Inspiration Ataturk

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

Yasser at Ataturk's house

Last week I was fortunate to visit Kemal Ataturk’s Marine Mansion in Florya Istanbul, located on the Marmara Sea. Ataturk had spent his last days in this mansion. As I walked through the beautiful mansion by the sea filled with Ataturk’s belongings and personal effects, it hit me as to how much modernists in the Muslim world derive inspiration from the great father of the Turks and his regeneration of the Turkish nation.

My own interest in Ataturk dates back to the late 1990s when Pakistan’s then military ruler General Musharraf had listed Ataturk as his model.  He was not the first Pakistani ruler to claim inspiration from Ataturk though. Pakistan’s early leadership was of a modernist persuasion and from Jinnah to Ayub Khan most Pakistanis held the Turk founder in great esteem. The biographers of Mr. Jinnah list the father of Pakistan’s fascination with the Grey Wolf; An intimate study of a dictator a book by H C Armstrong.  After reading about the then newly published book in the Times Literary Supplement, Jinnah had picked up the book in Hampstead on one of his walks. Apparently he found in the Turk leader, his contemporary, a kindred spirit.  He then gave the copy to his daughter Dina saying “read this it is good”. Apparently the impression that Ataturk left on the suave barrister was so profound that doting Dina started calling him “Greywolf”.  Quite fittingly there is a wolf bust in Jinnah’s study in the flagstaff house where he spent his last year as Governor General.

As a student at Rutgers I had access to one of the finest libraries on East Coast – the Alexandar Library.  After reading Ataturk by Andrew Mango- a birthday present I had gotten for my 20th birthday,  I tracked down in the Alexandar Library a 1933 edition of Grey Wolf; An Intimate Study of a Dictator.  It makes for an interesting reading.  The book was highly controversial when it first came out.  Turkish government actually banned it because it presented Ataturk, amongst other things, as a pleasure seeking savage – a man who engaged in wild orgies, liked loose women and drank from sun down to sun rise. It portrayed him as highly irreverent, anti-God and a brute. It is strange therefore that Jinnah who was always very proper, an eminent Edwardian gentleman known to drink only in strict moderation and who had no scandals with women should find the life of Grey Wolf of H C Armstrong’s estimation even remotely similar to his own.  But apart from these apparent character flaws alleged by H C Armstrong, there was much about Ataturk that Jinnah might have seen in his own image. Courage, tenacity, and a strong will were three attributes of Ataturk that come across in the book and these were the three attributes that defined the Quaid-e-Azam as well. Both men were essentially loners at the pinnacle of their success. Jinnah must have felt some similarity with the splendid isolation of the father of the Turks who like Jinnah was averse to playing second fiddle to anyone. But it is clear that Jinnah’s case was one of inspiration rather than emulation. Speaking to an audience he declared that he wished he could be Mustafa Kemal but unlike the Turkish leader he was not a military man and did not have an army behind him; that his weapons were argument and logic.  In any event Kemal Ataturk’s own orientation lay towards mainland Europe dominated by military strongmen while Jinnah’s training was in British parliamentary institutions. As Naeem Qureshi writes in his book Ottoman Turkey Ataturk and Muslim South Asia:  “Inspiration reinforces vitality. Imitation dampens it”.

Greywolf

Of course Greeks and Armenians hate Ataturk perhaps even more than Indians hate Jinnah.  Greeks and Armenians accuse Ataturk (quite unjustifiably) of being the consummator in chief of Armenian and Greek genocides.  To be fair to Ataturk he did not have a direct role to play in the ethnic cleansing of Armenians. He did not speak against it but he was in no position to influence the young Turks in anyway. It is also true that Symrna (now Izmir) was burnt down as his forces entered the town, but direct complicity is another thing. While shying away from calling it genocide, Ataturk did condemn the near total exodus of Christians from Turkey in 1926.  Still a recent book Ataturk in Nazi Imagination goes so far as to paint Ataturk as the original inspiration for Nazism and Fascism.   It is true that Hitler and Mussolini both saw Kemalist Turkey as a successful example of an ordered society coming out of the ruins of a chaotic feudal one but it must be stated that Ataturk was replacing an old order with a new one and not – as in the case of Hitler and Mussolini- seizing power in societies that had already been modernizing and industrializing. Secondly Ataturk’s authoritarianism was not an end unto itself but a means to an end –  to quote Armstrong he was a dictator so that that Turkey may not have more dictators.

