土耳其禁忌让人永远不能成熟

萨班奇大学教授Ayşe Kadıoğlu谈到她在土耳其长大的经历,那里的禁忌有很多是法律强加的,使公民陷入一种不成熟的状态。

在禁忌的迷惑下成长是一个使人变衰的体验。它能够囚禁一个人的心智于婴儿状态,尽管一个人肉体的 发育是阻挡不住的。西班牙裔美国哲学家桑塔尔雅那( George Santayana)在他的著作《理性的生命或人类进步的不同阶段》中说:“进步远非存在于变化之中,而取决于好的记 忆。当变化成为绝对的时候,就不存在转变,尽可能的转变就没有了方向——当体验不能保持时,就像在不开化的人当中,婴儿态就会持续一生。那些忘记了过去的 人就会被人指责重新体验。”当我懂得了这些话的道理时,我已经是美国研究生院的成年人了。

我在土耳其长大,那里主流的教育体系在中小学的课程中仍然隐瞒了某些历史事实,唯恐他们会危害到“与国土和民族有着不可分割关系的国家,”这是土耳 其宪法中多次使用的一种表达方式。也许,害怕危害国家民族统一的行为在土耳其国歌中最具象征意义,一开头就以史诗般的词句唱到“要无畏,别气馁!”当畏惧 孕育和支撑着禁忌时,能够保持体验的能力就下降了。持久的教育,承载着错误的历史事实和可怕的沉默,使人们不可能走出自愿强加的不成熟状态。

当我在波士顿偶然遇到一些亚美尼亚裔美国学生,并审视出我是“土耳其人”的血肉之躯时,他们这种不受约束的好奇心首先让我很难理解。我们一开始谈 话,我就理解了奥斯曼帝国灭亡之时亚美尼亚人的悲剧。那感觉几乎就好像我是从另外一个星球来的一样!我是在民族主义禁忌的威势下长大的,所受的教育是对某 些问题愚昧无知。是的。进步已经降低到了只求装点门面的那点儿变化,由于缺乏知识。禁忌使人永远不能成熟。

土耳其的禁忌太多,主要是为了保护“国家和民族不可分割”。还有很多法律规定,打破禁忌就是犯罪。法律使得禁忌持续下去,那么公民的心灵(很多时候是 肉体)就遭到了监禁。有这么一条禁忌是关于土耳其共和国创始人穆斯塔法·凯末尔·阿塔土克的,在土耳其,有一条法律是关于阿塔土克的,侮辱他的记忆,损害 他的法令就是犯罪。另外一条法律是关于土耳其武装力量的权威性的,这条法律反对人们妨碍强行服兵役。许多有良心的反对者和作家都是基于这条法律而面对犯罪 指控的。“突厥佬”是另外一条禁忌,在土耳其有一条法律是反对侮辱“突厥佬”的。亚美尼亚裔土耳其记者Hrant Dink曾被指控,并被发现有罪,因他所撰写的一篇言论侮辱了“突厥佬”,尽管专家们向当地刑事法院递交了一份报告,反对对他的指控。这份起诉书成了很多 事件的导火索,最终导致他在2007年被暗杀。

“土耳其国家与其国土和民族是不可分割的”这一概念是土耳其共和国流传最广泛的禁忌。为保护民族统一的幻想,由于土耳其国家不懈地推动,导致了该国 库尔德人的特性被否定。他们被禁止讲库尔德语就是1980年军事政变的后果。在九十年代的秘密行动中,土耳其就有上千名库尔德人被杀害或“失踪”。没有更 宽泛的公开讨论和研究的渠道,要治愈这些黑暗的过去所造成创伤似乎是不可能的。

法律强制推行的禁忌就是束缚智慧的原因。从禁忌的迷惑中解放出来是可能的,需要通过扩大公开讨论和研究的范围来巩固民主思潮。因此,可以肯定,“我 们在讨论和传播知识时是不允许有禁忌的。”因为我们不想陷入一种不成熟的状态,我们想尽最大的努力来尽我们的能力,成为通情达理的人。

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读者须知:自动翻译由Google翻译提供,虽然可以反映作者大意,但不一定能提供精准的译意。

  1. We’re students from an IB language/literature class studying hate speech, taboo and censorship. You raise valid points about the implications of ‘taboo’ language, however we believe there’s a hazy line drawn between the concepts of ‘taboo’ and ‘censorship’.

    As proposed by Allan Burridge in his book Forbidden Words: Taboo and the Censoring of Language, “Taboos arise out of social constraints on the individual’s behaviour where it can cause discomfort, harm or injury,” a taboo encompasses more than just censorship of a certain concept. It implies socio-cultural discrimination. For example, although gay marriage is illegal in 29 states in the US according to theguardian.com, the driving force behind why same-sex marriage discrimination exists is because of the social enforcement in the region, generally due to religion or culture as opposed to governmental hierarchy. This is especially apparent in the southeastern states, where legal gay marriage in all of the 13 states is either banned or has no clear law.

    On the other hand, we define government censorship as the explicit expunging of information, generally with the intent of framing the government in a positive way to keep citizens loyal to their country. During the opening ceremony of the winter Olympics one of the Olympic rings failed to operate correctly. However, the live airing of this event was concealed in Russia (and only within Russia) with a clip from a rehearsal. Producers claim “it was critical to preserve the Olympic ring imagery, even if it meant showing fake footage. President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly emphasized the importance of showcasing Russia flawlessly to the world during the Olympics.” (Time.com). The intent of censorship, such as this example, is different to that of taboo.

    Assuming the reason the Turkish-Armenian conflict was expunged from the history books of many Turkish pupils is to ‘save face’ for the government is one thing; the word ‘taboo’ which is used in this piece is interesting as it implies a social aversion beyond the realm of government censorship. To an extent censoring or essentially withholding information from students can cause them to embrace false and potentially discriminating information, which is what we see happening here with the Armenian-Turkish conflict. Your piece tells us there’s no distinction between taboo and censorship, and this is what intrigues us – in this case the Turkish government, by classifying the Armenian-Turkish conflict as a taboo as well as censoring the subject, is going beyond ‘saving face’ for the government – it degrades Armenians and doesn’t adequately inform Turkish children about their country’s past.

    We agree that things have been expunged from Turkish history, but to be fair, to varying degrees it happens all over the world. It’s a perfectly valid example, but it’s an overworked example; Antoon De Baets’ paper Censorship of History Textbooks, copious examples are given concerning countries from Pakistan to Belgium, from Tibet to Russia, Uruguay, Libya, Indonesia, the Netherlands, and so forth. Singling out the Turkish-Armenian conflict doesn’t indicate how extensive censorship is, and has been, for centuries.

    The integration of taboo and censorship can prove dangerous. Hrant Dink was found guilty for insulting “Turkishness”; Dink’s criminal charges were imposed by the government, but his death was caused by a Turkish civilian driven by the taboo that being critical of Turkish culture is socially unacceptable.

    As illustrated in the example above, what is troubling about the assimilation of taboo and censorship is that, as stated in the article, it causes perpetual immaturity and ignorance; these consequences are difficult and time-consuming to expunge. Acknowledgement of differences between taboo and censorship can be key in understanding critical issues.

    Are we correct in stating that censorship and taboo have melted into one in Turkey? How are the definitions we’ve proposed different from those you accept?

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