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Turkish Politics

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Is Turkey a ´mistaken republic?´
1.       thehandsom
7403 posts
 19 Jul 2008 Sat 01:46 pm

I would not agree with all of it, but it is a very interesting article to read

You should meet Sevan Nisanyan. A Turkish citizen of Armenian decent, he studied philosophy at Yale, political science at Columbia, and now teaches Turkish language and history at Istanbul’s Bilgi University. ...

...Kemalism is, in essence, what we commonly know as fascism.

The book .. (The Mistaken Republic: 51 Questions about Atatürk and Kemalism). Throughout its 440 pages, Mr. Nisanyan deconstructs and refutes many commonly accepted and hardly unquestioned maxims in Turkey. At the very core of his historical revisionism lies the shivering argument that Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, willingly established a dictatorship and never aimed at building a democracy. ..

the Republic was a transition from the Sultanate to modern dictatorship,..and it had nothing to do with democracy.. In fact, a democratic system had started to evolve in the last decades of the Ottoman Empire, whose parliament welcomed different ideas, identities and political parties. What the Kemalist regime did was to get rid of not just the Sultan, but also all sorts of political opposition, and establish one-man rule.

...But was Turkey ready for democracy at that time? Wasn’t the nation an ignorant, backward, unenlightened one that needed an autocratic modernizer? Wouldn’t Turkey be something like Afghanistan had it not been saved by the Kemalist revolution?

That is the standard argument you hear from the Kemalists, .. But Mr. Nisanyan disagrees. Turkey had been the most developed, strong, and Western-influenced part of the Islamic world since the 14th century,...

Of course, Atatürk aimed at and pushed for further modernization, but some of the steps he took, according to Mr. Nisanyan, were wrong. The language revolution, for example, impoverished Turkish culture. ...led to the shrinking of vocabulary and thus the shrinking of minds.

Mr. Nisanyan also criticizes the despotic nature of the self-styled secularism that Atatürk and his followers established in Turkey...

Those who accepted the Kemalist credo were embraced as citizens, others were deemed traitors. This approach, also known as ‘Atatürk’s nationalism,’ is in fact the classical fascism of the 1920s. ..

Then perhaps it is not an accident that the most Kemalist party in today’s Turkey, the main opposition People’s Republican Party, or CHP, is also a fierce opponent of any reform toward granting broader rights to Turkey’s non-Muslim communities. ..

But if that is the case, then how can Turkey evolve? How can she head toward liberal democracy? According to Nisanyan, we Turks first need to face and question our history. Unlike Portugal, Spain or Greece, Turkey has not come to terms with its totalitarian past, he reminds us....

.. Yes, it is still alive and very much kicking. Political parties that dare to deviate from the mistaken roots are closed down, and the intellectuals who question these taboos are slandered. Mr. Nisanyan, for example, has become the target of ad hominem attacks in the Turkish media since his book came out. Kemalist pundits focus not on his arguments but on unpleasant things they discovered in his family life. The same pundits depict other critics of Kemalism as traitors, Soros-funded provocateurs, servants of imperialism, and anything you can imagine.


2.       MrX67
2540 posts
 19 Jul 2008 Sat 07:42 pm

i want to added on this topic with a question,whats the musts or conditions of a real democratical country,may be we can find trues if we talk with more clear criterias?

3.       cynicmystic
567 posts
 19 Jul 2008 Sat 10:07 pm

Thank a lot for taking the time to post this, but...

I found it as interesting as my toilet seat...

By the way, I hope Nisanyan´s new book is better than the one he wrote on word origins & etymology, hehe...

4.       thehandsom
7403 posts
 19 Jul 2008 Sat 10:44 pm

Quoting cynicmystic:

Thank a lot for taking the time to post this, but...

I found it as interesting as my toilet seat...

By the way, I hope Nisanyan´s new book is better than the one he wrote on word origins & etymology, hehe...

Sure, sure..
I wonder if your toilet seat makes you compelled to post too..
you are welcome anway..

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