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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Kemal Kerincsiz. Mr. Kenricsiz gets his award for his prosecution/persecution of author Elif Shafak. Ms. Shafak wrote a fictional story involving that detailed the massacare of Armenians in 1915. Apparently Ms Shafak's view of history conflicts with the deeply nationalist Kemal Kenricsiz.

Mr. Kenricsiz is a work of all is all I'll say. He is a very small man who is hell bent on harassing a woman and mother. Kenricsiz in some warped way must feel her writing attacks his manhood in some way. What little there is of it.

Go read the Guardian article I pasted below. For attacking a woman whose only crime was writing a novel, Kemal Kerincsiz is today's Knucklehead of the day.

Hat tip- Michelle Malkin
Linked to- Outside the Beltway, Samantha Burns, Basil's Blog, Jo's Cafe, TMH's Bacon Bits, Bright & Early, Right Wing Nation, Stuck on Stupid,

A prize-winning novelist goes on trial tomorrow accused of belittling Turkishness in the latest and strangest of a string of cases spotlighting the country's stuttering reform process.

Elif Shafak's The Bastard of Istanbul has been at the top of Turkish bestseller lists since its publication in March, winning critical praise for its portrait of the friendship between two girls, an Armenian-American and a Turk.

But its treatment of the mass murder of Ottoman Armenians in 1915 has attracted the attention of Kemal Kerincsiz, the nationalist lawyer behind last December's trial of Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's best-known author.

In Shafak's case, he has surpassed himself, hauling her to court for comments made by characters in her novel. Sitting in his cramped Istanbul office, Mr Kerincsiz does not take long to find one of the offending passages.
"I am the grandchild of genocide survivors who lost all their relatives at the hands of Turkish butchers in 1915," he reads, quoting Dikran Stamboulian, a minor Armenian character. "There's plenty more where this came from," he says.

The prospect of being tried for the figments of her imagination strikes Shafak as grotesque. She has, though, no doubts about the seriousness of her situation. She could face three years in jail.

"My accusers will do everything they can to keep this case going," she says. "It's going to be long and tedious."

Shafak gave birth to her first child on Saturday and is undecided whether to attend the hearing. "I gave birth by caesarean and the doctors don't even want me to go outside," she says. "But I don't see this trial as against me personally. The writer in me says 'go', the mother 'don't'."

Few have forgotten the scenes during Pamuk's trial, when nationalists smashed the novelist's car windscreen and attacked foreign observers. They believe a similar welcome is planned for Shafak. For weeks, a website belonging to Mr Kerincsiz's nationalist group has called for protests over this "newly chosen princess of capitulationist intellectuals".

"I oppose all violence," Mr Kerincsiz says, "but if you call somebody's grandfather a butcher, there is no telling what reactions will be."

Newspaper editor Ismet Berkan, another victim of the lawyer's attentions, said violence could ensue. "Let's hope the police are prepared."

Shafak's supporters called today on the Istanbul prosecutor to start an investigation into Mr Kerincsiz for incitation to violence.

If the language of mutual recrimination is so violent, it is in part because the trial is symbolic of a deep rift over Turkey's soul.

For nationalists such as Mr Kerincsiz, the clash of civilisations is real, and Turkey, a Muslim country, belongs with the east. What the European Union is trying to do, he claims, is "strip away our Muslim and Turkish identity". Those such as Shafak who support a more open Turkey, he adds, are "world citizens, half-Turks".

Meant as a reference to Shafak's European childhood and long-term residence in the United States, Mr Kerincsiz's insult is apposite.

"My ideal is cosmopolitanism, refusing to belong to either side in this polarised world," Shafak says. "Too many people see the world in black and white, us and them. That's wrong. Ambiguity, synthesis: these are the things that compose Turkish society, and that is not something to be ashamed of."

It remains to be seen which side will win the Turkish version of this worldwide debate.

Mr Kerincsiz's claim to represent the voice of the people is not being taken seriously - even the country's ultra-nationalist political party has been put off by the violent antics of his supporters. But nationalism is on the increase in Turkey, bolstered in part by the sense that Brussels is playing with the country over accession.


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