Right of Return: Neo-Ottoman Time Travelers
by Bel Suave
2 years ago
A Psycho-social Exploration of Turco-Islamist Ethno-Supremacism - in the light of current events
When I choose the title of this story, I thought I would be embarking upon an historical reprise of attitudes - and incidents - which are common to the Islamist-Turkic nationalist of today, and their predecessors of another era.
The reference to 'time travel' should be clear - the current regime in Ankara appears to be intent upon dragging it's subjects back into an era before the creation of the Republic of Turkey. An era which is totally out of keeping with the real desires of the people, yet nevertheless, by occupying a level of mystical fascination for them, enthralls them to the power of a destructive dream cum nightmare.
These dreams recreate the climate in which of some of the most bloody pogroms committed in the course of religious and ethnic strife were effected, but a century ago. The pace of current events has stripped from me the luxury of such historical researches. The absence of credible reportage to the background of breaking events - in part due to the incredible suppression of the journalistic community in Turkey - has demanded that I stay for now with the present, more than with the past.
Therefore, this particular post will only begin to tackle that intended theme; the object here will be to try and weave some continuity between events of the past day and events of the past century. Today's report begins here...
2 years ago
In the course of writing about the situation developing in the aftermath of the latest Ankara bombing, I recently remarked that "we are witnessing a culminating "surge" by the regime right now - to totally eliminate civil, media, and judicial opposition to it's agenda of fomenting a brutal Armenian-style pogrom against the 1/4 of it's population."
To some, this reference to a brutal page of early C20th history might seem extreme, or out of place. Unfortunately it is not - explaining why involves a close examination of what lies behind the smokescreen of public relations, perception management, and mythologies which have been packaged together over the course of the last hundred years in the course of creating the Turko-Islamist mindset.
Now, just days later, with the bombing on Istikal in a touristy part of Istanbul, the pace of live events is playing havoc with my efforts at backgrounding the current political situation. My attention, forced to turn to A MAJOR STORY such as this one
Thumbnail for No War No Peace: The Triumph of Terror as State Policy
No War No Peace: The Triumph of Terror as State Policy
Israel and Turkey now joined at the hip!
is being challenged to weave together the past and present into a coherent whole. Something I will at least attempt to start here.
We've seen many variations of ethnic supremacism in action during the last hundred years, as well as religious strife and clashes between cultures and ideologies. Some are better known than others.
The systemic persecution of the ethnic Armenian population of Anatolia -which is to say, the killing or exile of several millions of that group - took place between 1915 and 1923, when the Republic of Turkey replaced the Ottoman Empire. Conducted under the auspices of the "Committee of Union and Progress," this mass expulsion of a significant minority which had lived in that part of the world for millennia is still being disputed by the state of Turkey as having ever happened.
This longstanding unwillingness to acknowledge an event which significantly altered the ethnic and religious composition of Anatolia is especially important at the moment - when ominous signs are developing of an intention on the part of the same nation state to achieve another 'demographic rebalancing' of it's citizens. It is very much the legacy of the 'founder' of the Turkish Republic - Kemal Mustafa 'Ataturk' - that the sores which have festered for a century now are being reopened for another blood-letting. The "revolution" which brought in that new state, you see, was supposed to be about the transition from the Ottoman Muslim Caliphate, to a modern "secular" state with a diverse yet equal citizenship collectively identifying under the banner of "Turkishness."
However, the definition and application of secularism in the Kemalist state which emerged significantly differed from the meaning that word holds for the rest of the world. A divergence which has significant implications for events of the moment.
A moment when the myth of Ataturks' secular-but Muslim nation has been subsumed and almost discarded by a hard-core Islamist "counter-revolution" of a kind, by a party which has been the predominant political power for well over a decade now. But in the inimitable manner of Turkey's never-ending contradictions and - positively BYZANTINE twists and turns - the reality of this moment is that the distance between the man who ended the Caliphate, and the man who wishes to restart it has closed remarkably. To the point where it can be said, the AKP may be a more true inheritor of the Ataturk legacy than his own CHP party!
That is because of the unacknowledged impact of that legacy on the pysche of the Anatolian people. As we go into meltdown stage, with new bombings every other day, and a hidden war in the southeast of Turkey taking more civilian & military lives every day, there is a pressing need to excavate and expose the underpinnings to a dogma which has held the citizens of the Republic in thrall to a criminal episode. One which will be expiated either by yet more blood sacrifice - or, it is to be hoped - by the clearing of the conscience of a nation created out of a savage ethnic cleansing which implicates both sides of the civil war now developing!
