Proofreading and indexing is slow-going work, and I’m finding it challenging to fit enough of it into my workday to meet the deadline after the publisher delivered the page proofs late, cutting the indexing time way down. As a result, I am not going to be doing much blogging until the indexing and proofreading are done. The good news, for what it’s worth, is that indexing goes faster the deeper into a book I go because most of the index terms will have already been entered into the list, so by the time I am halfway through, it will mostly be autopilot.
Meanwhile, I thought I would briefly discuss Andrew Collins’s Facebook postings from last week in which he claimed that Turkey was out to get him. If you subscribe to my weekly newsletter, I briefly mentioned it there, but it’s worth repeating for everyone. Collins says that his book From the Ashes of Angels was banned in Turkey and that he has himself been kicked out of Göbekli Tepe because of his controversial views about the site. No, not that it’s some sort of Nephilim-Denisovan afterlife computer. At first he said it was because he refuses to accept the Turkish line that Göbekli Tepe is the temple of idols that Abraham destroyed in the Qur’an, a claim that some Islamists in Turkey have been promoting with help from the Turkish government, as I reported years ago. (While Turkey’s media has promoted the claim, the government has done nothing to suppress actual archaeological research about the site’s history.)
Collins posted a YouTube video about the issue.
As he discussed the issue of the ban on his book, Collins admitted the real reason: His book carries a dedication to Kurdish independence, which ran afoul of Turkey’s hardline position against Kurdish independence or autonomy. A Turkish court found that the book was “propaganda” for the Kurds.
The suppression of books because they disagree with the government is a tragedy, and doing so in service of political ends is outrageous. The Turkish government is wrong to do this, and it betrays a fundamental sense of weakness if they think their position is so insecure that a bonkers book by a nutjob from Ancient Aliens can threaten an entire government. I’ve faced a lesser version of this when Turkish Pres. Erdogan’s supporters spent weeks attacking me when the Washington Post cited a blog post of mine to refute Erdogan’s false claim that Columbus saw an Islamic mosque in Cuba.
The Göbekli Tepe incident is, frankly, more funny than it is tragic. Dr. Lee Clare of the German Archaeological Institute, apparently screamed at Collins that he didn’t want Collins’s pseudoscience at the site and berated him until Collins left the site.
I can’t even work up the energy to care about him getting yelled at for having stupid ideas. I can however work up the energy to note that Collins spent more time in his YouTube video bitching about getting yelled at by Lee Clare than he did from having the weight of the Turkish government used to suppress his work. They just don’t carry the same weight, but Collins was much madder at Clare because Clare called him a purveyor of “pseudoscience,” which insulted Collins more than being considered a threat. In other words, one action hurt his ego and the other flattered it.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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