Turkey, Mein Kampf, The Protocals of Zion and antiJewishness


:smiley: The rise of neoNazism in Germany and the fact that Mein Kampf is a best seller in Turkey frightens this Yank. What about you?

Hi Aspacia -

If I remember rightly we share a profession do we not…? (At least the grammar, if not the accent :smiley: )

Anyway - I live in Turkey, İzmir, on the Western coast to be exact.

You’re right to an extent over the anti-American feeling in Türkiye (Note-spelling - The Türks feel a little miffed about the big-silly-bird conotation), but it’s not so much an ‘anti’ more of a lessening of their general respect. Before the İraq war they thought the sun shined out of your proverbial, now they are slightly less keen. That’s all.

The clippings you posted should actually cause less concern, of the papers, only Radikal is remotely mainstream, and even then is not taken very seriously - think something like the Sun in Britain - a bikini on every page.

As for Mehmet Gül - the MHP are out of power now, and the likelyhood of them coming back is very low. They were crap at running the country basically. They were a nationalist party - but only of a middle of the road variety, nationalism/national pride is quite high in Turkey - but the credo of Kemalism keeps it in check.

Mein Kamf was released from the no-no list of works a few years ago, and the history textbooks updated (they were notorious for blanks about some of Türkiye’s shadier dealings of the past century) and the combination of the two caused a stir - and interest, though I doubt many people actually read it all, it became that phenomenon of a book to be seen to have on your shelf… Not necessarily to read obsessively.

There are a lot of nutters who pop-up in the news and media over here, famous for fifteen minutes and then never heard of again. Your average Türk dislikes terrorism as much as anyone, and religious fundamentalism even more so. Yes they are Muslim, yes, they are nationalistic to a greater degree than many countries, and yes, they are a bit miffed at Europe and America right now. But as a whole, they are still some of the most friendly people I’ve ever met…

…Hell - I even went and married one. :smiley:

:smiley: Hi Tabula Rasa, and thank-you, I was a bit worried. All groups have extremists, and extremist rags, no? It sounds as if these sources resemble our National Enquirer.

Also, I have had many Muslim students who absolutely hate the terrorists. Actually, they love the West’s freedom, freedom they did not have in their homeland.

Hum, how much do you know regarding Islam? I have been perusing the texts from a valid edu. source and found them to be as disturbing as most other monotheistic faiths.

I guess I should have asked this on the religion post. I have tried to obtain a legitimate response on this post, but the male Muslim blogger has not responded yet.

Okay, you live in Turkey. If I were to teach a World Literature class what Middle-Eastern texts would you recommend for Southern Californian community college students. Remember, these students range from very bright to — well, you understand.


A Deist

Ive read Mein Kempf

didnt obsess over it, but i just had to knwo what the heck was in that book.

It was during my, had to know everything about the how and why of WWII phase.

I dont worry so much about the Turks, and i am actually pleased to hear they are interested in the west, and are getting to realize that no one is perfect, even the history of their own people.

I think when this is all done, the honest good people will get sick of the terroists dragging their faith through the mud and causing America to punch back, harder and harder each time.

I also think alot of these people like our freedom, but only because they see it as a weakness and they see an opening for them to take control or something.

As for Islam, i was always told it was only a religion that supposed to gaurd the holy sites. Muhamed just kind of went a bit overboard with it.

Turkey and antisemitism???
only exaggeration.
Yes it is true maybe for some degree but as a Türk, I think it is about the war…The interesting war…
I also have read mein kampf (5 or 6 years before)and mostly, agree with tabula rasa…

stavrogin - Türk musunuz…? Çok sevindim ! Türkiyede misiniz, yoksa yürt dişinde…? Ãœzgünüm - türkçem fena değil - ama yine çokta güzelde değildir… :confused: Anlayacaksın inşallah.