It's due to a chance encounter on a western message board that I started to realize the importance of exploring the real background to the Ataturk mythology. A fellow who 'had been to Turkey on vacation' and had been told by Turkish friends about the saintly Ataturk. It's really a rite of passage, for anybody who comes here at all interested in meeting the locals and learning their story. Turks are some of the most indoctrinated people in the world. The analogy I drew to N Korea in the previous story is appropriate in more ways than one! From the beginning of school right through to the last day of work, the Turk is exposed to the "Ataturk" pose in every classroom and office they walk into. The chances of being able to form one's one opinion on the man are just about zero.
Or, they were, up until the 1990s. Then, the rise of the Islamist parties and the greater spread of books and media caused a reevaluation of sorts to begin. For the Muslim reformer, the secular reforms which Ataturk insisted upon were looked upon with suspicion. The "kemalist" legacy of separation of mosque and state, the strong commitment of the military to preserving the secular authority, and an educational system which stressed those same values were beginning to be regarded as foreign to Turkey's aspirations to become the 'leading Muslim nation' in the world.
Be that as it may, it is still a crime to in any way speak against the Republic's founder in public.
Article 301 (Turkish Penal Code) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Article 301 is an article of the Turkish Penal Code making it illegal to insult Turkey , ... Since this article became law, charges have been brought in more than 60 cases, .... Article 301 as well as for “insulting the legacy of Atatürk” under Law 5816. ... and criticized the Turkish military for seeking to maintain its political influence ...
This peculiar sensitivity to criticism is indeed a national character trait. Quick to take offence at the slightest cause, the meaning of 'thin-skinned' takes on a new coloration with the fellow who you may have been on the best of terms with minutes ago - and this "Janus-faced" nature of the population at large is what Leyla Neyzi has written of as an integral aspect of Kemalism— which though
"centered on the cult of personality of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey—was based on modernist values predicated on a rejection of tradition, Turkishness continued to be defined vis-à-vis Sunni Muslim heritage identified with an imagined Turkish ethnicity. As the writer Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar poetically demonstrates, the modern Turkish persona is caught between desire for (what is viewed as) an inevitable future and the experienced past " With the anniversary of the patriotic war against the European Powers[Turkey fought on the side of the Germans in WW1]looming large in the news, the current President of the Republic two days ago announced on television that the country has 'never had either massacre nor atrocities of any kind!
Erdoğan: Bizim tarihimizde kıyım, katliam yoktur - İMC TV
2 gün önce ... Çanakkale Savaşı'nın 101. yıldönümünde konuşan Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan, “ Bizim tarihimizde kıyım, katliam yoktur. İnsanları sömürme hiç ...
This astonishing declaration of State-supported collective amnesia is the direct legacy of Ataturk, who - during a 1923 address to Adana traders, in response to a Muslim artisan who approached him and complained that Armenians had the upper hand in all matters of trade - responded by saying that the Armenians...acted as if they were the owners of this country. He went on to say,
"Without a doubt,there couldn’t be greater injustice and audacity than this. Armenians have no rights in this prosperous country. The country is yours; it belongs to the Turks.This country belonged to the Turks throughout history; thus, it is the land of the Turks and it will belong to the Turks forever." Reading Mustafa Kemal Ataturk on the Armenians Fatma Ulgen pg391
It has always been assumed that Kemal was free of the taint attached to the CUP regime which organized and executed the mass slaughter of Armenians. In what has been described as a case of "moral luck" he was in military duty all the time in which those massacres were occurring, far away from the scene of the crimes! There are however, little known details to the background of all this which have seldom seen the light of day. As the number of persons jailed, fined, or otherwise punished for "insulting" the [current] President grows into the thousands, it is a work of some exactitude to parse those details for accuracy and freedom from ideological slant.
Turkey Cracks Down on Insults to President Erdogan - The New ...
Mar 2, 2016 ... The justice minister revealed that 1845 cases of insult crimes had been ... Among the offenders are journalists, authors, politicians, a famous soccer ... Kemal Ataturk, modern Turkey's founding father, as well as those insulting ... life in prison on espionage charges for reports that Turkey's intelligence service ...