Inspiration from Ataturk can often take different shapes. Reccip Tayyip Erdogan, the current President of Turkey, is the most powerful president since Ataturk. Erdogan seems to be imbibing all the wrong lessons from the great man’s legacy.  He is using his extensive charisma to carry out social and cultural engineering in reverse. Just as Ataturk set about westernizing his nation,  Erdogan is going the other direction – Islamizing the most modern Muslim nation in the world. Unlike Ataturk however,  Erdogan is operating in the 21st century with a vibrant Turkish civil society and an aware and educated population. Social and cultural engineering may not entirely be possible.

Ataturk

Blind emulation of Ataturk is neither possible nor ideal – certainly not in the 21st century.  Yet his memory still inspires. The inspiration does not lie in his theories about Turkish racial superiority or the Sun language theory – two ideas that were rightly abandoned soon after his death. It also does not lie in the state’s brutal repression of dissent which saw some of the finest Turkish minds including Halide Edib go into exile.  Nor is his crackdown on Sufi dargahs exactly worthy of emulation.  Ataturk inspires because he was the first leader in the Muslim world to realize that women have to play an equal role in the progress of a nation (you find an echo of Ataturk in Jinnah’s famous “No nation can rise to heights of glory unless your women are side by side you). Ataturk inspires because while he did not quite succeed in achieving the ideal in his lifetime, he laid the foundations of a great modern democratic republic of the future which was at “peace at home and abroad”.  Above all Ataturk inspires because he had unbounded faith in his own destiny and the destiny of his people.  All his endeavours, right, wrong or controversial, were aimed at making his people great.  And he was pragmatic in the pursuit of nationalism, never overcommitting and never driven by emotion.   Ataturk the great modernist will continue to inspire patriots and reformers around the Muslim world and that is his lasting legacy.

  • Mohan

    Chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Sirajul Haq, today placed a bounty of Rs 1 billion on Indian PM Modi

  • tajender.
  • yasserlatifhamdani

    History Bluff,

    That is a good contribution. Wish you can contribute like this more often instead of abusing Jinnah, Pakistan and what not.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • timely

    to tajender


    terrorism and fascism come from this 7th century arab religion, but you keep blaming some 20th century organizations like CIA etc.

    Since 1400 years this arab religion is carrying out imperialism, aggression and fascism against non-arabs and non-muslims.

    And you blame some new 20th century organizations for all this evil mess.

  • tajender.
  • Mohan

    http://t.co/76ofrT1AEl Why Brits disliked Netaji & created a Mahatma of Gandhi-read our piece to know the genesis of the current degen.

  • Mohan

    Remembering BR Shenoy, arguably the greatest Indian economist of the 20th century; sadly ignored in his lifetime: http://t.co/F1SwBHPmgE

  • romain

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deIph-GH09w


    i understand that Pakis will not be able to see this video on youtube. But I am really posting it for Indians

  • saad.

    Maggi: the Modi of Indian fast food. Well packaged, sold to the unsuspecting public by ad agencies. Empty calories. Bad for you. #MaggiBan

  • saad.

    romain the following is better.gora and tarek are not balanced person,

  • Mohan

    ISIS bans pigeon breeding – punishable by public flogging – because seeing birds’ genitals overhead offends Islam

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3107027/ISIS-bans-pigeon-breeding-punishable-public-flogging-seeing-birds-genitals-overhead-offends-Islam.html#ixzz3bzDcvsZC

  • kaalchakra

    Tarek Fatah describes Indian liberals to a T. His opening remarks so remind me of a fellow – ‘anil’ who was simply incapable of seeing beyond the dollar.

    Indian liberalism and communism are unique in the sense that they construct their narratives based solely on ignorance, hubris, and selfishness. If Islamists have captured Indian communists and liberals (not a new phenomenon) and if taslima nasrin is hounded out of India, I say good for Indian Islamists.

