Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…


July 29th, 2010 by

No doubt about it, tattoos have the ability to deliver very political messages.  This has always been the case and it certainly will always remain the same.  Recently in Turkey however, a specific political tattoo has really grown in popularity with those who oppose the current direction that the Turkish government seems to be heading.

According to this article, people all over Turkey are visiting Tattoo studios, many of whom don’t particularly like tattoos, simply to show their support for a growing movement that wishes to keep church and state separate.  As a matter of fact, sixty-percent of the people who come into Instanbul’s Inkstanbul Tattoo shop (gotta love that name), have no other tattoos.

What do all these people want tattooed on their bodies and why?  Nothing more than the signature of Turkish politician Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, tattooed as “K. Ataturk”.  Ataturk was the founder of the secular Turkish state and a well respected innovator in terms of Turkey adopting more of a European approach to everyday life.  Today many feel that the secular way of life is in danger of being edged out in favour of a more Islamic republic.

“The Justice and Development party (AKP), the current ruling party in Turkey has its roots in political Islam, and has exacerbated fears among opposition secular members that the party holds long-term plans to transform the country from its secular establishment to an Islamic republic.

“Just like it happened in Iran,” Arti said. “They got rid of the shah and it became more religious and conservative. AKP is trying to do the same in Turkey.”

The increased frequency of young Turks asking tattoo parlors for Ataturk’s signature, “K.Ataturk”, tattooed on their bodies comes as a reaction to the upcoming June constitution referendum in Turkey. “

Though I don’t know a lot about this situation in Turkey, I find it really interesting that people are willing to tattoo themselves in opposition to a melding of church and state.  I know that in my own country people would never commit such a dedicated move to express their beliefs.  Not only that, but I’ve seen many different forms of protest in my life, but I’ve never seen something like this.  Good luck to them and their cause.

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