By Isaac Chotiner
On Friday, a coup attempt by elements of the Turkish military—the longtime adversaries of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country’s demagogic (but democratically elected) president—plunged Turke […]
and now it REALLY begins!
This is a country which in all seriousness is applying to join the European Union!!!
Perhaps in two or three decades – or maybe not if they keep going backwards!
I’m a long time supporter of RDFRS. Richard inspired me with his books when I was young. He was one of the brilliant scientists who actually made me realize the realities of the universe. However as a Turkish citizen I have to admit, the approach of the foundation to this topic is extremely superficial.
First things first, you need to realize that the faction of the military who attempted the recent coup is not the secularists. If it was so at least the secularist party of the country would be backing them and they didn’t, just like the rest of the political parties.
What the political parties know about coups is that they never actually change people’s minds. You cannot force people into an ideology. You need to convince them. What made Erdogan so powerful in Turkey is the endless attempts to block his legitimate power with various methods. The fact that you’re using a tone that sounds in favor of the coup is a terrible approach. It only makes you look like an enemy of democracy in Turkey, even though most certainly you’re not.
Reading your news on the subject reminded me of the “rebuke” that Neil Degrasse Tyson gave to Richard. Your method is still extremely ineffective.
Let me tell you something. It’s good news from Turkey that the coup failed. Now, at least we have a chance of convincing people of Turkey that a secular, inclusive, democratic and liberal government is in fact good for them. We cannot achieve this by supporting an Islamist cleric against a religiously oriented democraticly elected undemocratic leader.
By the way, your mobile website is a disaster.
On another thread I expressed the hope that the coup was led by secularists. We could only hope. Things seem to be going downhill fast there now. What I would say to Turks is, be careful what you wish for. An Islamic state hasn’t worked out well in other countries, even where a majority of the population voted it in. Once those fascist reactionaries get into power it’s literally hell getting them out, just ask the Algerians how that went. It took a catastrophic civil war to push the fundamentalists back into the hills. They are still suffering the adverse effects of this years later. I’m very sad that Turkey is headed in the same direction.
I saw a Turkish woman interviewed there and she said that she will be thrilled when Erdogan brings back the death penalty. Next to her was her family including a husband and grown son. I thought – Don’t you thing that your own husband and son will end up in front of the firing squad someday? Maybe just for some minor infraction of the rules? Get a grip on reality! Fundamentalists bring misery wherever they go! You and your loved ones may be the next victims – believe that.
While I have my book of quotations out, The Quotable Atheist by Huberman, I’ll add a quote here by Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938).
Intro from the book:
Founder, first president and pitiless modernizer and secularizer of the Turkish republic. Removed Islam as the state religion; replaced the Arabic alphabet with the Roman, and religious Arabic-language schooling with secular, Turkish language schools; established universal suffrage (yes, including women); and most important, decreed that men abandon the fez in favor of European style hats; in short filled Turkey to the brim with modernity. One of the few positive things Ataturk said about religion was that since his soldiers thought they were going to heaven, they were conveniently willing to die”.
Quote from the book:
“I have no religion, and at times I wish all religions at the bottom of the sea. He is a weak ruler who needs religion to uphold his government; it is as if he would catch his people in a trap. My people are going to learn the principles of democracy, the dictates of truth, and the teachings of science [if I have to slaughter every last one of them}. Superstition must go.”
Please accept my sympathies Olgun. I think you hinted that something like this might happen. The first casualty, has of course, been the truth. You’re doubtless worried.
Turkey in the EU? Laughable. Even if the EU survives the next round of
****ITS [Netherlands, France under Le Pen and others].
At 99.8% Muslim, Turkey can hardly get any more Islamic.
More worrying is Turkey in NATO- complete with US nukes in the Incirlik airbase. The world is still asleep at the wheel; wake up to Islam before
it’s too late!
Still, with every Islamic Jihad attack, every “Allahu’ Akbar” people are becoming more aware, despite the lies and obfuscations of our ‘useful idiots for Islam’.
What happened in Turkey is a good lesson on how not to attempt change in the minds of people. As I understand it, the coup was an attempt to replace the fundamentalist Islamic government with a secular one. A military takeover is no way to accomplish that kind of a cultural change. Change must occur by education and persuasion no matter how long it takes. Hopefully these 7th century religions will be replaced with reasoning prevailing. Sometime in the distant future there will be no more religion. All people on earth will QUESTION AUTHORITY and ideally leaders will all be well educated and open to being questioned, not charismatic dogmatists.