  • Mohan

    Written outside a brothel

    Yahan hum sirf shareer bechte hain,
    Imaan khareedna ho to kisi bhi media house Jao.

  • tajender

    tarik fatah is away from ground reality.he should know that gujrat is under debt of 192000 crores.india is country of tolerant people,in morning azan bells from temples and gurbani from gurdwaras come simaltanenously.no bobody object.he was saying 30 lacs bengalis,where are graves or any sign of their mascare.sharmilla bose wrote a good book on this.i have around 100 bengalis working for me now.i asked repeatedly ,if any of your during 1971.they say no.i asked to check if any of your friend relative died.mukti bahini was rss with somebengali youth on front.they were killing urdu speaking and pro-pak hindus.then pak army retaliated to maintain law and order.then urdu speaking were bucthered again and suffering even now in different camps.
    these gora and tarek are both ex-muslims.pakistan was result of economic disparity.in sialkot when am muslim boy will convince that
    he is theif,father-in -law will give daughter to him.creation of pakistan was zoinist plan enforced upon muslim.muslim league lost election everywhere.now the same situation is arising again.sonia did lot to elevate poors from poverty.now modiji is on right direction to start huge construction work,this will provide jobs to landless labour.

  • tajender

    Israel Jails Soldier For Eating Pork

    By Stephen Lendman
    6-2-15

    You can’t make this stuff up. Don’t put anything past Israel. Rogue states find new ways to commit abuses.

    It’s hard believing this one but it’s true. An unnamed US-born Israeli soldier was sentenced to 11 days in jail for eating non-kosher food during training.

    After an Israeli reporter asked for an IDF comment, his sentence was commuted to denying him a weekend furlough.

    Israeli army regulations prohibit non-kosher food on military bases. An IDF spokesperson’s office called the soldier’s action “unbecoming to what is expected from a cadet in a commanders course, which is why he was tried severely.”

    “Nevertheless, after reexamining the matter, his punishment was changed.”

    Israeli IDF dietary regulations state:

    “1. To ensure kosher food for the soldiers, be sure to hold two separate sets of cookware, serving dishes and utensils – one for meat and one for milk, in all kitchens and dining rooms.

    2. Each system includes: pots and lids, ladles, frying pans and utensils, teapots, bowls, grinding machines, sieves, kitchen work tables, plates, cups, spoons, forks and knives.

    3. The system will be given a special place and a separate kitchen.

    4. Prominently mark the meat Tools System letters ‘meat’ and a tool of milk letters ‘milk’ or other mark. Let it be known to all kitchen staff.

    5. Every kitchen should have bowls, pipes and taps for washing, cleaning materials (steel wool, beautiful, kosher soap, detergent kosher, etc.) and tool-specific towels for milk and meat vessels, which will be prominently marked and maintained in separate locations.

    Each program should have installed a dishwashing machine requiring the approval of the Chief Military Rabbinate.

    6. Every kitchen should have a special tool (tub or bath) for soaking meat, perforated tools, and proper equipment for roasting meat and liver.

    7. Every kitchen is equipped adequately for the purpose of Saturday evening cooking and heating arrangements.”

    The reprimanded soldier’s grandmother prepared his non-kosher meal. It’s hard imagining jailing someone for the crime of eating the wrong food.

    Anything is possible in Israel. The self-styled “most moral army in the world” is trained to be cold-blooded killers – including murdering noncombatant men, women and children, using them as human shields, and brutalizing prisoners taken captive.

    The same “moral” army allies with US naked aggression against independent regional countries – notably Syria and Yemen currently. It bombs them at its discretion.

    On June 2, reports indicate it bombed targets on the Syrian/Lebanese border. Little more is known so far.

    ISIS terrorists are operating in Gaza. Israel may be facilitating their entry – only possible through heavily guarded border areas or by sea in waters Israel patrols preventing any vessels from reaching Gaza.

    The most moral army in the world brutalizes Palestinian children, terrorizes their communities, bulldozes their homes, steals their land, and imprisons their loved ones for the crime of being Arab.

    It kidnaps Palestinians almost regularly – at least 17 overnight Monday in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

    Israeli soldiers told 16-year-old Baraa Kalaid Madhun they’d break his legs if he left his house from 6PM – 11AM.

