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Stalinesque Disinformation

Reader comment on item: Turkey's Islamist Turn, 10 Years Later
in response to reader comment: Historical errors or making a virtue of necessity?

Submitted by Mozere (United Kingdom), Dec 22, 2012 at 05:37

Ianus, thanks but no thanks for a completely disinformative bit of writing worthy of Beria the dog of Stalin.Instead of concentrating on the broad brushes of history you are concentrating mainly and exclusively on what certain individuals did or say with the masses as passive objects.Not a Marxist way of history writing is it? More like a gossip columnist,but your hero was not a Marxist or a true communist he was a monster.

From 1918 to 1923 Turkey was fighting for its very survival with the Turks facing extermination from maurauding christian gangs and foreign armies on its soil.Do you seriously believe that Ataturk should have started his secularisation program then,he was politically savvy.His ideal was a secular and rationalist country but this had to wait until the enemy was kicked out.Your hero Stalin also stopped demolishing the churches during the dark years of WW2 and turned to the religious establishment to summon national unity in the face of enemy.

The Ottoman and the Chinese Empires were the last of the agrarian empires left on earth after the European ages of discovery and enlightenment.In order to survive in the modern age the empire started a not very successful process of modernisation in late 18th century(Sultan Selim ) and gained momentum after the 1837 Gulhane decree.

So secularisation of Turkey was the result of external and internal forces at work,not an idea which somebody woke up with in one morning.One of the greatest disservices done to Ataturk was and still is the deification of him by his so called followers.This obscures the view that the Turkish society itself wanted it and the broad movement of history was in that direction and Ataturk was merely an agent in its fulfillment.Some of the bizarre theories that were spawned in this era can be excused as response by a deeply traumatised society,now these theories are not taken seriously.Look at what the cultured Germans came up with after the trauma of WW1.

Even after 10 years of Erdogan and defanging the army the country is still secular(room for improvement I admit) and I confidently say will remain so (barring a putsch by armed radicals). This is because as it is based on historical experience the public opinion wants it that way.Even most of the devoutly Muslim people in Turkey want to keep religion out of public space and use it for personal salvation.This is born out by some recent opinion polls.

You are willfully and cherry pickingly painting a totally wrong image of Ataturk,as an example Ataturk was nowhere near the Eastern front apart from a conferance in Erzurum,Kazim Karabekir was the commander of the Armenian front.Ataturk did want a strong Turkey to withstand western or indeed German imperialism,just like the Japanese which adapted western manners even western dress,but unlike Japan did not attack its neighbours istead his motto was "yurtta sulh cihanda sulh" peace at home peace abroad(unlike the laughably hypocritical slogan of 0 problems with neighbours)

He put his words into practice ,having cordial relations with his erstwhile Greek enemy Mr Venizelos,organising Balkan states into a friendly entente to put off german aggression.He invited ,and the invitation taken up,King George of the British Empire to Istanbul just to show no grudges were kept for 1920s and to show the Germans he will not be on their side.Ataturks anti German sentiments are well documented see the dairies concerning Limon von sanders and the german mission to Turkey. I urge the interested parties to read the excellent biography of Ataturk by Andrew Mango,thoroughly objective warts and all portrait,the preface alone ,analysing the demise of the empire,is worth buying the book for.

As to Lenin helping the Turks good on him ,we are thankful for that and also thank Muslims of the Indian Raj for their gold donations,but the Turkish war of Independence was not contingent on Lenin helping us we would have carried on ,the war may have taken longer but we would have got there in the end as there truly was no alternative.Ataturk will always be our hero despite the best efforts of Turk haters, despite best efforts of politised islam,and despite the visionless so called Kemalists who are stuck in the 1930s.


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