FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Turkey Targets Chomsky

by Robert Fisk

Noam Chomsky, one of America’s greatest philosophers and linguists, has become the target of Turkey’s chief of “terrorism prosecution”.

Scarcely two months after the European Union praised Turkey for passing new laws protecting freedom of expression, the authorities in Ankara are using anti -terrorism legislation to prosecute Mr Chomsky’s Turkish publisher.

Fatih Tas of the Aram Publishing House faces a year in prison for daring to print American Interventionism, a collection of Mr Chomsky’s recent essays including harsh criticism of Turkey’s treatment of its Kurdish minority. Mr Chomsky, a linguistics professor at MIT, is planning to fly to Turkey for Mr Tas’s first court appearance on 13 February and has already written to the offices of the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, pointing out that amendments to Turkish law were supposed to have provided greater freedom of expression, not less.

Mr Chomsky plans to visit the Turkish city of Diyarbakir to meet Kurdish “activists” and it will be a test of Turkey’s freedoms to see if he is allowed to visit the area.

In one of his essays, originally a university lecture, he says that “the Kurds have been miserably oppressed throughout the whole history of the modern Turkish state … In 1984, the Turkish government launched a major war in the south-east against the Kurdish population … The end result was pretty awesome: tens of thousands of people killed, two to three million refugees, massive ethnic cleansing with some 3,500 villages destroyed.”

This, according to the Turks, constitutes an incitement to violence. Mr Chomsky has been suitably outraged, regarding the trial as part of a much broader wave of repression directed against Kurds appealing for greater use of the Kurdish language. Bekir Rayif Aldemyr, Turkey’s chief prosecutor, claims that the Chomsky essay “propagates separatism”.

A spiky, inexhaustible academic of Jewish origin who has been an inveterate critic of Israel and especially of the United States, Mr Chomsky’s condemnation of Turkey’s treatment of the Kurds –and of the vast arms shipments made to Turkey by the United States –was bound to enrage Ankara.

Mr Chomsky describes the prosecution as “a very severe attack on the most elementary human and civil rights”. The EU, so impressed by those changes in Turkish law last November, has remained silent.

Robert Fisk writes for the Independent, where this column originally appeared. 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Mel Gurtov
Donald Trump’s Lies And Team Trump’s Headaches
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious Madness in Ulster
Dean Baker
The Economics of the Affordable Care Act
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fisk
How a Trump Presidency Could Have Been Avoided
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
Dan Bacher
New CA Carbon Trading Legislation Answers Big Oil’s Call to Continue Business As Usual
Wayne Clark
A Reset Button for Political America
Chris Welzenbach
“The Death Ship:” An Allegory for Today’s World
Uri Avnery
Being There
Peter Lee
The Deep State and the Sex Tape: Martin Luther King, J. Edgar Hoover, and Thurgood Marshall
Patrick Hiller
Guns Against Grizzlies at Schools or Peace Education as Resistance?
Randy Shields
The Devil’s Real Estate Dictionary
Ron Jacobs
Singing the Body Electric Across Time
Ann Garrison
Fifty-five Years After Lumumba’s Assassination, Congolese See No Relief
Christopher Brauchli
Swing Low Alabama
Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones
La Realidad: the Realities of Anti-Mexicanism
Jon Hochschartner
The Five Least Animal-Friendly Senate Democrats
Pauline Murphy
Fighting Fascism: the Irish at the Battle of Cordoba
Susan Block
#GoBonobos in 2017: Happy Year of the Cock!
Louis Proyect
Is Our Future That of “Sense8” or “Mr. Robot”?
Charles R. Larson
Review: Robert Coover’s “Huck out West”
David Yearsley
Manchester-by-the-Sea and the Present Catastrophe
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail