Slog: News & Arts

RSS icon Comments on Happy MLK Day


I know all I want to know about the freaking Manson family. What else can be said about them?

Posted by Bauhaus | January 21, 2008 12:14 PM

Bless you Josh Feit!

Posted by nipper | January 21, 2008 12:25 PM

Did Josh and Charles exchange bodies today?

Is it Freaky Friday?

Posted by michael strangeways | January 21, 2008 12:44 PM

Your analysis is naively black and white: Ataturk, a ray of pure light against the dark forces of Islamic fundamentalism. The reason there was a backlash against Ataturk is that his policies were brutal and uncompromising. Yes, Ataturk modernized and secularized Turkey. He also suppressed freedom of religion and speach, and was directly responsible for the first repression and massacre of the Kurds.

Posted by Erica T | January 21, 2008 2:39 PM

Yeah, I agree with Erica T. The creation of Turkish nationalism required the attempted erasure of whole cultures. Kurds didn't belong and were redefined as "mountain Turks", the Kurdish language outlawed. Also Constantinople in the 1920s was an amazingly diverse place culturally. Now little remains of that, but every barber has a picture of Ataturk on the wall.

Mustafa Kemal was so very 20th century for better and for worse. Turkey could have been screwed without him but... I can't help wishing someone had come along who wasn't so sold on Turkish nationalism, suits, ties and pocket watches.

Posted by Jude Fawley | January 21, 2008 3:23 PM

If you turn this into a story, can you have a cartoon of Osama bin Laden looking angrily at a performing John Coltrane?

Posted by Gitai | January 21, 2008 4:30 PM

Ahmet Ertegun: Turk.

Bob Dylan: from the Turks.

Istanbul not Constantinople etc. etc.

Posted by mike | January 21, 2008 4:40 PM


Posted by *gong* | January 22, 2008 9:18 AM

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt by Egyptian political prisoners who were rebelling against British colonial rule. Ataturk's brand of nationalism was being developed at the same time as the brotherhood, but certainly one didn't cause the other.

Turkey is different from its Arab neighbors. The corrosive religious politics that holds sway in, say, Saudi Arabia wouldn't wash in Turkey, because at this point it is a Muslim country in the same way that Spain or Italy is a Catholic country.

It's important to remember that the left/right secular/religious orientation that prevails in the U.S. is reversed in Turkey. The conservative forces in Turkey are the secularists, who want to hold on to state power and limit freedom - i.e. ban women who wear headscarves (a majority of Turkish women) from universities and keep on the books the "insults to Turkishness" laws that threaten novelists and journalists. The religious parties - the ruling political party including - aim to bring about reconciliation with Turkey's ethnic minorities, allow greater access to education and more freedom of speech. It's too bad that a lot of U.S. reporting on Turkey's politics doesn't take this information into account.

Posted by msl | January 22, 2008 11:54 AM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 45 days old).