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July 23, 2007

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The interesting thing about the recent election is that it sees the return of Kurdish candidates since about ten years ago, who were elected in record numbers to the Parliament, which makes that wild card wilder.

One theory floated by the Christian Science Monitor was that the Army had been in Eastern Turkey to embarrass the government and levy pressure on it. That's going to get more complicated now, obviously.

It'll be interesting to see how the AK constitutes its new majority in Parliament in relation to the above.

It is not our business to tell Turks how to run their country. However, as observers, I think we should be absolutely thrilled that a moderate, democratic, pro-civil liberties Islamist party has emerged in the Middle East, and even more thrilled that we had (as far as I know) nothing whatsoever to do with its rise. It is very important that serious, legitimate, and genuinely Islamic alternatives to radical Islamism emerge in the Middle East.

I think this is exactly right on, and thanks for it.

People forget that it took "the West", by which I mean Europe, the US, and Canada, hundreds of years to work out our current style of secular constitutional democracy. That process was very expensive, in effort and lives. Our form of government rose out of a particular political and social context and history, and is a good solution to a particular set of historical issues and dynamics.

And, evidently, we're still in the process of working out the kinks.

The Islamic nations of the middle east and southern Asia have their own hash to settle. We can try to be helpful, and if we're very wise, prudent, and lucky our efforts might actually be helpful. Then again, they might not. In any case, WE CANNOT SOLVE THE ISLAMIC WORLD'S PROBLEMS FOR THEM.

We can't, and it's extraordinarily arrogant to think we can.

Islam has a deep-rooted tradition of equality before God and before the law, and of equitable political community. There's no reason to assume that Islamic government means Taliban style sharia. I applaud the emergence of what appears to be a balanced Islamic political movement in Turkey, and I hope it works well for them.

We should butt the hell out.

Thanks!

Turkey is not an Islamic nation, it's a deeply divided country. There are millions of secular Turks who identify with the Kemalism/Laicism of modern Turkey and are simply appalled by the resurgence of Islamism in their country. They are people just as modern and secular as the rest of us and they certainly don't view the rise of even a moderate Islamic party as progress, but instead as a step backward, just as we view the religious conservatives in the US as backwards. You might not be wanting to tell Turkey what to do, but in fact you're telling those people to give up the modern Turkey they grew up with for an Islamic alternative. You minimize the headscarf issue, but in fact there is a huge debate all over Europe on this matter. The people who oppose headscarfs range from cultural conservatives to enlightenment liberals and left-wing feminists and are not against religious freedom, but for the seperation of church and state and against the creeping discrimination of women. It is a difficult issue and cannot be compared to someone wearing a yarmulke. In the same way Turkey is at a very difficult crossroads, especially if the EU accession talks are taken into consideration, since there is no room for an Islamic country in the EU.

I just thought it was interesting that Malkin is concerned about "sharia or secularism", but many of her right-wing allies in the United States believe that secularism is at the root of all our evils. What does Malkin think about that uniquely American form of sharia that is on the rise throughout this country, which brands "secular humanists" as tools of Satan and wants to establish a theocratic state under the tenets of Christian Dominionism?

novakant: I am not trying to tell the Turks anything. I am trying to tell Malkin et al: think hard before you leap to the conclusion that this is a bad thing.

If anyone can explain to me why it's bad to allow women to wear whatever they please, within the bounds of decency, I'd be grateful.

"You might not be wanting to tell Turkey what to do, but in fact you're telling those people to give up the modern Turkey they grew up with for an Islamic alternative."

I am sick to death of hearing this kind of argument. Secular Turks have a choice: do they want to go on living in the "modern Turkey they grew up with", or do they want to become a liberal democracy? The choice really is that stark. The "modern" Turkey of the secular hardcore is (dare we say "was"?) a repressive, at best partially free place. Modernity involves a lot more than headgear, and I believe that many secular Turks actually welcome the electorate's rebuke to the military, however they may have voted.

