Edip Yuksel’s Speech
at European Parliament
7 June 2012
Below you will find the text and video of my speech at European Parliament in June 7, 2012. First time in my life, I made an obscene or insult gesture by showing my middle finger to the warmongers towards the end of the end of my speech:
“We are now using drones to assassinate people without trial, poor people who stand against our aggression and hegemony. The list of wars, covert operations and countries bombed by the USA-Inc, printed in 9 points Times Roman, single space, one line for each country, is five times longer than my middle finger. With Cognitive Dissonance every bloody list is possible!”
The link to the youtube video is in the bottom of the text. I recommend you reading the submitted text to the conference before watching the video. I did not have sufficient time to share all in my speech. I received a few more minutes to list the solutions in the end of the panel, which is not in the video clip I posted on youtube.
Dear sisters and brothers, peace, salam, shalom, aşiti!
During my research on the Constitution of countries for a legal article I witnessed that the Turkish Constitution was the only constitution that contained an article, banning a language, the Kurdish language. The 1982 Turkish Constitution, ironically, referred to the “banned language” under the subtitle “Freedom of Expression.” Some resisted to this cultural genocide and some yielded and were assimilated. Unfortunately, I belong to the second group. I know, more or less 5 languages, and thanks to my Turkish brothers, my mother tongue is the poorest of all.
I know the evil of racism firsthand. I lost my brother, Metin Yüksel, to the cowardly bullets of Turkish nationalists. While in Turkish prison, I was put in the same ward with the murderers of my brother. And, one of them is now an elected member of Turkish National Congress.
I teach and lecture without reading from papers. It is boring, I know. But, knowing that I tend to wonder in details while talking, and knowing the time limitations I decided to share with you my thoughts and feelings by reading from the paper. Please bear with me and listen to me carefully.
I am not going to talk just about a massacre happened some years ago… I am not a good story teller and I think there is another way besides discussing the details of past atrocities followed by finger-pointing, since we are all criminals, we all contribute to the unfair, myopic, diabolic echo system that is doomed to generate this sorts of tragedies and even more. As long as we do not focus on the main causes, yes plural, of all conflicts, fights, and atrocities that is committed by our ancestors we will never be able to break the cycle. Remember we are the children of Cain, the children of the killers who survived, the children of winners, bullies.
But, I believe that we are in a threshold point in history, in which we cannot go beyond without destroying everyone including ourselves. We need to give support to the peacemaker gene of Abel and try our best to suppress the barbaric genetic code we have inherited from a portion of our bloody ancestors. It is time to use the software, the 19 rules of inference embedded in our brain, to do some reformation in our nature, in our-selves. We have to look at ourselves before pointing at the other.
I am not talking as a Kurd, or a Turk or an American or as a Lawyer here. I have decided to talk like my hero, Socrates. I know that I am far being in caliber of that great man, and also I know that the European Parliament is much better than the 501 jury members of the Athenian senate. Of course, I am not on trial, but I want to put myself as a member of humanity on a short trial here.
I will have a bad news first, which I will harp on it not to annoy you, like a gadfly, but to tickle your brain, your heart, and your consciousness. But I promise that it will follow with a few good news, very good ones, which might create a butterfly effect for a new era in global politics, starting from you, from this room.
In 1948 the United Nations issued Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide with19 articles. In the 2nd article it defines genocide as:
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
- (a) Killing members of the group;
- (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
- (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
- (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
- (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Declaration of Human Rights, UN resolutions, International law…
Who cares about the laws? Not even those who drafted, dictated and passed the laws care about those laws!
Who cares about the laws?
Most countries are ruled by the children of Thrasymachus.
Long live Thrasymachus!
“Might makes it right”!
If we are the Exceptional Americans or the Chosen Ones in the Middle of Trouble of our own creation, why should we care about the laws? Neither the International Criminal Court can reach our exceptional people, nor can the UN resolutions stop our crimes. What happened to the war criminals of our decadent decade, such as Sharon, Bush, and his cabal, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Feith, Bolton, Perle?
