Turkey: The wind from the east

How Atatürk's reforms are being swept away.

Turkey: The wind from the east
How Atatürk's reforms are being swept away. September 8th, 2018, 14:33 UhrEditiert on September 8th 2018, 14:33 UhrDIE time No. 37/201892 comments

Read Turkish original here. The text has been edited easily for German version.

Recently, Turkish police in search of blogger Pucca in an apartment a raid. The man who opened door said, "I am your far, has something happened?" The police told me she was looking for a tweet.

"What did she tweet?" asked far. "I am a servant of West," police gave information. In fact, Pucca had posted on Twitter: "Of course I am a servant of West. My dear West... " The far laughed and said: "Oh man, your son, my grandson, is called Batı, so ' West '." A few hours later, Pucca clarified scandal on Twitter: "Because of se tweets, y have searched my far's house for evidence of supporting a terrorist organization."

A good example of where wind is currently blowing in Turkey. Batı (west) is not a popular name. The opposite is currently popular: Doğu (east). In last five years, Yusuf (Josef) was most frequently given young name. Most in top ten are Prophet's names.

Prof. Doğu Ergil recently said to Deutsche Welle: "The founding ideology of Turkey was nationalism, but now a far more nationalist phase has been ushered in."

This article comes from time No. 37/2018. Here you can read entire output.

Nationalism is indeed one of founding principles of Turkish Republic, but only one. Anor is Westernization. Since first constitution of 1839, Turkish society has been treading path of parliamentary democracy and rule of law. Although liberation struggle of Turkey after First world war was waged against western occupying Powers, Republic founder Atatürk pursued a policy of rapprochement with West. In course of a educational modernisation movement following model of French Revolution, a regime was established based on equal rights of men and women, which made science a mission statement and gave priority to law. Clothing, dimensions and weights, institutions of art, civil law, everywhere were based Western standards. Above all, influence of religion on society was broken with principle of secularism.

In his book of Bourgeois knowledge, Atatürk wrote that Turks had already been a great nation before takeover of Islam. "Islam has stunned national enthusiasm of Turkish nation," he said, replacing long-time authoritative Islamic identity with that of Turkishness. Because of this secular-western orientation, Turkey aspired to EU.

Can Dündar

Is editor-in-chief of newly founded web portal Özgürüz in Germany. He writes for time a weekly column about crisis in Turkey.

Last week, French head of state Macron said that Turkey Erdoğan's was not Ataturk's Turkey. In fact, in comparison with Ataturk's reforms, era of Erdoğan is a counter-revolution. Almost all Republican principles with West reference eroded under ACP government. Constitutional state, secularism, parliamentarianism, freedom of press, dress regulations, conservatories for teaching of Western music, place of women in society, secular education system, all achievements of Republic were eroded. If today a pun such as "Servant of West" is judged to be an insult that requires a police mission, this is based on this counter-revolutionary campaign.

Last week, just before Erdoğan's visit to Germany, four ministers in Turkey Entsannen EU accession process and promised to return to phase of reform. The first "reform" was prohibition of peaceful rally of mors who, for 26 years, demanded clarification of fate of ir children in police custody.

If Erdoğan speaks in Berlin from West, you should know that he means Western capital, not Western philosophy.

From Turkish by Sabine Adatepe

Date Of Update: 09 September 2018, 12:00

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