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When was the first "fair and free election" in Turkey,I wonder ?

Reader comment on item: Turkey's Last Free Election
in response to reader comment: This is a wrongheaded analysis

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Jun 13, 2011 at 17:03

I was a bit puzzled by Dr. Pipes' , whose scholarly and rhetoric qualities I greatly admire, bold statement "I now warn: Elections taking place today are likely to be the last fair and free ones in Turkey."

And the reason for my puzzlement was that apparently unlike Dr. Pipes I can't remember or even imagine a "fair and free election" in any country without freedom of speech.Now the point is that Turkey is notorious for its lack of freedom of speech and thought.

Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Pasha aka Atatürk,so praised by Dr. Pipes on various occasions, was a bloody tyrant that founded and ruled a one-party system.When opposition to his dictatorial rule,at the beginning encouraged by himself, threatened to become a real political force, the so called "founder of modern Turkey" had recourse to ... the proven Ottoman methods on which Kemal's hagiographers in Turkey, whom Dr. Pipes refers to , are unanimously silent but, fortunately enough, contemporary sources don't spare us colourful details on them. In an articcle with the arresting title "Typical terrible Turk" "Time" writes on 6.09.1926 on how Kemal dealt with the opposition ... by having 17 opposition leaders simply hanged in public after a show trial :

"The 17 were jerked into eternity, after farcical legal proceedings, because they were suspected of attempting to form a new party in opposition to President Kemal. He, knowing well the mettle of these opponents who had successfully overthrown "Abdul the Damned," resorted to the only sure curb for Turkish intrigants—the noose. Paradoxically Dictator-President Kemal rose to fame and power as a general in the Young Turk armies, a subordinate of the men hanged by his orders last week."

Kemal's career and character are full of Oriental duplicity,treason and cruelty. As "Time" shrewdly remarks : "President Kemal, though "Europeanized," has still the attributes of the "typical terrible Turk." "

Enthusiastic statements by Dr. Pipes and others that "Atatürk imposed a dizzying array of changes including European laws" are only part of a more complicated and not so optimistic story and maybe the part of it willingly swept under the carpet explains best the later dysfunctionality and degenerative transmutations of Kemalism which we observe today?

So e.g. the 1926 article gives also a curious glimpse into Kemal's contempt for international law and America in particular ("the arbitrary and unexplained closing by the Turkish police of a Baby Clinic, charitably financed by U. S. citizens").One could give more examples of Kemal's xenophobia, anti-Western jingoism and anti-Semitism (including the notorious anti-Jewish pogroms in Thrace in 1934) which we are told to attribute only to the "bad Islamists" of today.

In any case what the fraudulent Turkish hagiography has made of Kemal has very little to do with the real person as we see through contemporary documents. Kemal wasn't the idealistic far-sighted enlightened genius who guarantees Turkey's allegiance to the Western values.He was what his contemporaries have seen in his acts ,not grandiloquent words -"a typical terrible Turk" and today's rulers of Turkey are not much different in that respect from him even though they follow a different idea.

But with the end of Kemal's one-party dictatorship no freedom of speech was introduced at all.Unlike in the USSR after Stalin's death Kemal's crimes and aberrations after his death have never been exposed and denounced in Turkey.Far from it ! A law was passed in July 1951 (Nr 5816) to protect the sanctity of the memory of Atatürk. It says i.al. : "To anyone offending or insulting Ataturk's memory, a sentence from one year to three years of prison should be applied". But the sentence can be doubled if a (thought)'crime' was committed in the media or by a group of people.

Now the sanctity of the memory of Ataturk, given the notorious historical facts of his life, is both a very flexible and tricky issue.If applied rigorously it makes any free discourse on Kemal, Kemalism and the political system in Turkey as impossible as the sanctity of the memory of Mohammed makes impossible any critical remarks on Islam. One recent example includes a Turkish scholar jailed because he tried to discard Kemal's absurd theories on history and his "sun language theory" which makes Turks the oldest inhabitants of earth and Turkish the first human lnguage! By the way, quoting the 1926 "Time" article "Typical terrible Turk" in Turkey would be for me tantamount with 3 years in jail if I were lucky enough to escape a bullet or a knife of an angry admirer of Kemal's holiness.

I will omit here the better known Article 301 which reinforces the previous law on the sanctity of Kemal's memory. Its consequences for freedom of speech are as devastaing as Law 5816.

So much for freedom of speech in "modern" Turkey.

Given the obvious fact that Turkey has been intentionally constructed by Kemal as and has always been a police state and eo ipso has never enjoyed freedom of speech - I repeat neither under Kemal himself nor under his successors and worshippers- I'd love to learn how Dr. Pipes has arrived at his conclusion as to "the last fair and free election" in Turkey, if before to the best of my memory there has never been a single case of fair and free elections because the most fundmanetal precondition of any fair and free election is freedom of speech ? And this precondition is not fulfilled in the case of Turkey. Or maybe Turkey is an enchanted Oriental wonderland where one doesn't need freedom of speech to have "fair and free election"?

