BY HENRY D. ASTARJIAN M.D.
Never for a moment, since its inception, has the so called “Modern, Democratic, Secular” Turkey been any one of them. Never for a moment since its inception has Turkey veered towards tempering its Islamic fervor to become a secular state. Never since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk massacred tens of thousands of civilians to establish modern day Turkey, has the Republic been for all its inhabitants; it has been for a select few of the Central Asian Turkic origin.
Ataturk, the Free Mason that he was, never ceased to affirm the dual identity of the republic which he established: Turkishness and Islamism. In every speech and in every action he emphasized these points to assert his authority and gain political advantage. He was never a true Muslim. He drank liquor, had lavish nightlife, his palace was full of immorality, and he did not observe the Five Tenets of Islam, yet he used Islam to rule with iron fist. He beheaded thousands of Kurds, not because they were Muslims, but because they were Kurds. He did the same to the non-Muslims, just because they were not Muslims.
He introduced his brand of Islam separating it from State, but that did not really happen. The country remained fanatic Muslim, the seat of the Caliphate.
The country continued to believe in and practice chauvinism and fascism yearning for the days of the Caliphate, where corrupt murderous Sultans ruled the Islamic world, in the name of Allah and Islam.
In all this he had the support of the Army, which he had created, and which in return had helped him conquer the land and establish recent day Turkey.
What he had tailored for Turkey, like two sizes too big orphan’s jacket, did not fit Turkey’s society. The Turk remained a deeply fanatic Muslim wielding clout and oppressing the minorities, mainly the Kurdish big minority, the Alevis, and the Christian.
To them Mohamed was the Messenger of God, while Kemal was the messenger of the evil. This reactionary attitude of the Turks generated enmity between them and the Army, which was the protector of Kemalism. Since 1960 the Army overthrew the country’s civilian government four times, and now was preparing for the fifth..
Men, Prime Ministers and Presidents of the country like Celal Bayar (Sentenced to death, later spared), Adnan Menderes (Hanged), Bulent Ecevit, Demirel, Tansu Ciller, Mesoud Yilmaz and many others became direct or indirect victims of such military interventions. All Kemalists and all corrupt to the core, with skeletons in their closets, were true to their ancestral Ottoman traditions. Tansu Ciller, Turkey’s first and only female Prime Minister had spent five million dollars for an undisclosed purpose, which she would not divulge even to the Turkish Parliament. Finally she whispered in the ear of Suleyman Demirel, the President, who assured the parliament, that she had spent the money in lieu of the Government; she had financed the assassination of journalists, Kurdish leaders, and the “Enemies of the Republic”. It is not clear if she did not pocket some of that money to finance the purchase of a Holiday inn in New Hampshire, a few miles away from where I live. Turkish media said she did.
The beat goes on and on, and on; stories of Turkish official and unofficial behaviors and misconducts are endless.
The Islamists utilizing the ills of Kemalism and invoking the righteousness of Islam established themselves as heirs to the Ottoman Caliphate. Necmettin Erbakan a devout Naqshbandi Muslim Turk established the Refah party with a clear Islamic platform. The threat of its popularity and growth, led the Military to arrange for his party’s dissolution. He was barred from running for office. Turkish newspapers exposed his corruption, especially his stealing 140 kilogram of gold which belonged to Refah party.
The high courts decision to dissolve the party did not deter the Islamist from forming a new one under a new name Adalet ve Kalkinma Party (AK) Justice and Development Party, and the leadership of Erbakan’s protégés Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Abdulla Gul.
Now Turkey was and is divided three ways
The Military, the Islamist, and the Kurds, each driving its own donkey to the finishing line; The military which was plotting to overthrow the government through Ergenekon and through the newly cooked plot.
The Islamist Government by driving another nail in the coffin of Kemalism by taking an unprecedented step of civilian government arresting 50 of the retired and active duty Generals, and The Kurds by continuing their struggle for autonomy veiled in pseudo claims of struggle for Human Rights.
Turkey, according to Arab news media, is a fertile ground for ultra fanatic, Islamic terrorist group Al-Qaa’ida, to establish itself; the on-the-ground circumstances of Islamic fervor are right for Osama’s move into Turkey. An estimated 180 of them are already on the ground. The consequences of this are left to your imagination and deliberations.
It is this kind of a degenerating country that the United States is relying on to contain Iran, at a time when Turkey is in a love fest with Iran attempting to bolster its stature, and clout in the Islamic world.. It is this kind of a government that the United States fears to alienate if she accepts the Turkish Genocide of Armenians.
It is with these realities at play, that the present, equally corrupt government of Armenia was trying to make peace with Turkey. Oh, what a farce, what a joke! Who was trying to steal from whom?
This is Turkey, a member of NATO, and an ally of the United States, which under false pretence markets itself as a “Modern, Democratic, Secular” state. The reality is far from the truth! Turkey is a chauvinist, fascist, reactionary country. It has never been “Modern, Secular, Democratic” at its founding, it is not now, and with its ethnic makeup, religious fanaticism, Central Asian tribal culture, feelings of uber alis, and the DNA, it will never be.