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You seem to know what you are talking about but you dont have a clue actually

Reader comment on item: Turkey's Last Free Election
in response to reader comment: When was the first "fair and free election" in Turkey,I wonder ?

Submitted by John (Turkey), Jun 14, 2011 at 10:39

Quoting from Times as a source is wrong in the first place. Times is a magazine composed of writers who have their "opinions" on certain matters heard/read world wide. They do not provide information neutrally nor do they report facts as they are. They simply publish their opinions.

That being said, the people that were hung at the time were accused of "attempting to assisinate the president" or "related to this attempt" . And at the time Ataturk was the president. Even today such an attempt is punishable by death in most of the "modern" countries.

Ataturk may have been many things but "dictator" was not one of them. Dictators throughout the history, do not form (or at least try to form) a democracy. In your comment, you sound as if he tried to form his own kingdom with him as the ruler of all! You pretend all the reforms he made, all his ideas do not exist. You also seem to forget the fact that a new country was being formed at the time. He simply did not have the time to change people's minds. He had to make it happen fast! Imagine all the opposition he encountered when he mentioned that people should not be prosecuted according to Islamic law, that a modern law system is needed. Imagine; all the imperial forces supporting islamic movements so that a strong/free/democratic cannot be formed. You think after the First World War, the war was over? After the establishment of the Republic, all was good?

I agree with your comments on freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is a "must have" for a democracy. People should have the right to speak their mind and should not be prosecuted for it. However, freedom of speech do not grant people the right to attack a great leader. Even though, I support Ataturk and his ideals, I agree with you; criticizing him should not be punishable by law. However, that law was only came into effect after extreme-islamists (again supported by impeial forces, especially US) started swearing him/his ideals/his legacies and the Republic of Turkey. And believe me, they were not criticizing him...

Anyway, of all the good Ataturk has done to my country, I want people to show respect. And there are many like me. And that's why every year on his memorial, at the exact time, people like me stop whatever they are doing and share a moment of silence. And that is not enforced by law of any kind.

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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".

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