Another point that is too seldom made in the US news media is that much of the secular-religious divide is really a division over class. "Religious" here means uneducated and poor - and the elite's experience is that those people have no business interfering in the affairs of state, with or without head scarves. Moreover, rural Turkey has largely been overlooked in the sharing-out of modernity's blessings, in ways that are typical of emerging economies: for example, world-class university education is free for those who can pass the demanding entrance exams, but primary education in the poorer parts of the country is wretched. Given the chance to vote for a party that is less corrupt and more effective than any of its predecessors, AND that seeks to reflect the cultural values of the majority of ordinary Turks, one in two voters have chosen the AKP. Scary stories about Sharia law have mostly fooled only uninformed Western observers.

And one final word about the Malkin reaction, which I presume is typical of much of the American right: does this mean we can finally bury the absurd idea that these people want to promote democracy? On top of everything else, the main opposition CHP is leftist and far more anti-American than the AKP. What possible reason could a Malkin have for regretting their defeat, other than a visceral loathing of all things Muslim? And what sort of democracy promotion in the Middle East could possibly be based on anti-Muslim feeling?

And what sort of democracy promotion in the Middle East could possibly be based on anti-Muslim feeling?

the Ann Coulter kind: "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."

If anyone can explain to me why it's bad to allow women to wear whatever they please, within the bounds of decency, I'd be grateful.

Here you go: it's not about wearing a yarmulke, a nose-ring or a short skirt, it's about wearing a headscarf, which oftentimes is a symbol of female opression. In most cases it's not the women who out of the blue decide to wear a headscarf, but a male dominated society that pressures them more or less overtly to do so. It's also a religious symbol in a secular institution, it's not a fashion accessory, it stands for something, which is in many cases not compatible with a modern, liberal democracy.

Laicism is ingrained in the Turkish constitution, it shouldn't be up for debate. ANd the same Erdogan that you hold up as a hope for Turkey, was trying to criminalize adultery only 3 years ago.

It's really nothing personal, hilzoy, but the naivety with which these things tend to be discussed in the US just is just breathtaking.

P.S. I don't care about Michelle Malkin at all.

Novakant: yes, I see that. (Fwiw, I've spent some time in Turkey.) But I've always felt that restrictions like these make most sense as ways to wrench a society away from a pervasive intertwining of religion and state -- a sort of incredibly forcible corection -- and that once the correction has well and truly taken hold, they become less necessary.

In Turkey in particular, I think that it has been true for some time that the country has outgrown its need for Kemalism, including both this particular version of secularism and Atatürk's version of nationalism. I don't think that there's any reason to go on denying the Armenian genocide, pretending that Kurds are just 'mountain Turks', regarding any manifestation of the culture of any non-Turkish minority as a threat to the state, etc. Likewise, I don't think there's any reason not to let wear women wear what they want, whatever we think of it.

Kemalism has, I think, served its purpose. It has become ossified. Turkey is, I think, strong enough to shed it.

In most cases it's not the women who out of the blue decide to wear a headscarf, but a male dominated society that pressures them more or less overtly to do so.

Because many women wear brassieres, not out of genuine personal choice, but because they are pressured to by fathers and husbands as well as by a sexually repressive, male-dominated society, the United States should ban the wearing of brassieres.

Makes sense, doesn't it?

Anderson: why stop there? We could go on to outlaw high heeled shoes (very uncomfortable, can lead to lasting damage), thong underwear (aka the deliberate self-induced wedgie), bikinis (I ask you: why a bathing suit that seems to have been designed to risk falling off whenever you do a racing dive?), miniskirts (completely useless, and require an engineering dgree to figure out how to sit down in w/o embarrassment), booty shorts (ew), all clothes made of slithery slimy material as opposed to nice cool cotton and linen, the use of leather except in shoes, belts, and bomber jackets, long hair, nail polish, makeup ... one could go on and on and on.

