Astarjian: This is Turkey!

Never for a moment, since its inception, has the so-called “Modern, Democratic, Secular” Turkey been any one of those terms. Never for a moment since its inception has Turkey veered towards tempering its Islamic fervor to become a secular state. Never since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk massacred tens of thousands of civilians to establish modern-day Turkey has the republic been for all its inhabitants; it has been for a select few of the Central Asian Turkic origin.

Ataturk, the Free Mason that he was, never ceased to affirm the dual identity of the republic that he established: “Turkishness” and Islamism. In every speech and in every action he emphasized these points to assert his authority and gain political advantage. He was never a true Muslim. He drank liquor and had lavish nightlife, his palace was full of immorality, and he did not observe the Five Tenets of Islam, yet he used Islam to rule with an iron fist. He beheaded thousands of Kurds, not because they were Muslims but because they were Kurds. He did the same to the non-Muslims, just because they were not Muslims.

He introduced his brand of Islam, separating it from the state—but that did not really happen. The country remained fanatically Muslim, the seat of the caliphate.

The country continued to believe in and practice chauvinism and fascism, yearning for the days of the caliphate when corrupt, murderous sultans ruled the Islamic world in the name of Allah and Islam.

In all this he had the support of the army, which he had created and which had, in return, helped him conquer the land and establish modern Turkey.

What he had tailored for Turkey, like a two-sizes-too-big orphan’s jacket, did not fit Turkish society. The Turks remained deeply fanatic, wielding clout and oppressing minorities, mainly the big Kurdish minority, the Alevis, and the Christians.

To them Mohamed was the messenger of God, while Ataturk was the messenger of evil. This reactionary attitude of the Turks generated enmity between them and the army, which was the protector of Kemalism. Since 1960, the army has overthrown the country’s civilian government four times, and now was preparing for the fifth.

Prime ministers and presidents of the country—like Celal Bayar (sentenced to death, later spared), Adnan Menderes (hanged), Bulent Ecevit, Suleyman Demirel, Tansu Ciller, Mesut Yilmaz, and many others—became the direct or indirect victims of such military interventions. Kemalists, with skeletons in their closets, were true to their ancestral Ottoman traditions. Ciller, Turkey’s first and only female prime minister, had spent $5 million for an undisclosed purpose, which she would not divulge even to the Turkish Parliament. Finally she whispered it in the ear of Demirel, the president, who assured the parliament that she had spent the money in lieu of the government; she had financed the assassination of journalists, Kurdish leaders, and “enemies of the republic.” It is not clear if she pocketed some of that money to finance the purchase of a Holiday Inn in New Hampshire, a few miles from where I live. The Turkish media said she did.

The beat goes on and on, and on. The stories of official and unofficial behaviors and misconducts are endless.

The Islamists utilizing the ills of Kemalism and invoking the righteousness of Islam established themselves as the heirs to the Ottoman Caliphate. Necmettin Erbakan a devout Naqshbandi Muslim Turk, established the Refah Party with a clear Islamic platform. The threat of its popularity and growth led the military to arrange for its dissolution. Erbakan was barred from running for office. Turkish newspapers exposed his corruption, especially his theft of 140 kg. of gold that belonged to the Refah Party.

The high court’s decision to dissolve the party did not deter the Islamist from forming a new one under a new name—the Adalet ve Kalkinma Party (AK) Justice and Development Party, now led by Erbakan’s protégés, current Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul.

Turkey was and is divided in three ways: The military, the Islamists, and the Kurds are each driving their own donkey to the finishing line. The military, by plotting to overthrow the government through Ergenekon and through the newly cooked plot. The Islamist government, by driving another nail in the coffin of Kemalism when—taking an unprecedented step of civilian government—arresting 50 of the retired and active duty generals. And the Kurds, by continuing their struggle for autonomy veiled in pseudo claims of a struggle for human rights.

