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The Wise with a Leash!

“If someone who has found the truth hesitates to proclaim it because others think differently, they are both a fool and a coward. It is indeed difficult for a man to say ‘everyone else is mistaken but me’; but if indeed everyone else is mistaken, what should he do?”

Daniel DeFoe

This always happens, dear friends. We plan to focus on a different topic instead of getting stuck in the rut of everyday politics, especially in this toxic era, rather than tormenting myself seeing how the people we once knew are being swept away.

Like what?

Like the European Championship finals.

Or?

Like writing a festive article with relish.

I hadn’t watched a football match since the World Cup finals. My intention this time was to closely follow the finals organized in Germany, intending to write fun, art-focused tournament and match analyses.

I had also intended for a long time to put into words the bitter taste that each holiday leaves in my mind. But, it seems that fate has a different system of operation. For days now, an issue named Dücane Cündioğlu has been falling right in front of me.

What can we say, let it be.

The Islamist political side has this characteristic: since they can hardly display an original and proper stance in any field, they develop very good imitation skills. For instance, there are those who impersonate poets, intellectuals, painters, actors, academics, etc. The list could go on.

And -unfortunately- at the first test of sincerity, that image vase, as if taken out of boiling water and plunged into this pool, shatters into pieces.

The experience with Cündioğlu isn’t much different, actually.

Those who know, know that I do not write to bury anyone. If that were the case, there are far more priority names than Dücane Cündioğlu. I pointed out the typologies especially in my article titled “Newly Emergent Archetypes.”

Dücane will of course take this article personally. But with all sincerity, it is not. As you will see in the later parts of the article, we will not have approached the subject from the perspective of archetype modeling, but perhaps, at most, from a stereotype perspective.

When we focus on Dücane Cündioğlu’s personal narrative, it’s crystal clear that instead of a search, we see the confusion of an Islamist semi-intellectual who hasn’t decided what to do. The result that emerges from his column articles, interviews and statements, and even his books is exactly like that, unfortunately.

His discovery of social media and his intention to delve into philosophy was, of course, a direction worth commending. However, it’s not surprising to see that he failed the sincerity test there too. After all, reverting to their core codes immediately in complicated, difficult, and risky matters is one of the typical characteristics of the political Islamist crowd, unfortunately.

I used to follow Ducane Cundioglu quite closely for a while. However, especially the nonsense he spoke about cinema had annoyed me so much that I had given up. I don’t know anyone else as distant from the art of cinema as Dücane Cündioğlu, yet who speaks so authoritatively about it.

Let me give an example right away for better understanding.

I will talk about Wim Wenders’s latest and interesting movie “Perfect Days.” In the category of International Best Film (which I regard more highly than the Best Film Oscar), it was nominated and unfortunately did not win the Oscar in this field due to coinciding with another masterpiece, “The Zone Of Interest,” but received praise and awards in more than 30 serious and reputable festivals. Cündioğlu made a video about this film.

For some reason that I cannot fully understand, he has now hidden that video, and I couldn’t find the link. However, seeing again that he had not even properly watched, let alone having detailed knowledge about, the Perfect Days movie before ranting about it, I had unsubscribed from the Dücane Cündioğlu channel. Interestingly, Cündioğlu had analyzed this video under the ambitious subtitle “How to read a film.”

If you are going to talk about a thousand works of art, you must first master the elements that compose it before encountering it. I’m not saying this for any viewer, of course. But if you are going to pass judgment on that film, moreover, if you are ambitious enough to say that this is a “reading of a film,” you must know all the components of the film and have a background of information that will encompass the subject. I had mentioned this in detail in my extensive research titled “The Differences Between a Film Critic and a Cinema Writer,” no need to repeat it here.

Before diving headlong into the Perfect Days film, you should at least have heard the name Daido Moriyama. In the foreword to his book, a photographer who says, “You might think I’m exaggerating, but no other photographer has used the public toilets in Japan as much as I have.” Knowing the impact of another name, Takuma Takasaki, on Perfect Days without knowing how much you rant, the foundation is empty and rotten. It is clear that attempting to interpret the physical, mental, and social portrait built for the Hirayama character without knowing it would be audacious, if not presumptuous.

