I know all I want to know about the freaking Manson family. What else can be said about them?
Bless you Josh Feit!
Did Josh and Charles exchange bodies today?
Is it Freaky Friday?
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.
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.
If you turn this into a story, can you have a cartoon of Osama bin Laden looking angrily at a performing John Coltrane?
Ahmet Ertegun: Turk.
Bob Dylan: from the Turks.
Istanbul not Constantinople etc. etc.
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.
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