Atatürk and the positive Turkish nationalism

Posted by Cem on 25/06/10

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.

The TV channels TRT Türk, NTV and CNN Türk are excellent and objective indeed.

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.

Here’s an interesting article in Turkish

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.

Regards,

Cem

6 Responses to Atatürk and the positive Turkish nationalism »»

  1. Comment by Christophe Leclercq | 2010/06/25 at 16:38:43

    Congratulations Cem for this long and colourful article.

    Why is it that these great features of Turkey do not make their way in the Western public opinion?

    You write: ‘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’

    Discussing a Turkey EU alliance, – also with Russia and Ukraien is the objective of the blog on which you kindly commented, here:
    http://euroman.blogactiv.eu/2010/06/19/wild-idea-for-the-wild-east-pan-european-eec-soft-governed-by-europe-10-including-turkey-ukraine-russia/#comment-187

    It is in my view not an alternative to enlargement, but a first major step, bringing practical benefits. I welcome other views,

    Christophe Leclercq

  2. cem
    Comment by cem | 2010/06/25 at 20:24:52

    Thank you Christophe for your comment. I am very flattered.

    As you meant it, united we are stronger.

    Best regards,

    Cem

  3. Comment by Javier | 2010/06/26 at 04:56:17

    It is very encouraging for me to find opinions close to me in the matter of which you speak in this interesting article.

    Also I believe that Europe and the world will be a much better place when Turkey enters the Union.
    We need bigger competitiveness and economic and demographic power and a strong army, all the factors necessary to stand up to Russia on the international scene and to ensure our survival. These are all contributions of Turkey in particular.

    But most of all Turkey’s entry will remove the motivations of the radicalest factions of the religious sectors, committed to the inability of two distant cultures can be integrated into the community.

    But you treated these aspects better than me. My question is: Europe wants Turkey, Turkey still wants to Europe? As its economic power and strategic influence increases, increasingly seems to need less to the European Union. And in this sense is information circulating in my country, Spain. It is an issue that worries me seriously.

    Regards.

  4. cem
    Comment by cem | 2010/06/26 at 11:52:13

    Thank you for very much for your comment Javier.

    I am strongly convinced that the objective of Turkey is still the EU membership. Turkey still does need the EU, its path has always been the european one. But that european path doesn’t prevent it from improving its ties with its neighbours such as Iran, the arabic countries, Georgia or Russia.
    Turkey is not shifting to the east, that is a lie from some lobbies which aim at making an anti-Turkey propaganda. Anyway, “shifting to the east” doesn’t mean anything at all.

    But the turkish state is suspicious towards the EU since on the one hand, several irresponsible politicians keep on making an anti-Turkey propaganda. In fact these politicians sabotage the negotiations process and that is destroying the credibility of the EU, which recognized Turkey an official candidate to the EU in 1999.
    On the other hand, no country seems to object to them and especially to Mr Sarkozy.

    So Turkey does not understand that.

    Spain said a few months ago that it would open several chapters of the negotiations. But it didn’t open any.

    Though Spain is a big country. Thus, why wasn’t it able to withstand to the obvious pressure of Mr Sarkozy and Greece? (Spain said a few weeks ago that owing to their pressure, it couldn’t open any chapter. And it emphasized that Turkey is victim of discrimination from the EU).

    Well Turkey doesn’t understand that situation, thence it is suspcious regarding the credibility and the will of the EU.

    France and Greece don’t represent the EU. So what’s happening?

    Why aren’t Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, Belgium, Poland, Finland, Latvia, Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia and several more countries able to withstand to Mr Sarkozy?

    Theses states do support Turkey’s EU membership. So why are Mr Sarkozy and Greece and the greek Cypriots acting with impunity regarding Turkey?

    That question must be answered by the EU. Turkey is curious. I am really curious.

    Lastly, I am not afraid of Russia. But the United States of America make me afraid. Israel makes me afraid.

    Best regards,

    Cem

    PS: here are two short articles about Spain:

    http://turkey.blogactiv.eu/2009/12/18/spain-and-turkey/

    http://turkey.blogactiv.eu/2010/01/08/a-big-thank-you-to-spain/

  5. Comment by Javier | 2010/06/29 at 05:52:56

    Thanks for your reply, and sorry for my poor English level.

    I am relieved to hear that Turkey is not really moving away from the European Union. In Spain, we often hear reports in this way, we’re told that Turkey is close to Russia and Iran.
    I personally cannot believe that the Turkish people will decide to leave the work of a hundred years’ approach to Europe.

    Of course the Spanish Presidency has been disappointing. We suffered an traditional inferiority of power against France into the Union that the current government has not wanted to overcome.

    But I not sure that it comes from France but yes from Germany.
    It is often said that Germany rejects the entry of Turkey for its fear of mass immigration. But the Germans knows that the entry of Turkey would produce an economic boom that would end the Turkish emigration.

    That growth is what they fear. A country with seventy million people, with a thriving economy and a unique strategic situation will be a counterweight to German supremacy in the Union.
    That is why Germany merely slows down the process and Sarkozy, as a lackey of Merkel in his foreign policy is the public face of this position.

    Regards

  6. cem
    Comment by cem | 2010/06/29 at 10:31:55

    Good morning dear Javier,

    I agree with you about the potential power of Turkey at the EU parliament.

    But Ms Merkel and Mr Sarkozy object to Turkey’s EU membership owing to the muslim religion of the turkish people.

    If the Turks were all christians, Turkey would have been a member for a very long time.

    I invite you to read that former article of mine regarding the two subjective leaders of France and Germany:

    http://turkey.blogactiv.eu/2010/04/02/the-european-union-turkey-and-angela-merkel/

    Thank you for reading,

    Cem

    PS: I am about to publish a new article this afternoon, in which we will see some funny pictures. I chose these pictures because I like derision.


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This blog is about the relations between Turkey and the EU. I explain how much some notorious French TV channels and other media are biased regarding Turkey. This blog is an antidote for the perpetual anti-Turkey brainwashing of numerous dark circles within the EU and the USA (On July 2011 a political adviser of a member of the EU parliament told ABHaber: "I’ve been working at the EU parliament for 6 years. When Turkey is dealt with some people press the button and everybody bestir themselves and ensure that the Turkey dossier is concluded negatively. Difficult to understand. There is an unnamed anti-Turkey mechanism at the EU parliament. Completely organized"). Imagine that you're listening to Bach or Kenny Kirkland – or to your favourite song – in harmony. But suddenly, someone is screeching a piece of chalk on a blackboard. That screech that you heard is racism. Well it is useful to highlight this: the Turks are not “true” Muslims according to the Arabs whereas they are not “true” Europeans according to the Europeans. So who are the Turks? Where do they live? I think that I’ve discovered a new continent on our planet. Its name: Turkope. Jules Verne would be proud of me! more.



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