Kemal Attaturk


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Sign the petition for Iraq's three-region solution March 15, 2008 Kemal Attaturk - By Peter Stitt

Once more brother Takman, I disagree with you.  I do so as a man bought up as a Catholic who feels as "at home" in a mosque or synagogue as I ever did in a Christian church so religion is not an issue here.

I am also actually a great admirer of Kemal Attaturk for several reasons but I cannot blindly say that everything he did was right because there are some glaringly obvious mistakes that he made.  Our own Winston Churchill, for whom I have great admiration, made huge mistakes before World War Two and then after World War Two.

On the positive side with Kemal Attaturk it must be said that he took a nation that had lost in WW2 and turned it into one of the "winners" by securing what is now known internationally as "Turkish territory".  Yes it takes a political genius to achieve that but there are still disputed areas and I frankly see Northern Kurdistan rather than South-Eastern Turkey.  I am Scottish and I dispute Turkey's right to "own" Amed, Van, Mardin etc.  

The one area where I completely agree with Kemal Attaturk is the way in which he turned Turkey into a secular state.  That move should be applauded by any true democrats be they Kurdish, Turkish or Kurdish.  I hate political and state religious control of any area of life despite being a committed believer in the God of the Muslim, Jew and Christian.

The problem with the "secularisation" of Attaturk is not what he did, it is what those who claim to be Kemalist have since done with it.  I specifically criticise the Turkish military who (on its own website) threatened a coup should Gul be voted into office.  The elections were held and the AK Party won hugely which shut the army up.  The Turkish people (and huge amounts of Kurdish people) voted for the AKP.

So what could the Turkish military do to make itself look relevant and necessary?  It had just lost in the election and the Turkish military was desperate to prove to the Turkish people that it was needed.

Who came to their rescue?  PKK, by murdering 14 Turkish soldiers.  The Turkish people cried out for revenge and it gave the Turkish military a reason to exist and the excuse to embark upon the ridiculous exercise of bombarding the Quandil mountains.  PKK and the Turkish military give us numbers of those killed and they are all questionable.

Attaturk, a very clever man, made one fundamental mistake when he declared that all people within the post-1923 borders of Turkey were "Turkish".  In doing so, and refusing to acknowledge the ethnic and cultural distinctiveness of Kurds and Armenians, Kemal Attaturk condemned Turkey to a century of conflict and ultimately to the disintegration and destruction of the Turkish state.  You can thank Kemal Attaturk for the creation of PKK.

Of Attaturk's noble wish to secularise the state of Turkey I find it quite interesting that the Turkish people voted so solidly for the AK Party given its Islamic basis.  The people who claim to be "Kemalist" (the Turkish military high-command) have actually become more feared by the Turkish people than an allegedly Islamic-based party.  They have proved themselves to be less democratic than a party that bases itself on Islam.

The Turkish military creates a problem and the PKK creates a problem, they do not want peace.

Mr Takman, I have great regard for Kemal Attaturk as a statesman but he is no Nelson Mandela.  For all the good he did for Turkish people, he guaranteed a million years of war by declaring Kurdish ethnic and cultural differences as the rantings of "Mountain Turks".

I am from Scotland and I can see huge difference between Kurds and Turks.  You want to make a friend?  Respect their ethnicity and their cultural difference.  You do not criminalise their language and tell them they are now Turkish.

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