The New Swans Gazette, issue 10

Issue 10, 2016-07-21

Short Story


Summer cleaning in Turkey, a song about a coup d’état

2016 we could follow an attempt of the military to take control in Turkey and that is, historically speaking, not a new occurrence for Turkey, with the last one happening 1980 I believe. Some other military strong-arming has happened after that, so one should perhaps not be to surprised what happened 15th of July.

What strikes me as more curious is how quick and widespread president Erdogan started cleaning out people across the board. From the military, obvious, but also from schools, academics are forbidden to leave the country and so on.

Now this might be some quick reacting from a president that likes to shut down independent TV stations and newspaper.
But still I am left wondering how quickly he acted, almost like he has had a plan for just this event and just waited for an opportune moment to act. One could go so far as to believe that he had his hand in the cookie jar, but that might be taking it a bit to far.
To clean out the military is obvious, if a military coup has happened there will be arrests in that organisation. But schools, that really left me baffled until I realised something about the president. He wants power and he neither need or want any opposition. Academics would be a pool of that, so striking them has a twisted logic. The same logic that shuts down critical newspapers or TV channels.

As I recently read George Orwell and one can not help but to see some striking similarities between his books and reality.

So a military coup gave the president a possibility to get rid of opponents, a summer cleaning if you will. I would not be surprised if the next step is to start jolting the constitutional court to move them his way. He has already stated that he “neither respect nor accept” the ruling from the constitutional court regarding the detention of two journalists that had their rights violated.
So without to much foresight I think we will see more power in the presidents hand. New constitutional amendments that will work in his favour.

That said, the military coup, if that would have succeeded, would have been even worse. Whatever you think about the president, he has been democratically elected, and that is always better than a military junta.
Shutting my eyes I however see several democratically elected leaders that themselves did not act very democratically and then I open my eyes to watch what will happen.


Short Story

The insomniac sit-down-hi-ho

A late night story
fuelled by the crickets outside

I woke up, wondering why I did not sleep and then realized I already slept and just dreamt that I was awake.
It was a peculiar feeling, a slow-motion reality speeded up by the vague sensation that I had something I needed to do, I just could not remember what that was.
So I sat up in bed, the cover falling down to my feet, curling up like a worm, the folds creating a face that twisted in my direction, looking right at me as the cover came to rest on that invisible floor, the sheet of glass my mind had dreamt up.
“Why are you looking at me? “ the worm asked inquisitively.
I call it a worm, as that was the closest being I could relate to as I saw my dirty white cover hovering above a purple sea going down into infinity.
“Did I stare, I did not mean to you know, “ I answered, not unpleasantly, to it.
“My name is Usmandia”
“Usmandia, that is an interesting name.”
“It is some letters randomly arranged into a word, so yes it is interesting,” Usmandia replied.
“What do you do?”
“Me, I wait for you to fall asleep. Until then I observe you, I observe the sea beneath my non-existing body. It is really interesting you know!.”
I tried to imagine what that would be like, being an observer that observed only the things a sleeping mind would dream up. Usmandia continued to watch me, and I watch it, but watching someone is hard work so slowly my biological curtains started to fall down.
I woke up with a twitch, the sun struck my eyes like a baseball bat swinging against my confused mind.
Looking down I saw my cover on the floor, twisted like a worm, and its mouth said, “Your still sleeping you know.”