184. Today in 1920s Turkey: 5 January 1924 (The Limits of the Law: On Legislators with Boundary Issues)

in #history3 months ago (edited)

no1649- p2 detail best- 5 Jan 1924- Karagoz- HTUK.jpg
(Column, Karagöz, 5 January 1924, no. 1649, page 2. Hakkı Tarık Us Collection, Beyazıt Library, Istanbul.)

Türkçe

Neler Görecekmişiz!

Dediler ki cumhuriyet en medeni bir hükümet şeklidir. Halk hükümetinin en kuvvetli temelidir. Ve ben de biliyorum ki cumhuriyet son system bir hükümet makinesidir. Öyle bir makine ki iyi kullanılıyorsa, iyi ustalar idare ederse saat gibi tıkır tıkır işler, en yeni vidalar, en sağlam civatalar ve en son icat edilmiş alet ve edevat ile bir memleketi cennete çevirir! Cumhuriyet adeta yenilik, gençlik ve kuvvetlilik demektir. Cumhuriyet hükümeti memlekette herkesi yeniliğe yürütür, gençliğe yürütür, hayata, nura ve hakikata yürütür! Halbuki genç Türk Cumhuriyeti’nde ben pek beklediğimiz o kuvvetli “nur”u, hayatı ve hakikatı henüz göremiyorum ve anlayamıyorum ki “Cumhuriyet” eline asa, sırtına aba alıp bizim memlekete öyle mi girdi. Benim bildiğim “Cumhuriyet” şen, genç ve dinç bir “timsal”dir. Bunu bir Bedevi bir şeyh bir vaiz kıyafetinde görmek için on iki asır geri gitmek lazımdır. Eğer geriye atılacak bir adımın bin bir tehlikesi olduğuna inandıysak cumhuriyeti her memlekette olduğu gibi genç ve dinç kıyafetle içimizde yaşatalım. Maksata geleyim: millet meclisinde acaip acaip mebuslar türedi. Kimi kalkıyor:

— Istanbul’da tramvaylardan perdeler niçin kalktı diyor. Kimi kalkıyor:

— Cuma günleri sinemalar kapansın çünkü herkes camiiye gidiyor, diyor.

Kimi kalkıyor:

— Herkes Cuma günü “gusül” abdesti alsın pis pis gezmesin diyor!

[هاند] ise yarin öbür gün bir hafız bilmem-ne-efendi kalkacak ve muhterem meclisin o kıymetli dakikalarını hiç sayarak mesela:

— Memlekette çalgı yasak olsun, resim chikartanlar cezaya çarpılsın! Herkes günde iki kere tütsülsün!

Diye takrir verecek! Rica ederim efendiler. Arkanızdaki muazzam milletin vicdanına, imanına ve hususi hayatına karışacak kadar salahiyeti kimden aldınız. Size verdiğimiz vekalet o kadar vasi mi sanıyorsunuz. Vakıa memleketinin idari siyasi işlerinde vekilimizsiniz. Fakat imanımıza, ittikadımıza ve hususi hayatımıza müdahale edemezsiniz. Cuma günü sinemaları kapayamazsınız, halkı zorla camiiye sokamazsınız. Halka zorla gusül abdesti aldıramazsınız. Bunlar imana ve şahsa ait şeylerdir. Allah ile kul arasına girmek için kimden müsaide aldınız? Dünya işlerini bitirdiniz de halkın ahiretine de karışmaya kalktınız! Fakat müsaide eden biz sizden, yani bu teklifleri yapan iki üç mebustan iki üç şey soralım:

Bütçemizin açığı 53 milyon diyorsunuz. Bunu kapatmak için ne tedbir düşünüyorsunuz. Gusül abdesti mi? İstila gören iki vilayetimizde daha tek çivi çakılıp tek bina çatılmadı. Buna karşı ne düşünüyorsunuz. Sinemaları kapatmak mı? Beşyüz bin muhacir geldi geliyor ve gelecek! Bunları barındırmak için ne çareler buldunuz. Halkı camiiye sokmak mı?

Fakat efendiler, tarih önünde ve bu mazlum millet önünde biraz da ciddi iş görelim ve ağzımızdan çıkanı bilelim! Marmara’dan gelen düşman donanmasına karşı Yedikule duvarlarını badana ettirecek kafa ki sadrazamlar tarihe karıştı sanıyorduk. Meğer yedi yıl döğüştükten sonra aç, çıplak kalan bu [?] milletin refahı için ona gusül abdesti aldıran mebuslar da görecekmişiz!