Have to disagree with you about bras, though. One of the few cases in which things that look nice can also be comfy.

there is no room for an Islamic country in the EU

Curious that they've been going through this whole process for years now (or joining the EU). And they didn't stop with the election of Erdogan. Could you expand on your theory- do you mean that Turkey as currently constituted couldn't make it in the EU?

it stands for something, which is in many cases not compatible with a modern, liberal democracy

Perhaps we ought to ban Islam completely, since its theory isn't compatible with modern, liberal democracy. And Christian Reconstructionism too. Strip clubs. EarthFirst. Neo-nazis. We can burn copies of "The Surrendered Wife" and the Koran.

Or maybe it's you deciding what's appropriate for other people to do, wear, say, or think that is not compatible with modern, liberal democracy.

Hilzoy, I won't deny the crimes and downsides of Kemalism, it has been a two-edged sword precisely because it was imposed on a large part of Turkish society. On the other hand, I don't think all of these people are fervent deniers of the Armenian genocide or minority oppressors, but that they were moved by the urgent concern for the future path of their country. As for the headscarves, as I said, laicism is one of the fundamental pillars of the Turkish constitution and I don't think it should be changed. The same holds for France, which is certainly strong enough in its identity but has adopted it as a defining principle of their state. If we didn't have to worry about the social structures behind the headscarf movement, fine, let everybody wear what they want, but I think we are far away from that point. What worries me about Turkey is precisely what DaveL pointed out: that the conservative values of the poor and often illiterate rural population will define a future Turkey. These people have not yet arrived in modernity and while there certainly should be something done about this divide in Turkish society, adopting their values is to my mind a horrible step backwards.

"Curious that they've been going through this whole process for years now (or joining the EU). And they didn't stop with the election of Erdogan. Could you expand on your theory- do you mean that Turkey as currently constituted couldn't make it in the EU?"

I think the statement was more about the EU than about Turkey. The EU wants a more democratic Turkey and a less Islamic Turkey. That is a rather unlikely combination.

The number of EU countries likely to want Turkey in the EU if has a noticeably Islamic character is fairly low.

The number of EU countries likely to want Turkey in the EU if has a noticeably Islamic character is fairly low.

There are specific qualifications a country must meet to become a member of the EU. There have been arguments every time membership was expanded to include more countries. The notion that Turkey would be turned down because it's majority-Islamic is profoundly against the principles of the European Union.

The choice in the minds of many Turks is this: sharia or secularism? East or West? Submission or resistance?
Or put more truthfully: "The choice in the minds of many Turks is this: hardline secularism or religious accomodation? Military rule or democracy? Submission or resistance?"

I don't want Turkey to become an Islamic state any more than Malkin does, but to suggest that this election is a vote for sharia is absurd. She should be celebrating the fact that voters faced down the military and their less than subtle threats. She should also recognise that the hateful EU is the best bulwark there is against sharia law in Turkey.

Anderson, that's all very entertaining, but if you've seen the oppression behind it's suddenly not so funny anymore.

Could you expand on your theory- do you mean that Turkey as currently constituted couldn't make it in the EU

Currently, no. See, religion is on its way out in the EU, it doesn't really play much of a role in the policy making process anymore. You've got some holdovers from the past (Ireland) and a pesky new addition to the mix (Poland), but in the mind of the general population religion is loosing more and more of its grip and the EU is the most secular region in the world. If you add a country, that has another religion and in which the trajectory seems to go in another direction (away from secularism), it's no surprise that people feel a bit critical about that. There are other considerations, such as how much we really have in common with the Turks, the sheer size of the population and if the EU really wants to have borders with Iran, Iraq and Syria

The number of EU countries likely to want Turkey in the EU if has a noticeably Islamic character is fairly low.

I think we're running into semantic shoals here- Turkey *has* a noticeably Islamic character. And I don't think the EU wants a 'less Islamic' Turkey.
Unless by 'Islamic' you mean 'theocratic' or 'jihadist'?

novakant: given the history of repression perpetrated by the guardians of Turkish laicism, the Army, I cannot imagine that the AK Party is going to hold a candle to them. This is true even if we leave aside the majority of repression under the various military dictatorships: that directed against Kurds and political opponents. The AK Party has been better for women than its predecessors.

