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    Ertugrul Ozkok: From protest eggs to a Fenerbahce match; life marches on in Turkey

    Hürriyet Haber
    27 Eylül 2005 - 13:09Son Güncelleme : 27 Eylül 2005 - 13:09


    I am watching the news on Saturday afternoon, and they are showing images of the protestors in front of Bilgi University. I see people lobbing eggs at the back of journalist Cengiz Candar. And this question pops into my mind: Is throwing eggs a democratic way of protesting?

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    It should not be. But if you think that eggs have even been thrown at the prime ministers of a few countries, I guess you can come to the conclusion that this is an acceptable form of protest. I look at Candar. He continues on, slightly surprised, but determined in his path nonetheless. This is the Candar I know. Walking the road as though he knows it, sure of himself. So the picture saddens me, as it does everyone.
     
    But the real Turkey starts later. The Haberturk television station sets up a live broadcast with Candar. There is a picture of Candar on the screen, but his voice is coming from a really noisy place. "I am not in an appropriate place to speak" he says, but he continues anyway, talking about his views on the Armenian conference. A little later I realize that Cangiz Candar is at the Fenerbahce football stadium, watching a match. Which means he walked straight through the hail of eggs at that protest to watch a match.
     
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    Here is some of the color of Turkey. I don't know if you could ever see this in another country. My sadness lifts at that moment, and I begin to smile. Life goes on. Turkey is like that. I think the Armenian conference was carried out with as much maturity as possible. I read the opinions on Sunday. Some people thought the protestors outside the conference were "fascists." I didn't. The people of this country have lived for years under heavy accusations. The tragic events following WWI have been reflected in the media only in the form of the official Armenian thesis. No one has listened to voices coming out of Turkey. It is completely natural that Turkish citizens would respond to such heavy propoganda like that.
     
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    We all also know that the conference which occured in Istanbul over Saturday and Sunday would never happen in Yerevan. Not including Yerevan even, much stronger stuff than eggs would be thrown at participants of a similar conference in Paris or Los Angeles.
     
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    The headline in yesterday's Hurriyet was meaningful. The conference which took place on Saturday and Sunday allowed us to run it more comfortably. We need to echo the question that our headline was asking: The Turks did not rise up suddenly one day to kick out the Armenians, with whom they had been living in peace for the past 600 years. If we are going to be truthful in discussin human drama, let's all look for the answer to that question. What happened suddenly in those years? And let's not forget that some countries have made laws forbidding the utterance of the words "the Armenian genocide did not happen." Turkey passed this point.
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