For the second time in the past 30 days, Melissa Papantones has proven to be a habitual racist offender of Turkishness. The title of Melissa Papantones' letter, published October 22nd in reply to a letter written by Ece Koc, is completely mis-leading, as none of the history that is set forth can be attributed to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's "reign". When did it become appropriate to publish such tripe? What have the Spanish Inquisition, the Greek Orthodox seminary at Halki, or the European parliament, to do with Ataturk?
The French Parliament has recently passed a bill which criminalizes denial of the Armenian tragedy- an act which has been condemned by the European Union and which is considered an affront to free speech. This is clearly an overture to the the strong Armenian lobby in France, whose national pastime is to stoke pity for their unfortunately high number of casualties, suffered at the beginning of the Allied occupation and their subsequent attempt to colonize Istanbul and Anatolia. The French-boot-licking Armenians are proven to be complicit in contributing to the destruction of the Ottoman Empire, and their pre-meditated exploitation of Turkish weakness reveals their true colors. Regrettably, Turks were under assault from the land-grabbing Russians, Greeks, British, French, Italians, Georgians, Armenians et al, and the untold number of Turks who were killed fighting for their nation's survival is completely white washed and dismissed. Self-pity is not a Turkish national pastime.
It is from under such chaos, misfortune and hopelessness that a new leader emerged. One with an undefeated military record, who introduced the new Turkish alphabet overnight, who abolished Islamic courts and law, who forced complete separation of government and religious affairs, who liberated women and gave them the right to vote decades ahead of France, Italy, Greece and Switzerland, who was the single unifying factor of a country being systematically dismembered and colonized by it's enemies, and who successfully defeated all of the above named aggressors to create a new republic. He is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. To denigrate his name and his achievements is to spit in the face of liberty, modernization, and secularism.
What kind of a leader is praised and honored by the likes of Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, John F Kennedy, and Dwight Eisenhower?
What kind of a leader erects memorials to the ANZAC casualties who attacked at Gallipoli, bearing the inscription:
"Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives... You are now lying inTo try to connect any of Ataturks's contributions to the Armenian tragedy or to compare him to the Nazi Hitler, is not only a pitiful attempt to de-humanize one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century and the national hero of Turkey, it is also a forfeiture and blatant violation of Godwin's Law, which states: "...whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically "lost" whatever debate was in progress..".
the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference
between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side now here
in this country of ours... you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway
countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in
peace. After having lost their lives on this land. They have become our sons as
On October 29th, Turks of all ethnicities within Turkey and abroad, will celebrate the Declaration of the Turkish Republic's 83rd anniversary.
Published in The Westerly Sun on Sunday October 22nd:
Anyone praising Turkish leader can't ignore the atrocities under his reign
Ms. Koc of New York responds to my letter concerning Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and the genocidal atrocities of the Turkish state with non sequiturs and ad hominem attacks. It is she, and not I, who is ignorant of history. Ms. Koc cites as an example of Ataturk's enlightenment the extension of the vote to women. According to my research, women received the vote in Turkey in 1934, many years after women received the vote in the United States, not "decades before" as alleged by Ms. Koc. Ms. Koc either ignores or is ignorant of the history of both the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. From conscription as slaves and forced conversion to Islam of Christian children ( Kapi kulu or slaves of the Porte) to the depredations of the Janissary Corps, Ottoman history is replete with bloodshed, intolerance, rapine, and plunder. This was the alleged enlightened refuge to which the victims of the Spanish Inquisitor fled in 1491. Ms. Koc clearly is unaware that on Sept. 27, 2006, the European parliament released a report sharply criticizing Turkey's application for EU membership and specifically mentioned Turkey's failure to meet European standards on questions of human rights including freedom of expression and religious liberty. Today, Turks live in Europe and America where they are free to live unmolested while the Patriarchate of Constantinople, has been targeted for extinction by the government created by Ataturk now that Christians have been reduced to less than one percent of the population. In the 1960s, the Turkish government closed the Greek Orthodox seminary at Halki. It has since refused to permit it to reopen while allowing the plunder and decay of its library, artworks and buildings. The Ecumenical Patriarch, spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, must be a graduate of Halki and a Turkish citizen. Thus, Turkish official policy guarantees that eventually no priest will legally qualify as successor to St. Andrew the Apostle. Presumably, this is the type of religious freedom to which Ms. Koc refers in her letter. I must emphatically point out that Ms. Koc does not deny Ataturk's genocidal campaign against the Armenian population in 1915. Nor does she deny the liquidation of the entire Greek, Jewish, and residual Armenian population of the city of Smyrna (now called Izmir) in 1922 by Ataturk's forces. Praising Ataturk for women's suffrage while ignoring the atrocities perpetrated by his forces is like citing Hitler for the development of the autobahn or Mussolini for making the trains run on time, while overlooking the carnage of the Holocaust and World War II.
Melissa J. Papantones New Haven and Misquamicut
Please read the title, read the letter and try telling me that replying to this won't be like fishing with dynamite. -AT More later.