moderate talk, against a tribal newspeak

The tribalist (kavmiyetçi) urge in the "contemporary" Turkey, to purge foreign words, is a trouble-kitsch. Such sloganeers assaulted even the well-established Istanbulese (of many centuries), in an urge to purge. Today, the loud cries continue, against entries from the lingua franca of our day, American/English. Worse, is that, even some heritage-friendly people ignore that, the old Istanbul (Ottoman) people developed their language this way. We import, and experiment -- since many centuries.

to coin, without contribution -- and without thought

The urge-to-coin tribal/local words, to avoid the entry of the term/name of a foreign-invented technology (or, philosophy, etc.), is often degenerate. The metaphor (or, need), that lead to the original invention, does appear to have a finer value -- than a knee-jerk, tribalist urge-to-coin. e.g: as with the absurd words "bilgisayar" (computer), and "veritabani" (database).

The T.C.-endorsed behemoth T.D.K.(Turkish Language Institution), is the worst-offender. Within the last century, they coined a tribally-inspired vocabulary, to dump away the "foreign" -- to alienate the people, from our heritage of many centuries.

The absurd part to all this, is that, the newspeak-sloganeers insist with their lopsided views of what a natural-language is, how cultures interact, and all such. When people, probably mostly Istanbul people, with energy, instinctively experiment, and find a novel phrase, or another, then we start to hear the self-important newspeak crew name-call that as "degenerate."

Which language is degenerate, really? The newspeak of T.D.K.? Or, what people experiment with? I think, the newspeak is.

a tribal babel
babble by babble

As the old is alienated, and the state-language is not embraced by the people (other than enough for school, and TV), the net result was at first, a generation gap, and next the lost shades-of-meaning, in word choice -- with a shrunk frequent-word list.

Merely tribally-inspired babble-agglutination, does not make a word self-obvious -- not "understood." e.g: How would we infer what the term sürüm means, even if we knew what süre (time-period), sürü (herd), sürücü (driver), were? (A version, that is.) TüGü (pp.27-28) boasts 100 such. No sense, if not memorized.

Worse. Simplistic lives, yet unsimilar (local-variations) in the word-list, here or there. As if that were a good thing, even to only replace the Istanbul word merdiven (ladder, from Farsi), TüGü (p.67) lists eight local alternatives, and also boasts/claims/confesses that a lot other exist. How is that sensible -- let alone good, at all? Why leave our word, then?

Which local word is to get the nod? Basgaç? Ayakçak? Etc? Not understood by the other villages.

A 50-50 case is the excavated words, patch-by-patch, as linguists gathered obscure village-words. The good point is that, at least, they are natural-language, as sifted in time -- not totally T.D.K.-craft. R5 The bad-point is that, still, the thing is not as sophisticated as the (old, and even the new) Istanbulese, for a rich culture. What sophistication would you expect, to find in a village-culture? Only the simple, to eat, kill, love -- if not lovelorn.

the tribal instinct

By the constitution of T.C., each citizen is labeled a "Turk." But, the state-endorsed T.D.K., or other T.C.newspeak people, although they excavate and list obscure words, throughout Turkey, they neglect those words of non-tribal-Turk-origin.

As a consequence, a "Turkish-vocabulary" look-up, is not enough if traveling in Turkey.

The Laz people in the black-sea region, are within the boundaries of [only] Turkey, today. Although they, as citizens, carry the label "Turk," their words, let alone the full language, get never listed in T.D.K. vocabularies.

Likewise for Kurdish -- although some people even claim it, as not a distinct language, except a word-list.

That is, the T.C.newspeak, is only a tribal-Turkish -- not what each "Turk" inherited through centuries.

Recently, as the European Union pressed, T.C./Turkey recognized the right that people may talk and broadcast with the language they want to. Until then, such a boadcast was categorically crimespeak.

Even the words of some who wanted the state not to recognize the existence of a language named "Kurdish," in fact, point at the culprit of the separatism. If really the difference is that the Kurdish word-list is a mix of Arabic, Farsi, and Turkish, along with 200-300 original, that does mean that, that was cozily the Ottoman mix.

To label that only a "discrimination against minorities," would have ignored the hostility against other "foreign-word" entries.

Oops, though. If the Chinese-origin words were also excluded, Turkish is no more than 200-300, either.

when SemSa "woke up"

In the 19th century, when the initial tribal-instinct was public (e.g: Shemseddin Sami), the claims were less absurd. The optimistic reader would probably infer that those hot-blooded people wanted to reach out to the other Turkic-tribe people, who were not within the Ottoman region, and with their less-cosmopolitan, old/nostalgic Turkish. Next, only loud & wrong.

He ignored that the Ottoman fütuhat (to conquer, to open) was enmeshed with the motivation to further the reach of Islam. Inferrably, they were in love with Arabic -- and even Farsi -- as many/most Islamic texts were already written. Not war, that was love, when we received the Arabic (the holy book Quran of Islam, etc.), and Farsi (Mesnevi of Mevlana Rumi, etc.) That is why, happily, we forgot some Turkish word-list.

The Semseddin Sami minimalism is not enough, to contain Kurdish -- nor the, Arabic subjects of the big Ottoman State, then. For example, the Kurmanjee (a Kurdish dialect) word khoaren (food) is not Istanbulese. That is, when SemSa "woke up," and thought that was ugly/bad/wasteful to keep in our vocabularies, a "foreign" (Arabic/Farsi) word, that we do not talk with, he was way toward a tribalist, separatist thought.

the revolving-door, in-and-out of the (TDK) revolution

Surprisingly, it turns out that, the president of T.C., M.K.Atatürk, the patron of T.D.K., reflected/supported the Sun Language Theory, a universalist-tribalist theory, with a claim that the Turkic-language was at the root of most/all languages in the World. Thereby, he suggested to keep the Arabic and Farsi word-list, as they would also count as Turkish. Most people know that theory as only a strange, tribalist thing. Even the so-called followers of M.K.Ataturk do not want to buy that. The sensible reason, if that was a maneuver in a tribalist-theories environment, was that, he was trying not to lose the heritage word-list.

I read these in the newspaper article, by T.Kivanç. Only of anecdotal interest, though. The T.D.K. machinery would not re-adjust. Even if M.K.Ataturk was/were determined, his death in 1938, age 57, left the T.D.K. excesses, unbounded -- save the bound, the neglect of the people, in not embracing that institution-language.

to repulse that newspeak

Next, I give examples. No, I give their examples. However, I refute their biased evaluations. Fun and right, to oppose them.

At home, there is an example text, I had bought more than a decade, ago. That is a proud-mannered, misty-tone text. Let me roast its boastful "power" claim, while to oust the newspeak which it tries to sell us.

Here is a plan to repulse that newspeak -- the kind of remedy, a resolve to reach out to our heritage, and to the World.

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RevisioNo: 0
Last-Revised (text) on Nov. 25, 2005
Written by: Ahmed Ferzen/Ferzan R Midyat-Zilan (or, Earth)
Copyright (c) [2002,] 2003, 2004, 2005 Ferzan Midyat. All rights reserved.