I hereby declare the first General Amnesty of Zatss and unblock all blocked members. [*] I guess and hope that this unblocking won’t cause any annoyance or additional burden for members or admins. Let’s acknowledge and affirm that each of these blocks was due to this or that relative circumstance and none of them had any absolute significance. This gesture is also an affirmation of the universal significance of our group.
Here’s my message for today. I first wrote it as a post-doc to my colleagues in my university department:
~~~ Commemoration and celebration ~~~
This year’s Columbus Day coincides with the anniversary of an awful attack to a peace demonstration in Ankara that killed 100+ peaceful and rational people like me. Barış means Peace and it’s a relatively common name.
The attack was committed days before the repeated general elections last year and the current government has forbidden its commemoration in Ankara, the Turkish capital, also my birthplace.
The previous elections were cancelled because the political parties weren’t able to form a coalition, and also because R. T. Erdogan wanted it that way. The elections had taken place in June 7, three days before my birthday, to stretch the superstition.
I inquired about a commemoration in Boston, to be able to announce it here, but the ones who could organize such a commemoration (Bostonbullular) directed me to the Turkish consulate “for official and religious holidays and commemorations.”
My guess is that they unconsciously mistook October 10 for November 10, the death of the founder the Turkish state.
Unfortunately, I have severe doubts that the the Turkish consulate would dare to commemorate its ex-citizens when the Turkish state forbids their commemoration.
There is a common saying in Turkish: “There is no need to rediscover America.”
It means: If there is an established way of doing something, then it is a redundant endeavor to investigate other ways of doing the same thing.
But America wasn’t discovered as “America,” as if it were being displayed in a store front.
When Europeans discovered America as a continent, it was a contact with “Indians” at first, it became a discovery only later.
And it wasn’t a final discovery. Since then, (North) America never ceased to be rediscovered by others as well as itself, in both positive and negative senses.
So I just want to say that Turks are wrong. There is a need to rediscover America.
Happy Columbus day and god rest the souls of those killed in Ankara.
Işık Barış Fidaner