TURKEY COUP: GENOCIDE IN THE NAME OF SECULARISM
Friday 15th of July 2016, a group of Turkish Soldiers unleashed mayhem on their country in a failed coup attempt to take power through the barrel of the guns. The country came under heavy bombardment as if involved in an external war. The parliament in Ankara which is the symbol of Turkish democracy was not spared. It was desecrated even as it was clear that citizens were taking shelter therein as the coup raged on. By the time the coordinated insurrection which reverberated through Ankara and Istanbul was over, the nation has lost about 276 of its citizens to a brazen coup carried out in the name of SECULARISM!
In a dramatic show of peoples’ power, trust and confidence in the leadership of the government, the citizens heeded the call of their leader Erdogan, dared the coup plotters, and took back their sovereignty to the consternation of global powers and their media ‘war machines’ (CNN, BBC, FOX NEWS e t c) whose coverage in the early hours of the coup was that President Erdogan was ‘finished’ indicating their bias, interest and bent over the event. The question on the lips of many is WHY? This is a country that has grown in leaps and bounds by virtually all indices of measuring growth and development; has remained consistent in conducting periodic elections based on the parliamentary system where the sharing of power between coalition parties is almost inevitable. Apart from this, the country has progressed rapidly in the last one decade to the point of becoming one of the highest tourists’ destinations among other top European countries. In the areas of science and technology advancement, it has never lagged behind as far as European standards are concerned: So, why the coup?
An interesting omission in the report of the coup by Western media is the identity of the coup plotters and what they stand for. Western media failed to tell the world that the plotters are secularist ideologues who longed to return the country to a so called ‘Ataturk-inspired era of secularism even as the overwhelming majority of Turks reject same as a godless, filthy ideology/era. This is the crux of most of the crises in many parts of the Muslim world instigated nonetheless by a coterie of individuals who have become tools of subversion for imperialist powers against their own countries. Three years ago in Egypt and exactly in the month of July, the first democratically elected government of Muhammad Morsi was overthrown by a junta led by El Sisi with the same claim of restoring secularist order even against the wish of the people demonstrated in the elections which brought in Morsi. Had the coup in Turkey succeeded, it would have been reported as the overthrow of ‘Islamists’, a name in the West’s dictionary of indoctrination reserved for a hated, feared and unwanted ideological rival in the market place of ideas and concepts of societal ordering.
Although it is not the first time that crimes against humanity have been committed in the name of secularism and its offspring ideologies such as nationalism, racism and other ‘isms’ couched in the parlance of ‘progress’, it has always enjoyed a form of protection and propagated as a desideratum for all societies. Needless to say, much of the crises around the world (especially the Muslim world) have revolved around the attempts to impose the secular order on the rest of mankind, even though secularism is quintessentially a European experience. It is therefore not a surprise that milieu with strong religious legacies and attachments are bound up in fierce struggle with this ideology and its promoters.
Although the theatre of action that night was Turkey, it was a battle watched in anticipation by supporters of both ‘parties’ around the globe. As ‘Islamists’ around the world feared another ‘Egypt’, ‘international secularist fraternity’ was hopeful of an outcome that will accomplish their plot and dethrone the former. Hence, even as the big powers, some of whom are now known in retrospect to have had fore knowledge of the coup kept mute or commented rather drably as the coup became defeated, a ‘voice’ from this ‘international fraternity’ lamented the agony of the loss of the coup and what it portends for secularists and their aspirations in Turkey. In an article for FOX NEWS by Ralph Peters titled ‘TURKEY’S LAST HOPE DIES (July 16 2016)’, Ralph lamented how the coup was Turkey’s ‘last hope’ of stopping ‘Islamists’ (from) the degradation of its society’; how the military have ‘often intervened (through coup plots) to prevent the country’s collapse (as if without secularism a country will go to blazes); how ‘Erdogan will use the coup as an excuse to accelerate the Islamization of his country and lead Turkey deeper into the darkness engulfing the Muslim world’; and how ‘his (Erdogan’s) vision is that of a neo –Ottoman megalomaniac.
Granted that Ralph is entitled to his opinions, the insult oozing out of his article is typical of West-centric rhetoric and pedagogy which always assume that people of other races do not know what is good for them or what they want. Does it mean that the overwhelming majority of Turks who continue to vote in Erdogan’s party and his coalitions do not know which of the two strands of Turkish ‘legacies’ (Islamism and Secularism) fulfill their hopes and aspirations? And what is this penchant by these secularist ideologues of resorting to tactics such as staging coups, insurrections, assassinations, and fostering chaotic situations in order to grab power by all means after being rejected by the people at the polls? Where then is democracy claimed by these secularists as one of its founding pillars?