    Right-wing Knesset members advanced legislation allowing up to 20 years imprisonment for the crime of stone-throwing.

    The measure makes defendants prove innocence or be declared guilty by accusation. Settlers throwing stones at Palestinians, beating them, attacking them other ways or vandalizing their property aren’t affected.

    The world’s most moral army protects them from Palestinian self-defense. It shoots Palestinian children for target practice.

    It wages slow-motion genocide on an entire population for the crime of not being Jewish.

    Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

    His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

    http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

    Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

    Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

    It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

  • tajender
  • yasserlatifhamdani

    “Tarek Fatah”

    One can only laugh at his mention. I understand a lot of Indians take him very seriously because he says everything they want to hear. Well good for Indians … I hope Indian government bestows a medal on him at the carnival commemorating India’s magnificent historical achievement of the Indo-Pak war of 1965 to be held shortly.

    But seriously when you want to talk seriously, it would be useful if the village idiots are discarded on all sides.

    Ataturk had his own method of dealing with village idiots of his time. Unfortunately as a lawyer and a 21st century votary of human rights I cannot consider that possibility.

  • tajender

    romain,

    Aap to aankh milate huve sharamate hain /
    Aap to dil ke dhadakane se bhi dar jaate hain
    Phir bhi yeh zid hai ke hum zakm-e-jigar dekhenge

  • Good job with the content!
    The Brownstone EC

  • romain

    But seriously when you want to talk seriously, it would be useful if the village idiots are discarded on all sides.

    I take it that Arundhati Roy falls into this category?

  • romain

    … and Riaz Ul Haq?

  • Mohan

    Newsroom: Muslim organisations object to @PMOIndia pet dream. Won’t participate in Yoga Day. ‘Bow only during Namaz. Won’t chant OM

  • tajender

    @PMOIndia pet dream. Won’t participate in Yoga Day. ‘Bow only during Namaz. Won’t chant OM

    modern youth of india like rhr and romain prefer to practice on girls.muslims dont require yoga.5 time namaz is much better than any yoga.

  • tajender

    But seriously when you want to talk seriously, it would be useful if the village idiots are discarded on all sides

    come with open mind not with closed mind set.tarek is fool.he was saying to gora bandar that we should have conversation in punjabi istead of urdu.ok.why he was wearing european dress.he should have wear punjabi dress.most of his advises were funny and foolish.

  • tajender

    I take it that Arundhati Roy falls into this category

    come up with open mind.no restrictions.

  • HistoryBuff

    From the Chandigarh Tribune:

    NATIONAL progress is a universal aspiration but the root causes of why it eludes most countries remain a near-universal puzzle. People usually focus on immediate causes. Imagine a typically inquisitive child pestering her mother before sleeping about why only some countries succeed. The patient mother explains that progress comes from good governance. But the inquisitive child persists: but, mother, why do only some countries have good governance; is it luck? The mother gently explains that good leaders provide good governance.

    Unsatisfied still, the child asks: but, mother, is it luck that some countries have good leaders, and where do they come from? Slightly exasperated and also clueless by now, having exhausted the limits of usual layperson knowledge about this topic, many mothers may point towards the heavens or Rawalpindi. Forget clueless parents, it took experts decades to conclude that strong political institutions produce good leaders. The persistent child asks the experts another question immediately: Why do only some countries have strong institutions? Experts are gradually concluding that strong institutions emerge in egalitarian societies, ie, those exhibiting lower inequities in access to land, capital, education, etc and high ethnic homogeneity or harmony. This causality chain is easily explainable. In inegalitarian societies, elites from powerful ethnicities will monopolise political institutions. Their representative leaders will provide self-serving governance. This will impede broader progress, as Pakistanis have seen for decades.

    The inquisitive child now asks why only some societies are egalitarian. This reflects the different policies that national rulers have followed over decades and centuries. Land inequities at independence existed in Pakistan because of Mughal and British policies but not in Korea due to Japanese land reforms. Having traversed the long causal chain between good governance and societal egalitarianism, we finally discover that there is a vicious circular relationship between societal inegalitarianism and bad governance which represents the root cause of national stagnation. Societal inegalitarianism produces malgovernance, which further entrenches inegalitarianism. Countries trapped in this strong, vicious, circular relationship stagnate. Not just inquisitive children, but even adults would ask how the vicious circle can be broken.