Back when I was in Turkey, if a woman was raped, she had practically no options other than prostitution. That was that. Out onto the street. Nor does legal discrimination against what the WSJ calls "non-virgin and unmarried women" fill me with admiration for women's erstwhile protectors. The situation for women in Turkey was dreadful, and it has improved.

When the AK Party actually shows some signs of serious infringements of rights, I will protest. But when all they are doing is undoing some of the odder remnants of Turkey's past, while simultaneously incarnating one of the developments I most with for, the emergence of genuinely moderate and genuinely Islamic parties, I think I'll reserve my right to be pleased.

There are other considerations, such as how much we really have in common with the Turks, the sheer size of the population and if the EU really wants to have borders with Iran, Iraq and Syria

None of that seems relevant, unless you think a secular Turkey *physically* moves away from the rest of the Islamic world, reduces their population, gets fascinated with soccer, etc.

I don't doubt that there are people in Europe who don't want Turkey in the EU. There may even be some people who hold this position because of religion. But I don't see any evidence that a leader standing up for a moderately religious position is going to create a backlash. As you pointed out, the EU already has member states with strongly-religious populations, and it doesn't seem to be a serious problem.

That is, you seem to be making a general case against admitting Turkey to the EU, not explaining why Ergodan is going to make it impossible when it currently seems likely.

Wait a minute here: the same people who scream that "In God We Trust" must never be removed from our coins are worried that secular humanism has lost control of the Turkish government?

hilzoy, at the risk of repeating myself:

Erdogan wanted to criminalize adultery in 2004 - this wasn't something he said drunk at a private function but a major government initiative, only taken back under severe pressure by several forces. Now maybe he's a reformed character now, who knows, maybe he's just playing nice to get Turkey into the EU - but I will reserve judgement for quite a while. As for the Kemalist justice system, yeah it was pretty shitty.

Novakant: You've got some holdovers from the past (Ireland) and a pesky new addition to the mix (Poland), but in the mind of the general population religion is losing more and more of its grip and the EU is the most secular region in the world.

No: really not. Precisely because the EU is not the most secular region in the world, what EU governance is steadily moving towards is the principle (which Americans ought to be familiar with) that no one religion, and no one church, ought to have any power except religious. This is not a place to stand when no one has a religion: it's a place to stand when there are lots of competing religious views.

France has a long, long tradition of fiercely secular government, but the power of the religious right is growing like a storm, and that, not anti-religious feeling, is the source of their discriminatory legislation targeting Muslim schoolgirls.

Haven't seen Marbel in a while, but she could tell you that the Netherlands is not an irreligious country, just a country where religion doesn't run the government. The same could be said for Belgium, where abortion is still illegal (primarily, so Belgians tell me, because their government knows women who need abortions just take the train to any one of the neighboring countries where abortion is readily and immediately available).

As the UK, where bishops sit in government and England has an Established Church and public services and schools are commonly run by churches, it is not a secular country: I live there, I should know!

"The notion that Turkey would be turned down because it's majority-Islamic is profoundly against the principles of the European Union."

That's nice. But that doesn't make it any less of a reality.

Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, former French President and currently one of the leaders in the creation of the proposed EU Constitution has said that Turkey's inclusion would be the "End of Europe". And I don't think his view is uncommon at all.

The bottom line is that you have to respect Turkish democracy, even if an Islamist party presents troubling issues. The real key is the extent to which the ruling party in fact adopts sharia-like policies (which would probably provoke a serious crisis with the military).

As for head scarves, they are not the functional equivalent of crosses or other religious symbols. They are the functional equivalent of the chador-lite. I understand that Catholicism at one time had a credo regarding head scarves, but it was not the same thing. Nor, necessarily, are head scarves for Muslim women automatically a symbol of the oppression of women, but there is too much tradition there of requiring women to cover themselves as an aspect of relegating them to second class status.

Adult women should be free to wear them anywhere. The whole issue with schools is another story and a special case which has created problems in the US as to what constitutes a proper amount of control in a place which by definition has to exercise some oppressive control in order to function.

