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    Mehmet Y. Yilmaz: Ah yes, those pesky freedoms!

    Hürriyet Haber
    10.02.2006 - 11:19 | Son Güncelleme:

    Here is part of what Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented to Arab TV station Al Jazeera the other day: "Is there such a thing as freedom with no limitations? We have to figure this out. I am thinking of starting a thought process on this question in my country. In every area, there are limits, and first of all, these must be clarified, recognized, and stayed within."

    We all know that book-reading is not something that sits well with the Prime Minister. You may remember, last year he made a comment along the lines of "I don't have time for reading." When I read these words, I couldn't help thinking that it would have been good if he had grabbed the time to make up for this deficit when he was younger, and life wasn't too busy for him. Because if he really followed this whole freedom subject, he would know that all of the most important arguments and turning points (let's start with the Magna Carta in 1215) in human history have sprung from this question. He would no doubt refrain from words like "freedoms have to be redefined," if he only knew that the current definitions have evolved over hundreds and hundreds of years.
     
    Also, forgive me if I'm wrong, but the impression I get from the Prime Minister's words is this: The Prime Minister will give the order, and a group of people will sit down to argue out things like 'ok, in this area, this much freedom, and in that area, that much freedom.' And in this way, they'll draw out the definitive borders of what freedoms do and don't exist, and in which areas. And then everyone will have to proceed according to what this delegation of border-drawerers has defined for us!
     
    This seems to me to be an approach suited for eastern societies who obey without questioning the political-religious-economic authorities, and who, for socio-historical reasons, have not taken on the concept of personal freedom. And there is no doubt that this approach is, in itself, opposed to the idea of freedom.
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