By Theodore Shoebat
Racism in Turkey against Syrians is huge. There is a tremendous amount of racial tensions and its becoming trendy, something is that is reflected by the electoral victory in Istanbul for the Turkish nationalist party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), a political organization that is as old as Ataturk and which has been gaining a lot of popularity on an anti-migrant platform. One recent story that is symptomatic of this recounts of how a story owned by Syrians was ransacked and heavily damaged. When the store’s owners wanted to go to the store, a Turkish man warned them: “They want to kill you.” As we read in a report from Reuters:
At 2 am one Saturday night, Syrian brothers Mustafa and Ahmed were at home hunched over a screen watching live black and white security camera footage of men destroying their clothes shop.
They watched as a small group of Turkish men broke their glass storefront, ripped up Arabic leaflets and signs and set them alight. A few men stood back and stared up at the camera, before a hand flashed in front of it and destroyed it, and the screen went black.
Mustafa, 22, and Ahmed, 21, frantically called a Turkish grocer who runs the store next door, to tell him they were on their way to the shop to stop it being burned down. “He told us: Don’t come, they want to kill you,” said Ahmed.
Their store and other Syrian properties were targeted in the Kucukcekmece district of western Istanbul on the night of Saturday June 29, one of the occasional bouts of violence which Syrians say erupt against them in Turkey’s largest city.
Such large-scale clashes are rare, with only one other big attack happening this year, also in western Istanbul, in February. Small incidents are more frequently shared by Syrians on social media, and some fear tensions are on the rise.
Police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the Kucukcekmece attackers, but not before they destroyed many of the district’s Syrian stores and tore down Arabic signs.
The area has one of the higher concentrations of Syrians in the city, and Arabic signs are commonplace for shops’ local Syrian customers.
Mustafa and Ahmed waited until the crowd thinned out, and then went back. “We couldn’t go until 5 or 6 in the morning. We emptied out half the merchandise, and waited a couple of days until things calmed down.”
Erdogan’s political opponents have criticized him for allowing in so many refugees, and even the new opposition mayor of Istanbul – who campaigned on a ticket of inclusiveness – has said Turks are suffering because of the Syrian influx.
“We will make an effort to create a basis for Syrian migrants to return to their homeland, their free homeland,” Ekrem Imamoglu told Reuters last month.
“Otherwise, we will have some security concerns that would really trouble us all, and there would be street clashes.”
On the night that Imamoglu won the mayoralty, a hashtag spread across social media – “Suriyeliler Defoluyor”, roughly meaning “Syrians, Get Out”.
Twitter is full of anti-Syrian statements coming from Turkish Twitter users. I will post some very recent racist tweets and their translations underneath:
Suriyeliler nereye gidersen dolup doluşmuşlar yeminle çinliler gibi üremişler Almanyaya geleli 11 ay oldu yeminle burası bile doldu
— Mehmet ali (@asker_tc) July 10, 2019
“Where the Syrians go, they’re full of food, and they breed like Chinese, and it’s been 11 months since I’ve been in Germany.”
I want to kiss your forehead, whoever thought of those boundary walls we planted in the Bedouin desert. I wish we had this project for the years when the Syrians first came.
Bizim mahallede tiyatroya gerek yok. Mesela Suriyeliler var, her gün apaçiler gibi apartmanın terasına çadır falan kuruyorlar, gece sülalece terasta yatıp tepiniyorlar, daha envai çeşit aksiyon var. Tam bir tiyatro, mahallece izliyoruz.
— neandertal adam (@neanderman07) July 10, 2019
We don’t need theater in our neighborhood. For example, there are Syrians, every day they build tents on the terrace of the apartment building like Apache, and they lay down on the terrace at night, and there are more kinds of action. We’re watching the neighborhood.
The issue of Syrian refugees, I think, is a matter of national security, we have opened our borders without any research audit, these Syrians can threaten our national safety.
Bu orospu çocuğu Suriyeliler yürek mi yiyor napıyor aq öyle arkadaşlarla geziyoruz gelmiş kulağıma rahatsız ettiysem özür dilerim istikramın var mı diyor Lan ibiş sen benim orada uçkuruna bir tekme fırlatmadığıma dua et dua et ben sadece küfür yağdırdım
— bacımsunuz,kardeşiniz (@rukiyenizsizno) July 10, 2019
This son of a bitch Syrians are eating the heart. I’m sorry if I bothered to hear you. I’m just praying that I didn’t throw a kick in the fly, and pray that I’m not throwing an ass at you.
Just type in the word “suriyeliler“ (Syrians) on Twitter and most of what you will get is tribalist language against them. This is all very telling. Racism has a strong presence in Turkey. This has translated into the electoral realm, hence why people in Istanbul voted for the nationalist CHP.
With the defeat of the nationalist Islamist AKP (Justice and Development Party) and the victory of the secular nationalist CHP (the Republican People’s Party) in the Istanbul elections, many people have seen this event with optimism. They see this as a win for democracy over the forces of Islamist tyranny. But, given the fact that it was the secularist Young Turks who orchestrated the Armenian Genocide, a victory for the secular and nationalist party — the successors of the Young Turks — should not make us feel happy, but incredulous and suspicious. The CHP is a party of racism and has its roots in social Darwinist ideology. We at shoebat.com have, for years, been warning about the dangers of Turkish nationalism (you can read about this here, here, and here)
On January 23rd, 2013, Birgül Ayman Güler, a politician for the CHP, said that she did not consider the Turkish nation and “Kurdish nationality” to be equals. Her statement provoked CHP Adıyaman Deputy Salih Fırat to resign from the party.
