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Ianus, don't let the endless venting get in the way of truth

Reader comment on item: Islamist Turkey Overreaches
in response to reader comment: How much Islamic do you need to be to become 'secular' ? 100% !

Submitted by Lazman (United States), Jun 9, 2010 at 14:34

In your 1st paragraph you state "then why did "secular" Turkey vote against the creation of the state of Israel in 1947.."

You conveniently omit that Turkey was the first Muslim country to officially recognize state of Israel in 1949 and if you study the geopolitics of the region you will learn that it was the fear of communism that Turkey had at the time, 1947, including its desire to see anti-communist West (specifically the British) in the region instead of USSR, establish a base in this newly formed state.

Of course there would have been some worry about alienating the Arab states but read and you will learn that during WW1, Arab leaders, some with very high positions in Ottoman government, started negotiating with the British for the independence of today's Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine, in exchange for Arab uprising against the Ottomans Turks. Also, keep in mind, Turkey not only remained neutral during the 1948 Arab Israeli War but stopped any Turkish volunteers from joining Arab forces.

Unlike PM Erdogan who may consider Arabs "brothers", most secular Turks then and today still consider them as "backstabbers."

Further, if you are implying that there was some animosity between the Jewish people and secular Turks ("elites" as the Islamists refer - when kind) during that time, you are absolutely wrong. Let me give you an example from that period. In 1940s many Jewish scientists and doctors had immigrated from Nazi Germany to Turkey and were faculty members at the few universities in Istanbul. Not only did they contribute tremendously to the education of mostly secular Turks they were lovingly admired and respected in return. Ironically, Turks even referred to them affectionately, but sadly, as "our gifts from Hitler".

In your 2nd paragraph you state " ... no one in Turkey can ever contradict in public what Kemal said without facing a jail sentence on charges of denigration of His Holiness Ataturk. There are special laws that make any open criticism of Kemal illegal …"

"His Holiness Ataturk" died in 1938. It wasn't until later that the Islamists who felt Ataturk had "limited" their religion and the tarikats (Islamic cults) started revolting in many areas of the country, some very deadly, including as symbolism on their part, the burning of Ataturk pictures and smashing his statues (even 17 in one day). The law was passed in 1951 to curb not the attack on his memory but what Islamist viewed as the new secular Turkey.

BTW, not laws; there is only one law and don't you worry yourself; during Erdogan's AKP government Ataturk haters are safe. Even AKP's second man in charge a few years ago said in an interview with NYTimes that in effect "Turks suffered trauma with Ataturk's reforms." Also, a couple of years ago two covered girls gave an interview on Turkish TV stating they did not like Ataturk, but that they liked Khomeini. To my knowledge they are fine and in fact became quite popular.

Ianus, open your "gates to the reality and truth" and let me explain this to you another way. The issue is not a picture or a statue of a dead man that is being denigrated; it is the symbol of secularism and principles of modern Turkey that it represents and the Islamists love to attack.

I can't address any more of the angry ramblings in each of your next seven paragraphs, just counting the issues tired me out!! But I realize it makes you feel good and certain minds may buy into this stuff.

Submitting....

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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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