Before Qashqar is destroyed
Before Qashqar is destroyed
Friday, 05 June 2009 07:56

Those engrossed in the geo-strategic details of the "great game" in Central Asia are indifferent to the attack on the remains of our magnificent civilization. Since the days when we became accustomed to reading life with strategic calculations, talking about matters of history, culture and civilization has unfortunately been perceived as being cut-off from world realities. At any rate, we are living in a global age that gives value according to the ratio of the commercial "value" of things.

Qashqar is one of our civilization's ancient cities. It is one of our central cities that has conveyed and kept alive the heritage of our civilization at least as much as Baghdad, Damascus, Isfahan and Grenada. Grenada in the West, Qashqar in the East. Grenada fell, but Qashqar is still resisting.

Before it was a city on what a German Orientalist called the "Silk Road" in the latter part of the 19th century, Qashqar was a cultural oasis made closer to us by Mahmut from Qashqar. It was so close that according to Halil İnalcik, the Turkish spoken in Anatolia up to the conquest of Istanbul was Uygur Turkish.

It should be remembered once again that this city, which seems so distant to us, actually gave us Mahmut of Qashqar who wrote the Dîvânü Lûgati't-Türk (Classical Turkish Dictionary). In Martin Heidegger's words, language is the "hearth of existence;" so Qashqar is our "hearth of existence."

The Turkish view that recognizes Sincan instead of Eastern Turkistan does not have the will to follow what has happened to either Mahmud of Qashqar or Qashqar's "ancient city." Our understanding that has been blinded by our consumerism hunger, which has drowned in a garbage dump of Chinese goods, is destitute of the interest, care and consciousness needed to even see the Chinese administration's destruction of this ancient city.

As much as we can be informed by the American press, Qashqar is about to be sacrificed to China's imperialist appetite. Making a synthesis between capitalism and chauvinism, China is eliminating a history.

Unable to subdue the Uygurs who have resisted this much assimilation and exploitation, China appears to be determined to destroy Qashqar's historical and symbolical values in order to settle a modern consumer society dominated by Chinese who have emigrated for years from the East, and to destroy the Uygur identity. As a typical practice of colonialism, historical cities in the Islamic world have been forced to abandonment and they have been left dilapidated, backward and poor in comparison to the modern cities constructed by the imperialist power. This is done so that there can be no comparison between the imperial power and the local. Even if they are poor, from Northern Africa to the Balkans and Central Asia, the life of old cities has been pushed to the edge, but they have been able to keep their historical heritage alive with honorable resistance.  

Qashqar is a place where Uygur Muslims protect their identities and define themselves with this city.

According to incoming news, the Chinese occupation administration has decided to destroy the fabric of this historical city. The desire to raze Qashqar in order to raise up huge plazas will also destroy the Uygurs' social and cultural fabric. According to calculations made, at least 13 thousand Uygur families will have to emigrate from the city due to reasons of new construction. The New York Times stated that 900 families have already been made to emigrate.

By means of organizing a signature campaign on the internet, an attempt is being made to stop the destruction by developing world-wide sensitivity.

It is not clear whether Turkey has a Chinese policy, particularly an Eastern Turkistan policy. It appears that this country, which even punished Uygurs who applauded Turkey in the World Football Championship in which Turkey took third place, has made a decision to destroy Qashqar.

Can those who are insensitive to an attack aimed at our "hearth of existence," which surpasses geo-strategic calculations, have a claim to being a global actor?

Let us do something before it is too late, before historical Qashqar is destroyed.

akif emre

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