The dogma of Turkish secularism or Western amnesia
Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Apr 11, 2009 at 08:40
Hi , Vijay !
Let me address briefly the points raised by your reply.
> You wrote "Turkey is a 99,8% Moslem monoculture. If you don't believe, check e.g. the CIA Factbook. There are more than 85,000 active mosques there, one for every 350 citizens, which is the highest number per capita in the world. With 90,000 imams it has more imams than doctors or teachers"
The CIA page on Turkey does not give these figures.
I misplaced the link and it should have stood just after "check the CIA Factbook" . In it you can read in chapter "People in Turkey" Religions : Muslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (mostly Christians and Jews) "
So I didn't invent it nor did the CIA experts. The other data come from the article I refered to in another of my comments.
>Be that as may, Turkey has been run by a committed secular regime from 1923.<
"committed secular regime"? Looks like an English translation of an official history of Kemalist Turkey. I warn you against trusting or repeating uncritically the official versions of anything happening in or pertaining to Turkey unless you have further corroborating independent evidence. Turkey is a country where freedom of speech doesn't exist , so anything coming from there is in practice unreliable and untrustworthy.
This "committed secular regime" was founded by a man who bore the title of "Gazi" which is the supreme honorary title of a jihadist - the Holly Warrior of Islam. The founder of the Ottoman empire Osman was also a gazi and exactly for the same reason why our Gazi Kemal Mustafa Pasha. Both exterminated the infidels and spread Islam. It's all Kemal's war against the Entente of 1919-1922 was about - a pure jihad.
Now our gazi had a big problem with his sovereign. The caliph and sultan happened to disapprove of his gazidom and declared a civil war on him. What is more the caliph issued a death fatwa against him enjoining every Moslem to kill Kemal to earn paradise. Kemal had no choice. His initial humble requests for an alliance with the sultan had been rejected. To survive the gazi was forced to fight back fiercely and get rid of the caliph and sultan. A bloody civil war followed. Kemal's decision to abolish the caliphate was no decision based on principles of Enlightenment and Secularism. Like all things the gazi did it was a matter of opportunism, of political survival and here of revenge. He allied himself with Lenin for the same reason he declared war on the caliph - to stay in power and alive !
The forced "securaisation" in Turkish realities meant that while Turkey was inevitably progressing towards pure Islam (100% still to be achieved in a generation or two) the very mention of "gazi" was punished with death just as wearing a fez was. In Turkey you can do with the past whatever you wish if you have power enough. But manipulating the public opinion , creating lofty visions and grand schemes doesn't change much on the ground where the iron logic does its work irrespective of what is claimed in the media.
The same happened to all the Turkish reforms -starting with Tanzimat in 1839 , with Abdul Hamid's "constitutions" or the Young Turks' reforms. They were all castles built on quicksands and turned out to be a a fraud and a hidden way back to the inveterate despotism of old. But they were ALL hailed by gullible Westerners unfamiliar with the perverted Turkish ways as the great dawn of happiness, justice and propserity and peaceful future for Turkey and her neighbours. I am just reading a hagiographic book on the Young Turkish "reforms" written around 1912 by an American author. The Armenian massacres were still a few years ahead , the WWI as well. It's funny to see exactly the same eulogies and glorifications of Kemal's enemies that are applied to Kemalism now. It's so convenient for the present Turkish fraudsters that the West suffers from its amnesia.
To see how Turkish military "secularism" works in reality, go and see Northern Cyprus. In 1974 the Kemalist "secularists" occupied it. They destroyed all vestiges of ancient Christian culture there. Churches, monasteris , chaples were all robbed and changed into mosques, stables, latrines, bars or levelled to the ground, cemeteries desecrated. In every village new splendid mosques were built with imams calling the Turkish Moslems from Paphlagonia or Cappadocia for 5 daily prayers and Quranic schools. All of this has happened with permission and direct encouragement of the all=powerful "secularist" occupation army. If this is what 'secularists' do when they have power to do whatever they wish, then don't tell me Turkish fairy tales of good "secularists" fighting bad "Islamists". They work together to achieve the same goal with different means.
