When awards are handed out, they often go to the wrong people. It is not the hapless Mohammed El Baradei, nor that apologist-for-Islam (“the mistreatment of women does not come from Islam”) Shirin Ebadi, who deserve that Nobel for Peace, but rather Ayaan Hirsi Ali and other brave apostates. And the same is true for those prizes awarded to journalists.
Who has given a prize to Flemming Rose? Or to Hrant Dink?
Hrant (pronounced “Erant”) Dink was a non-Muslim victim of Muslim hatred of non-Muslims. He was shot because he was an Armenian citizen of Turkey, who thought that the government and people of Turkey should own up to the mass-murder (genocide) of the Armenians. He was not, and could not be, a true “Turk” according to the definition supplied by Turkish nationalists.
The particular variant on Islam operative in the murder of Hrant Dink was the Kemalist cult of “the Turk” — Kemalism, in constraining Islam, offered a replacement cult, the cult of Ataturk and of The Turk. But in this case it can be seen to have adopted to a new age essentially the same attitudes. The violence and aggression of Islam, the inability to conceive of non-Muslims as fully equal legally and socially to Muslims, have carried over into the Kemalist substitute for Islam — the cult of “the Turk” by which the past civilizations of Anatolia, its entire history, back to the Hittites, is ascribed to “the Turks.” This is another variant on the Muslim desire to ignore everything that happened before Islam arrived as merely the time of “Jahiliyya.” That cannot be done in the case of Turkey: too many impressive remnants of classical antiquity, as well as of Byzantium, remain and must remain — if only for the Western tourists. The solution of the Kemalist-nationalists was to take that pre-Islamic past and enroll it in a counter-myth: the myth of the Turk to whom all this somehow belongs, and for which he, the glorious Turk, is somehow responsible. The educated elite realize that this is absurd, but as in any country, and especially in such a country as Turkey, how few must be those members of the educated elite who are immune to both Islam and to the Myth of the Turk.
The re-emergence of Islam has led some Turks, including the one who waited to kill Hrant Dink, to be possessed by a syncretistic mix. The non-Turk means the non-Muslim citizen of Turkey — Armenian, Greek, or Jew. No offense must be given by these inferior citizens to the cult of the Turk, or to “the Turkish Nation.” There is the same readiness to be offended, the same division of the universe between Us and Them (in the case of Islam it is Believer and Infidel, and in the case of Muslim Turks who have embraced Kemalism it can be, for the primitive, the true Turk and the non-Turk), the same recourse to violence.
Hrant Dink should be remembered, and that memory honored, and not only in Sausalito or Watertown, but everywhere. And the reasons for his killing should be understood, including the reflection of the persistence of Islamic attitudes in Turks, even those who are “defending the Turkish nation from slander” rather than “defending Muhammad from blasphemy.” In the minds of Turkish Muslims, these attitudes are mutually reinforcing.
One more thing.
This should be it, as far as entry into the EU is concerned. Call off the farce. And this should also be the time when the Bush Administration reads Turkey the riot act about Kurdistan, and starts to make plans for that independent state, and tells the Turkish government that it had better accept the American-extorted guarantees that there will be no territorial claim made on Turkey by the new and independent Kurdistan, but that Syria and Iran are fair game. And if it doesn’t accept that? Then Turkey, whose military is entirely dependent on American re-quipping, American spare parts, American training, can see that American connection go up in smoke from the top of Mount Ararat. No more nonsense about being afraid of “the Turkish reaction.” The Turkish government can get with the new program, with those guarantees given by the Kurds to the Americans (and without American diplomatic and military support an independent Kurdistan could never exist) or face abandonment by its main, and only sure ally. And if the Turkish government thinks that the Arabs would or could ever be an ally of Turkey, rather than mischief-makers intent on reversing 80 years of Kemalism, it should be disabused of that thought quickly.