    Three sets of countries have broken it since 1750, leading to spectacular progress there. Europe did so through scientific discoveries and colonialism and East Asia through hard work and generous American aid given in Cold War politics. Gulf emirates achieved partial progress through fortuitous oil discoveries by outsiders. These countries also possess high ethnic homogeneity and long national histories. Thus, the secret recipes of these countries are unfortunately not replicable in Pakistan, with its fractured society, short history, seesaw American relations and lack of abundant oil and colonies (at least after 1971). Pakistan must study the more sedate and gradual progress achieved by similar countries like Indonesia, India and Brazil, mostly under democracy. In fact, dictatorship grievously harmed Brazil and Indonesia, as it has Pakistan. Social mobilisation by civil society groups, some of which later joined politics, was critical. Foreign investments and remittances have played important roles too by increasing incomes of the common man. The combination of social mobilisation and foreign flows initially reduced societal inegalitarianism marginally, which resulted in marginal governance improvements under democracy, which further reduced inegalitarianism gradually. Thus, the vicious circle between inegalitarianism and bad governance is converting at snail’s pace into a virtuous circle between increasing egalitarianism and improving governance. This incremental, iterative process represents Pakistan’s best-case scenario. This glacial and unspectacular prospective path for Pakistan may leave dumbfounded people looking for naïve and tired short-cut recipes like “ruthless accountability for two years to debar corrupt politicians, followed by free elections after election reforms under a techno-military government”. Even if all current legislators are debarred without cause, the new cohort of politicians emerging from free elections will likely be little better. Thus, Pakistan’s stagnation is fundamentally not due to chance individual failings of current politicians but societal structures which endlessly produce “bad” leaders, whether elected or unelected.

  • romain

    Tajender that link was for Indians. You are a Paki so why waste time?

  • Mohan

    Not a new trend

    By Ayesha SiddiqaPublished: June 3, 2015

    The capture and confession of an IBA graduate to several acts of terrorism, including the Safoora chowk massacre and Sabeen Mahmud’s murder resulted in the publication of opinion pieces with most viewing these educated terrorists as heralding a new chapter in the history of terrorism in Pakistan. Notwithstanding that the confession reminded me of a joke about a Pakistani police constable forcing a donkey to confess to being Queen Elizabeth’s lost dog, I also realised that people don’t read, else how could they miss existing reports on radicalisation amongst the educated middle and upper-middle class? Reports were published and papers written that mentioned socioeconomically upscale jihadis. In a country like Pakistan, which rates very low in terms of book publication and reading, why am I not surprised to read such analyses?

    The evidence of educated boys from the middle class randomly joining militancy is not a new phenomenon. It has happened before. For instance, the mastermind of the Parade Lane attack of 2009 was a student at the International Islamic University. One of the key people of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in Islamabad is a student at the National Defense University. In 2012, an NED engineering graduate and leader of the Islami Jamiat-e-Tulaba (IJT) was killed in a drone attack in North Waziristan. During Pervez Musharraf’s rule, a federal secretary’s son had also gone for jihad. Not to forget the two nuclear scientists who went to Afghanistan to meet Osama bin Laden.

    One particular analysis suggested these educated boys denoted a new trend since they were not connected with any militant organisation but were driven towards terror for ideological reasons. The writer probably forgot that Omar Sheikh was connected with both al Qaeda and the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). The son of a PAF air marshal, Faisal Shahzad also had links with militant groups. In case we forget, David Headley worked for and trained with the LeT in order to do his bit in the Mumbai attacks. Despite that, one particular opinion piece tried to suggest that the new educated terrorists were courtesy the Jundullah. The fact is that our urban centres, especially Karachi, have no dearth of jihadi propaganda and inspiration. Not too long ago, civil society activists remembering Salmaan Taseer were attacked by educated Barelvi militant youth.