> They had kept in check "Islamist forces" by what you can say 'undemocratic' means.<
Dear friend, I don't know what "democratic means" under Turkish circumstances might mean at all. Democracy is as alien to Turkish ( Islamo-Kemalist) despotism and Turkish culture as it is to the Saudi Arabian tyranny. To have a democracy, you need democrats first and these are not born where Islam thrives. In Turkey ONLY undemocratic means are possible.
> The number of mosques in Turkey does not bother me for after all Turkey has been the seat of Calihahte till 1923 and there have been thousands of mosques built till then.<
Until then c. every third subject of this state was not a Moslem and now you need a magnifying glass to find any. The number and the state of mosques should bother you a lot. They reflect an underlying reality on the ground just as fever reflects an infection in the body. All mosques have been renovated, redecorated and are in a perfect state and many new ones have been built as Turkey's Moslem population grows. The news about that wasn't much advertised so that no doubts on the dogma of Turkish secularism" arose among the credulous Westerners. E.g. to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the conquest of Constantinople in 1953 a splendid mosque was built on the island of Antigoni ( Burgazada ) , the thrid biggest island of Constantinople. At that time of the nationalist Islamic Turkish delirium little reminded of secularism across Turkey. Even today every year on 29.05. during the celebrations of the fatih bayram (festivities of the conquest of Constantinople) you can feel what you are never told by Turks. In general, unless you know unpleasant things about Turkey, the Turks will NEVER tell you. They will only lie about how sweet, great and tolerant they are.
> Mosques have been Turks cultural heritage.<
"Cultural heritage"? You seem to have a peculiar idea of what "cultural heritage" is. Mosque is Islam's soul and body on a practical , everyday level. It's the most efficient means and institution of control of the Moslems. It's where public political opinions are formed and moulded (Friday khutba) ; where the Quran and its teachings are imbued and reinforced. It's not the culture in our Western watered down, neutral meaning. It's politics, power and the totality of a Moslem's life that is concentrated here. Who controls the mosque controls the Moslems and in Turkey's realities it means "controls everybody" (99,8% of the population).
Now e.g. the ruins of Troy or the Parthenon are a cultural heritage par excellance. But what politcs and what control can you extert by controlling the Parthenon or Priamus' castle, dear friend?
> By and large, Turks especially those in urban areas have been freed from the shackles of medievel outlook springing from Sharia and Islamism.<
Strangely enough, most mosques are concentrated in cities and it's 'shari'a and Islamism' that are the essence of what is being taught in them. It's all the Quran and Muhammed's acts are about.
And the idea of progress which your optimism towards the Turks seems to revolve around is alien to Islam. The Turks are not dreaming of being like Germans or Americans (I have seen enough of them in Germany. They don't integrate.) They want a return to the golden age of the Ottomans, they want a Pan-Turkic empire, they want to be pashas and beys of the despised kafirs like myself or teh Germans that whose traitorous politicians have brought that scourge on them. They want the Middle Ages again, for the Middle Ages were their golden age. Kemalism is transient, Islam is permanent in Turkey.
> The present government in Turkey is trying to bring it back by backdoor means.And Obama is playing along with it by rewarding it and appeasing it.<
Both "the present government in Turkey" and Obama have understood the basic mass longings and psychology as well as their underlying demographic basis. They know that 99,8% are Islamist and no myths of "committed" Turkish secularists can change it. The Turks want to live like medieval Moslems. It's up to the policticans to reward them for their atavistic desires if they want to get elected and supported by this kind of voters in the political schemes and intrigues ahead of us.
Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".
Reader comments (521) on this item
Comment on this item
You can help support Daniel Pipes' work by making a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes