Sunday, November 25, 2007
AM I TURKISH?
Thanks for asking...
Genealogy and DNA research's says we all originated from Africa and begun our great journey some 50.000 or more years ago to invade the planet. So, first of all, this makes me one of the invaders from the very beginning.
National Geographic writes; "The human genetic code, or genome, is 99.9 percent identical throughout the world. What's left is the DNA responsible for our individual differences—in eye color or disease risk, for example—as well as some that serves no apparent function at all. Once in an evolutionary blue moon, a random, harmless mutation can occur in one of these functionless stretches, which is then passed down to all of that person's descendants. Generations later, finding that same mutation, or marker, in two people's DNA indicates that they share the same ancestor. By comparing markers in many different populations, scientists can trace their ancestral connections."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 15 says; "(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality." and,
European Convention on Nationality; "Article 2 – "nationality" means the legal bond between a person and a State and does not indicate the person's ethnic origin; article 3 – "Each State shall determine under its own law who are its nationals."
We all know "an ethnic group" or "ethnicity" defines the group of humans who identify with each other on the basis of a common genealogy or ancestry, with common culture, language etc. And "ethnic nationalism" is defining the "nation" in terms of ethnicity.
Having said these; I am not sure how should I answer the question; "Are you Turkish?"
According to national and international laws, and what I feel; I think my answer should be, "Yes, I am Turkish". But if we have to talk on politics or science; can I be any kind of nationalist or belong to a nation or ethnicity? Again if we have to talk about culture, traditions, language etc my answer can be the same; "I am Turkish!". But can it be totally right? Science don't says so...
We all have our own thoughts, beliefs about "nationalism", "ethnicity", "ethnic nationalism", "self determination", "oppressed / oppressor nations" etc. 21st century (or Globalisation, or end of Cold War, or whatever we are in) and the scientific revolution we are living is reshaping many of our concepts.
Sociologist Max Weber said; "The whole conception of ethnic groups is so complex and so vague that it might be good to abandon it altogether." in his time, wonder what would he say if he witnessed the scientific developments of our time.
Assume making a little poll in family and received the answers;
- "Turk, we are certainly Turkish, but grandpa was Cherkez"
- "Don't forget the father side came from Cyprus, there should be Greeks too."
- "What about the grand grandpa who was a Kurdish Nakshi Sheik?"
- "Don't say that, we don't have such sects in our background?"
- "You think so, what if the ones from Selaniki were Sabetaist Jews?"
- "Don't question that much, we are Laz and Lazs are Turkish?"
- "Ha..ha.. you want to forget about Russian grand grandma!"..
We can add a dozen more ethnic groups. And didn't mention the religious identities yet.
So... Yes, I am Turkish. Love my country, history, culture, language and all. But this is Anatolia, even historians are not sure how many civilization born, passed and ended, or how many nations, ethnicity left their marks. I am happy with all the ethnic drops in my blood; Turk, Kurd, Laz, Rum, Gypsy, Hittite, Roman, Lykian, Arcadian and all (being hybrid in nature always adds gifts:).
Isn't it interesting that 20 million European men are grand grandsons' of Genghis Han? Or isn't it incredible that leaving Africa; native Americans, south Americans and Turks share some genes?
Psst, don't tell anybody... I am only homo sapiens! Don't have my blood tested for more yet!