    Various militant organisations, especially those considered state proxies, have deep links in professional colleges and universities in major urban centres. In Karachi in particular, the NED engineering university and the Dow Medical College, for example, were centres of jihadi attention for long. In any case, outfits like the JeM and the LeT progressively shifted their attention away from totally madrassa trained militants to the more educated types. These outfits are more organised and created sophisticated structures. For instance, the LeT has associations of medical doctors, engineers, farmers and even factory workers. Just couple of months ago, French author, Laurant Gayer, speaking at T2F, mentioned the ASWJ’s presence amongst labour unions in Karachi.

    Driven by our donor-driven instinct, we would like to believe that radicalism and militancy is all a matter of poverty, illiteracy and poor governance. One particular Islamabad-based think tank even suggested food scarcity as the reason behind terrorism. But the boys we are talking about are well-fed, in fact over-fed. There is a possibility that their fathers or someone influential in the family either subscribed to radical perspectives or even financed jihad done by others. Increasingly, internal terror financing in Pakistan points in the direction of the extended middle class. The trader-merchant (also referred to as thebazaari) and business class in general were historically tied to radicalism. These people always supported right-wing movements, such as the anti-Ahmadi, Nizam-e-Mustafa in 1977 and similar other movements. These people are not illiterate and their younger generation is better educated. This is, in fact, the elite-in-the-making which is latent-radical in their outlook. A closer examination will also show that major madrassas in Karachi, such as Banori Town or Banoria (and many others) do not just have children of poor people but also from the more affluent middle class. Another fact worth remembering is that critical madrassas today have both religious and non-religious education and teach computers, English, science and other subjects which make them attractive to educated people in the country and also to Pakistani expatriates abroad who then send their children to residential madrassas for education.

    In our bias against the poor (not poverty), we tend not to notice the mushrooming of a certain kind of English-medium schools in major cities that are nothing but high-class madrassas. They indoctrinate children from the upper-middle class including those of Pakistani expatriates.

    Recently, renowned author Hussain Haqqani spoke at the University of Oxford where he talked about the merit and method of turning Pakistan around to become a viable nation. He talked about the necessity of allowing debate, bringing rationality and abandoning our ideological bias. I would love to continue the conversation and ask him how states and societies that turn latent-radical or even radical due to peculiarities of their ideology can turn around? One of the issues at this juncture is that our nationalism and radicalism have begun to collate. There is very little resistance against militant outfits and their leadership as they appear on television, issue statements on social media or give interviews in the print media presenting themselves as defenders of the state and its religious ideology. While our counterterrorism gurus may think of this publicity as mainstreaming jihadi organisations, this is actually opportunity for militants to paint society in their own shape and colour. Militancy, hence, is part of our instinct.

    Experts say that the number of radicalised youth with tertiary-level education has increased. This does not necessarily mean that the ratio of better-educated young men actively taking part in jihad will increase. But this is no less of a worry if this category of people begins to sympathise with radicalism or violent extremism in greater numbers as a means to an end. The fact that our education system provides greater publicity of and a stepping-stone towards radicalism is a known fact. Now, with the perceived threat from India’s RAW, the likelihood of the youth turning away from radicalism is even more abysmal.

  • tajender
  • tajender
  • tajender
  • MilesToGo

    NASA has a secret mission to recreate Jinnah to help Pakistan become a viable nation. Inshallah, this time Jinnah will not fail.

  • MilesToGo

    If only we had allowed Aurangzeb to buy a flat in Mumbai, Jinnah would not have to run to Karachi.

  • MilesToGo

    Mohammed is the only true inspiration for modernism. No need for any other inspiration. Muslims should always go to the root source.

  • A companion from anatolia

    Hey my friend,

    Interesting article. Let me give you some opinion from a turkish perspective:

    – Grey Wolf from Armstrong has a lot of fiction as you say. Don’t forget, kemalist Turkey at that time is not in the western bloc. He has a distant opportunistic relationsship with the Soviet Union, and therefore at confrontation with the British, who admire and fear him. So for British it was very important to display him as a “antimuslim” in order to tackle the possibility that his career might inspire other nationalists going along his way. The pro-british approachment starts after his death. So if you check out the literature at that time and have accumulated a bit of knowledge, you will see a lot of lies (I mean real fabricated lies, not facts that dont suit me). Sometimes the accusations get grotesque. Doesn’t mean he was very pious and stopped government work for praying. He was not pious at all, but he had a very spiritual side to Islam. His early works about Islam have not been translated into English, they are virtually unknown in the islamic world. They are great.

