Noam Chomsky to Speak in NYC on Israel and Foreign Policy

Noam Chomsky will be giving a talk in New York tomorrow evening.

Event details are at Autonomedia Events Calendar

Chomsky has just returned from Turkey where he attended the trial of his
Turkish publisher who was facing up to a year in jail for publishing an
essay of Chomsky's.

Some Chomsky comments on his Turkish visit may be found below:"The prosecutor immediately withdrew the indictment, and the Court refused
to accept my request to be a co-defendant. The Freedom of Speech Initiative
was also evaded. We had a pleasant talk with several prosecutors, who made
it clear that it would be dropped -- and seemed rather apologetic about
their duties, hoping that the new legislation when it comes into effect
would improve matters.

But I wonder. The problem -- pretty evident even on a superficial
look -- is that it all goes on without change, as soon as
international attention disappears. As we left the State Security
Court, a journalist was brought in charged on grounds of something
said by someone she had interviewed. Later I met a radio journalist
going to Ankara on charges that his station had played some Kurdish
music. Just after I got back, I saw a Reuters dispatch saying that
as soon as I'd left, the Security Court opened an investigation
charging me (and, I fear, local people) with "fomenting separatism"
in a talk in Diyarbakir, and I guess they'll be smarter next time,
and run prosecutions there, expecting that the media won't show up.
There was quite a crush in Istanbul -- but not a single journalist
stayed on, as far as I could see, for the journalist who followed us
immediately; let alone other cases that continue, and the Southeast,
where it's incomparably worse.

The people are really impressive, and Diyarbakir was beyond
description. I've had very warm welcomes before, but nothing like
that one. Thousands of people showed up for a talk, same reaction in
the slums outside the walls where the "immigrants" (i.e., million or
so people driven there from the devastated countryside) are housed
(if that's the right word), and astonishing willingness to talk,
given that everyone knew that there were police agents all over the
place. Just the fact that someone from outside was willing to come
to make such profound statements as that people have a right to use
their own language seemed to be a really exhilarating experience for
them. I only hope that they don't suffer for it. I had checked
carefully with local human rights activists in Istanbul and
Diyarbakir, and with the Human Rights Watch Turkey specialist, who's
really marvellous and who was with me all the time, and kept closely
to their advice. But it's hard not to be worried. Quite apart from
what has happened in the past years, the place feels like a prison

It was a really remarkable experience. Even on the plane back many
people came up to thank me (sign language, a few words of broken
French, that sort of thing). Got the same impression from editors,
journalists, and others I met in Istanbul. Don't like to draw
conclusions from superficial experience, but it certainly seemed as
if there is a genuine and widespread desire to free themselves from
the military-run system and its capricious and often cruel
constraints. But it's far from over. That's clear. The EU raises
mild complaints, but they're ambivalent about expediting Turkey's
entry to the EU. And the US continues to offer decisive support for
every atrocity, so that here virtually no one will say a word about