Who cares about the laws?
Perhaps, only the poor, the weak has to follow the laws! No wonder, our justice system is designed to absolve and respect the biggest thieves while punishes mercilessly the hungry who steals bread to feed himself and his children.
WE HUMANS are HYPOCRITES and Suffer from Cognitive dissonance. Unless we ACCEPT THE TRUTH we will not be free from hypocrisy and tragedies.
What goes around comes around and the entire humanity suffers as in the case of global warming, gang terrorism, wars, etc. And what is going around is coming around much faster and with vengeance.
Let me confess my sin as a human being. I am confessing our sins not to ask forgiveness from those few bullies who arrogate themselves to be the world’s leaders, or the representatives of God on earth. No. I will confess to unite us, to remind us our aggressions and hypocrisy, and also our common bond as humans, our common destiny as travelers on this crowded and troubled spaceship called Earth!
A massacre, a war or a human rights violation is not an isolated incident. They are part of a much bigger system, ideology and lifestyle that we choose. It is connected to how we treat women, how we treat the poor, the working people, how we treat the animals, how we treat the earth, how we value family, humanity… A massacre, a war or a human rights violation is the symptom of our way of life, our system, our paradigm.
- We are oppressors, ignorant and self-righteous. We expect Bulgaria or Germany to give Turkish minority cultural rights while we first deny the existence, than we ban the language and culture, including the Holydays, of Kurdish minority and then we subject them to assassinations and massacres.
- We are oppressors, ignorant and self-righteous. We blame Kurdish minority of treason for demanding and fighting for their lives, human rights and dignity and we adopt a policy of cultural genocide and then assassinations, imprisonment, burning towns, torture and massacres, against the Kurds, indigenous population of Turkey. And at the same time, we go to war on behalf of a Turkish minority in Cyprus to DIVIDE Cyprus. Ironically, the Turkish minority in Cyprus did not suffer even a fraction of fascist policies and actions we imposed on Kurds. Costing 60 thousand dead in recent years, 80 percent of them being Kurds.
- We take it lightly of being the only country that has banned the language of a minority, comprising about 20 percent of its population. Ironically, we claim to be Muslims while Islam condemns racism and considers every language to be God’s signs deserving respect and appreciation.
- We are oppressors, ignorant and self-righteous. We expect Europeans to cherish our mosques, to enjoy our minarets punching holes in their skies, and if they convert an old mosque into a church we protest with loud noises, yet we are not ashamed of trying to convert Hagia Sophia into a Mosque, as if we were in desperate need for another empty mosque.
- We are criminals and in denial. We turned minorities against minorities and in 1995 we let the Turks and Kurds commit genocide against Armenians, exterminating more than a million Armenians. About a quarter million Assyrians became the victims of our spree of genocide.
- We are oppressors, self-centered and self-righteous. We protest and condemn American and European atrocities and neo-colonialism, invasions and wars in the Middle East, while we shamelessly glorify the same aggression of our ancestors by celebrating Fatih and other Ottoman tyrants whose major contribution to humanity was to invade other people’s countries, plunder their riches, levy on them taxes, kidnap and draft their children to the imperial military for more wars, invasions, and plunder.
- We are oppressors, ignorant and self-righteous. We condemn the genocides, atrocities of the past, big or small, especially if they were against our tribe, but we enjoy doing exactly the same thing even now while we are talking this issue.
- We are oppressors, ignorant and self-righteous. We declare about a quarter of human population to be terrorists while our quarter itself is the biggest terrorist, even 666 times more violent, supported with the most sophisticated armies, monstrous killing machines and unending imperial wars that is cunningly presented to be promoting freedom, democracy and human rights.
- We are oppressors, delusional and self-righteous. We fool ourselves to be Davids while we are the Goliaths. We have the audacity of depicting our fascist and well-nourished invaders and murderers-in-uniform inside a tank to be the victim and the poor teenager with a rock in his hand standing for his life, freedom, home and dignity against our tank to be the terrorist.
