It’s important to understand the meaning of nationalism. On the one hand, there is the negative nationalism (ignorance or racism), on the other hand the positive nationalism.
Here are several examples of the negative turkish nationalism:
“Our country is the best in the world, the other people are hardly in the same league as us, the Greeks are our ennemies and are petty, the European Union represents a danger for our country, let’s withdraw into ourselves.“
And here are the reasons why I am a – positive – Turkish nationalist (and why I’m proud to be Turkish):
1/ I do support the national unity of Turkey and our army as well as our quite competent Chief of General Staff Ilker Başbuğ. They aim at
protecting our country against terrorism and foreign threats. But I disagree with the soldiers (who think that they are like Atatürk and his soldiers) who flout democracy and who claim to be heroes in order “to save” our country from some so-called threats. These are traitors.
I curse the politicians and the journalists who, instead of honouring the memory of the victims of the PKK, manipulate shamefully their death in order to criticize the current Turkish government. These are traitors too.
Terrorism is not the problem of the AKP but the problem of the whole Turkey. That’s why all the Turks must support the government and its courageous initiative regarding the Kurdish issue and of course its fight against the PKK. Those who take advantage of the PKK terrorism to weaken the Turkish government are traitors. They have no conscience. Being a real nationalist means being united against terrorism. Although I am socialist I do support the AKP. And there is no problem between the Turkish army and the AKP.
The Turkish state is united, and the next picture clearly aims at conveying that message.
2/ Our education system needs to be improved, and even reformed.
3/ Our economy must be competitive. However our economic relations policy must respect the win-win principle.
4/ Turkey and Greece must stop wasting time. These two neighbours of the Aegean sea must be responsible and unite. Their duty is to build a better future for their citizens. Some people already started this job. Click here and there.
5/ We can be proud of Turkish Airlines. A flight with that company is always pleasant, the meals are really good.
6/ Our very beautiful language ought to be a rival of the English language in the world. Here is an excellent and rich site about Turkey in which we can find loads of information regarding the turkish language .
7/ Turkish cuisine is one of the best in the world. And the Turkish breakfast is a great pleasure.
8/ The first female combat pilot in the world was Sabiha Gökçen.
9/ Let’s prevent the foreign civilian ships and merchant ships from polluting our seas with their waste and their cleaning out (the Turkish waters are among the less controlled in the world).
10/ The tourists are very well welcomed in Turkey.
11/ Let’s hope that our national football team will win the next world cup (Although Turkey played very well it didn’t win the Euro 2008, nevertheless that was an exciting experience).
12/ Regarding the media: we have numerous objective journalists and they could teach a lesson to many french media which are used to being so subjective about Turkey.
Ayşe Süberker, Banu Güven and Şirin Payzın are very good. Mehmet Ali Birand is the most competent journalist I’ve ever known. Taha Akyol is competent too, so is Mithat Bereket. But the problem with Mr Bereket is that he speaks too fast. Really too fast.
13/ We the Turks are proud of the Turkey of Atatürk because since its founding in 1923 it succeeded in uniting millions of people from different ethnic origins. In spite of the PKK terrorism, these people live in peace and want to live in harmony. Although some foreign evil powers want to destroy that unity and what Atatürk achieved, they won’t succeed.
14/ We can be proud and happy to have Sami Selçuk, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Attila Ilhan, Hrant Dink, Yaşar Kemal, Elif Şafak, Mustafa Erdoğan, Ismail Cem, Ahmet Davutoğlu, Nimet Çubukçu, Beşir Atalay, Kemal Derviş, Bahadır Kaleağası, Can Baydarol, Sina Akşin, ….
15/ Our culture and our solidarity are our wealth.