Neyse - Türkiye, ve Türklar hakkında’tan bas edeceğim, ama lütfen kızmayın, eğer yanlış bir şey söylesem, bunlar sadece benim fikirlar, ve hemen düzeltebilirim, bir nokta’da anlaşamazsak.

Aspacia -

I must admit I’m not the most religiously inclined guy in the world - most of my students refer to me as ‘kıtapsız’ meaning none-religious/atheist (it means literally - ‘without a book’.

If you want your students to have a good basic idea about Turkish life and society/roots of the republic I can recommend two outstanding books, that (because they are fictionalised history) are immensly readable, but still stick close to the truth/real events.

“Portrait of a Turkish family” by Ifan Orga: A great introduction to Turkish culture.

“Birds without wings” by Louis de Berniéres. My absolute all time favourite book on Turkey. It covers very well the clash between Christian/Greek and Muslim culture, it also covers the process of the revolution, and the marches of the Armenians and the orthodox Greeks during their expulsion. Most importantly it covers the rise of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The key-lock-and-door to understanding where Turkey came from and how it functions today. Cannot recommend it enough. Suitable for ‘very brights’ and ‘couldn’t give a monkies’ level students alike.

I’d suggest you ask your students to read either/both of these books before starting a more detailed study of Turkey/İslam - just to give them an idea of the broader context.

A few points about Turkey re: the rest of the Muslim world.

Turkey cannot really be lumped in with the rest of the middle-east Muslim/İslamic cultures.

Turkey is only a Muslim country second. It is a Kemalist (not a religion - more of a personality cult of Atatürk) country first. For example - I can wander about outside a Cami (mosque) and holler ALLAH ! if I stub my toe on a worshipper, and no-one will bat an eye… But if I walk into a pub/someone’s house and say - “That Atatürk guy - bit of a dictator wasn’t he…?” Then I’d be in serious trouble - I’d have to explain myself at the very least, and would probably get into a fight in a worst-case scenario. Icons of Atatürk are in every classroom, every workplace, every shop, in short - everywhere. He is alive in his people.

This is a good thing.

Atatürk was absolutely against having any form of religion influencing the governing of his new republic. So much so that he pretty much left a carte-blanche to the military to overthrow any government (as happened in the 80’s) that became overtly religious.

Atatürk stessed that the new borders were the limit of Turkey - ie - no more Empire building. Türks want to keep what they regard as their soil, but have no intrest in laying claims outside. Cyprus is still a bit of a thorny problem however. It’s better than it was is about the best I can say. There’s still a lot of bad-feeling between Turkey and Greece - despite the handshakes and smiles. It is an uneasy, fledgling friendship at most, but I hope it grows stronger.

Türkey almost isn’t one country, but two. İzmir, İstanbul, Ankara plus the various touristic cities around the Mediterranian/Agean/Blacksea coasts are very Western in outlook, receptive and tolerant to European/USA ideas. But go inland, and/or East and Turkey changes - it’s like going back in time. Literacy rates fall off dramatically and religion fills the gap. Don’t get me wrong, the people there are still by default hospitable - indeed perhaps moreso, but they are less tolerant of flaunted difference. It is they (who form a majority of the 65-70 million population) who are easily swayed and impulsive.

The only thing that could turn Turkey into a powerkeg is the Kurdish question. Kurds and Turks, in a general sense, do not get on. In the İraq war, Turkish forces only occupied the area east of their border to ensure any uprising by combined forces of İraqee Kurds and the PKK Turkish Kurds was nipped in the bud, and didn’t threaten Turkish soil. If the US or Eu tried to force capitulation on the subject of a Kurdish mini-nation within Turkey or nearby… Boom.

If you don’t agree or would like to modify my thoughts stavrogin, I’d welcome your ideas. I’ve been here for 10 years - but admit I’m still only learning about Turkish culture.

:smiley: Greetings, and you have diminished my fears as did Tabula Rasa.

Mein Kampf and Das Kapital are required reading in most US university history courses that cover this time period.