Submitting....

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Reader comments (94) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Islam is the religion of the Arabs only [74 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
edmond michaelsDec 22, 2015 00:54227212
Kurdistan [72 words]David W. LincolnMay 25, 2015 20:35223517
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Turkey [192 words]KatieJun 14, 2011 00:44186303
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6Right to choose [41 words]AbuSaad KhanJun 13, 2011 12:45186274
2Regular elections? [80 words]Naushad OmarJun 18, 2011 11:50186274
2A democracy is a step in the right direction but not enough. [222 words]PrashantJun 21, 2011 00:11186274
5ME expert... [74 words]aozturkJun 13, 2011 10:04186265
6Also concerned [154 words]AnnJun 13, 2011 08:59186264
9Welcome to Turkey ? [723 words]IanusJun 15, 2011 18:16186264
2Why not look at the mirror [51 words]BazoonahJun 16, 2011 13:54186264
4Not a little story at all ! [282 words]IanusJun 18, 2011 04:26186264
2Armenian genocide [35 words]Naushad OmarJun 18, 2011 11:59186264
1an Addon [181 words]BazoonahJun 20, 2011 04:17186264
8Ask Allah.He knows best why Israel is so successful and Moslems such a failure, doesn't he ? [238 words]IanusJun 29, 2011 13:15186264
4Ignorance and Greed - Turkey's two eternal allies in the West [537 words]IanusJun 29, 2011 14:21186264
8Alert for Turksih propagandists: Our dear Naushad is saying that there was really an Armenian Genocide! [138 words]dhimmi no moreJun 30, 2011 05:55186264
The coming Islamic empire. [102 words]Naushad OmarJul 9, 2011 18:58186264
Arab Superiority? [105 words]Naushad OmarJul 9, 2011 19:04186264
3Dictatorship and Islamism go hand in hand [232 words]PrashantJul 10, 2011 18:20186264
6Islam is the religion of the arabs only [291 words]dhimmi no moreJul 12, 2011 07:39186264
2freedom was their right [28 words]Ravi Ranjan Singh Bharat PanthiJul 21, 2011 14:28186264
4Turkey IS gone from the western orbit, if it has ever really been a part of it to begin with.... [114 words]Adina Kutnicki, IsraelJun 13, 2011 06:12186262
10some respect to our choice [100 words]ahmetJun 14, 2011 02:28186262
1the freedom to leave islam [82 words]MikeJun 15, 2011 04:09186262
5Imam Edrogan's party [194 words]IanusJun 15, 2011 18:45186262
7Turkey is a 99,8% Islamic monoculture.Let's face it at last ! [305 words]IanusJun 15, 2011 20:01186262
3Islamic tolerance and christian love. [82 words]Naushad OmarJun 18, 2011 12:12186262
6What is really a Genocide as per UN and the crimes of Turkey and its bloody past [170 words]dhimmi no moreJun 18, 2011 16:38186262
5Do kafirs have a right to self-defence against Moslem aggression ? [552 words]IanusJun 19, 2011 18:51186262
3Another victim Arabian imperialism and of Islam [553 words]dhimmi no moreJun 20, 2011 07:25186262
110% of the middle east is still Christian [126 words]PrashantJun 20, 2011 23:53186262
1Christian conversion in midlle east was incremental and slow. [118 words]Naushad OmarJun 22, 2011 12:49186262
2al-wali wa al-mawali and what a disgrace [76 words]dhimmi no moreJun 22, 2011 19:05186262
No blame [56 words]sephardiJun 24, 2011 19:19186262
1Islam, the beautiful religion [135 words]Naushad OmarJun 25, 2011 14:38186262
2Muslims killed 90 M hindus? True or false. [682 words]Naushad OmarJun 25, 2011 15:16186262
3Monotheism is a "much ado about nothing" [526 words]PrashantJun 26, 2011 00:43186262
2Another Turkish propagandist [194 words]dhimmi no moreJun 26, 2011 05:31186262
2el-komidyya el-islamiyya goes on and on [679 words]dhimmi no moreJun 26, 2011 06:49186262
1el-komidyya el-islamiyya goes on and on revisited [226 words]dhimmi no moreJun 26, 2011 08:17186262
1990M Hindus were killed by muslims during jihad in India [1447 words]dhimmi no moreJun 26, 2011 13:56186262
1Reponse to dhimmi no more [131 words]sephardiJun 26, 2011 22:00186262
2Hatred and prejudice only lead to bitterness and blindness [389 words]MehmetJun 27, 2011 21:03186262
4The Turkish crimes against humanity [717 words]dhimmi no moreJun 28, 2011 06:27186262
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4The ugliness of Islam [119 words]IanusJun 29, 2011 13:38186262
You don't have any government documentation that proves Turks did genocide [217 words]sephardiJun 29, 2011 14:01186262