16/ And we are lucky and we are very proud to have wonderful and exceptional musicians and singers:
at first we are very lucky to have Sezen Aksu, a great master of music. We can compare Sting to Sezen Aksu by reason of their voice, great lyrics and complex music (I recommend especially these incredible albums of her: “Şarkı söylemek lazım”, “Söylüyor”, “Yaz bitmeden”, “Gülümse”, “Adı bende saklı”, ”Düş bahçeleri”, “Deliveren”, and her last double record (with its very well-designed package) “Yürüyorum düş bahçeleri’nde….” (however I don’t like the music of a few songs which was re-written by Kıvanç.K., he is used to composing good music but I didn’t appreciate all his versions in that record. But his version of ‘Yok ki’ is very good).
Another great master of music: Onno Tunç, who worked with Sezen Aksu for many years. They were very close friends and colleagues. Onno Tunç composed the music of many of her songs. He was a wonderful and exceptional musician, he was Turkish with Armenian origins. The Turks and the Armenians can be very proud of Onno Tunç. His music still affects me a lot. I am used to listening to his music, and although I know it for a very long time, every time that I hear it I am still touched. I feel the same with Sezen Aksu’s and Sertab Erener’s music. Like them, the way Onno Tunç expresses his emotions through music is magnificent. Their music and their songs go straight to my heart. What Sezen Aksu and Onno Tunç achieved together remind us what friendship and love mean. The Turkish and Armenian people of the world can be very close and can live together in peace and harmony. We are all equal, we are all human beings.
Leman Sam. Her best albums: “Çağrı”, “Ayak sesleri”.
Sertab Erener. She is my favourite singer with Sezen Aksu – Here are her great albums: “Sertab Erener”, “Turuncu”, “L’âl”, “Aşk ölmez”, “Bu böyle”, “Painted on water”, “No boundaries”, and her last record “Rengarenk”.
We are also lucky to have Şebnem Ferah, Pinhani, Yalın (Best albums: “Herşey sensin”, “Ellerine sağlık”, “Ben bügün”), Aşık Veysel, Kızılırmak (I love several of their records and especially that one: “Pir Sultan’dan Nesimi’ye Anadolu türküleri”), Güher and Süher Pekinel, Tarkan (Best album: “Karma”), Teoman, Ebru Gündeş (I really love her “Ben daha büyümedim” record), Orhan Gencebay, Demir Demirkan, Alper Erinç, Garo Mafyan, Uzay Hepari, Kerem Görsev, Arif Mardin, Hakan Peker (Best album: “Illâ ki”), Yeşim Salkım (Best album: “Hep böyle kal”), Nil, Barış Manço.
The nationalism advocated by Atatürk has always been the positive nationalism. And there is a revealing example which illustrates it. Atatürk said: “Ne mutlu türküm diyene”. In english: “Happy is the one who says I’m a Turk”.
He didn’t say “….who is Turk” but “…who says I’m a Turk”. That is a thought that aims at gathering together millions of people ethnically different in order to create a free nation.
Atatürk’s most famous words are “Peace at home, peace in the world”. On account of what Atatürk achieved, I can say that I don’t see any man of our History comparable to him. The whole world knows that. Who would not agree? Well those who have a complex about Atatürk and the modern and secular Turkey that he founded.
I am also a – positive – French nationalist (my origins are Turkish, but I am also French and I’m proud about it too):
I am proud of the TGV, indeniably the best high speed train in the world. I am also proud of Renault because it will launch 4 100 % electrical cars next year (click here and there), so that’s good for the planet. The job of France at the ESA and at Airbus is remarkable.
We are lucky in France to have the exceptional Gérald De Palmas, and to have such writers like Victor Hugo and Guy de Maupassant. We are proud of Jean Moulin, Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet. We are also lucky to have Claude Monet and….Le Mont Saint Michel! Our economy must be competitive. Of course I supported France at the last Olympic winter games at Toronto. Regarding politics, I am very proud that we have Hélène Flautre, Lionel Jospin and Martine Aubry (well Dominique De Villepin is intelligent but he was not loyal at all towards Lionel Jospin in the past). I am of those who are against the fast-food chains which are a menace for health. I am strongly against the GMO’s of the Americans. I am against nuclear energy (I do dream of a Turkey and of a world that will take advantage of the wind and the sun in order to meet their energy needs. Let’s stop wasting time and let’s stop polluting our planet, the sun provides us with all the energy that we need. So why pollute the Earth? I don’t understand). I am also
offended when I see some cleaning out or oil disasters on our coasts, and these disasters are nothing but crimes against humanity.