    What the unknown author (he has nearly no academic record) of “Ataturk and Nazi Imagination” hasnt told is that besides “nazis”, Kemal was also being praised in Pakistan, Iran and Bangladesh. As far as I remember Muhammed Iqbal wrote a poem about him. I know that Kazrul Islam wrote a poem about him, its called “Kamal Pasha” (its really great).
    Unfortunatly I couldnt read the poem of Iqbal yet. If you read it, you can understand the joy of the indian muslims that the English have been beaten by a muslim leader. Turks also never forget the support they got from indian muslims. So Pakistan has a good image in Turkey, at least in the circles that know a bit of history.

    Talking about the “armenian and greek” issue. Dont forget that European sympathsize with victims only, if they are christian. Have you ever heard about the fate of the Balcan Turks? Probably not. Nobody talks about it. You talk about the sad history of Smyrna, but have you ever heard how Thessalonika got ethnically cleansed after the greek conquest 1915? Before that, there werent living Greeks at all. One can not say, Turks were massacring and the other people didnt. We are not barbarians because are muslims. Every people fought and did terrible things in order to get a big piece of the cake left behind from the dying ottoman empire.

    I talked too much about Kemal and will soon watch the Movie about Jinnah that you recommenend (with that dead actor). Looking forward.

    Greetings to Pakistan

  • PMA

    “Turks also never forget the support they got from indian muslims. So Pakistan has a good image in Turkey, at least in the circles that know a bit of history. Greetings to Pakistan”

  • timely

    to companion from anatolia

    The turks came later and that too as aggresors and marauders into Anatolia and hence their rights cannot be same as those of greeks, kurds or armenians. Turks killing them was an act of genocide by turks, whereas turks being pushed back by them was an act of self-defence.

  • A companion from anatolia

    Greeks, Armenians and Kurds are not indigenous population but settled very late to Turkey. Don’t forget that Anatolia has a looonnnnnggg history starting with the first temple in the world history in 13.000bC. Eastern Turkey that is now being claimed by late-invading people like Armenians and Kurds (and for which many kurds massacred armenians during the 1915 massacres) are part of the Urartian Kingdom, which is speaking a caucasian language (no relation to these, close to Chechen language). Armenians and Kurds settled much later, so from your concept they are “invading barbarians” (your words). For example the Armenian capital “Eriwan”, that word is not armenian but urartian origin. Armenians captured it from the indigenous urartian population. Armenians never tell this, because this way they cant incite antiturkish-rascist propaganda claiming that they are the indigenous population and we the aggressors. They are aggresors themselves.

    Jinnah was a very smart man. He understood that the time of multireligious empire was over and didnt fell into the ruse. Did he had ambitions to conquer india and make it muslim? No. He was a noble man who wanted to have a decent and honour muslim country. Kemal is the same. He didnt dream of revival of ottoman empire. We want a honourful republic for his pepople and we adopted to the same rules that europeans set.

  • timely

    to companion from Anatolia

    So you admit that the kurds and armenians came before the turks came. So the urartian people can complain against the kurds and armenians, but the turks can’t complain.

    Turks have carried out far greater genocides everywhere than many other peoples.

  • A companion from anatolia

    To come back to the topic:

    Pakistan has a rich and different cultural fundament than Turks. You guys will find your own way, it would be pretentious to say go it the kemalist way. The kemalist revolution is highly specific for our cultural traditions. For example the famous “hat law” is actually a turkish tradition going back to the 19th century where the state regularly reformed the headdress of the population. So implementing these traditions on other people with another basis would be crazy. There are also different forms of secularism.

    Unfortunatly nowadays, many turkish secularist only look to the West, when in fact, there is a great secular muslim community that is much closer in thinking, we share the same problems and have historical ties. We should learn more about Pakistan and stop perceiving it within european framework. Even from this blog entry I am really surprised how well you guys have understood our cultural battle.

