By Rebwar Rashed:
As a kid I was always amused by the magician’s ability that, with just a wave of the hat, he could pull a rabbit or a dove out of an empty hand. What a performance! I never quit comparing the magician’s venture to the Western Democracies’ amazing propensity to put rose-colored glasses on people to make them see the unpleasant reality as a beautiful sight, making dictators look like democrats, radical Islamists look like “Moderate Muslims” and so on. No wonder why conspiratorial theories grow like weeds.
The state of Turkey which was born out of the ashes of a corrupted criminal Ottoman Empire was already loaded with hatred and inherited a culture of genocide and oppression. From the first day of its establishment it saw the Armenian genocide and the extermination of Assyrians and Kurds as an achievement and a victory.
The Republican People’s Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, CHP) which is a Kemalist and a so-called “Social-democratic” party is the oldest political party in Turkey. At first, it was called “People’s Party” and it was established on 9 September 1923, just before the establishment of the Turkish Republic on 29 October of the same year.
The CHP is the party that is responsible for all the killings, murdering, extermination and the national, cultural and social oppression of non-Turkic people. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish state, Ismet Inonu and Celal Bayar and others were the most fascistic figures who were responsible for killing thousands of people, committing atrocities in the manner of pure genocide, legalizing theft, confiscating properties and so on.
The participation of Turkey in the Korean War and its NATO membership put Turkey into the court of the Western democracies. The cold war became a source of a series of win-situations for Turkey. Turkey got political and diplomatic credits that it never deserved. Turkey got military logistics, heavy weapons and military intelligence. Turkey also got a green light to proceed with its atrocity-policies at home. According to the facts, Turkey is responsible for killing, murdering, looting, scorched-earth policies, arbitrary judgments and so on; not less so than other fascist regimes like those of Saddam Hussein, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Bashar Al Assad.
Despite all that agony that Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians and religious minorities have gone through, Turkey is the one of those countries that has been pulled out of a deep black hat as a “democracy” by the magicians of the Western democracies.
The AKP’s transformation into today’s authoritarian and fascistic regime has its explanation in the Turkish state’s historical process from the very beginning. It didn’t just happen overnight. The story of Turkey is more than the story of failure.
The state of Turkey was founded, not on sister- and brotherhood of nations, friendship and solidarity, but rather on hatred, and genocides of Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds and religious minorities like Alawites and Yazidis.
The fictitious “Turkish nation” was born as a fascist, militarized mentality, to exclude everything that does not fit into the “Turkish” narrative. This fascist machine started to eradicate languages, cultures, national dresses, national songs and music and soon it started to exterminate Kurds and again those Armenians and Assyrians who somehow, despite the previous exterminations, were still alive.
The exclusion, the discrimination, the racism was one of its kind. Lands of Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians and non-Sunnis of non-Turkic religious groups have been confiscated, burned and destroyed.
Thousands of orphans became the property of the Turkish state, later to become solders, officers and executioners of their own people. Single women were forced into organized prostitution, people became slaves of the state, tongueless and defenseless, as they waited to die. There are touching stories about how Turkish soldiers went (and still go!) into village houses to destroy and burn things, to throw food, milk products and water away, just to remind the people who is in charge.
Yes, there is only one Holocaust, the one in which the Nazis and international fascism killed many millions of Jewish people, only because they were Jewish. They took Jewish properties, capitals and very personal possessions only because they belonged to Jewish people. However, humanity must find a name for the Turkish racism which has committed barbaric atrocities against Armenians, Kurds, Assyrians, non-Muslim “minorities” and non-Sunni groups.
Erdogan is totally right when he says that “Ataturk would have said ‘YES,’ to the constitutional change”. Ataturk was even more against non-Sunni branches of Islam, non-Islamic religious groups and against Armenians, Kurds, Assyrians, Laz, Charkas and other ethnic groups than fascist figures like Bayar Cabar, Ismet Inonu, Bulent Ecevit, Suleyman Demirel, Tansu Ciler, Mesut Yilmaz and Erdogan are. Ataturk was indeed their “Father” and icon.
Ataturk started his career as an army man, became a populist ultranationalist and lived the rest of his life in power as a fascist. You see authoritarianism, totalitarianism, the idea of one state/one nation/one leader/one language and so on throughout his writings and speeches. He forced people in his own circle to establish political party for the sake of “diversity” and “pluralism”. His so-called “secularism” was nothing more than an ethnic cleansing of non-Turkic peoples and just a way of fighting non-Sunni Islam(s).
The love of totalitarianism and the need to exterminate the others has not so much to do with governments and presidents; rather it is rooted in the very foundation of the Turkish state. The “Turkifying” of Anatolia is fundamentally a Kemalist project. Ataturk was Hitler’s “shining star in the darkness.” He is the man who inspires many, both during his time and afterwards: for instance, the self-made Shah Reza Khan of Iran, Mussolini and Hitler.
Ataturk’s hatred towards the Khalafet of the Empire was due to its weakness and because it was falling apart. The similarity between Erdogan and Ataturk can be quiet surprising. Ataturk was only saving what he could save of the Ottoman Empire; Erdogan wants to revive it. Despite his criticism of Ataturk and Kemalism, he is really fulfilling the same project and wants to do much more.
Erdogan rides the horse of Islam, trying to blackmail Europe for its “Islamophobia”, using Islam in its worse radical extremist way to organize and mobilize the masses of Sunni people, especially the Arabs, intervening in Syria and occupying Rojava and KRG areas, encouraging the Syrians to leave their country in order to make them to “Political Migrants” and using them politically and economically. State-run smuggling business with Syrians, Afghans and others, trafficking, forced labor or practices similar to slavery, fueling sectarianism and the continual use of the language of intimidation and threats against everybody are just a few examples of what Erdogan is doing.
Erdogan’s threats and accusations against Europe and his unrealistic expectations of the Western democracies come from a history of getting too many undeserved political, economic and military credits.
In about a week the world will witness how Erdogan will pull a “yes”out of an empty hand for his political project. He will force a “Yes” out of a “No” and will never back down. The combination of Kemalism and Erdoganism’s radical Islamism is too dangerous to be true. With the “Yes” card in his hand, he will start to represent the will of the “nation” and of the mighty “Allah”.
Erdogan has access to an arsenal of sophisticated weapons and is devoted to hatred, especially against democratic values. He has already caused a lot of damage and is capable of hurting people. We need not heavenly miracles and magician’s tricks to make us see fictional stability and to fall in love with the worse kind of ballot box democracy. The Western democracies — as governments and parliaments, as NGOs and as the democratic public opinion and as all who support freedom, secularism and diversity — have a moral and a political responsibility to stop Erdogan in order to avoid the causing of further harm. Stopping Turkey is also stopping the Islamic Republic of Iran, the state which only survives on Islamic radicalism, populist propaganda of anti-Semitism, anti-women rights and sectarianism and anti-democratic values.
Yes, a stable democratic Middle East with respect for human rights, gender equality and social justice is possible.