Have your read any of the numerous rebuttals to Main Kampf? It is a racist text. Stephen J. Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man is a great starting point. Gould delves into racist and IQ theories and totally refutes both. First, he refutes the concept of race. Second, he refutes that the size of a person’s brain does not indicate intelligence. Third, he wipes out the whole concept of IQ as bogus as these tests only measure what a person’s knows. For example, I have read much more than my students, but this does not indicate that I am more intelligent than them.

I am worried that too many undereducated individuals read bogus texts like Mein Kampf and the Protocals of the Elders of Zion and believe them.

That is, currently, what is the level of literacy and college or university training in Turkey and the Middle-East? I have read it is very low, but my sources may be inaccurate.


A Deist

Tabula Rasa very interesting and insightful. Thank-you. When I teach history I will suggest these texts. Yes, Kemel Ataturk was a great guy, and in class my professor argued that he pulled Turkey from backwardness in a similar fashion that Peter the Great pulled Russia out of its backwardness. Yes, Turkey is not totalitarian, tolerant of many faiths (i.e. they are not taxed and have social mobility). Unfortunalty, it appears most of the Middle-East is not like Turkey, but it is slowly changing.

Do you have any idea if the more religious, less-educated members of Turkish society believe this bogus literature? I hope not.

Yes, the Kurds are a problem. It is called assimilate and obey the laws of the land or move to a more acceptable land. Do they want a chunk of Turkey and Iraq as their own Kurdistan? Does the government discriminate against them as our government did with the Native Americans regarding their language and faith?

The only reason the US likes these guys is because they are good political tool against the the Sunnis and Shia.

:wink: I hope I hit on a sour note with you. I am just a curious soul.

More a case of the more-educated loonies telling groups of the less educated bored people what to believe. But not on any large scale. The only groups that are militant in universities at the moment are the socialists (the not-too-communist variety) and the nationalists (the not-too-facist variety) but they seem to spend more time beating the hell out of eachother that doing anything on bigger basis. More like youth-gang-banging.

Yes indeedy. And frankly, if it would shut them up and make them happy - someone should let them have it. God knows the lands up near the border are pretty hellish - if they want to terraform it, let them.

Yes indeedy - but the acts are being lifted gradually.

I think you missed out a negative there… bad teacher - no gold star for you today…! :smiley:

:blush: Sorry “bout” that. Currently, I am at war with my printer and its won yesterday’s battle, but I won the war as it is in the trash heap :evilfun: and I now have another printer.

I did mean “I hope I did NOT hit a sour note with you.” Too many individuals are sensitive when asked questions. For example, when corresponding with most reporters from the Middle-East, except Israel, they often responded with ad hominem attacks when they could not answer specific questions. They called me Nazi, racist, Gestapo, asked if I was a prostitute as many US women are, often resorted to profanity, etc.

This is sad.

Just remember, I am asking and really am trying to understand.

You are correct. It is the more educated misleading the less educated. The US has many “good” Christians who regularly attend church, but many are some of the most intolerant, cruel individuals I have ever met, and they often do not know much of the Bible.

Hum, do you believe the Turkish government will cede this land to the Kurds? Probably not as this may be an issue of pride. Am I mistaken? Probably.

Not in a billion years… If any Turkish government even seriously considered it, my guess is the military would immediately stage a full-scale takeover (again).