Turkey seems so backward, yet they got into NATO and they are pushing to get into the EU.
How exactly did Erdogan know who to sack? He got rid of 2600 judges, a lot of admirals in the military, etc.
So far about 1,577 university deans (faculty heads) have been asked to resign in addition to 21,000 teachers and 15,000 education ministry officials.
Some 626 institutions have also been shut down, most of them private educational establishments, officials…
I can understand why Erdogan wants to bring back the death penalty. He is a killer.
Jul 20, 2016 at 5:57 pm
I find all those requests for Incirlik the right of a sovereign country and member of treaties.
I agree, but my comment was addressing Roedy @#10
Turkey seems so backward, yet they got into NATO
. . . . . . as to what NATO wanted from the agreement.
Turkey is indeed developmentally backward.
In some areas, surfaced roads which can be navigated without the use of 4 wheel drive vehicles, are yet to be built, so there might be priorities more important than military spending!
Jul 21, 2016 at 6:47 am
Not sure about the source but…. the plot thickens
@ your link – Without air cover to protect them, this report says, these CIA coup forces were overwhelmed by both Turkish police forces and ordinary citizens and President Erdogan was able to land safely in Istanbul to guide them to victory.
If this is true, it looks like a similar try-on of the disastrous destabilisation of Libya by Western air strikes on Gaddafi’s troops in support of puppet “pro-democratic” rebel militias.
This coup attempt was madness of a religious sect that is supported by USA. But it is shown as a secular-fundamentalist conflict in western media. Ironic!
The religious sect that is governed by Fethullah Gulen (resident in USA) is far more fundamentalist than Recep Tayyip Erdogan (RTE)! They are disgusting conspirators. Their methods were far more disgusting than Scientology’s methods.
They were good with RTE when USA was good with RTE. In those days they framed up secular officers of our army. Some retired (!) CIA agents wrote books against Kemalist (secular) system! RTE liquidated a lot of secular officer in our army. Gulen’s men had infiltrated our army decades ago. When secular officers was liquidated, they took important positions.
Afterwards, when USA had problems with RTE and Gulen’s men took action.
I’m an atheist and I hate RTE. But I hate CIA and Gulen more… I believe that if honest people of the USA knows the true face of their goverment, CIA and their media, they are ashamed.
As far as I know from where I am in the US, it isn’t known who was behind the coup. If it was two different groups of fundamentalists then I don’t know what to think about the future of Turkey. Erdogan came out right away blaming Gulen for the coup but how do we know if it’s the truth or not? I’m not sure what to believe. I really wish the secularists in Turkey can find the courage and the means to topple Erdogan before he absolutely locks the whole place down in an authoritarian dictatorship. I don’t care if he was democratically elected or not – if he intends to move Turkey straight into an Islamic state then he has to be stopped irregardless of how he came to be in that high position. You know what the Islamists say, one election – one time. And then that’s the end of the elections. Finished.
Is there any American left who is so naive that they don’t know that the CIA is out there in the world meddling in the governments of other countries? If so then they’re living under a rock. It’s pathetic the level of stupidity here though. Just watch the Republican national convention if you want a demonstration of that.
Thanks for your comments. I want to give you a list of Fethullah Gulen’s references when he applied for Green Card. My reference is the biggest secularist newspaper in Turkey.
Fethullah Gulen claims he is Mehdi (Islamic equivalent of “Messiah” approximately) to inner circles of his vast sect. Other members of his sect believe he is a saint (“evliya” in Islamic jargon). But they don’t confess their beliefs. They say “He is only a opinion leader”. Bullshit! We are in Turkey and they are around us. We know their beliefs very well…
USA goverment does not support secularism in Turkey or in another country. They want fundemantalist but easy control regimes; like Saudi regime. They know controlling of a secular Kemalist regime is not very easy.
If people interest, they may see Grafam Fuller’s books. He recommended Turkey “moderate(!) Islam”. We wrote “Kemalism should be die”.
In conclusion, the coup attempt in Turkey is not an attempt of secular people.
Jul 22, 2016 at 6:05 pm
Is there any American left who is so naive that they don’t know that the CIA is out there in the world meddling in the governments of other countries? If so then they’re living under a rock.
There were US and British people working undercover in Turkey – way back in the first Iraq war!
Due to western media’s propaganda, western people think Turkish citizens who vote for RTE (50%) are fundemantalists and they want Sharia!