Turkey, according to reports in the Arab news media, is a fertile ground for the ultra-fanatic, Islamic terrorist group Al-Qaeda to establish itself; the on-the-ground circumstances of Islamic fervor are right for Osama’s move into Turkey. An estimated 180 of them are already on the ground. I’ll leave the consequences of this to your imagination and deliberations.

It is this degenerating country that the United States is relying on to contain Iran, at a time when Turkey is in a love fest with Iran. It is this government that the United States fears alienating if it accepts the Turkish genocide of the Armenians.

It is with these realities at play that the present, equally corrupt government of Armenia is trying to make peace with Turkey. Oh, what a farce, what a joke! Who was trying to steal from whom?

This is Turkey, a member of NATO, and an ally of the United States, which under false pretences markets itself as a “Modern, Democratic, Secular” state. The reality is far from the truth. Turkey is a chauvinist, fascist, reactionary country. It was not “Modern, Secular, Democratic” at its founding; it is not now; and with its ethnic makeup, religious fanaticism, Central Asian tribal culture, feelings of uber alles, it will never be.

Dr. Henry Astarjian

Dr. Henry Astarjian

Dr. Henry Astarjian was born in Kirkuk, Iraq. In 1958, he graduated from the Royal College of Medicine and went on to serve as an army medical officer in Iraqi Kurdistan. He continued his medical education in Scotland and England. In 1966, he emigrated to the U.S. In 1992, he served as a New Hampshire delegate to the Republication National Convention in Houston, Texas. For three years Astarjian addressed the Kurdish Parliament in Exile in Brussels, defending Armenian rights to Western Armenia. For three consecutive years, he addressed the American Kurds in California and Maryland. He is the author of The Struggle for Kirkuk, published by Preager and Preager International Securities.
Dr. Henry Astarjian

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  1. Let’s face it….Iran is one of Armenia’s very best and most loyal friends. I have no problem at all with that.  However, the real point is that the Turks are and have been totally misreading the situation vis a vis becoming part of the EU, etc. apparently from their point of view it is all about pride … what they don’t seem to get is that admitting to the genocide would make them look all modern and sophisticated and western … e.g. the Germans on the Jews, the Americans on the Japanese and Indians (don’t think we’ve gotten to the blacks yet), the British on the kids sent to Australia, the Australians on the Aborigines, etc.etc. etc. In a funny way, until the Turks truly “get it”, and issue their own ‘mea culpa’, they really aren’t very western at all, are they?

  2. Who cares? Money buys everything. As much as I am happy to see a positive move in US administration, I cannot stop thinking this is something that will never happen. Money and politics, blackmailing and intrigues – true face of reality.

  3. Pretty good article untile I got to part where Astarjian compared the turkish government with the Armenian.  Then I realized what a joke this article was, because in that one line he lost his credibility.

  4. AR,
    As with most individuals representing us today in the diaspora, Astarjian has no real credibility. Sadly, these people are genocide obsessed individuals without any understanding of politics…