"That is, you seem to be making a general case against admitting Turkey to the EU, not explaining why Ergodan is going to make it impossible when it currently seems likely."

I don't think you've been paying much attention in the last 5 years or so. It has been looking less and less likely every year for the past 5. (Which I think is a very sad thing, but true nevertheless).

oh go on Jes, only 20% of EU citizens consider religion important and as for the UK, very few really seem to give a damn; of course there's variation since we're talking about 27 countries, but the trend is clear

I don't think you've been paying much attention in the last 5 years or so.

Well, it's certainly complicated, and I don't pretend to know enough to assign a probability to it. Perhaps "not unlikely" would've been a better phrase; what I meant was that, despite novakant's objections to the EU accepting an Islamic Turkey, such an event certainly seems like a reasonable outcome & Im not sure what he foresaw changing that would make this impossible (or if perhaps he saw it as impossible now). Ergodan appears to me to be to be doing more good than harm to Turkey's EU bid. So far, anyway.

Being from the EU (Germany to be precise), I think I should add my 2 Euro cent.
There is a strong position here (almost exclusively on the right) that Turkey can do/achieve whatever it wants, it will not be welcome in the "Christian Europe" (often the Turks before Vienna are mentioned in that context). Independent of their religion Turks are seen by many as "alien" and "not of us".
Germany has a strong Turkish minority and many fear that with Turkey in the EU the floodgates would open. The policies in the past to encourage Turks to work here but not to assimilate (because that would encourage them to stay permanently and, oh horror, have their family coming here too) have created a fenceless ghetto situation, i.e. districts in cities that are almost exclusively Turkish, allowing new arrivals to avoid assimilation too. Thus the majority can "stay foreign". In contrast other (and usually newer) minorities (e.g. East Asians) are far more dispersed and thus don't create the impression of "invasion". Look how the Latino "invasion" is seen in certain circles in the US and you have a decent equivalent how Turks are seen by many in the EU.
My personal opinion is that Turkey should be encouraged to go forth on the path it has chosen and that there should be a reliable chance to join the EU at the end of a not short but finite process that would step by step transfer the "privileges" of membership until the admission becomes a mere formality. On the other hand, the option should be available (alas, it isn't) to kick out members (at least temporarily) that don't play by the rules (Greece, currently Poland and occasionally Italy).
Btw, there is talk whether Israel should be admitted. That's a definite No from my side (and would be even without the festering conflicts). Turkey has a geographical foot in Europe (though a diminished one), Isreal has not.
Concerning the proposed "ban on adultery", I know for sure that this would not be completely unpopular with many European conservatives. There were strong protests when it was removed from the German penal code just a few decades ago. The weakened "Blasphemy §166"* is also still questioned from both left and right (the former want to drop it completely the latter give it back its teeth). So, it would not be specific Turk backwardness.

*today it only punishes insults against religion that are intended and likely to cause public riots. Its official title is now "Disturbance of the religious peace" and is practically unused (like e.g. §310b, Careless causing of nuclear explosions ;-)).

well, my influence on EU policy is fairly limited

oh go on Jes, only 20% of EU citizens consider religion important

My initial reaction is exactly the opposite of yours; about 25% of the US is black or latino (about 12.5% each). And I certainly wouldn't consider them insignificant either culturally or politically.

Once upon a time, I rather seriously considered marrying someone from another country, and looked into all the stuff about getting a visa. One of the things you have to certify is that the person is not coming into the US to commit any criminal acts. I just breezed right by that, since neither he nor I are likely to commit what I usually think of as criminal acts, until I suddenly thought: wait a minute, I have heard tell that there are laws on the books in the state of MA, somewhere, criminalizing -- well, all manner of sexual acts. I looked them up, and sure enough, there they were. And not particularly kinky sexual acts either, unless you think Bill and Monica were doing something kinky even when no cigars were involved. I normally don't believe in lying, period, and so I wondered: what am I going to do about this? Can we honestly say that we are not intending to commit criminal acts? Yikes!

I did not in fact marry him, so the need for a decision never arose.