Büyük millet meclisi muhterem heyetinden rica ederim ki aralarındaki böyle zavallılara tarihin hangi noktasında olduğumuzu ihtar etsinler!

English

What Things We Would See!

They said that a republic is the most civilized form of government. It is the strongest foundation to a people’s government. And I, too, know that a republic is a government machine of the latest system. It is such a machine that if it is used well, if good mechanics/conductors take care of it, it will run like a clock; with the newest screws, the strongest bolts and the most recently invented tools and equipment, it can turn a country into paradise! Republic practically means newness, youth, and strength. The republican government guides/walks everyone in the country to novelty, to youth, to life, to light and to the truth! Whereas I cannot see that strong “light,” life and truth that we expected in the young Turkish Republic yet and I don’t understand, did the “Republic” enter our country with a staff in its hand and a cloak on its back? The “Republic” I know is an example of joy, youth, and vigor. You would have to go back twelve centuries to see this in the cloth of a Bedouin, a sheikh, a preacher. If we believed that there are one thousand and one dangers to stepping backwards then let’s allow the Republic to live among us with a young and energetic costume/garb. Let me get to the point: all sorts of strange representatives have sprung up in the assembly. Some are getting up and saying:

— Why are the curtains being removed from Istanbul’s trolleys?

Others are getting up and saying:

— The movie theaters should be closed on Friday because everyone goes to the mosque.

Another is getting up and saying:

— Everyone should take a major ablution (shower) on Friday so as to not walk around all dirty!

[هاند] tomorrow or the next day another (religious) person by whatever name will get up and, disregarding that venerable assembly’s precious minutes, propose something like:

— Music should be banned from the country, those who have pictures made should be fined! Everyone should be fumigated with incense twice a day (to avert evil)!

Please, gentlemen. From whom did you acquire the authority to involve yourselves in the conscience, the faith, and the private affairs of the mighty nation behind you? Do you think that the power we gave you is that extensive? It is true that you are our representatives governing political affairs in our country. But you cannot interfere in our faith, our beliefs, and our private lives. You cannot close the movie theaters on Friday, you cannot force the people into mosques. You cannot make the people take major ablutions. These are things belonging to faith and the person. Who did you get permission from to get between God and his subject? So you finished all the worldly matters and now you are trying to involve yourself in the peoples’ afterlives! But let us, we who grant you permission, ask a few questions of you, the two or three representatives who made these proposals:

You say our national deficit is 53 million. What measures are you thinking of to close this? Major ablutions? Two of our provinces that faced invasion/occupation have not had a single nail hammered or a single building propped (back) up. What do you think about this? Closing the movie theaters? Five hundred thousand emigrants are in the process of arriving! What solutions have you found to house/shelter them? Getting the people into a mosque?

But gentlemen, let us perform a bit of serious work before history and before this aggrieved nation and let us pay attention to what is coming out of our mouths! We thought that the same mentality that whitewashed the walls of Yedikule with the enemy fleets that came from the Sea of Marmara vanished into ancient history. Turns out (today) we are seeing representatives who would make a nation, who was left hungry and destitute after fighting seven years, have to take major ablutions to attain prosperity!

I beg of the Grand National Assembly’s venerable committee that they remind those poor souls among them what point in history we currently occupy!

Comments:
Since the article is long, I will keep my comments brief. The above column was published in the bi-weekly journal, Karagöz in response to recent, rather absurd proposals that were floated in national congressional meetings. Some of these proposals are mentioned in the column. The column discusses the limits of authority in the Republic and questions whether this new system of government (est. 29 October 1923, just 2 months prior) will simply become another vehicle of oppression.

After describing the nature of a “republic” in rather idealized and abstract terms, the article moves on to enumerate some of the more egregious legislative suggestions considered by a few representatives in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM or its English acronym, TGNA). These proposals, such as the closing of movie theaters on Fridays, were singled out for their infringements on personal freedoms and faith.

The unnamed author moves on to list the more important and pressing matters that demand the attention of these representatives such as providing winter housing for emigrants, rebuilding cities damaged from the war, and balancing the budget. He begs the question: with so many important matters requiring the nation’s attention, is it wise to focus on trivial, faith-based affairs? Moreover, the author asserts that this nation — who is war-torn and tired from seven long years of struggles (WWI 1914–18 and the War of Independence 1919–1922) — deserves to be treated better rather than infantilized with laws about how frequently to shower. Such attempted legislative transgressions, according to the author, is not why the Republic was founded and not why the War of Independence was fought and won.