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Actually Josh, Radical Islam dates back to the conservative wahabbism movement that originate in Saudi Arabia around 200 ago. Other factors include all of the cold war antics of the U.S. and U.S.S.R. (people don't like being used as pawns in other peoples games). Don't blame good old Kamel Ataturk for all the bullshit going on these days. He really has nothing to do with it.

Hasta la Pasta!

Posted by Rotten666 | July 23, 2007 5:49 PM

Dude, Ahmet is a cognate of Ahmed, one of the most common Muslim names in the world, and an epithet of Muhammed, which shares the root h-m-d, which indicates a semantic area of "praise." There's no way a Jew would be named Ahmed, or any cognate thereof. Turkish Jews have either cognates of traditional Hebrew names or secular Turkish names, and from what I've read, most of them have recognizably Ashkenazi or Sfardi surnames.

And if you don't know what I'm talking about with the triconsonantal roots, I'm going to track down your old Hebrew teacher and smack him.

Posted by Gitai | July 23, 2007 5:53 PM

Ertegun's father was a diplomat who worked for Ataturk.

Posted by SEAN NELSON, EMERITUS | July 23, 2007 6:27 PM

Well, Turkey isn't going to be secular much longer.

That said the Islamic extremism we're dealing with now is a complete offshoot of the Cold War as was said above. It was the meddling of the Soviet Union and the United States in the affairs of the Arab world and Israel, along with the failure of secular Arab nationalism, that ushered in the current era.

Turkey's secular transformation isn't nearly as important as Pan-Arabism and Nasserism- Nasser had a much greater impact as a secular figure on the post WWII Arab/Muslim world than Atatuk. If you're talking about the interwar period, then Ataturk's secularism might be called a root cause, but Turkey's impact on the Muslim world, especially the Arabs, is not particularly great after World War I. It's really the failure of Nasserism and the 6 day war (not to mention a series of revolutions/coups orchestrated by the British and the United States) that opened up a leadership vacuum, and paved the way for radicalized Muslims. The Muslim regimes also gain much of their power through charged rhetoric, which further inflamed street level radicals who in earlier times might have have been Arab socialists. We need not to mention the arming of militant Muslims as a proxy force against the Soviet Union.

Posted by Jay | July 23, 2007 6:47 PM

Oh, and the Soviet arming of Muslims as a proxy force against us heh.

Posted by Jay | July 23, 2007 6:57 PM

Um, Ahmet isn't anything now; he died last year.

Posted by fnarf | July 23, 2007 7:51 PM

ataturk's the one that tried to kill out all the armenians, right? [the armenian genocide] and that if you speak poorly about, some islamic tool will assasinate you?

other than the doner - which for some god forsaken reason you can't seem to find in this coutnry for $2.00 like you can in most of europe, what have you done for me lately?

Posted by mike | July 23, 2007 8:33 PM

What an interesting coincidence. I just learned that a whole bunch of other people aren't Jewish. I also learned that Tammy Faye wasn't Buddhist and that Mitt Romney isn't Catholic.

So much exciting new stuff to learn every day!!! Whoopee!!!

Posted by Eric H | July 23, 2007 9:13 PM

Sean @3: Yeah, his dad was Turkish ambassador to the US. So Ahmet and his older brother, Nesuhi, lived much of their youth in DC.

Josh, you'll appreciate this: they hung out at the Howard Theater (DC's equivalent of the Apollo in NYC) and the R&B and Jazz clubs around 14th & U, which after years of decline is again a thriving, vibrant neighborhood. I think Ahmet either managed some acts or worked for another label in DC before he headed to NYC to start Atlantic.

Posted by Bill LaBorde | July 23, 2007 9:35 PM

Um...someone didn't see the movie, "Ray." When he is introduced to Ahmet, Ray Charles asks, "What kind of name is Ertegun?" Ahmet replies, "It's Turkish, actually."

Posted by Bauhaus | July 23, 2007 9:37 PM

Yeah, Ahmet was also responsible for Atlantic signing Led Zeppelin, which means he's kinda responsible for Ellen Forney, Cameron Crowe, etc, etc.


Posted by NaFun | July 23, 2007 9:46 PM


Yes, Ahmet was involved in the music biz in DC, both booking acts and with a small label. He financed the start of Atlantic by selling off his record collection (which numbered something over 11,000 if memory holds).

Posted by gnossos | July 23, 2007 10:05 PM

The original edition of George W.S. Trow's absolutely ESSENTIAL book 'Within the Context of No Context' contains an amazing long essay about Ertegun, who Trow saw as the archetypal figure of the (then - 1979) new media age.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | July 23, 2007 10:26 PM

They say Ahmet E. kept enjoying the nose candy all the way to the end...

There's a man who had some self-control.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | July 23, 2007 10:37 PM

Ahmet Ertegun wasn't raised "Islamic", he was raised as a Muslim. The two words should not be used interchangeably. And yes, echoing Gitai, how many Jews named Ahmad do you know?

Your mini-history also exemplifies the Stranger's bad habit of providing short, often inaccurate, summaries of complex events. There was scarcely any real backlash to Kemal Atatürk within Turkey, and even less abroad. The grievances of the Qutb contingency have more to do with the perpetual problems specific to the Muslim Arab Middle East, not whether or not their former despised Ottoman rulers traded an Islamic dictatorship for a secular one.

Posted by Roger Williams | July 24, 2007 2:58 AM

Um, Josh I'm going to bypass your cursory attempt at modern Turkish history, muslims and extremist muslims (I'm so tired of people saying they are islamist), 'cause its a bad one on so many levels, but I loved that your tried and simply say just because Ahmet Zappa is Jewish, doesn't make everyone named Ahmet Jewish, let alone I can't believe you had no clue about Ahmet Ertegun in general, religion aside. Redeem yourself by talking about a local political thing we need to know about: I am to that how you were to Ahmet Ertegun.

Posted by stone | July 24, 2007 9:08 AM

Shorter Josh Feit: I'm an ignorant fool.

Posted by Tlazolteotl | July 24, 2007 10:51 AM

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