Of course, now the question “Who is this Takuma Takasaki?” will come.

Let’s write it for the benefit of Professor Dücane then.

Perfect Days turns an ordinary toilet initiative into a film in the hands of Wim Wenders, the director of films like Wings of Desire and Paris, Texas, and screenwriter Takuma Takasaki, who lives in Tokyo and is also a creative director, producer, and novelist in advertising. Takasaki’s biggest problem is not being able to speak any language other than his native language, which he solves through an interpreter (where there is almost a philosopher-level person named Shion Ebina), turning four short stories into a film all at once. The character and world that Takasaki constructed can transform into such a masterpiece with Wenders’s cinematography. Well, now, thinking that Takasaki, Moriyama, and even Ebina are places on a map and then making comments about this narrative is up to you to judge what kind of exceeding limits it is. Let me repeat, we are not talking about a classic cinema analysis here. Don’t be mistaken in the analogy; everyone reads the Qur’an and derives an idea for themselves. However, if you are going to derive a ruling from it and attribute it to people, you need to have certain qualifications.

Let’s also indulge in a bit of pedantry for the sake of charity.

A film can be read with a four-layered structure. The most superficial of these layers is watching. Below that is understanding, then analyzing, and the deepest layer is interpreting. If watching is simply observing, understanding is climbing to a higher level to capture an encompassing view, analyzing is running, then interpreting is flying.

If you jump from watching to interpreting, from looking to flying, without fully going through these stages, crashing is your fate. Unfortunately, I have felt the sorrow of always seeing this deficiency in Dücane Cündioğlu’s ideas about cinema.

Of course, the only reason for writing this article is not the troubled relationship between Cündioğlu and art. Like every Islamist thinker, it is possible to see that Cündioğlu tries to express himself in the murky pond of populism from time to time. I would like to state that I see his attempts to produce aphorisms, expressions, and observations in this regard.

Pele vs. Muhammad Ali!

Actually, I had written a very detailed article about this subject here. Now that the occasion has arisen, I will refer to that article. To summarize, let me say:

General Emílio Garrastazu Medici, the military dictator of Brazil from 1969-1974, resorted to various propaganda methods to consolidate his power, and it is known that he used the famous football player Pelé in this process. Brazil’s victory in the 1970 World Cup was used by the Medici regime to boost national pride and strengthen the government’s image. Pelé became an important symbol of this victory and appeared in propaganda posters by the dictatorship. Pelé posed with Medici and faced criticism for being coerced by the regime, remaining silent about political prisoners or tortures.

Pelé’s political stance and relationship with the regime were controversial. Some former teammates and critics accused Pelé of not raising his voice against the regime and collaborating with the dictatorship. Pelé defended that he preferred not to get involved in politics outside of football and served the interests of Brazil. However, not many were buying these flimsy excuses. One of them was the legendary Muhammad Ali. The famous boxer argued that Pelé’s transformation into an apparatus of evil for personal gain would go down in history with shame.

Pelé countered by saying that singing the song of freedom from afar is easy, and if he dared, he should come and say that speech in Brazil. And yes, everyone knew that not only criticizing but even failing to support Medici could end his career and put the lives of Pelé and his entire family at risk. Therefore, there were not a few who agreed with him.

But in the final analysis, the truth was this: Pelé’s relationship with the regime formed a significant aspect of his career and personal life.

The situation in Turkey today is not much different.

Many names we once believed to have solid character and intellectual integrity have sold their souls to a cruel regime.

They not only fail to speak out against the atrocities and injustices committed, but they somehow transform into an apparatus of the power.

However, when making a comparative reading, it is possible to say that Pelé displayed a much more dignified stance. At least he did not join the oppressor to hit the oppressed!

Having to watch Dücane Cündioğlu’s latest videos made me see this bitter truth, unfortunately extinguishing even the tiny hopes we had for the country.

Think about it, Cündioğlu had drifted so far as to use Machiavelli to justify his unethical behavior. In a two-hour video full of empty chatter, which he shot under the title “Communism and Machiavellianism,” there was unfortunately the spilled makeup of a know-it-all claiming to be intellectual.