    Don’t be afraid to learn from others. What did the europeans do? The europeans always present themselves as a monolithic block…. but havent the old germans learned from the romans? Havent the old greeks got their script from the semitic phoenicians? Did the germans said “no, they believe in other gods, lets not take this stuff?”. Don’t forget that the islamic world has more in common with the romans than probably denmark does. We should be brave enough. Pakistan will stay Pakistan.

    Drowning everything in religion will not bring you forward. Its a form of inflation that destroys Religion rather than preserving it. Keeping religion at the private level is the best way to honour religion and to save it from dirty politics, as Erdogan is trying to do, holding up a quran during political rallies, disgusting. It will lead to alienation from religion and we are currently in this stage. Religion becomes a club in the hand of a dumb police officer and people will try to break that club. This is also a way to learn from Turkey: Dont go it the Erdogan way.

  • timely

    to muslims



    Are you honest enough to admit that islam’s long-term goal is to decimate/exterminate non-muslims?
    Islam shows all the signs of being a totalitarian and imperialist ideology that wants to enforce a one-god and one book and one prophet totalitarian society and a finalist fascism.

    Muslims can never be genuinely open-minded, pluralist and tolerant. They can only pretend to be so for tactical reasons.

    Islam is dangerous to non-muslims. And when non-muslims are decimated then muslims too will suffer much more under islamic fascism.
    This is hapening in the muslim world very clear to see.

  • A companion from anatolia

    To my antiturkish-rascist friend (above):

    That the Turks came in 11th century is written in any turkish history book and everywhere else. We mixed with the local indigenous inhabitants. But you just admitted that armenians and kurds are not indigenous, that means that you just revisited your own comment and attacked their propaganda world view that you repeated a few comments earlier (we being the aggressors and they the indigenous innocent lamb).

    There was a time in history, where conquest was normal and a duty for strong man. We were good in that discipline and took anatolia that was being invaded by armenians before we did. So we kinda kicked out the former invaders. I think this is good news for Urartians :D. Since the WWII, acquiring territory by force is being prohibited. Now conquest is out of discussion for good reasons. We have a nice honourful republic now and nobody wants to revive the ottoman empire.

  • A companion from anatolia

    Muslims have been the most tolerant people. Remember in Europe, in Spain you massacred and expulsed the Jews that fled to the Ottoman Empire and settled in Thessaloniki (later the Greeks in 1912 did the same so they went to Istanbul). Go and ask any jewish historian. The most antisemitic groups in ottoman empire were the christian minorities, who were jealous of the good muslim-jewish-relations and tried to spread antisemitism by printing european propaganda works (the Protocolls of Zion), but funnily it didn’t affect muslim groups. Christians had the best socioeconomic position, they were the richest group in the ottoman empire, which I critisize because I think the Sultan should have cared more for the poor muslim masses. He didnt.

    But you are clearly a islamophobic troll. I will end this because its a waste of time, for discussions you need open minds, not crazy extremists.

  • PMA

    A companion from anatolia: It is nice to have you on this site. Turkish people are one of the most cultured, hospitable and honorable people. Please come back again and contribute more. Your views and thoughts are most welcome here. Thanks.

  • observer.

    Are you honest enough to admit that islam’s long-term goal is to decimate/exterminate non-muslims

    absurd u paid propgandist nothing else.history does not prove it.u are simply an idiot.islam is based on egalitarianism which is anti-fascist thought.

  • Paul

    Turk from anatolia

    You are clearly an Islamaniac making up history. Christian-Jewish relations were bad but Muslim-Jewish relations were never good except when Muslims were fighting against Christians. The Protocols of Zion is among the most popular books among Muslims. Iran puts it out officially.

    Christian Jewish relations have been improving but Muslim relations with everyone are as terrible as they have always been.

  • A turkish

    As a Turk, i love my nation and my country’s glorious history.We are very grateful for our father, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. I think it is great that pakis see him as their role models, he definitely should be seen! If we are the most modern muslim society now, we have to thank him!

    I hope one day other muslim states can be secular and modern too.
    Best wishes from Istanbul 😉