  5. Indeed he crossed  the margin,comparing Armenia  with Turkey as to corruption levels.It  is one thing to say there is “corruption” KORRUPCIA  as  our brothers  in RA refer to as it  being there_if you are smart  enough a politician  dear Henry” you ought to know  where all that Korrupcia emanates from…look aroud  please.All over  the Globe  it  is rampant,except perhaps a few countreis -with a lesser proportion-like Denmark,Finland sweden,where a REal Euro socialism  is practiced,but  again ,like just  said with lesser..
    As to Karekin’s reference to Iran-wherefrom did  that  pop  up?Dr. H.Astarjian  makes  no mention of Iran.
    But now  that  you brought  it up,let  me carry on,for few  know  that Iran’s credibility as to being a balanced country diplomatically -with all  neighbours- nay world at  large, is a fact.Some do not comprehend  that she has all the rights to develop scientifically-like say Bakistan,sorry Pakistan-another moslem country next door. Latter  does  not hold the credibility  of -like  Iran- not  letting in her territoy those  who are sought after and regularly or almost so cause trouble through  organizations  that  are clearly dubbed as terrorists and act  so.
    Armenia on the other  hand ,has  not  as  yet entertained  a  Policy of  siding ONLY  with one Power,luckily.As to Resolution 252  having been adopted at long last,it is to be noted  that as we  all know  many of the U.s. states(44  have done so aready and 20 and some will be eventually admiited   and recognized by even R.of Turkey-they do it  their way -Gula gula-yavahs yavash.Gamac  Gamac…because  they know  that contrary to what above was said it is not oly Recognition but….REPARATIONS  ISSUE  THAT  LIES AHEAD.IN MY VERSION AND “SUGGSTION” BEST VIABLE  ONE BEING  first  of all  Lodging  Claim at  Int’l courts and instances  for “Blood Money”..for  that  of the and ,arable lands, monasteries  ,houses  ,riches confiscated will follow  later at a slower  pace.There  is the Kurdish issue to be resolved,since we are  not like comapred..we do not deny,RATHER CANNOT, that kurds are  there since  millenia too.
    So much for now,
    Hama Hagagani SIRO 
    gaytzag palandjian  

  6. Aram,
    What kind of question is that? I simply can’t believe you would ask  such a thing (well, actually I do believe it, because I wouldn’t expect Armenians to actually use their heads when it comes to politics). For you information, there is immensely more corruption in Turkey, as well as America, than in Armenia. Some day, when you are a big boy you’ll realize this – well, may be not. Nevertheless, “corruption” in Armenia is not an issue here, it should not have been brought up, and talking about it only derails the issue at hand.
    I can’t believe you people…

  7. Today’s news  has  it that  Mr. Gul ,president of r.of Turkey  has expressed  an opinion  that passage  of above Res.252 is an act  that defames  the turkish people?
    No it does  not  it defames  previous Ottoman turkish government  ad those  that  have followd (including  his) that officially deny  it.The generalization of   the turkish people  is erroneous. Governments and their cronies  are  who manipulate the people, the masses…
    No doubt  this issue will continue for a while,i.e., recalling  ambassador  ,thena few such like steps  to impress further  the turkish people and also some “lobbied “allies,but it will subside eventually  -like it  did  in France-coming to terms by and by that facts  are facts .Rea registered history cannot be erased by any means.
    Hama haigagani sIRO,
    Gaytzag  palandjian  

  8. Hey avetis , why do you think there is a Diaspora? BECAUSE OF THE GENOCIDE! Also please stop insulting people. It’s childish and counter productive.

  9. Hey Avetis,  plese behave as your name suggests. I care 5 times more about corruption in Armenia then the subject of America recognizing the Genocide. Teach us about your understanding of politics and how this article changes that politics. Don’t forget to use your head. Every Armenian from Armenia will laugh on your comments about corruption. Here is a link for you, go educate yourself Or you are from Armenia and took that big responsibility to hide that classified secret of yours? Since you have a complete understanding of politics? If it’s the case, then, when you’ll become a big boy you’ll understand that as wider it’s discussed as faster it will be cured.  Again it’s not a subject here; otherwise I’d give you all the examples of all the aspects of life where corruption exists.
    And one advise for a future, as a fellow Armenian: Try not to disrespect people you don’t know.

  10. As much as we Armenians want to think that we are better than the Turks when it comes to corruption, the fact of the matter is that even if we are better, our level of corruption is still high enough to hurt Armenia. 

    Corruption is widespread and is the number one deterrent to Armenia’s economic development and national security.  It is also a major factor contributing to the loss of population from the country.  The examples of corruption are well documented and are obvious to anyone who has lived in Armenia or visited it. 

    The best solution is to expose this problem to sunlight, not to sweep it under the rug by denying it.


  11. Mr. Henry, if you are going to talk about Turkey’s Kemalists vs Islamists and the Kurd issue? Why don’t you check your yard and look at the Dashnags vs Hincags vs Levonakans. Your nation has equal or even worse corruption so don’t be so hypocritical.

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