Let me explain…

Cündioğlu, in this video, which could be summarized as “Machiavellianism is the fate of communities, because as the inclusiveness of the goal increases (e.g., focusing on seizing power through cadre-building), no community, order, or organization can avoid this dilemma,” displayed plenty of bombast, a considerable amount of malice, and was filled with hatred, a prime example of evil.

“There was a secret agreement between us and the community not to mix with each other!” Cündioğlu, who produced a causality of his own, would like to sincerely state that “I have never heard or seen the slightest agreement, hostility, or friendship of the community regarding you. However, we understand very well why these models chose today to trample on the community. Once upon a time, you passed by the crowd from a distance thinking, ‘What if it could be a breadwinner?’ so now there is no point in hiding your hatred for them!”

Let me state this immediately, if we accept the logic in Cündioğlu’s video, all religions, prophets, and even God must have been pure Machiavellians! It is quite pitiful to drift so far to please the oppressor, which is a pity, a sin!

Now let’s look at what Machiavellianism is and who this shirt will fit perfectly when we make a correlation with today. Of course, let’s explain this without distorting the face of the truth like Cündioğlu, without unethical deviations.

Niccolo Machiavelli is well-known (1469 – 1527), a politician, historian, philosopher, diplomat, and writer of the Italian Renaissance period. This character, unprecedented in history, is considered one of the founders of modern political science and is known especially for his works on political theory and practices. His most famous work is “Il Principe” (The Prince), written in 1513 and published posthumously in 1532.

Machiavellianism vs. Cündism!

Moving on to Machiavellianism.

It’s the general name for the political thought and strategies expressed by Machiavelli, especially in his work “The Prince.” Therefore, the content and story of the book are important.

First, let’s look at its story.

Year 1512… It was the year when the long struggle for power by the Medici family in Florence was successfully completed. This banking, rich, and tyrannical family had seen almost every intrigue as legitimate for power for nearly 50 years. For instance, the Pazzi conspiracy of 1478. The Medicis had staged a fake assassination attempt on themselves, Giulionu and Lorenzo, to erase their biggest rivals, the Pazzi family, from history.

With the Medici’s rise to power, all political rivals were either killed, imprisoned, or exiled. Soon, the Medicis began to govern the country with an iron fist. Especially Cosimo de’ Medici I… All kinds of oppression and torture had become their way of governing.

Niccolo Machiavelli was one of those affected by this situation. The Medici family had overthrown the Florentine Republic, Machiavelli’s employer, and this led to Machiavelli being unemployed and even imprisoned for a short time. After being released, he decided to write a guide addressing the Medici family to curry favor with the political power. He named it “The Sovereign.” However, he would change the name of his book to “The Prince” by the time he finished it because the Medici Sovereign had died!

Even 500 years later, The Prince is a book and Machiavellianism is one of the most important weapons of every authoritarian regime.

The book is all about politics… More precisely, it is the answer to the question of how a ruler can maintain power at any cost. It advises seeing the greatest disgrace, immorality, and indecency as permissible. Look at what The Prince tells us, which also forms the basis of Machiavellianism:

Every Means is Permissible to Achieve the Goal: Machiavellianism supports the notion that the ends justify the means. A sovereign can violate moral rules to protect the state’s interests and consolidate power.

2.Pragmatism:

A Machiavellian leader must be realistic and practical. He prefers what works in practice over what is right in theory.

3.Power and Authority:

Machiavellian thought advocates that power must be preserved and increased. Every strategy and tactic necessary to maintain power should be implemented.

4.Manipulation and Deception:

Manipulation and deception are among Machiavellian strategies. People’s weaknesses and desires can be used to gain and maintain power.

Using fear: A leader must inspire both love and fear. However, fear is seen as a more reliable tool to ensure the leader does not lose control.

I won’t go on further… Now put your hand on your heart and tell me, have you ever seen a ruler or regime in history that fits this description more than Tayyip Erdoğan and the Islamist government?

With the picture being so clear, how is it morally correct to come out and accuse the oppressed and innocent (who shamelessly found the attacks on the community positive in these videos) of Machiavellianism?

This dough is quite thick, but I will end here by saying one last thing.

If Niccolo Machiavelli were alive today and living in Turkey, rest assured he would be making YouTube videos to please the Islamist Fascist regime!

That’s all…

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