Ebru Umar (Dutch pronunciation: [ˌe:bru ˈumɑr]; Turkish pronunciation: [ebɾuː umˈaɾ]; born 20 May 1970) is a Dutch columnist of Turkish descent. Under the influence of Theo van Gogh, she gave up a career in management and became a columnist, first for van Gogh's website and, after he was assassinated, as his successor as a regular columnist of Metro. She writes for a number of Dutch magazines and has published four books, often on the topics of feminism and criticism of Islam.
Umar is the child of Turkish parents who came to the Netherlands in 1970. Her father is a retired anatomic pathologist, her mother an ophthalmologist. She grew up in Rotterdam and attended the Gymnasium Erasmianum.
After studying management and working for a while as a manager, she began writing, under the influence of Theo van Gogh, and wrote columns for his website (van Gogh was her "friend and mentor"), and soon began writing for a number of other Dutch newspapers. In 2005 she took over van Gogh's column in Metro. Umar is also the author of four books, and writes a weekly column for the Dutch women's weekly magazine Libelle (in addition to doing interviews and panel discussions for the magazine) and for the Dutch feminist magazine Opzij. Umar, an atheist, has a reputation for outspokenness, a characteristic her parents say she has had from an early age.
In 2006 she was beaten outside her apartment in Amsterdam by two attackers.
Arrest in Turkey
On April 23, 2016, Umar was arrested in her holiday apartment in the Turkish town of Kuşadası, which she has said was for posting tweets that were critical of Turkish president Erdoğan. She was then released but not allowed to leave Turkey. On April 24, 2016, her home in Amsterdam was burglarized and vandalized.
Bibliography - Burka & Blahniks (2004) - Vier over 8 (2005) - Geen talent voor de liefde (2005), diary-style reminiscences - Turkse verleidingen (2008), a collection of travel stories set in Turkey
Nebahat Albayrak (born 10 April 1968) is a is a retired Turkish–Dutch politician of the Labour Party (PvdA) and jurist. She is a corporate director at Upstream International a division of Royal Dutch Shell since 5 November 2012.
I live in a city with a lot of Dutch Turks, they are the largest group of migrants in Arnhem. Larger than the Moroccan community, the Bosnian community, the Indonesian community, the Indoeuropean community, the Surinamese community and the Dutch Antillian community. Most of them are Sunni Muslims, but there are also minorities of Alevite Turks, Christian Turks, Sufi Turks and Turkish Kurds. I know both ethnic Turks and Turkish Kurds. I have eaten quite often in Turkish restaurants in Arnhem, drank excellent Turkish wine and Turkish beer over there and whiskey in a Turkish night pub. I was invited to visit Dutch Turks and ate at theur house. I have been in Turkish mosques in Arnhem, a Turkish coffee house and have contact professionaly with the Dutch Turkish Think (DenK) party branch in Arnhem, Denk Verenigd Arnhem. I think I often speak weekly with Dutch Turks or ever month. They are a part of Arnhem. Some are well to excellent imtegrated into the Arnhem and Duch society and some did not. You often hear about tensions between Turks and Kurds, but in the Arnhem city council there are Turks and Kurds that can get along fine. But under the surface there are tensions between various Turks, because you have Erdogan supporters and you have CHP (Turkish opposition) supporters. You have Millî Görüş people over here and you have Fethullah Gülen supporters (people of his transnational social hizmet movement, also called the Gülen movement, in Turkish called Gülen hareketi). I know that there is one Gülen school in Arnhem South, because I had an interview with the school director (see video).
Turks live in most neighbourhoods in Arnhem, but especially in the working class neighbourhoods where the First generation of Turkish guestworkers came during the sixties and seventies. People of this first generation are the grandparents of the present Third generation. The second generation was born and raised in the Netherlands in Arnhem, or born in Turkey and raised in the Netherlands as little children and teenagers after family reunion in the late seventies and eighties. The Turks are very well organised, have their own Turkish pillar and mosques. You have three main religious communities. First the mosques of the Turkish (government) Directorate of Religious Affairs (Turkish: Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı, normally referred to simply as the Diyanet). We simply call these Diyanet mosques. Secondly you have the conservative to orthodox Sunni Muslim Millî Görüş mosque.
