of hundreds of thousands of Turks. They also sent a ship  with food to save the Greeks who were dying of hunger by the thousands. Could the Turks defeat the Nazis? Finally the Russians answered this question. It took the Russians 21 million dead to defeat the Nazis.
The  Period from 1945 to this day (2021)
 
On February 23, 1945, Joseph Goebbels,that ‘charismatic’ Nazi, introduced to humanity the expression “Iron Curtain”.
On  May 1, 1945, Goebbels had his six children poisoned with lethal injections by an SS doctor and then had himself and his wife Magda shot by an SS orderly.
On March 5, 1946, in Fulton ,Missoury, Winston Churchill, that great saviour of the human race during World War Two, reintroduced the “Iron Curtain” expression as his own.
On February 21, 1947, the British declared that “Britain could not afford the 500 million Dollars it would  take immediately  to defend Greece and  Turkey against communism. The United States could either fill the vacuum or let it go.” That was the end of “Pax Britannica” and the beginning of the”American Century”.
On March 12, 1947, only 22 days after the British announced that they were broke(!), President Truman asked Congress to approve $300 million for aid to Greece and $100 million for Turkey, which “also deserves our attention”. This was baptized as the ‘Truman Doctrine’.
So, both Turkey and Greece started having their new life in that glorious century. Both countries have been governed by local elites approved by the occasional US Emperor. What Is equally important is that the police and the torturers in both countries were trained in the US. However, what is a great hope for humanity, it was an association of democratic lawyers of New York that made public the names of the Turkish torturers and the names of their American instructors! In Greece years ago two of the most brutal American trained Greek torturers were executed in the streets of Athens.
The people of Both countries suffered the brutality of US-backed dictatorships, when the US elite thought it was necessary. End of necessary Note]
With the above text as a guide let us go to the story of Karadayi:
The Karadayi series lasted from 2012 to 2015 for 3 seasons.
*The ‘Hero’ of the story is Turgut, a District Attorney (Public Prosecutor) in Istanbul.in the early 1970s.
Turgut is rotten beyond his bones. He is the son of a retired military officer of the Turkish army. His career is typical of such a person; In Law School, at the University, he is a ‘star’-student, highly popular, and respected by all. He hates his father and is hated by his father. His credo as expressed by him::”The world is governed by strong men like me”.(Actor: Yurdaer Okur)
*Mahir (Karadayi) is the son of a shoemaker working with his father also as a schoomaker.. He is honest and physically strong, and in his mid to late thirties. (Actor; Kenan Imirzalioglu)
*Feride is a judge, daughter of a politician and in her early thirties. (Actress; Berguzar Korel)
*Nazif Kara is the father of Mahir (Actor; Cetin Tekindor)
*Yasin is a policeman (Actor: Riza Kocaoglu)
The dominant theme of the story is the corruption of the official Justice. Related to it is the criminality of the politicians. The most important and wonderful scene of the story is the one in which judge Feride, the daughter of the prominent politician, and Mahir, the shoemaker, are coming down the majestic staircase of the palace of justice, holding hands after Feride has resigned as judge.
Feride, was not in the same class as Turgut in Law School, she was younger, but she was an admirer of Turgut, the future District Attorney. After graduation, as a judge, Feride had a religious-like faith in the Law and the official Justice. It took Mahir quite an effort to show Feride that “things are not what they seem to be”.
Feride had a great respect and affection for her father, the politician. Her father is the head of a team that is smuggling arms and ammunition from Bulgaria and selling it to criminals and religious fanatics in the Middle East. The other members of the team are: the owner of one of the most prominent newspapers of Istanbul and … Turgut.
The senior District Attorney in Feride’s court was an old colleague of hers  who had discovered what was going on with Turgut, and his criminal team and was about to turn a file with their wrongdoing to upper-ups. Turgut stabbed his senior colleague to death and managed to accuse Mahir’s father as the murderer.
Feride’s parents ‘naturally’ do not approve of  a marriage with Mahir, Feride’s mother declares that she “cannot breathe the same air” as that of Mahir’s family. She prefersTurgut, an educated gentleman, as a husband of her daughter. Feride’s father senses that Mahir could influence his daughter in revealing her father’s criminal activities. So he decides to kill Mahir.
Feride and Mahir are ready to marry.There is a small car with the usual ribbons, etc waiting for the groom to go pick up the bride from her home. Mahir’s 4-year old nephew and Mahir’s mother get into the car as Mahir is about to walk towards the car. There is an explosion, the car, the nephew, and the mother are in pieces. The man who put the explosives  is present at the moment of the explosion in order to “enjoy the spectacle” as he said later to Mahir. (To the remark that this is simply fiction and not real life, one could answer that the cases of men or youths killing half a dozen humans is not so rare. By the way, why are these ‘psychos’ always male?). The person who ordered the killing was Feride’s father,.aiming to kill Mahir.
Mahir decides to find out who was the one that ordered the killing. To undertake such a dangerous task he tries to distance himself from Feride.to protect her. Feride’s mother understands that the one who ordered the killing of Mahir’s mother and nephew was her husband and tells him so. He threatens her,but she does not tell this to Feride, her daughter
During the third season of the serial a new tragic heroine is introduced named Belgin (Actress; Sema Ozturk). Belgin as a baby was deposited at an orphanage with no connection to any human. As a child she was raped continuously by the Director of the Orphanage. When released from the orphanage at age 18 she was a beautiful young woman, but  a monster as a human being. To introduce her to the viewer the serial has her standing against a wall while a man is trying to rape her. Belgin calms him down by pretending that she goes along. She places both hands behind his back, opens her purse, takes a dagger out of it and stabs him on the back killing him. Belgin ‘creates’ an interesting career for herself. She opens a beauty salon, becomes the mistress of the current head of the Police, becomes the precious informer of the leaders of the organised crime, and finally Feride’s father, the candidate for the Presidency of the Turkish Parliament, kisses her hand as if she were a lady equal to him.
Feride and Mahir after some painful separation they get back together. They decide to visit Belgin’s orphanage. Feride, jokingly, tells Mahir that any information on Belgin.will be given to her as a judge and not to Mahir, a mere citizen. This, of course, really happens when Mahir asks permission to see the director. The girl at the reception tells them that the Director was busy, but when Feride says that she is a judge the girl immediately takes them to the Director. What follows is one of the most potent moments of the series.. Feride and Mahir are in a car out of the orphanage waiting for an employee to come  out of the Orphanage. At some point Mahir asks Feride: “Wouldn’t it have been better for you to marry a man who has a University degree?” Feride immediately puts the palm of her right hand over the mouth of Mahir and blurts: “Not one more word, a single word!” Then tenderly explains to him why she is with him.
Feride’s father, the politician, kills his wife to shut her mouth. Turgut, the proud district-attorney, kills Feride’s father and he himself is hanged by the Turkish state.
Feride and Mahir, who by now have a little boy, decide to apply the Sinclair Lewis “Main Street” solution, of Part One of this article. They leave the 20 million humans of Istanbul and go to spend the rest of their life at the small town in the Black Sea which is the birthplace of Mahir and his father.
Congratulations are due to:
– Eylem Canpolat and Sema Ergenekon, for writing the story of Karadayi
– Uluc Bayraktar, for directing the series.
– Toygar Işıklı, for his music.
– Kerem Catay, for the production.

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