Muslims are currently about 4% in Germany (but only about 11% of that are citizens), most of them Turks (followed by Bosnians at a long distance). Before the German Reunion the percentage was even higher in the FRG (the GDR didn't add many Muslims).
Definitely nothing that can be easily ignored.
For comparision: 3.3 million Muslims but only 0.2 million Jews (numbers estimated).

oh go on Jes, only 20% of EU citizens consider religion important and as for the UK, very few really seem to give a damn

We're still not secular.

And I say this as an atheist, goddammit...

The policies in the past to encourage Turks to work here but not to assimilate (because that would encourage them to stay permanently and, oh horror, have their family coming here too) have created a fenceless ghetto situation, i.e. districts in cities that are almost exclusively Turkish, allowing new arrivals to avoid assimilation too. Thus the majority can "stay foreign".

I agree on the ghetto situation but you will admit that it's not solely the fault of the German side (whose failed policy and attitudes I don't deny in the past) . A friend of mine was tasked to teach German to first-generation Turkish women in Berlin and found out that 90% were illiterate. The men handled all things involving reading and writing, as well as all monetary matters. The current generation of Turkish children often arrives at primary school knowing barely a word of German, this is mostly due to the success of satellite TV and the mothers not speaking German at home. This phenomenon is restricted to the lower and lower middle class, but that's were most of the Turks in Germany are from. There are cultural differences that bar these people from participating in society and denying them doesn't help in overcoming them.

novakant: The people who oppose headscarfs range from cultural conservatives to enlightenment liberals and left-wing feminists and are not against religious freedom, but for the seperation of church and state and against the creeping discrimination of women.

Actually, all of them - by definition - in opposing the right of a woman to wear a headscarf if she wants to, are in fact supporting the creeping discrimination against women and against Muslims.

The argument against wearing facial veils or masks* is a separate, though related, argument; but the notion that while it's OK for a woman to wear a headscarf if it's irreligious, it becomes wrong for her to do so if she does so as a Muslim, is pure anti-feminism and pure Islamophobia.

Feminists may (and I do) argue that the religious custom of regarding a woman's body as indecent and to be covered is profoundly anti-feminist (just as, in another context, is the religious custom of regarding a woman as a body unable to serve Mass) but that does not imply that feminists think the government should be allowed to tell women they may not wear headscarves if they choose, nor intervene unreasonably between parents and children.

*There are practical reasons why it may be completely inappropriate in some circumstances to have people covering their faces: when taking an exam or when driving a car, for example, or teaching a class. None of these apply to headscarves.

novakant: The current generation of Turkish children often arrives at primary school knowing barely a word of German

At that age, kids pick up their new language fast. It's not a problem unless the government choose to make it into a problem.

On a positive note re Turkish immigrants in Germany, I once met one of the Yerli brothers and their business is amazing success story.

One aspect is that most of the "guest worker generation" came from "backward" Eastern Turkey. My personal experience at (primary) school was strangely enough the opposite. I had lots of "foreign" classmates (none of them from the "ghetto" though) that had to train their mother tongue after school because their natural language was German. It was true in some cases that they spoke with their mothers in Turkish (or Serbo-Croat, that was the second largest group) because those would not even try to learn German (independent of social status).
I think there was a mix of lack of opportunity and need.
The current policy against "illiterate import brides"* has some merits but is still informed by political xenophobia (the left sees it as a break in the vicious circle, the right as a welcome extra hoop to jump through = keeping more Turks away).

*and import husbands for girls born here (that usually would prefer their own choice instead of an arranged marriage with someone from a culture not their own anymore)

I normally don't believe in lying, period, and so I wondered: what am I going to do about this? Can we honestly say that we are not intending to commit criminal acts? Yikes!

Oh, you Kantians ... lie, already!

