Although this is unknown to many, there are up to 100,000 people of African descent in the nation of Turkey. A legacy of the Ottoman Empire and of the African slave trade, Afro-Turks, as they are called, have lost their language and have a renewed interest in discovering who they are and from whence they came.
As The Global Dispatches reported in 2010, while slavery existed in the Ottoman Empire from the 14th century until the 19th century, enslaved people came from the Balkans and the Caucasus until the late 1800s, with the abolition of “white” slavery in these regions after pressure from the European nations.
Before that time, the trading in Black people had been limited, but then, the trading of enslaved Africans to the Ottoman Empire grew, particularly from Kenya and Sudan. Between 1860 and 1890, around 10,000 enslaved Africans were sent into the Ottoman Empire each year, a total of about 250,000 people, with many freed at some point. Many enslaved people were sent to the cotton fields near Smyrna (now known as Izmir) on the coast of the Aegean Sea. But it wasn’t until the early 20th century that the end of slavery came, as enslaved people were replaced by paid servants. And in 1924, the Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk established laws of equal citizenship in the country’s new constitution. Further, as the BBC reported, Afro-Turks are called “Arab,” a term denoting someone who is dark enough to be Arab or African — in a country where Blackness is often negatively associated with inferiority. These days, in light of the refugee crisis, their identity has come to light in large cities, where Afro-Turks are often mistaken for Somali or Eritrean refugees, although these Black people have lived in Turkey for generations.
“It’s a shame we have lost our African language, the language our great-grandparents spoke. Every minority in Turkey has its language – the Kurds, the Zaza, even the Laz. But we have only Turkish, and we don’t know anything about our ancestors” an Afro-Turk man named Orhan told the BBC. “After years of suffering, you hide what makes you different,” he said. “That is why our parents and parents’ parents did not teach us their language. They did not want to make us different, they wanted us to only be Turkish.”
Meanwhile, due to years of intermarriage, there are likely many Turkish people who are descended from Black people and do not realize it, as The National reported. The national push for assimilation and a homogeneous society since the founding of the republic and the end of the Ottoman Empire has meant that Black identity was discouraged. However, Black people in Turkey are beginning to reclaim their heritage and their African past. For example, Mustafa Olpak, a grandson of enslaved Kenyans, published Slave Coast, a 2005 memoir chronicling his family’s saga from the Horn of Africa to Crete to Turkey.
“The first generation experiences, the second denies and the third researches,“ Olpak’s book begins. “We have been living in this region for at least 150 years and we don’t have any other homeland,” says Olpak, who also founded the Afro-Turk Association as a means to preserve their heritage and increase awareness of their condition. And Turkish authorities had banned the Feast of the Calf — known as Dana Bayrami in Turkish — a holiday that enslaved Black people celebrated in the Ottoman era, and which Afro-Turks resurrected only in 2007.
Like elsewhere, Black people in Turkey face discrimination. For example, African soccer players have faced racist chants from fans, including some who were called monkey and one who had a banana pointed in his face. In addition, Turkey has not been welcoming to African migrants. According to the International Business Times, there are at least 50,000 African migrants in Turkey, one-third from sub-Saharan Africa and who tend to be Christian, and the remaining from North Africa who tend to be Arab. Black Africans face racism, social exclusion and police violence.
President Obama’s 2009 visit to Turkey and subsequent meetings with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan have provided an opportunity for the Afro-Turk community to reclaim their narrative and bring their issues to the table. In a country that is once again beginning to acknowledge its diversity and the contributions of so-called minority communities such as the Afro-Turks, Black people in Turkey are experiencing a cultural reawakening.
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By Elliot Booker — 2 years ago
Today’s REVIVE show topic is entitled:
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This episode on REVIVE is entitled “Sunday Edition” we will be discussing any and everything with the #REVIVE Team and more.