That kind of objectivity is all the more required because it is well known that there is a veritable industry of people - Greek and Armenian for the most part - with an axe to grind against Ataturk, and the country of Turkey in general. They are often willing to stretch the truth - in the opposite direction but to the same degree, - which the Turkish side is culpable for doing. Respect for the historical truth outweighs any other concerns here. Without it, the Turkish people will never be able to free themselves from the demons of their past.
It is also known that there were incidents of bloody murder, reprisals, and other crimes committed by Armenians and Greeks against Muslim Turks. That fact has given the Turkish side much ammunition for rebutting their critics. All I can say to which is -with events now moving at breathtaking speed, I cannot sit on this story, knowing that a replay of a terrible piece of history is showing further signs of developing every week. All the careful background research in the world will be unable to avert that tragedy, if the bare outlines of its dynamic are not brought to the attention of those with the power to avert it's drift.
So some kind of compromise is in order,to get this story started, and see if events will allow for my return to fuller historical research. It is of the essence to have this story presented now, because the words and actions of the Ankara regime SO FEARFULLY ECHO THE TRAGIC EVENTS OF ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO! There will be no winner if the attacks against the Kurdish regions continue to escalate - along with the inevitable responses from the other side.
"In 1934 the Turkish Grand National Assembly hailed Kemal with the surname of Ataturk, meaning the father of the Turks, in tribute to his singular contribution in forging modern Turkey. With an eye toward securing his legacy, in 1931 Kemal founded the Turkish Historical Society, which was charged with the guardianship of the state's official history." That last sentence betrays a little of the truth about Ataturk's obsession with both his legacy and that of the Republic he mid-wifed into existence. The perception management in which the current regime now so heavily engages is not a new phenomena to Turkish politics by any means.
Denial of the current reality - of a war against the civilian population of southeastern Turkey - and denial of the past massacres of other minorities are being welded together in the Turkish psyche of the moment. If there is to be any hope for the country to return to it's sense before another major bloodbath, it will require the tearing apart of that constructed mythos of 'never happened!' And time is running short. A few quotes from other sources will round out this posting. I will continue with it soon.
Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) was formerly himself a member of the governing body of Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), the political organization of murderous Young Turks. Once in power, Ataturk and the Kemalists not only continued the Armenian Genocide, but directed their tested policies of extermination of an entire people against Greeks and other ethnic minorities. In Eastern Armenia alone, the Kemalists destroyed 200,000 Armenians (1920-1921), in Smyrna – 100,000 Greeks and Armenians (September 1922), in the Black Sea regions – about 300,000 Pontian Greeks (1919-1923). They also continued the Genocide against the Assyrians, of whom about 500,000 were annihilated by the Turkish forces from 1915 to 1923. Deportations, mass exterminations, political and cultural repressions against the Kurds, the second largest ethnic group in modern Turkey, began immediately after the Armenian Genocide and continue to this day. All Kurdish attempts to protect their basic national and human rights were brutally suppressed in 1925, 1927, and 1937. In 1980s and 1990s, more than a million Kurds were deported to large cities (during these deportations, according to various estimates, two to three thousand Kurdish villages were destroyed).ardarutyun.org/
"Denial of the Armenian Genocide began concurrently with the execution of the Armenian Genocide. As the Ottoman-Armenian population was massacred and deported, the Ottoman leadership constructed a narrative that, with periodic revisions and refinements, remains in place today: Armenians were disloyal and rebellious, a threat to security and the war effort; it was therefore necessary to temporarily relocate them; and measures would be taken to protect them and safeguard their property and assets.
Each element of this narrative, and each measure taken to give it substance, was a fabrication. What was important, however, was that each part of it could be made to appear true. The fabrications came to be accepted as truth in Turkey as Mustafa Kemal, the founder of the new Turkish Republic, institutionalized the official narrative about the Armenians that had already been drafted by the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) leadership that planned and implemented the genocide."Scholarship, Manufacturing Doubt, and Genocide Denial Marc Mamigonian
"On May 5th 1932, the Turkish government decreed the Law of Deportation which authorized the Minister of the Interior to deport to the western provinces the Kurdish populations of certain zones, "for health, material, cultural, political, strategic and disciplinary reasons." Thereafter, officially in Turkey there are no more Kurds. There are only "Highland Turks.""
As promised in the previous story I am soon going to detail the manner in which the expulsion of the Kurds - from their own historic territory - will proceed, according to a teribble template used a hundred years past.
Release: March 20, 2016