An "Ask Immanuel Kant" advice column parody would be pretty good, but I am too lazy to write one.

modern women who wear veils are just as infuriating as the modern educated woman who stays home to raise a family...

some people wonder at the choice, but as long as no one is forcing them to make it, live and let live...

i for one, being halfway through Theroux's The Great Railway Bazaar appreciated the Kemal tie and do not believe that the AK has demonstrated some evidence that it will not impose strict sharia law. that, as novokant pointed out, they considered outlawing adultery is no more obnoxious to me than the US ban on sodomy. i am sure it would be easy to cite specific actions that could be troubling in a different context. it appears we do not, yet, need to fear this.

i also find hollow concerns that Turkey would seek to use it's military to protect its borders from terrorists. i fail to see how Bush could possibly get on his high horse about that!

that should be I do believe that the AK has given some evidence that it will not impose sharia law.

Anderson,

"An "Ask Immanuel Kant" advice column parody would be pretty good, but I am too lazy to write one."

A friend of mine, who used to live in hilzoy's neck of the woods, published a humorous literary magazine which included a feature called Philosophy and You, which provided thumbnail descriptions of various philosophers arguments, all of which then were boiled down to the same few (non-philosophic) cliches. The same magazine had an Ask Elvis column, where the late musician answered advice queries by quoting his lyrics. Putting the two concepts together is beyond my limitations, but could be most amusing.

An "Ask Immanuel Kant" advice column parody would be pretty good, but I am too lazy to write one.

Well, it's got no Kant, but... Dear Philosopher

Dear Immanuel -

I was writing a prolegomena to something the other day (I'd rather not say what), and I got to the point of positing that the maxim of the act of writing a prolegomena is logically incapable of contradicting itself when asserted as a universal law. My question is - am I immoral for writing the prolegomena, or for positing the maxim?

Yours truly,
Martin in Marburg

Dear M in M: If your maxim not only does not contradict itself when asserted as a universal law, but is logically incapable of doing so, I fail to see the problem.

Yours,

Immanuel.

"My question is - am I immoral for writing the prolegomena, or for positing the maxim?"

The answer to the above is yes, and no -- but not necessarily in that order.

First, it is absolutely necessary to pause a
moment, and, neglecting all that has been done, to propose first the preliminary question: 'Whether such a thing as a 'prolegomena be
at all possible?'

If not, then you kant proceed with any assurance of success.

Hilzoy: I assume you are kidding about this having been a dilemma, right? I have a tough time recognizing sometimes when my leg is being pulled.

Ara: if you mean the Kant thing, I didn't write it.

Hilzoy: No, um, the marital dilemma, about having to lie about breaking the laws of MA.

I just wanted to post something on here. My husband is Turkish and his family is Muslim, very strong in fact. They belong to the secularist party (which is actually called the Republican Party over there) the reasons they object to Erdogan are many. They feel he has manipulated the poor Islamic families by using Islam to get elected. He only has a high school education and embarrasses them by the way he speaks. He was not rich before getting into office, but suddenly bought a huge ship for himself and wears a $60,000 watch and when asked about it from the press called it something like a "watchee" and called his ship a "shipee" basically indicating that this is nothing compared to his wealth and speaking like a child on National TV. He is selling ports and other assets of Turkey off to other rival countries like Greece and Italy, which will be in detriment to Turkey's economy. They fear he is doing and will do what other (including a woman prez) presidents have done in the past to take bribes and literally steal money from the country and take off after their presidency was over(their woman president did this) He was even paying bribing checks to people to vote for him. Their secularists aren't against Islam, many of them are Muslim, just the more educated and modern ones. This is why it infuriates them to have an uneducated man like Erdogan manipulating their entire country in order to profit for himself. He doesn't care about Turkey at all and will probably move to Saudi Arabia with all the money he steals at the end of his presidency. Leaving Turkey's economy devastated and that is what really scares the modern, educated people of Turkey. No offense, but you people really don't know what is really going on over there. Only novakant seems to understand as far as I read.

Dear "hilzoy",

I enjoyed reading your deep thoughs on the Turkish electoral outcome. Your article has been included in a "Best of the Blogs" feature at the Atlantic Community. You are of course more than welcome to comment and read how other bloggers have evaluated the AKP's success.

Check it out here: Turkey After the Elections: Bloggers See a Bright Future

Best regards,
Tobias

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