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By Elliot Booker — 2 years ago
Mistrust and alienation between black men and the police have become so entrenched that we need radical, sweeping change. The collective experience of black men in the criminal justice system is sobering. African Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be arrested than whites, and numerous studies have shown that black men are disproportionately targeted, stopped, frisked, and searched through the practice of racial profiling. Black men end up in prison more often, receive longer sentences than similarly situated white men, and are more likely to be killed during police encounters than white men – 21 times more likely.
But, as criminal defense attorneys, we can attest to the fact that as harshly and as unfairly as black men have been treated in the criminal justice system, the fate of black boys has been worse.
Decades of data show that the journey to racial disparity begins when black men are boys. Black boys are policed like no other demographic. They are policed on the street, in the mall, in school, in their homes, and on social media. Police stop black boys on the vaguest of descriptions – “black boys running,” “two black males in jeans, one in a gray hoodie,” “black male in athletic gear.” Young black males are treated as if they are “out of place” not only when they are in white, middle-class neighborhoods, but also when they are hanging out in public spaces or sitting on their own front porches.
Adolescence is a critical time during which young people come to understand and respect or resent the law and legal institutions. Negative attitudes about the police acquired during childhood and adolescence have a “lasting” effect as youth transition to adulthood. The long history of aggressive and biased interactions with the police — perceived or real — has socialized a generation of black boys to avoid contact with the police whenever possible and if not, to be hostile — sometimes outright confrontational — with police.
These stories are significant not only for the debilitating and conditioning impact they have on these youth, but also for the message they send to black boys.
Black boys are angered not only by the frequency with which they are stopped, but also by the treatment they experience during these stops. They describe police as belligerent and antagonistic and are especially outraged by the officers’ use of racial slurs, profanity and demeaning terms like “punk” and “sissy.” They complain about police stops that are too often initiated by physical contact such as grabbing, pushing, shoving, pulling or tackling the youth to the ground.
Once on the ground, black boys are sometimes held down by multiple officers who sit or lie on them while other officers kick, punch or mace them. More violent encounters include billy clubs or chokeholds like the one that killed Eric Garner in New York. Victims of police violence include black boys like LaQuan McDonald, Tyre King, and most recently Jordan Edwards. Fear of violence by police is now the norm for black boys.
In a recent study of police perceptions of childhood innocence, researchers showed police officers a series of photographs of young white, black and Latino males engaged in some purported criminal activity and asked them to estimate the age of each child. While the officers overestimated the age of adolescent black felony suspects by 4.59 years, they underestimated the age of adolescent white felony suspects by one year. Because of these types of distorted perceptions, black boys are more likely to be treated as adults much earlier than other youth, more likely to be arrested, harassed and assaulted for normal adolescent behavior, and more likely to be perceived as culpable and deserving of punishment or even death.
Consider the police encounter with Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Cleveland boy who was killed by police on November 22, 2014, after a witness called 911, reporting “a guy with a pistol” that was “probably fake.” When police officers arrived, they described a much “older” person, weighing 170 pounds, standing 5 feet 7 inches tall and wearing size 36 pants and a man’s extra-large jacket. The officers were doing what empirical research on implicit racial bias suggests that police do: routinely overestimate the age and the perceived threat of young black boys.
If we expect any meaningful change in the relationship between black men and the police, we have to start early. We have to help police resist the faulty perceptions of black youth as violent and aggressive and work to develop black boys’ faith in law enforcement. To aid this reform, we should revisit our extensive reliance on police in schools, mandate officer training on adolescent development and implicit bias, and require deep shifts in police policy and procedure to facilitate new opportunities for genuine, positive interactions between black youth and the police. Without these reforms, the unfair policing of black boys — and black men — will continue.
To read more Click or Copy link: http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/05/23/465997013/opinion-how-policing-black-boys-leads-to-the-conditioning-of-black-menPost Views: 285
By Elliot Booker — 3 years ago
It is necessary to take a look at the current position of Black economics (Blackonomics).
Here are a dozen Blackonomic facts about the State of the Blackonomy.
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