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14 June 2013


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You ARE one of Ataturk's soldiers. pl

Clifford Kiracofe

Many thanks kunuri, your thoughts, observations, and perspective are extremely valuable.

Posting some links to reporting and analysis you feel are responsible and objective would be helpful.



I suppose you mean "The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Most suitable.

"Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
" He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on."



Kunari: "This may be the world's first apolitical political revolution."

Street theatre, then.

So, have military coups to overthrow democratically governments. (No protests.) Jail people for criticizing a dead drunk. (No protests.) But allow a woman to enter a government building wearing a head scarf and suddenly all you freedom-istas are all aflutter.

What a revolution.



I think you are having a cognitive dissonance problem. Erdogan is on the side of the "salafi head choppers." pl


Col: You are right. But, now it appears, so are we. See http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/06/13/obamas-betrayal-on-syria/

William R. Cumming

Does the ruthless discipline of the Turkish military ranks as it existed in the 60's and 70's still exist?

Edward Amame

Hats off to these protestors. A modern militarized police force loosed on unarmed protestors is not a pretty sight and there has already been loss of life in Taksim Square. Good luck to you all.


Kunuri is da bomb.

Babak Makkinejad

I think the reality is somewhat more complicated than that.

Secularism has been supported by non-Sunni religious minorities in Turkey simply because of their fear of Sunni political domination of the state.

However, this Turkic secularism itself could not tolerate the existence of ethno-linguistic minorities within the Turkish Republic - thus the expulsion of the Pontic Greeks after 2500 years of having lived where they had lived and the constant state of conflict with Kurds.

On the other hand, AKP government's machinations in Syria only has served to confirm the fears of religious minorities in Turkey.

The Ottomans, in my opinion, did a better job than either secularists or the AKP.

I could see that the supporters of Ata Turk arguing that he was only carrying out the necessary tasks for creating a nation-state in Anatolia ; expelling the undesirables as the opportunity presented itself; following the bloody pattern of nation-state creation through swords in Western Europe.

I cannot, however, be sympathetic to AKP - where the Hell is their practice of "Islamic Brotherhood" and avoiding Fitna among the "Ummah" - not in Syria you will not find it.

I do not know who is worse; both sides are, in my view, extremists that do not let people choose for themselves are ever eager to write a perscription for everyone.



you are distorting history. The men who made Republican Turkey were nearly all Sunnis. There are few religious minorities in Turkey today. The secularists in the streets are Sunnis. pl

Babak Makkinejad

Not at all; I was aware of their religious affiliation but they were secular-Suunis.

The Alevi population is estimated at 20 million -based on Internet sources.


Albayim, tesekkurler, I am truly honored, and to be truthful I spent all day today wondering whether I should have posted my commentary, fearing that it may sound too emotional for a blog like this, whose cool headed logical commentary I come to appreciate since 2007. I am an artist, Production Designer, by profession, and this is the first righteous revolution I am witnessing live on the ground. So my hope is that emotion that crept in may be taken within the context of the moment.

I am also honored by your comment "You ARE one of Ataturk's soldiers", being the son of a Turkish Army Colonel, who was a young lieutenant in Korea 52-53, in spirit and profession a true soldier of Ataturk. I have lived in United States for 30 years before moving to Turkey, and as a true American from the first year I got there, I see nothing that is going on in this revolution contrary to the true American ideals as stated in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. On the other hand, I can make a case with my limited argumentation skills that everything the AKP government doing here, and all their political positions are in contradiction, or/and opposition to the American ideals based on these two documents.

It was a pleasant surprise for me to witness first hand that the demands and grieviences of all those people, young and old, rich and poor, from all walks of life have coincided with all my own beliefs and ideals that I possess. Even more pleasant to see was how universal are the American ideals I came to believe in, which until now seemed to be in contradiction to everything I see or experience here. All of a sudden, an invisible mass of people materialized around which made me feel at right at home. And home being not a particular place, but a state of mind.

I am posting some internet links here where the story is chronicled visually, where a picture is superior to thousand words for those who have more than a thousand words in their vocabulary. Others need not bother. And some additional links as well where the journalism is in depth and unbiased to the extent its possible. Simple internet gleaning will provide all the information for those interested.

It is also amazing to realize just how far reaching Ataturk’s vision is. He was no dogmatist, whereas his followers became after his death, or a dictator in life as some would claim. He knew both the constructive and destructive nature of power. He had faith, not in a particular power, God or religion but in himself and his people. In his struggles, he had been bottled up, treaded on, shot at, oppressed and vilified but found his way out based on universal truths, never to be put back in as witnessed recently by the generation he trusted his masterpiece Turkish Republic. Turkey has no written constitution, but Ataturk’s legacy and ideals will suffice.










That is a higher percentage than I have ever seen. I doubt that many Alavis are secularists. pl

Medicine Man

Good luck, Kunuri. I hope your optimism and that of your countrymen prevails, though the cynic in me fears for you all.


