Reader comment on item: Does Turkey Still Belong in NATO?
Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Apr 11, 2009 at 11:59
Isaac Haskiya wrote :
> Fifty years ago I was a reserve officer in the Turkish Army.<
"50 years ago" ?... 4 years after the Turkish army staged the bloody pogroms in Constantinople ... Interesting to meet a janissary of secularism here ! "Reserve officer" ... You must have been quite a big and ideologically fat fish if you made such a brilliant career !
> In those times all the officers supported the "Kemalist" doctrine as Turkey being a national sovereign and secular state with democratic principles such as elections.<
How about Kemal's other "democratic" principles , e.g. his one party-system and ban on trade unions?
> I am sure that a majority of today´s officers ranking above a colonel have been trained in the same spirit. The army is the guarantor of the modern Turkish State. There should be very little doubt about it. <
Doubt ... Once the janissaries were the guarantor of the Ottoman Empire, now their successors in all but name have assumed the same role towards the post-Ottoman state... It's remarkable that this state -Ottoman or not- can't exist unless tightly guarded by overprivileged protectors and the ideology of their own superiority. Like Mohammed's paradise the gates to Kemal's paradise seem to lie under the shadow of the scimitars too.
> The people are Muslims. The party in majority is an "islamizing" party that might not fully enjoy the support of the Army. There are tensions between the two.<
There is much support and cooperation between the two, particularly behind the stage and on crucial issues. The Kemalist janissaries relied heavily on Islam in their war against the left and the Kurdish movement in the late 70-ies, 80-ies and 90-ies. Now when time came to pay back the credit to the Islamist ally , the Kemalists moan and cry of Islamist threat and organize fake one-million-secularists' marches to mislead the Western public. On the other hand , the so called "Islamists" are not stupid. In their politics they need a strong sabre-rattling army. Who can serve them better than these Kemalist janissaries? There was a deal here to be struck. The Kemalists agreed to serve Islam on condition their enormous privileges (huge salaries, free medical treatment, free housing , free transport, hefty pensions etc.etc. ) remain intact.
They are also Moslems and "secularism" in a country where everybody is a Moslem has no other function and meaning than that of being a bait to catch the gullible outsiders (i.e. Westerners) with. The phoney war between good militarist "secularism" and bad 'Islamism' is an ingenious decoy to cheat out of the West the finacial and technical resources and assistance to the "secularists" which the Islamists need to carry out their own ambitious schemes.
> A lot of things have changed in Turkey during these last fifty years<
Yes, e.g. this "secular" army was instrumental in total Islamization of Northern Cyprus. The Kurdish rebellion was quenched in blood in Turkey but out of a sudden a Kuridsh state emerged beyond the Iraqi frontier. It has turned out that the Islamo-Kemalist alliance brings more benefits to the two parties than their confrontation and even more benefits in foriegn policy if the appearances of the confrontation are officially preserved .
> but I do not think that the principles of the Army have changed.<
Sure, they are as opportunistic and flexible as during Gazi Mustafa Kemal Pasha's jihadist and communist days. The army is there to execute orders and opponents and first of all to secure its own exorbitant privileges. The Kemalist janissaries like their Ottoman colleagues are ready to mutiny, blackmail or make a compromise and give up with the parliamentary sultan and his vizirs depending on the given situation and play of interests and forces. The army's principles ALWAYS get adjusted to the outcome of the political struggle. Besides, no one can criticize the army with impunity, let alone bring it to justice.
> Nato or not, the EU or not, Turkey is neither East or West and should maintain that position.<
Wrong! Turkey is East and Moslem Asia and it intends to go further eastwards and islamwards in its dream of re-creating and heading a Pan-Turkic Empire. But to do that she needs finacial and material resources she hopes to cheat (or blackmail) out of Europe or America. It's what makes today's Turkey so dangerous and perfidious. Because of its pseudo-secularism it looks non-Islamic to the world while it is deeply Islamic. Because of its Western clothes introduced by force once upon a time it looks Western while it is deeply Oriental and Asiatic. Because of the sweet PC lies of its politicians it looks peaceful while it is an aggressive militaristic despotism. Because of its window-dressing liek elections it looks democratic while it is a police state.
In short, the Moslem grey wolf under Kemal's secular guidance has greatly improved his protective clothing and hunting methods. Now the sheep he is going to ambush and slaughter can hardly recognize him for what he is - the old jihadist bandit who used to massacre the ancestors of these very sheep that today invite him cheerfully to join their company.
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 (530) on this item
Comment on this item
Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes