Turkish-American CNN columnist: Kemalist secularism is dead

Not that we didn’t know that already. Cagaptay doesn’t say it outright, but Turkey is slowly, peacefully and inexorably restoring Sharia, and hints of that appear in his article. “Kemalism is dead, but not Ataturk,” by Soner Cagaptay for CNN, May 2 (thanks to Joshua):

Has Turkey”s twentieth century experience with Kemalism – a Europe-oriented top-down Westernization model – come to an end?

To a large extent: Yes.

Symbolically speaking, nothing could portend the coming end of Kemalism better than the recent public exoneration of Iskilipli Atif Hoca, a rare resistance figure to Kemalism in the early twentieth century. However, even if Kemalism might be withering away, ironically its founder Ataturk and his way of doing business seem to be alive in Turkey.

But first the story of Iskilipli Atif Hoca: In November 1925, Ataturk carried out perhaps the most symbolic of his reforms, banning all Turkish males from wearing the Ottoman fez in order to cement his country’s commitment to European ideals. Ataturk wanted make Turks European head to toe and the abolition of the fez embodied this effort.

Most Turks acquiesced to Ataturk’s reforms, not just to the “hat reform” but also to deeper ones such as the “alphabet reform,” which changed the Turks” script from an Arab alphabet-based one to its current Latin-based form, further connecting the Turks to European culture.

Ataturk was able to achieve these reforms with minor resistance thanks to the weight of his persona. After all, Ataturk – who had just liberated Turkey from a massive Allied occupation – was considered nothing short of a father to all Turks.

Some Turks, however, objected to his reforms.

Enter Atif Hoca, a cleric in the small central Anatolian town of Iskilip, who refused to adhere to Ataturk’s “hat reform.” Atif Hoca defended his use of the fez, couching his objections in Islam. He rallied to protest against the reforms and began publishing essays in local papers. He was executed in February 1926, becoming a rare icon of resistance to Kemalism.

Recently though, Atif Hoca’s legacy has been reversed in the public eye. In February 2012, the government decided to name a public hospital in Iskilip – Atif Hoca’s hometown – after him. This dedication carries remarkable symbolic significance, as it is tantamount to honoring one of the best known anti-Kemalists to date, as well as signaling Turkey”s move to a post-Kemalist era.

Kemalism appears to have lost its influence, not just symbolically but also politically. In the past decade, Turkey has undergone a complete transformation. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has won three consecutive elections since 2002, with increasing majorities. The AKP, representing a brand of Islam-based social conservatism, has since replaced Turkey”s former Kemalist ideology and secular elites. Turkey seems to be moving to a post-Kemalist era….

Important new book sheds light on the Islamic jihad genocide of the Ottoman Greeks
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Comments

  1. says

    I spent four years in Ankara and, once I became familiar with the destruction of Kemalism being carried out by Recep Erdoclown and his fellow Saudi-wannabes, I wondered if the Atatutk Mausoleum, or Anitkabir, might eventually be fitted with minarets and converted into a mosque. Judging by how things have been going, that sadly seems to be a real possibility.

  2. says

    Just more proof that Islam won’t go quietly into the night. No, it’s going to go kicking and screaming into the night before it finally disgusts the entire world with its many pathologies and heinous aspects. It ain’t gonna’ be pretty. Ataturk did what he could to get rid of the rotting corpse, but, in zombie like form, it’s going to be around for one more final and bloody round.

  3. says

    “Kemalism is dead, but not Ataturk,” by Soner Cagaptay for CNN…

    However, even if Kemalism might be withering away, ironically its founder Ataturk and his way of doing business seem to be alive in Turkey.
    …………………………….

    In what way is Ataturk and his “way of doing business” still alive in Turkey”unless he means Erdogan still has a way to go before Turkey is Pakistan?

    More likely, it’s just one of those vacuous swerves sloppy journalists throw into stories to make them appear more nuanced.

    More:

    Symbolically speaking, nothing could portend the coming end of Kemalism better than the recent public exoneration of Iskilipli Atif Hoca, a rare resistance figure to Kemalism in the early twentieth century…

    Most Turks acquiesced to Ataturk’s reforms, not just to the “hat reform” but also to deeper ones such as the “alphabet reform,” which changed the Turks’ script from an Arab alphabet-based one to its current Latin-based form, further connecting the Turks to European culture…
    …………………………….

    “Acquiesced””not embraced. Islam”that “rotting corpse””was always just below the surface in Turkish life, waiting to resurface in all its nastiness.

    More:

    Ataturk was able to achieve these reforms with minor resistance thanks to the weight of his persona. After all, Ataturk – who had just liberated Turkey from a massive Allied occupation – was considered nothing short of a father to all Turks.
    …………………………….

    This is an odd way of looking at things”or maybe not. After all, getting rid of Infidels is still pretty “Islamic”, no matter what Ataturk’s other objections to it.

    Even more salient, the Armenian Genocide”which rid the country not just of most Christian Armenians, but also most Christian Greeks, Christian “Levantines”, and Jews”proceeded apace under Ataturk, just as it had under the Ottoman Empire and the transitional “Young Turks”. Ataturk did nothing to stop it or blunt its savagery. Even he, likely, realized there areas where he would have *no* influence with his Muslim countrymen”or perhaps he approved himself.

    More:

    Enter Atif Hoca, a cleric in the small central Anatolian town of Iskilip, who refused to adhere to Ataturk’s “hat reform.” Atif Hoca defended his use of the fez, couching his objections in Islam.
    …………………………….

    “Couching his objections in Islam””of course he did.

    More:

    Recently though, Atif Hoca’s legacy has been reversed in the public eye. In February 2012, the government decided to name a public hospital in Iskilip – Atif Hoca’s hometown – after him. This dedication carries remarkable symbolic significance, as it is tantamount to honoring one of the best known anti-Kemalists to date, as well as signaling Turkey’s move to a post-Kemalist era.
    …………………………….

    Except for its history and modern weapons capabilities, I imagine this will be more like Turkey’s *pre-Kemaliist* era”oppressing its religious minorities, mistreating its women, and threatening its Christian, Jewish, and atheist neighbors…

  4. says

    Well if we look at the history of Islam it was silenced before by force. Now it is much stronger than before thanks to our dependence on oil. With all the discussions going on as to how to fight against this evil doctrine, I dont see any other way but what has worked in the past will work again now and the future which is, yes, united infidel force. Unfortunately peace has always been achieved by FORCE.

  5. says

    Maybe if we gave full membership of EU. If only we had done a deal with the Third Reich there would have been no WW2. (lol) No doubt Turkey will be connecting the muslim fifth column dots at some point EU or not.

  6. says

    With respect, Sam Arisan, I would argue that Islam is “stronger than before” not first and foremost due to the West’s dependence on Middle Eastern oil (which would have never been extracted in the first place but for Western, i.e., non-Islamic, technology), but because a willful ignorance of Islam is still extensive in the West.

    Most culpable here are the present Western elites in the media, academia, the political world and, sadly, even in the hierarchy of the militaries of the West. Yes, in the final analysis, ignorance is even more lethal than oil in the fight against what Islam ultimately intends for the West. Damn sad but damn true.

  7. says

    Kepha wrote:

    Is Soner Cagaptay dismayed about this development, or does he welcome it?
    ……………………………

    Damn good question, Kepha.

    Here’s Soner Cagaptay appearing to decry “Islamism””but at the same time claiming that the main thing that gives Al Qaeda its power is Western “Islamophobia”:

    “Please, Call Us Islamic”

    http://www.cagaptay.com/6669/please-call-us-islamic

    He is, essentially, asserting that Jihad has nothing to do with Islam”although he never uses the “J” word.

    Here, in 2005, Cagaptay argues that Turkey has strict separation of mosque and state, and so “radical Islam” is no threat there, or among Turks in Europe. Of course, he is making this assertion in the context of arguing that Turkey be given full EU membership. Has he changed his mind on any of these points in the past seven years? Who knows?

    “Turkey and Europe’s Problem with Radical Islam”

    http://www.cagaptay.com/679/turkey-and-europes-problem-with-radical-islam

    He even uses a subhead in this article, “Turkish Secularism: Lessons for Europe””which took a lot of gall, even back in 2005…

    And here’s an absolutely *shocking* assertion from him from two years ago:

    “Turkey may be the most Muslim nation in the world. It was forged through blood and war as a state exclusively by and for Muslims — a claim it shares only with Pakistan. Fleeing persecution in Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus, millions of Turkish and non-Turkish Muslims settled there, and today almost half of Turkey’s 73 million citizens are descendants of these disparate peoples. This little-known story is why modern Turkey was born a Muslim nation: when the Ottoman Empire finally collapsed at the end of World War I, Muslims from all over the empire joined with ethnic Turks to defend the new nation against Christian foes — the Allied forces, Armenians, and Greeks….”

    These “Christian foes” were their *own non-violent population of Christians*, whose heritage in Turkey much predated Islam. He is here speaking glowingly of the **Armenian genocide**.

    “Sultan of the Muslim World
    Why the AKP’s Turkey Will Be the East’s Next Leader”

    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/67009/soner-cagaptay/sultan-of-the-muslim-world?page=show

    He is somewhat critical of some aspects of the AKP’s Islamizing of Turkey, but these seem to be more strategic cavils than anything else.

    Overall, he comes across as a pretty thorough-going Muslim apologist”and, especially, as a booster of Turkey”seemingly, in whatever form that might take.

    Cagaptay’s analysis in the article heading this thread is quite honest”that *does not* means we should regard his as any sort of critic of Islam.