Ralph’s article extended to an area of ‘strategy’ employed by the coup plotters, as he faulted the period of staging the coup and it tactics. To be sure Ralph would have qualified as a consulate staff of any of the imperialist powers in any Muslim country offering so called ‘strategic’ (and military) advice to sit tight, often tyrannical rulers on how to sustain their strangle hold on the people, the human and material cost of doing so notwithstanding
Ralph’s fear and anger, like those of his fellow secularists lay in what they see as the dissolution of the ‘wall’ between the mosque and the state that Islamists and Islamism represent (never mind that it was through the mosques loudspeakers that the coup itself was defeated). They see and present secularism as the only ‘guarantor’ of modernization, development and progress. This explains why the crux of western tutelage in cultural and economic terms has always been the subtle destruction of local legacies and initiatives, and the super-imposition of alien recommendations typical of a body transplant that will be rejected eventually. We have seen in history how countries of the West combined to destroy initiatives of other nations in order to make themselves the only point of reference as far as modernization and development is concerned. Of note in this regard was Muhammad Ali’s Egypt in 1888 which was brought to a halt by deliberate and decisive Western military invasion.
The fear of a rival system of existence which combines elements (such as body and soul; matter and spirit, state and religion, or revelation and rationality) often seen by secularists as incompatible for development and progress portends the loss of influence and leadership structured around the rejection and/or suppression of faith and its role in social progress. There is also the false claim that only secularism provides the ambience for liberty, equality and expression of freedoms (of faith, speech and association) especially in a multi-cultural society. This is part of the subtle suppression of facts rooted in historical experiences of cultures other than European. Indeed Turkey has two strands of legacies – the Islamic legacy rooted in the caliphacy, and the secularist legacy of Ataturk post World War I.
The experiences from both legacies stand in contrast to one another. While Turkey’s caliphate era was one adjudged as where the Caliph’s palace itself boasted of four major faiths (Islam, Judaism, Catholic and Orthodox Christianity) in fairness to all and sundry, Ataturk’s Turkey tyrannize all religious orders especially Islam’s and set everyone on a strange journey of godlessness. While under the Caliphate, religious and cultural affinities evolved and developed to the point of general tolerance and understanding despite inherent differences, secular Turkey was an imposition that banished and criminalized any relationship with religion, suppressed differences and forcefully attempted to homogenize all. But beneath this repression was the forlorn ‘hope’ that mere imitation of the West’s manners of dressing, eating and luxuriating will propel Turkey to greatness. In fact, secularists in the Muslim world continue live in the delusion that progress and greatness will come upon them when they abandon their heritage, embrace uncritically, cultural influences from societies they see as advanced and rebel against what brought them unto the world map for reckoning; and in this they are urged on by agent provocateurs who are sent from major power centers around the world as ‘experts’.
To prove this point, a comparative analysis of Japan and Turkey, both of which were great civilizations which found themselves defeated following major World Wars and how they fared in their reconstruction efforts had the following revealed: While in an attempt to rediscover itself, Turkey banished everything and anything connecting it with its Islamic heritage including the Arabic script (of just 28 letters) and opted for the Roman alphabets as a by-product of secularization. Japan on the other rejected the Roman script and retained its own alphabets even in its complicated form (46 characters and over 800 Chinese ideograms), uniting elements of ‘tradition’ and ‘progress’. The result was that in less than 50 years there was no illiteracy in Japan because the language of instruction was well known to the people; while over 50% of Turkey’s population could not read and write courtesy of a new orientation. Not just that, Japan was able to reconnect its past, critically engaged whatever modernization had to offer, marched on towards development and became the second strongest economy in the world. Turkey on the other hand lost everything that its glorious past stood for with that rash and unabashed imposition of secularism which threw to the bin all the great achievements of that country in history and the medium in which they were preserved – the Arabic language. It also became a third rated country by its upturning of the foundations of its society for an alien ideology. All these are facts too well known to the people of Turkey which today informs their choice of leadership.
What Kemalists missed and could not achieve several decades after the imposition of secularism was an ‘intelligence’ which blends a people’s cultural, religious and moral pasts with whatever modernity has to offer. This is the hallmark of originality in the contribution of peoples and races to the ever expanding frontiers of civilization. By providing a familiar cultural context and architecture where the transmission of knowledge can take place, nations are bound to grow in leaps and bounds in science and innovation. There is hardly the story of any nation in recent times which have attained development that a core of that were not the amalgamation of its cultural legacies and the discerning application of the tools of modernization. The Asian Tigers essentially have the Sinic (Chinese) civilization as their core, while Africa suffers under-development as a result of the inability to reconnect its root and the large overdose of foreign ‘concoctions’.
In conclusion, the plot behind forcing secularism down the throat of other nations constitutes part of the long vision of imperialism to empty and enervate the cultural merits of others and subject them to servitude to the West. Ideas and concepts formed in the crucibles of European experiences cannot be the measure of standard and goodness for all nations. The earlier this is realized by the hegemons and their collaborators the better for all mankind
Yekinni Shakiru A.
Center for Global Peace Initiatives [CGPI]