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“”Ya Sev, Ya Terk Et!
Turkish nationalism is the political ideology which glorifies the Turkish people, with its roots in early 1920's following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, initially beginning with Kemalism, eventually splitting into modern-day Pan-Turkism and Turanism.
Most Turkish nationalists today are designated paramilitary terrorist organizations, not-so-terroristic fascist wingnuts, or just actual political parties. Most of these individuals spew complete bullshit and babblery about how;
- "Turks are actually the proto-master race!!!!
These imbeciles also often spout even more nonsensical horseshit including, but not limited to:
- The Sun Language Theory, a long since discredited pseudolinguistics theory that claims that the Turkic language group, and by extension, Turkish language is the root of every modern spoken language today. This absolute horseshit was quickly discredited after the death of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
- The Mastermind Conspiracy theory, that the "(((Western Conglomerate))) is out to get us, and want to oppress us because we're the ultimate Turkish nation!"
- General anti-Semitic nonsense or genocide denial, including Holocaust denial, Armenian Genocide denial, and, for the cherry on top, distributing copies of Mein Kampf publicly. In case you thought these lovely fellows weren't idiotic enough.
Turkish nationalism is nothing new, going back to as long ago as the Ottoman Empire with concepts such as millet, Pan-Turkism, or Ottomanism. Ottoman society was very flawed, and these nationalist concepts were used as a way to keep the slowly crumbling empire together. They didn't work, obviously, but Turkish nationalism didn't go anywhere after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
The Ottoman Empire had an extremely heterogeneous population since it began its expansion. There was a wide range of Serbs, Bulgarians, Bosnians, Albanians, Armenians, Greeks, Kurds, and Roma all living under Ottoman rule. These people did not take kindly to having their children kidnapped at a young age and forcefully "reeducated", or being taxed for being too Christian.
By the 19th century, the concept of nationalism was pretty well engrained in Ottoman society, and this concept was extremely lucrative to the long-oppressed people of the Balkans. Beginning in 1804, and ending in 1818, the Serbian Revolution occurred, causing the Ottomans to eat massive shit. This sent a very strong message to other peoples under Ottoman control, with more revolutions and uprisings occurring after. The Ottomans did not like this, considering their previous subjects to be traitors and backstabbers. This was especially true for the Armenians. Their supposed traitorous tendencies were and still are used as a justification for the Armenian Genocide.
Treaty of Sèvres
The Treaty of Sèvres kind of fucked the Ottomans, to put it mildly. To put it into perspective, the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles imposed onto the German Empire looked like a slap on the wrist in comparison. Following their disastrous loss during World War I, the Allies sought to neuter the Ottomans for good. Total control of the Ottoman Bank and Debt Association was given to the Allies, their military was restricted to have no more than 50,000 members at a given time, they were barred from creating an air force, and the they were forced to prosecute the war criminals responsible for the Armenian Genocide.[note 3] The most severe provisions were the territorial partitions; essentially every party in the conflict with the exception of the United States wanted a piece of the Anatolian pie, including the Greeks, Kurds, and Armenians. The Kurds were promised an independent nation in , and the Armenians reclaimed their historic lands in eastern Anatolia. The Turks were pissed, bitterly spiteful of the harsh provisions they faced. A particular gentleman saw this all unfold, and decided to take his chances.
Forms of Turkish nationalism
Kemalism, like the person that it owes its namesake to, is hard to pin down, as it's evolved and changed over time, but generally there are some key components that separate it from other kinds of Turkish nationalism:
- Civic nationalism, with "Turkishness" being divorced from an ethnic identity and instead only being tied to a national identity.
- Laicism, essentially turbo-secularism. According to Kemalism, Islam (or any other religion) has no place in government, culture, or national identity.
- Populist sovereignty, with the keys to political power in the Turkish nation being solely held by the people of Turkey. It rejects monarchism, tribalism, autocracies, or feudalism.
Classical Kemalist nationalism views the Turkish identity as a solely national identity. In simple terms, if you live in Turkey and call yourself a Turk, you are a Turk, your cultural, religious, or ethnic background be damned. This is cool in theory, but is rarely applied anymore in practice.
Pan-Turkism is a batshit insane, psuedo-historical, racist ideology that places all Turkic cultures and ethnic peoples such as Crimean Tatars, Mongols, Uyghurs or otherwise into a singular Pan-Turkish ethnic group superior to others. It is the official ideology of the Grey Wolves, a terrorist organization with a historical track record of political violence. This ideology is nonsense, to put it mildly. According to Pan-Turkism, a Mongol and an Anatolian Turk are part of the same group of people, with the same culture and language. This is ridiculous, and has been widely criticized as pseudohistorical and racist.
- Have Xenophobia and Racism Become Mainstream in Turkey?
- See the Wikipedia article on Citizen, speak Turkish!.
- Turkey: A State in Denial
- Aytürk, İlker (November 2004). "Turkish Linguists against the West: The Origins of Linguistic Nationalism in Atatürk's Turkey". Middle Eastern Studies. 40 (6): 1–25.
- Ertürk, Nergis (2011-10-19). Grammatology and Literary Modernity in Turkey
- Peri, Oded (1990). "The Muslim waqf and the collection of jizya in late eighteenth-century Jerusalem". In Gilbar, Gad (ed.). Ottoman Palestine, 1800-1914 : Studies in economic and social history. Leiden: E.J. Brill. p. 287.