Millî Görüş (Turkish: [milˈliː ɟœˈɾyʃ], "National Outlook" or "National Vision") is a religio-political movement and a series of Islamist parties inspired by Necmettin Erbakan. It has been called one of "the leading Turkish diaspora organizations in Europe" and also described as the largest Islamic organization operating in the West. Founded in 1969, the movement claimed to have "87,000 members across Europe, including 50,000 in Germany," as of 2005. The term also refers to the "religious vision" of the organization that emphasizes the moral and spiritual strength of Islamic faith (Iman) and explains the Muslim world's decline as a result of its imitation of Western values (such as secularism) and inappropriate use of Western technology. The Movement is active in nearly all European countries and also countries like Australia, Canada and the United States.
The Third mosque organisation is the Turkish Federation of the Netherlands (Turkish: Hollanda Türk Federasyon) is a Dutch association that is linked to the MHP (Party of the Nationalist Movement) based in Turkey. The TFN and related "Gray Wolves" are often associated with right-wing nationalist violence. The organization is referred to as the extreme right. The association consists of 54 member organizations consisting of mosques, youth associations and sports clubs. The TFN has been a member of the Contact Body for Muslims and Government (CMO) since 2013. The organization is monitored by the AIVD.
Next to the conservative Orthodox Sunni Muslims you have a lot of secular Turks in the Turkish community. People who are Kemalist, followers of Kemalism (Turkish: Kemalizm), also known as Atatürkism (Turkish: Atatürkçülük, Atatürkçü düşünce), or the Six Arrows (Turkish: Altı Ok), the founding ideology of the Republic of Turkey. These people are often moderate secular Turkish nationalists, Patriots, Social democrats, liberals or conservatives. Some combine a Turkish sunni Muslim faith with secularism, Atatürkism and strong ties to Turkey and the European Turkish Diaspora (the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Austria, the Scandinavian countries, the UK, Switzerland and etc.). Next to the left vs right tensions in the Turkish politcial spectrum (opposition CHP vs AK party government supporters), you have tensions between religious Muslims and strict hardline secularists. For many Turks Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is a saint, the founding father of the Turkish republic, the most important Turk of all times and many Turks worship Atatürk as Roman-Catholics the Pope, Mary and Jesus Christ. You see the image of Atatürk everywhere in Turkish supermarkets, Turkish pubs, Turkish restaurants, Turkish bakeries, Turkish greengrocers, Turkish butchers, Turkish cafeteria, Turkish shops, Turkish community centers and in Turkish private homes. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is like what Józef Piłsudski is for many Poles and George Washington and Abraham Lincoln is for many Americans and Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill to many British conservatives.
Two women walk past a portrait of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, as they go to cast their ballots in Istanbul (AFP)
Portrait of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Turkish Flags on the Atatürk Cultural Center, Istanbul, Turkey
Pieter, I watched some of the videos of Turkish ceremony in Arnhem and I agree that it was an excellent event with lots of great music and Turkish pride. I still see that Turkish presentation lacked women... I guess they need another generation for it. I hope it would come. Thanks for sharing
The Turkish migrant community in Arnhem is rather conservative, traditional, orthodox Muslim and patriarchal. Most people come from rural area’s in Turkey where a patriarchal family clan culture rules. Large families, strong hamlet, village and small town roots, and oftem little to no education. Some Turks told me their parents were illiterate, and that they were the first generatiion who got the opportunity to go to school and study at the university of Nijmegen. This created generational milieu gaps. Father belonging to an illiterate or low educated and skilled gurstworker milieu, sons and grandsons who are entrepreneurs, civil servants, teachers, ICT specialists, customs officers, Dutch politicians, teachers or succesful businessmen or shop keepers.
Mind you that what I write in this specific post and in the thread above here and the larger text under here is from the perspective of a native Dutch with West-Euroepan and Central-Euroepean parents with a christian heritage and a West-European classical liberal, moderate conservative and Western mindset. I look at the Sunni Muslim Turks with their mixed Earasian heritage, different culture, different language and different religion with a West-European mindset. I have to be honest about that. If you would talk with a Dutch Turkish Arnhemmer or a Turkish fellow who visited Arnhem and experienced the Turkish community from within you probably would hear a different story. Most Turks just see one Turkish idenity and don't see these Turkish minorities as different, nor do they have a specific problem with them. They do however have problems with separatist and nationalist Kurds who want an independent Kurdistan, with people who want to recognise the Armeninian genocide or with Greek Cypriotes, because the Turks support the Turkish Cypriotes.
