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    Bekir Coskun: The photograph...

    Hürriyet Haber
    19.10.2007 - 11:15 | Son Güncelleme:

    The photo graced the front pages of almost every newspaper in Turkey yesterday: A snapshot of Abdullah Gul and his turbaned wife, Hayrunnisa Gul, standing in front of Cankaya, alongside Syrian President Assad and his modern-dressed wife.


    Underneath the photo, it said "The First Lady, included in protocol for the first time!"


    *

    Were you really able to accept this photograph?
     
    I am not writing this column to mix myself up in anyone's private life, or anyone's spouse's choice of headgear.

    But anyone pictured in that "state protocol photograph" is no longer only his or herself.
     
    That person or people are Turkey itself.
     
    It is in fact our right to be concerned with whomever is pictured in that photograph, for that person or people have a direct effect on Turkey's image.
     
    So tell me: were you really able to accept that photograph?

    *

    I can just hear my headscarved older relations being angered by this column, straightening out their headscarves while complaining "Bekkiiiirrr....." to me.
     
    But don't be angered, my older relatives.
     
    This has nothing to do with you.
     

    This has to do with Turkey.
     
    We had a road heading towards enlightement.
     
    Our hopes were like seeds, set soon to blossom.
     
    Our ambitions were piled in giant heaps.
     
    Our children would sing songs, and then run to their classrooms when the school bells rang.
     
    Just look at the happiness they have for this nation in which they have grown up; they are dying, one by one, in the mountains of the southeast.
     
    Büyüdüklerinde bu ülkenin mutlulu?u için bakyn; da?larda ölüyorlar birer birer.

    Aren't the cries of weeping mothers and widows in the end for the presence of this nation in a civilized world?
     
    Let us have a westernized, modern nation.....Let the hands of other countries not push us away from their borders and customs stations....Let no one think of the middle ages when the name "Turkey" comes to mind.....Let that stamp of the "backward nation" finally be erased permanently from our foreheads.

    So does this photograph, so reminscent of the middle ages, really mark the point at which we have arrived?

    Is this really the portrait of Turkey?
     
    Were you all really able to accept this?
     
    Please tell me....

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