William R. Cumming, Sir,

Discipline is crucial in any Army as long as it is sustained voluntarily by those who impose it and those who function under it. It takes form according to the culture it originates from. The discipline of Turkish Army is, and have always been no different than a typical family discipline structure at any given time in retrospect.

As in current Turkish Army, discipline is still harsh, but its a different Army than my father's time. As the Turkish family structure has changed over the decades, so did the Turkish Army. It is now more professional, specialized, modern and effective despite the fact that it is still mainly a conscript Army. The officer corps are well trained, worldly and able. The Army is well equipped and adoptable, but best of all traditionally highly motivated. Military service still is a right of passage for all able Turkish men. It is still a badge of honor for any family to sustain a death of a son during military service bar none, by the saying "May the homeland live long". It seems to me now that the current Turkish Army is an Army of brains rather than brawns. Reputed medieval discipline of the Turkish army is a myth of the past. I would rate it in the top four around the world without ranking. US, Chinese, Israeli and Turkish. And yes, I left out the Russians. To have an effective Army is not about resources or numbers.


Thank you, we need your support, since there are only two leverages that can motivate the current regime towards the unknown democratic waters as far as they understand it, international support for the dissenters and an economic sting. Loss of prestige and perks, though not of life and limb will move them.

Babak Makkinejad

I imagine that they want Turkish state to remain secular so that they are not oppressed by the Sunni-majority.



To the extent that I know the Alevi here, they have an instinctive understanding that faith and worldly affairs should not intermingle. They also value highly education and positive science, and are fully aware of the dualism of the truths of positive sciences and faith. As much as they still harbor the rebellious spirit and victimhood in their souls, they prefer to express it through peaceful means, music and art. They are mild, peaceful and articulate. They do not impose or flaunt their particular beliefs. They are not owners of corporations or have ambitions beyond providing their families with necessities, education included and being foremost. So, to create a fault line between the majority Sunni in Turkey and Alevi minority will be difficult-no Alevi will come out to play on that turf.


Medicine Man,

A victory is already won. Any following so called victory by anyone else will be a Pyrrhic victory.

All that is achieved by the protesters here will be gains and a role model for the rest of the world. Including United States primarily.


Isn't the correct spelling "the"? Oh, maybe it is so in "Southpark" and "Beevis and Butthead".


BK: heavy voter turnout in Iran today. Any insight?


Babak Makkinejad,

Sir, every paragraph of what you posted here is wrong and misinformed.

"I could see that the supporters of Ata Turk arguing that he was only carrying out the necessary tasks for creating a nation-state in Anatolia ; expelling the undesirables as the opportunity presented itself; following the bloody pattern of nation-state creation through swords in Western Europe."

Just this, I mean, I don't know where to start and I am no intellectual or historian. And this,

"However, this Turkic secularism itself could not tolerate the existence of ethno-linguistic minorities within the Turkish Republic - thus the expulsion of the Pontic Greeks after 2500 years of having lived where they had lived and the constant state of conflict with Kurds"

How does Anatolian Greeks leaving Turkey, after the bitter revolutionary war 1919-1922, albeit agreed by both Turkish and Greek governments at the time mutually as the Turks living in Greece emigrating to Turkey, and the Kurdish minority claims and grieviences relate are beyond me.

And how and when did the Greeks, Rum, of Anatolia became undesirables? And Pontic Greeks of Northern Anatolia, who did ever expel them? And how do the Prejudices and belief systems of people of power differed from us now in making political decisions, and how they should be judged in context? Given today's standards, anyone can be made into a tyrant, or an event into a humanitarian outrage.

And also, "Turkic" is such a wide ranging generalization, Azeris, Turkmens, Uzbeks and Khazars, Pechenchs, Tartars, Kachkars are Turkic peoples, what did have to do with Ataturk and modern Turkish Republic. Such hasty generalizations add nothing to your hasty judgments.

And furthermore, its "Ataturk", I guess you are as hasty and as bad in spelling as I am. And believe me, I would be the first to applaud AKP administration in Turkey coming straight out and saying they are for sharia and against modernism and Ataturk. Why pretend to be liberal and democratic and carry out a different agenda visible to all except to those who benefit from it? Why deny modernity in all its implications and systems, including the nation state and democracy and still drive a Mercedes and use an I pad? Why pretend to respect the ballot box and once in power resort to most medieval methods for retaining and consolitading power? And responding most violently to any rightful dissent so violently? What's so liberal about that? How Muslim is that?


Ataturk a dead drunk?

I have in the mail your AKP party membership card accompanied by my nomination for the Pulitzer prize of the year for the best political commentary. And also for the head mullah for the local religious madrasa, the students would appreciate your brilliance and learn from you, as I do.




I know the "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", although it was suitable, this tune was a different one. Hallelujah being the stanza, in a most angelic, non religious tone. No wonder people were mesmerized. Hallelujah is ancient, it must have hit something in the genes of people listening here. Still, it was a most magical moment.

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