- We are shameless in praising our former enemies, such as Gandhi, Martin Luther, Mandela as great moral leaders, yet we did not stop our crimes just because they were nice people singing peaceful songs. We hide from even ourselves that we were forced to stop our crimes because of logistics, the rising cost of committing those crimes and the violent groups and elements among our victims. By making a deal with the peaceful group among our victims, we wanted save face, and negotiate new terms and try to keep our advantages as much as we could.
- We are cunning, delusional and self-righteous. We preach human rights to the people of poor countries which suffer under our SOB tyrants or friendly puppet regimes, while we had committed and still continue to commit the biggest atrocities in known human history: Holocaust, Carpet bombing, Use of nukes, Napalm bombs, Mines, Drones… So, it is not a surprise when we become the Geert Wilders, Robert Spencers, David Horowitzes, Neocons, Zionists, Rapture-freak crusaders and the 1 percent capitalists of the world and try every means and propaganda to escalate the conflict between the East and West. Our grandchildren should not be surprised if we repeat our bloody history by committing another major genocide, this time against Muslims, here in the West. With Cognitive Dissonance every evil is possible!
- We are oppressors, ignorant and self-righteous. We preach the world about nuclear weapons, declare war against terrorism, but we do not even apologize for committing much greater state terror and atrocities around the world, including the biggest terrorism (targeting civilians) in known human history: Nagasaki and Hiroshima. With Cognitive Dissonance every atrocity is possible!
- We talk about truth and justice, yet we are addicted with lies and we allocate multi-billion dollar funds to generate lies and propaganda through secret agencies and their puppets in the media and academia. No wonder we did not even regret for killing more than 1 million Iraqis while delivering our great democracy through bombs and bullets. We give Nobel Peace prize to the commander of the world’s biggest bloody military power that has killed tens of thousands of innocent people through euphemistic words such as surge, forward leaning, collateral damage, enhanced interrogation techniques.
- We are now using drones to assassinate people without trial, poor people who stand against our aggression and hegemony. The list of wars, covert operations and countries bombed by the USA-Inc, printed in 9 points Times Roman, single space, one line for each country, is five times longer than my middle finger. With Cognitive Dissonance every bloody list is possible!
- We brag with our civilization and technological advances, yet the Bosnian Muslims were massacred and raped in our midst for years. But our powerful military stood idle and perhaps we were busy pushing small countries around to plunder their natural resources and dictate our terms to continue our hedonistic consumerist life style. With Cognitive Dissonance all sorts of genocides are possible!
- We brag to be nice and civilized people, yet we feed our children all sorts of violence and atrocities through video games and films, desensitizing them against human life.
- We brag to have deserved our mansions and luxuries life style, while in fact, we made laws by legalizing usury, speculations, printing money out of hot air, crony capitalism, plutocracy and we stole most of our wealth from the services and products of those who worked hard day and night.
- While at it, we also polluted our land, our oceans and our atmosphere. With Cognitive Dissonance every disaster is possible!
- We brag with our technology and high-tech toys that come in fancy packages, we create mountains of trash from plastic bottles. A massive plastic garbage patch twice the size of the state of Texas circling in the North Pacific is growing faster than the power of big corporations over our so-called democracies.
- We complain about not having enough to feed the poor, yet just several weeks ago we saw the picture of millions of tons of grain, a mountain of food without exaggeration, left to rot by the Indian government following the dogmas preached by the high-priests of capitalism. Every year millions of tons of food are deliberately wasted by the capitalists while millions of people starve to death.
- Besides greedy capitalism, detached governments, the world population is posing one of the greatest threat to the future of humanity, yet, our political and religious clowns among Catholics, Sunnis, Mormons and many other manmade religions are competing with each other in turning every mother to octomoms.