Well I would like France and Turkey to act together and change the world. Turkey is already working hard in its aeras but I am quite exasperated because owing to the extremely questionable Mr Sarkozy, Turkey is not able to coordinate its pro-peace policies with France, which deserves a much better president.
Though Turkey and France are very close. Atatürk read for instance Descartes and Montesquieu. The Turkish language includes several thousands of French words. Last but not least, when Atatürk founded Turkey he was in particular inspired by the French state.
The Franco-Turkish relations are waste. It provokes me a headache. I am really unhappy.
Some think that the Turkish nationalism is incompatible with the EU, but that is ridiculous. It is the negative nationalism that is incompatible with the values of the EU. Besides, the negative nationalism is an evil that exists in every country in the world. And although the negative nationalism of the countries of the EU is incompatible with the values of the EU, these countries became EU members. Because the founding of the EU aimed at destroying the negative nationalism and maintaining the peace.
Those who believe that the Turkish army is against Turkey’s EU membership are wrong. I remember very well a symbolic event which strangely was not dealt with in the French media. In 1998 or 1999, Ilker Başbug explained to his colleagues of the EU, who were invited in Turkey, that the Turkish army supports Turkey’s EU membership.
And he underlined that this membership is in keeping with Atatürk’s vision.
That meeting was revealing.
Let’s stress the most important sentence of that article: “….üyeliğin Türkiye’ye verilecek bir taviz, iltimas değil, tam tersi Türkiye’nin hakkı olduğunu ifade etti.”
In English: “The (EU) membership will not be a concession granted to Turkey, on the contrary that membership is its full right.”
That’s what I’ve been writing in my articles since september 2009.
Turkey will be a member of the EU owing to its close ties with the EU which date back to almost 60 years. Turkey will be an EU member because it is a long lasting political goal, which originates in a strong taking root of Atatürk’s Turkey towards Europe.
We must underline that Atatürk said that the objective of Turkey is to be a modern country. However, Turkey doesn’t need to be an EU member in order to be more modern, because it is becoming more modern thanks to the negotiation process with the EU commission. Whereas the EU membership of Turkey will be a powerful cultural and political tool that will contribute to a much better world, and it will offer an alternative to the disastrous world politics of the USA. In fact, with an EU member Turkey, the EU will have a passport that will enable it to influence positively our planet.
Let’s realize what Atatürk achieved within a so short time. That was a revolution. A remarkable and colossal work. He created a nation.
Now let’s imagine what he could have achieved if he had lived longer.
I’m sure that Turkey would have been a superpower for a long time, and one of the superpower of the EU.
Turkey progresses for 10 years. It is deeply improving itself thanks to the AKP, but above all thanks to political stability. There were nearly 60 governments during 60 years!! Without stability, no progress. That’s obvious.
According to a report written in 2004 by Kemal Derviş and some of his colleagues, Turkey will be the fifth economic power of the EU in 2020.
There’s no uncertainty regarding Turkey’s economic perspective. And thanks to the “zero problem with our neighbours” policy of the competent Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkey is doing a very good job for peace.
And once merged with the EU, I believe that peace will propagate everywhere in the world.
The shortest path is the one that we choose together.
I’ve been closely watching Turkey since 1996, and let me say that I’m quite optimistic. Why? Well to begin with, let’s remind the dark period provoked by the terrorism of the PKK for 30 years. Then let’s be aware of Turkey’s progress for nearly ten years. Now let’s imagine what Turkey could accomplish between now and 2023, the centennial of the founding of Turkey.
Eventually, in the long run, the Turkey-EU alliance will be a reliable compass that will be able to face with the next problems of our wounded planet.
Turkey’s future is bright. Our planet’s future is bright.