Another bullshit! A lot of public opinion researches show that only 10% – 15% of Turkish people demands Sharia! Also great portion of the people who say “I want Sharia” don’t know what Sharia means. They hate Saudi regime and other Sharia regimes. They think “It is not real Sharia”. But they can not explain reasons of why it is not real Sharia and what is “real Sharia”!.. When they look at Saudi regime they see only injustice and they don’t want to reconcile their beliefs with injustice. They imagine “real Sharia” as imaginary happiness age of Mohammad! They are certainly ignorants but not fundemantalists. Besides women-men relationships in Turkey are not like Arap countries even in so called” fundamentalist families.
Besides RTE is not a satisfactory figure for real fundamentalists in Turkey. Yes, they vote for him, because they don’t have another option. They are afraid of success of a secular party.
RTE is a so-called fundamentalist and a populist demagog, not more…
So why both so called fundemantalists and other people vote for RTE? There are complex reasons hard to explain in a short message and I think it is out of scope.
Nedim Değirmenci #28
Jul 23, 2016 at 3:39 pm
A lot of public opinion researches show that only 10% – 15% of Turkish people demands Sharia! Also great portion of the people who say “I want Sharia” don’t know what Sharia means.
It sounds a lot like the Roman Catholics and C of E Protestants, who say, “I believe in evolution”, but also have compartmentalised beliefs in miracles, exorcisms, and god-did-it by persistent interference to produce human worshippers!
“Believing” in things and supporting them when asked, without any detailed understanding of what the subject is, is a characteristic of “faith-thinking” and “learning” verbal stock answers, by memorising indoctrination!
I recommend everybody who interest situation in Turkey to look at photos of people who act against the coup attempts.
Please don’t look at “chosen” photos in western media, please write “coup attempt” and/or copy paste “darbe girişimi” in google and search visuals.
How much “fundemantalist” do you see in that photos? Not so much isn’t it? Besides some people in that photos look like “fundemantalist” are “so called fundemantalist” indeed.
In conclusion, you can not understand Turkey via to compare it with Arabian countries, Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan. Kemal Ataturk’s effect is still alive. Even you speak people who suppose themselves as fundemantalist and enemy of Ataturk, you take notice their beliefs and way of life are not same as
aforementioned countries people.
I can appreciate your attempt to distance the Turkish society from the “Arabian” countries but I think I should remind you that many Muslims, both moderate and fundamentalist don’t necessarily relate to the description “Arabian”. Iranians will have nothing to do with that label and as you mentioned above, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan won’t either. Many Lebanese won’t accept the label “Arab” and something that is interesting is that in the past decade I’ve heard many secular North Africans begin to distance themselves from the label “Arab” as well. This is encouraging because they are expressing a dislike of the values and lifestyle of the countries on the Arabian peninsula and they are rejecting the Wahhabi strain of Islam that has been exported from that area in the past years. The big indigenous tribes of the Maghreb – Kabils in the north, Tuareg in the south and Cherouia (sp?) in the southeast have been assertive in promoting their own genetic and cultural identities.
Now, why I mention all of this is because none of this distance saved the North Africans from a devastating invasion by the Muslim Brotherhood. They invaded that place by stealth and by utilizing the common folk’s belief that religion is a good and necessary thing in every person. I will say that the North Africans were in general a very moderate secular society until the late eighties when the Brotherhood reached a critical mass and started a reign of terror there. I was living in Algeria in the eighties for some years and I was shocked to hear many of these moderates express the belief that the Muslim Brotherhood would bring on an Islamic state that would support the poor and downtrodden and wipe out the extreme corruption in the military dictatorship in that country.
These common folk had no way to understand that they were allowing a hoard of brutal murderous fascists to completely take over and destroy their culture as they knew it until it was too late. When they all realized what they had allowed to happen they were in the middle of a civil war with hideous atrocities perpetrated on a daily basis.
I’m hoping that your fellow Turks will rise up and block these nefarious murdering Islamic thugs in your country. Please don’t be complacent or you will all lose time. They have a very sneaky method to gaining the trust of the public. They offer health care and financial support to the poor and widows but there is a terrible price to pay for this.
If an Islamic regime is solidly established in Turkey it will take decades to throw it out and recover from the dark age it will bring down on the place like a pall. I’m so sorry but from those of us who have watched this process happen in countries that we know and love, it is obvious to us that Turkey is hurtling straight down Islamic drain. So sorry for you all.
Aug 4, 2016 at 5:09 am
Again, the source can be questioned but this would be what the majority of Turkish people will be thinking.
It would seem that interfering foreign agencies continue creating strife and chaos, in their meddling attempts to install more puppet governments!