I decided to write this writ when I recently read a column by Ariel Dorfman published in the Newyork Review of Books. There is a section in that article as follows: “…Franco’s friend and mentor General José Millán Astray desecrated that temple of learning (University of Salamanca) with six words: ¡Abajo la inteligencia! ¡Viva la muerte! (“Down with intelligence! Long live death!”) (http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/10/12/trumps-war-on-knowledge/)
Yes, to praise and promote the death and to hate of education, science and wisdom is the sine qua non of all fascist regimes. When you look at Turkey, you can too often see Erdogan and his accomplices while praising and promoting the death and martyrdom. So much so that, Erdogan himself emphasizes at every turn that He took the road by wearing burial robe.
After the last year’s controversial coup attempt, Erdogan Regime opened a new front in its war against wisdom, education, science, and intelligence; it is the war for the ignorance against books. In this battle, a book can be designated as enemy element vis-a-vis its author or publishing house.
Erdogan Regime reaches a new peak in every turn on its way to fascism; such a pitch that Turkish Ministry of Culture has launched a legal investigation about 139,141 books and publications printed in Turkey by publishing houses shut down with emergency decrees. Turkish Ministry of Culture Numan Kurtulmuş who himself is a professor stated that investigation goes on in 1412 library across the Turkey. Its a new peak after disposal of the 900.000 books because of mentioning prominent Turkish Journalist Can Dundar and the 892.000 books because of containing the word of Pennsylvania (where Erdogan’s biggest enemy Fethullah Gulen resides) by the Ministry of Education. (http://t24.com.tr/haber/meb-yuz-binlerce-kitabi-imha-etti-pensilvanya-ifadesini-cikarttirarak-yeniden-bastirdi,377380)
Turkey’s nonesuch judiciary is the most efficient and brutal component of the war against books. Nowadays, any book which published by a company or a publish house shut down with emergency decrees is criminal evidence in Turkey without noticing it is a dictionary, a math book or even a Holy Quran.
Part from an evidence list annexed to an indictment
The extent of the ignorance we face is so sickening; Turkish people have to deal with the prosecutors who suppose Albert Camus and Spinoza are living members of a terrorist organisation. (http://gazeteyolculuk.net/orgutlu-cehalet-pkk-uyesi-albert-camus-spinoza-iddianamede). Also, the Turkish Ministry of Justice banned lots of book for prisoners.
I have bad news for Erdogan: he can’t win the war against books. All tyrants, dictators, and fascists have been defeated in this battle because, to create a reign of darkness, one has to blow out all candles and switch off all lights. A single beam of light, however, would be enough to cease it; knowledge and wisdom will prevail over ignorance as they always have.
So books do win and always will win. (AY)