2we are all Armenians and get used to it [774 words]dhimmi no moreJun 29, 2011 18:00186262
6we are all Armenians and get used to it and the Armenian Genoicde and those that deny it and shame on them [732 words]dhimmi no moreJul 1, 2011 05:57186262
You don't even know what makes something official for a government [168 words]sephardiJul 1, 2011 18:45186262
5Confession of the criminal is not needed to establish the authorship of a crime [1789 words]IanusJul 2, 2011 11:01186262
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2Poor Turks! They are so allergic to the truth. [453 words]IanusJul 5, 2011 02:20186262
3Our dear Sephardi has nothing to say and shame on anyone who denies the Armenian Genocide [725 words]dhimmi no moreJul 5, 2011 08:04186262
5Jalal ad-Din Rumi on Turks [1116 words]IanusJul 6, 2011 14:44186262
Turks won't accept imaginary Armenian Genocide [139 words]sephardiJul 6, 2011 22:22186262
2Republic Of Turkey, MInistry Of Foreign Affairs: The Armenian Allegation Of Genocide The Issue And The Facts [3684 words]sephardiJul 7, 2011 23:31186262
2Our dear Sephardi is unable to refute the legal case against Turkey in regard to the Armenian Genocide. Shame on Turkey [809 words]dhimmi no moreJul 8, 2011 06:55186262
2Our dear Sephardi the Turkish Propagandist tells us that he has government documents! Where are they? Propaganda does not count [277 words]dhimmi no moreJul 9, 2011 06:04186262
Sephrdi - A Typical Genocide Denier [51 words]Young MCJul 10, 2011 19:23186262
1The Armenian Genocide and those that deny it! Shame on them! [694 words]dhimmi no moreJul 20, 2011 07:16186262
5The barbarian and the civilized [188 words]dhimmi no moreJul 20, 2011 13:43186262
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4The Hindu Genocide revisited [514 words]dhimmi no moreOct 22, 2014 17:14186262
Real proof [55 words]AdilOct 25, 2014 15:12186262
And what about the Christian Imperialism in India [99 words]AdilOct 26, 2014 17:40186262
1Our dear Adil admits that millions of Hindus were murdered by the Muslim invaders of India! [476 words]dhimmi no moreOct 28, 2014 07:54186262
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1It is a spectrum Adil [159 words]PrashantOct 28, 2014 17:41186262
2My evidence that Islam is the religion of the Arabs only? For the nth time Q14:4 and 10:47 and 13:8 and 35:24 and 28:75 [482 words]dhimmi no moreOct 29, 2014 07:25186262
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That is what I find bad.......... [28 words]AdilOct 31, 2014 12:22186262
2You still did not answer my question why do you live among Christian "imperialists"? [76 words]dhimmi no moreNov 2, 2014 08:31186262
3The Hindu Genocide revisited again [52 words]dhimmi no moreNov 2, 2014 08:35186262
1What of Turkey's Foreign Relations? [55 words]Peter HerzJun 13, 2011 05:42186261
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w/response from Daniel Pipes
kzndrJun 12, 2011 22:38186257
Islamist Parties Abroad [109 words]Sir Daniel M. J. TobinJun 12, 2011 17:37186247
5Election results did not meet PM Erdoğan's expectations [32 words]somaJun 12, 2011 16:44186242
This is a wrongheaded analysis [117 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Jeff H.Jun 12, 2011 14:02186235
11When was the first "fair and free election" in Turkey,I wonder ? [928 words]IanusJun 13, 2011 17:03186235
17Turkey the land of delusions [104 words]dhimmi no moreJun 14, 2011 06:57186235
1You seem to know what you are talking about but you dont have a clue actually [418 words]JohnJun 14, 2011 10:39186235
5Freedom of speech in Turkey would mean the end of Kemal's personality cult [1857 words]IanusJun 15, 2011 05:15186235
5"He insults Turkishness.Let's hire an underage murderer to kill him!" [537 words]IanusJun 16, 2011 17:00186235
11Turkey the land of delusions part deux [1059 words]dhimmi no moreJun 17, 2011 07:21186235
5Turkey - the land of paranoia (Armenian separatism without Armenians and Jewish land grab in Turkey without Jews) [767 words]IanusJun 17, 2011 15:59186235
2What is true of Turkey is true to all Islamic countries and societies [276 words]PrashantJun 17, 2011 18:04186235
3The wikileak and Turkey is indeed the land of delusions [62 words]dhimmi no moreJun 19, 2011 18:21186235
199 new names for Islam [154 words]IanusJun 20, 2011 07:58186235

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