I hope that watched some of the videos of Turkish ceremony in Arnhem showed you how large and present the Turkish community is in Arnhem. Every day life is different for them ofcourse. Daily life of these Arnhem Turks is working at their offices, family shops (there is al large Turkish middle class in Arnhem with Turkish supermarkets, Turkish shops, Turkish horeca), factories (Turkish workers and Turkish employers), the Arnhem muncipality, schools, sport clubs (gyms, soccer clubs and etc.), the Turkish mosque communities, Turkish firms (companies), the ICT sector (Information Communication Technology sector which is large in Arnhem), in construction, and also Turkish doctors, dentists, and internal medicine physicians and nurses in hospital, Turkish lawjers, attorney's, teachers, social workers, taxi and city busdrivers, truckdrivers, care salesmen, driving instructors, intermediaries and Turkish Dutch bankers or bank employees. Turkish Dutch Arnhem people are part of the local/regional working class, middle class and high class. There is a lot of diversity within the Turkish community which could not be seen in the video's Jaga. Many Arnhem Turks don't go to these community events, because they are secularist, non-affiliated with the community or belong to different ethnic, cultural, political and religious groups within the Turkish community in Arnhem. I mention the Turkish Kurd, Turkish Armenians (you have some of them in Arnhem too), Alevite Turks (see description under here), Georgian Turks, and probably Turks who belong to the other ethnic minorities in Turkey too. I mention the Turkish Jews, Albanians, Arabs, Assyrians, Bosniaks, Circassians, Lazs, Pomaks (Bulgarians) and Roma (Turkish gypsies). In Arnhem I knew a Turkish Georgian fellow who studied sculpture at the Art Academy I was attending. He told me that we get a distorched image from Turkey believing that the Turkish guestworkers (migrants in Arnhem and the Netherlands) represent Turkey. He said that that was and is not the case, because in his opinion the guestworker Turks over here in the Netherlands were from the poorer and less developped area's of Anatolia in
He said that in the larger Turkish cities of Istanbul, İzmir, Bursa, Ankara, Adana, Gaziantep, Antalya Antalya and Konya I would find more educated, sophisticated, intellectual, academic and Western Turks who live a Western life style, speak a second language, drink beer, wine and whiskey, are secular, progressive, liberal or moderate conservative, and less conservative and traditional then the rural guestworkers of the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. The situation for these Alevi, Kurd, Armenian, Turkish christian, Turkish Georgian, Turkish Greek and Turkish Jewish (often Sephardic) minorities is not always easy with this Turkish nationalist, conservative Sunni Muslim and sometimes Pan-Turkic or Ottoman thinking rural Turkish majority with their financial-economical, organisational (social cultural), ethnic and religious power. Political tensions between rigtwing nationalist and slightly Islamist Turkish government supporters and center left (CHP party) to leftwing opposition Turks, and between ethnic Turks and Turkish Kurds is a problem in the Netherlands in particuLar and Western-Europe in general.
There is always a very negative atmosphere, reporting and vision about immigrants and refugees in the Western media and public opinion. I want to state that there are excellent Turkish Dutch civilians, who speak Dutch fluently, merged their Dutch and Turkish identities in a wonderful form and a a great asset to our North-West-European Dutch society, economy, nation, people and country. Other Turks didn't manage to get out of their segregated mental and physical ghetto of isolationalism, a Turkish speaking closed communty, rural Anatolian identity and focus on Turkey and the Turkish diaspora in Europe. Inbetween these 2 groups you have also people with one leg in the integrated Dutch Turk society and another in the Turkey oriented rural traditionals. Often children and grandchildren grew out of the mental and physical ghetto of the Turkish community. They are only connected to that via their parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces.
Alevism pf the Alevi Turkish minority within the Turkish Dutch community is a syncretic, heterodox, and local Islamic tradition, whose adherents follow the mystical (bāṭenī) teachings of Ali, the Twelve Imams and a descendant—the 13th century Alevi saint Haji Bektash Veli. Alevis are found primarily in Turkey among ethnic Turks and Kurds, and make up between somewhere between 10 and 40% of Turkey's population, the largest belief after Sunni Islam. One of my best friends in Arnhem is of Turkish Kurd and Alevi background. Alevi's are often more liberal, broad minded, free thinking, secular, progressive than Sunni Muslim Turks. A large part of the Turkish progressive cultural intelligentsia consists of Alevi poets, writers, musicians, academic intellectuals, journalists, professors, artists and thinkers (philosophers and sociologists). Alevi's were and are persecuted inside Turkey.