Most of your words are true for me but i think adding some will be good.
Firstly, rather than saying “bit of a dictator wasn’t he…?” maybe using the word jacobean will be more realistic in the case of M.Kemal Atatürk.But it is also arguable.In his lifetime, he always tried to democratize the country.Using the word dictator puts him into same class with mussolini, hitler or pinochet i don’t know.The “dictatorazation” period came after his death by the state and military.Maybe against the religious movements or just for keeping the revolutions alive.
Second about the Kurdish problem…
It is smth new in this land, i mean turkish and kurdish people lived together for centuries, i also lived in the eastern part of turkey for some years.People were living together, laughing, marrying, dancing etc etc etc.
Provocation is smth important in this problem.We know the works of England in some of the rebels of the kurdish peoples in 1930s.Although they are right at some points, the EU also makes the bruise bleed rather then trying to heal it. In most of the cities in eastern part of the country kurdish political parties were not in the first or second place.Peace is demanded by the people in here not more problems.Peoples suffered a lot because of pkk in the eastern part of Turkey.It also exist now but in a more broad scale.Laws or acts are being lifted gradually and it must be lifted more for me.The problem about language in the constitution are disappeared know and more must be done…
Lastly, aspacia do not think turkey as an typical middle eastern country as tabula rasa says.Religion? Islam in here -maybe interesting for you- but very different from arabic islam or islam in iran,ıraq.I am not a religious men and or maybe a deist like you or gonna be a ateist or convert again to islam.We have some people demanding the laws of god in here like the “church man”.But they are just speaking.

About recommending books or textsabout your World Literature class i can suggest from Turkey the novels of Orhan Pamuk, poems of Mevlana etc.(these are the most famous ones for the foreigners, for more suggestion you can send a p.m to me.) Or from arabic middle east i think Naguib Mahfouz or Khalil Cibran(Necip Mahfuz and Halil Cibran in Turkish if any mistake)…Thats all… Again for more suggestion you can send private message to me…
Smiles …

Generally, I agree with you, but many claim Ataturk was a dictator and caused a large rift in Turkey’s Islamic community. No offense indended.

True enough. :sunglasses:

True enough, the colonial legacy has caused huge problems. They are hypocrits, as the USA is regarding many issues.

Is this the same PKK as in Indonesia??

BTW, thank-you for the insight.

I have never been Muslim, as a youth and early adolescent I was Episcopalian, a very liberal branch of Christianity. I would never become a member of any formal monotheistic faith, especially Islam, especially after reading the hadiths and Qu’ran. I have found all monotheistic faiths misogynistic and violent and dislike all of them.

Thank-you, I will peruse your text suggestions.

I believe in egalitarianism, and distribution of work between the male and female. I do yard and pool work along with housework. Ditto for my significant other. If a job needs doing it does not matter who does it and any work, including the cat box, is not beneath either.


A Deist

It is the name of seperatist terrorists established in the early 80s in the south east of turkey. They caused to the death of around 20.000 (actually above) people in Turkey both soldier ,kurdish and turkish.I don’t know their losses.
Especially in the period between 85-95, they damaged turkey a lot. They killed babies, even animals to give economic damages in the eastern part. I remember their killing of all the humans in villages etc etc etc.
After a long struggle now I can say that it finished or nearly be finished. It is said that they are in a disintegration, but who knows.It presently have camps in ıraq. They also have some in greece, iran and armenia but as far as ı know these are dissappeared.
They are also in the terror list of america and EU but observing no reaction against them makes the people in here feel inveigled.

Well thats all, if you want you can find a lot of information from the net supporting them or against them…

Sorry - I should have clarified - that was just an example of what I might have said to provoke a reaction - I don’t think anything other than Atatürk was absolutely the right man in the right place - without him, Türkiye might never have existed in the form we see today.

The PKK seem to have quietened down after the capture of their leader Abdullha Öcalan in 1999 (I think), who’s still imprisoned on his own private and heavily policed island. It says a lot that although he was sentenced to death - the sentence has not been carried out, despite the general hatred for him and his crimes here in Türkiye.

:frowning: How sad. I will check them out. Shades of Pol Pot, no?

:smiley: Hooray for the educated fighting racism. I found this in MEMRI. I thought those of you who follow this topic might find it interesting.


Well the memri article does not open, it gives some sort of an error. Our ex- Israeli intel friends seem to have a problem with their site :slight_smile:

:blush: Rats, it would not open for me either.

What was it on though? I really wanted to read it, I enjoy most of the stuff on MEMRI