- We brag to be Muslim (peacefully submitting to God and peacemakers) to be the followers of Muhammed, one of the most peaceful men in history, yet centuries after his death we make up volumes of lies about him thereby depicting him a warmonger, a torturer, a sexual maniac, a misogynist, a tyrant, an illiterate and superstitious medieval Arab. We demonstrate respect to the physical mediums where the Quran is recorded, yet we betray almost all its universal principles and instructions by promoting anti-rationalism, blind faith, intercession, by giving religious charlatans the power of making up rules in the name of God, by promoting violence, suicide bombing, antisemitism, the killing of apostates, oppressing our women, ignoring the plight of the hungry, homeless and jobless, stoning people to death, and many other appalling criminal acts. With Cognitive Dissonance every evil is possible!
- We brag to be Christians, to be the followers of Jesus, one of the most peaceful and just men in history, yet soon after his death we became soldiers of Roman empire, we became slave owners, we burned “witches” and “heretics” on stakes, waged bloody Crusades, invented various torture machines, condemned thinkers through inquisition, fought two world wars, killed millions in holocaust, worked day and night to make bigger and even bigger bombs, invaded and destroyed numerous countries, killed millions around the world, and replaced the golden rule with the iron rule called “pre-emptive strike.”
Should we become CYNICAL? NO
- We cannot afford it. No more. With the increase in population and popularity of Internet and communication technology, what is going around is coming around much faster and bigger. The imperialist powers, which have mutated their skin and predatory method of sucking other’s blood, yet remain the same with all its greed, arrogance and delusions, can no more shed blood in the so-called third world countries and get away with it. The world cannot sustain our wars, our lies, our delusions, our robber banks, our Zionist propaganda, our capitalist-consumerist BS that wastes limited resources and pollutes and poisons this precious Blue Planet, God’s free gift to us.
- We cannot afford being cynical. There are some pockets of hope and examples of promises such as Sweden, Norway, and Finland…
We have proposals for solution:
First, we should diagnose the disease, which demonstrate the symptoms of aggression, arrogance, delusions and cognitive dissonance. We have to recognize the cancer tumors in our body that causes wars and genocide:
- We should teach tolerance and respect to other people’s ideas as long as they are not used to harm others. We should question and reject the religious dogmas glorifying conquests, salvation through death and shedding blood.
- We should require critical thinking and philosophy classes as a required curriculum in our elementary, middle and high schools.
- We have to establish real democracy and ban lobbies from influencing our elected officials.
- We must stand against warmongers and it must be the priority of every human on this planet, be it poor or rich, be it religious or atheist, black or blue, purple or pink, man or woman. Military Industrial Complex. Weapon merchants. These bloodsuckers (s)elect and bribe politicians to constantly create conflicts and ugly enemies with highly exaggerated powers, and declare wars here and there. We should make a list of top 10 war profiteers globally and locally, and declare them to be the enemies of humanity, and demand our politicians to dramatically reduce the military spending. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” (FDR). We should listen to this historical warning, “… we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” (Eisenhower).
- To eliminate corruption, capitalistic exploitation and guarantee food, home, education and a reasonable health care for every human being, we should design a fair economic system without creating a totalitarian regime. We should bury capitalism and consumerism in the same graveyard that we buried authoritarian communism. Multinational big corporations through their news media, film industry, internet sites, lobbies, politicians and academia promote capitalistic dogmas, glorifies greed, usury, and the consumerism that is destroying the fragile echo system.
- We should treat nationalism as a virus causing a mild disease that feigns as patriotism when in hibernation. But certain conditions, such as economic crisis or some provocations could trigger the virus to mutate into demonstrating the symptoms of jingoism and racism that may cause uncontrollable fatal complications and tragedies. These viruses are nourished and manipulated by inapt and evil politicians, weapon merchants, bigots and occasionally by global finance. Flags are used as idols. Waving flags triggers hormones of the subject thereby leading otherwise nice people to commit atrocities and genocides.