The central Alevi corporate worship service is the Cem ceremony. Alevi worship and other social activities take place in assembly houses (Cemevi). The ceremony's prototype is the Muhammad's nocturnal ascent into heaven, where he beheld a gathering of forty saints (Kırklar Meclisi), and the Divine Reality made manifest in their leader, Ali. The Cem ceremony features music, singing, and dancing (Samāh) in which both women and men participate. Rituals are performed in Turkish, Zazaki, Kurmanji and other local languages.
The relationship between Alevis and Sunnis is one of mutual suspicion and prejudice dating back to the Ottoman period. Hundreds of Alevis were murdered in sectarian violence in the years that preceded the 1980 coup, and as late as the 1990s dozens were killed with impunity. While pogroms have not occurred since them, the Erdogan has declared “a cemevi is not a place of worship, it is a center for cultural activities. Muslims should only have one place of worship.”
Jaga, the Turkish presentation lacked women, because the organisation of the Turkish festival and the Turkish parade is in the hands of rather conservative and Traditional Turks from the Netherlands, Turks from Turkey and some German Turks from the German Turkish diaspora. With you I do believe that they need another generation for it, to represent or show more Turkish women and girls as active participants of the Turkish Dutch society, community and economy. I also hope it will come sooner or later.
Listen from 1:35 to the Turkish Dutch Arnhem city councillor. You don't understand Dutch, but I assure you he speaks excellent Dutch. He clashed with the leftwing Populist Socialist Party (the bold man before him) and the rightwing Populist PVV party. It is in Dutch, but maby you get an impression or feeling when you see this man. Do you trust him, does he look honest. I know him well and can get along with him.
Here I interview another Turkish councillor. From the same party as the Turkish Dutch man above here.
A Turkish Dutch candidate from the Denk (Think) party I interviewed in her home. I thought about the propganda images and found and used them myself. I asked Rabia Karaman to put the Denk poster behind her on the wall.
She is a very smart, academic, patient, sophisticated and educated (university of Nijmegen) woman.
With my Arnhem Dutch acqaintances Kürşat Bal and Rabia Karaman I went to the Abbey of Heeswijk Dinther, an abbey of Nortbertine Monks. I ogranised a theme day about Islam and building bridges. Kürşat and Rabia explianed a lot about Islam, their Turkish Dutch guestworkers (migrant) upbringing and how they combine Islam with science (physics) and politics. In their case in serving democracy with their Denk (Think) party. ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denk_(political_party) )
I made this short report about Kurd new year in Arnhem. Newroz by the way is celebrated by Kurds, Persians (Iranians) and Afghan people.
Nowruz (Persian: نوروز Nowruz, [nouˈɾuːz]; literally "new day") is the Iranian New Year, also known as the Persian New Year, which is celebrated worldwide by various ethno-linguistic groups.
Despite its Iranian and Zoroastrian origins, Nowruz has been celebrated by diverse communities. It has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in Western Asia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Black Sea Basin, and the Balkans. It is a secular holiday for most celebrants that is enjoyed by people of several different faiths, but remains a holy day for Zoroastrians, Bahais, and some Muslim communities.
Nowruz is the day of the vernal equinox, and marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It marks the first day of the first month (Farvardin) of the Iranian calendar. It usually occurs on March 21 or the previous or following day, depending on where it is observed. The moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year, and families gather together to observe the rituals.
My colleagues of Omroep Gelderland also reported about this event
Newroz or Nawroz (Kurdish: نهورۆز/Newroz/Nawroz, also: Gulus Kurdish: گوڵوس) is the celebration of the traditional Iranian peoples' New Year holiday of Nowruz in Kurdish culture. Before the Islamization of the Iranic peoples in Asia, the ancestors of the modern Kurds followed Zoroastrianism. In Zoroastrian doctrine, fire is a symbol of sight, goodness and purification. Angra Mainyu, the demonic anti-thesis of Zoroastrianism, was defied by Zoroastrians with a big fire every year, which symbolized their defiance of and hatred for evil and the arch-demon. In Kurdish legend, the holiday celebrates the deliverance of the Kurds from a tyrant, and it is seen as another way of demonstrating support for the Kurdish cause. The celebration coincides with the March equinox which usually falls on 21 March and is usually held between 18 and 24 March. The festival has an important place in terms of Kurdish identity for the majority of Kurds, mostly in Iraq, Turkey and Syria. Though celebrations vary, people generally gather together to welcome the coming of spring; they wear coloured clothes and dance together.