CHP politicians talk no differently than populist politicians in Western Europe. In 2018, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) presidential candidate, Muharrem İnce, announced in an inflammatory way that he will deport and block from entering Syrian refugees:
“There are 4 million Syrians in Turkey; on Eid, 72,000 of them go to Syria for the holidays and then come back. So the conditions are suitable. Why do you come back to my country? Once you go, I will close the gates and you will be left there. Is this a soup kitchen?”
The just recently elected mayor of Bolu, Tanju Ozcan, ordered the departments of the Bolu municipality to cease giving relief to refugees. In Ozcan’s letter to the government departments, he said that the aid had surpassed its limit (regardless of the fact that there are only 1500 Syrian refugees living in Dolu) and that the people of Dolu “have cared for them for seven years, giving them our children’s livelihood. After this, I won’t give a single penny to Syrian refugees from the Bolu Municipality budget.”
In 2008, the CHP deputy of Izmir, Canan Arıtman, attacked Abdullah Gul for expressing sympathy towards the Armenian Genocide and linked Gul to a signing campaign to recognize the Armenian Genocide and even called his mother an Armenian:
“The false scientists signing it should apologize to Turkey … We see that the president supports this campaign. Abdullah Gül should be the president of the entire Turkish nation, not just of those sharing his ethnicity. Investigate the ethnic origin of the president’s mother and you will see.”
She then mockingly said of Gul:
“How come the president — who never remembers democracy and freedoms in Workers’ Day celebrations when women on the ground are being kicked by the police — supports those who say we committed genocide and who apologizes for that?”
The CHP party goes back to the days when the Turks, led by Kemal Ataturk, were fighting the British and Greeks for independence, after the First World War. During this time, in order to maintain harmony between his followers, Ataturk and his colleagues created the Müdafaa-ı Hukuk grubu (the “group for Defence of the Law”). In January of 1923, Ataturk transformed this group into the Halk Fırkası (People’s Party), and in 1924 this was changed to the Republican People’s Party, or the CHP of today. To deny the relation between the CHP’s current racism with its past racism would be like denying that the Democrat Party’s support for abortion is rooted in its history of supporting eugenics. The Young Turks, the Masonic society who would be at the very foundation of the CHP, believed in ethnically cleansing, through mass deportation and killing, the Ottoman Empire, with the idea of forming a Turkish national identity.
The Young Turks directed and superintended the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Greek Orthodox Christians. When the Ottomans loss their territories in the Balkans, many Muslim refugees from the Balkans migrated to the Ottoman controlled regions. To make room for these refugees, the Young Turks forced thousands of Christians to Greece. The properties and homes of these Christians were then given to the Ottoman Muslim refugees. These “population exchanges” were done not only with the authorization of the Ottoman government, but with the approval of Balkan governments as well. This was, in the words of Eugene Rogan, “ethnic cleansing with an international seal of approval.” This policy escalated. From being an exchange of populations under the agreement of governments, it became the mass deportation of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Greeks, occurring before and during the First World War. This was a racial policy.
Greek villagers living in Anatolia — far away from any Balkan lands — were also forced to leave their properties. They were rounded up by gendarmes and if they resisted they were shot. A similar thing happened to the Arabs of Syria. According to Muhammad Ali al-Ajluni, a soldier and eyewitness, Turkish soldiers refused to mix with Arab comrades in the mosque and in the mess hall, and even made racist remarks referring to the Arabs as “blacks”. The Ottoman Empire in fact used Arabs as slaves to build streets in Constantinople. During World War One Germany and the Ottoman Empire made an agreement to use Arab soldiers (who fought for the British and the French only to be captured by the Germans) as soldiers. The Germans used them as soldiers, the Turks used them as slaves. In March of 1916, the German lieutenant, Fritz Grobba, led a battalion of one thousand French Arabs from Wunsdorf into Istanbul. Ironically, the Ottoman war minister, Enver Pasha, did not trust the Arab soldiers and made them slaves to work building streets.
While he was in Tarsus on the Cilician coast, al-Ajluni watched as trainloads of Syrians were being deported. “We saw the pain and sorrow etched in the expression of each and every one of them,” he recounted. As he saw these Syrians trapped within the trains, he also saw the mass of Armenians being deported to the opposite direction by guards “into whose hearts mercy never found its way.” (See Rogan, The Fall of the Ottomans) The genocide of the Armenians, the extermination of the Assyrians, the mass deportations of Greeks and Syrians — all of these were done under a policy that aimed at the formation of a nation state. The treatment of non-Turks was hand in glove with the ideology of the CHP. The second president of the Turkish Republic and a CHP member, İsmet İnönü, said: “Only the Turkish nation has the right to demand ethnic and racial rights in this country. Any other element does not have such a right.”
This CHP’s very ideological roots consist of social Darwinism, racism and eugenics. In 1939, the CHP held a conference one of the topics of which was “Öjenik” (Eugenics). The presentation on eugenics was given by one Mazhar Osman Uzman, who said that every country has a population policy because they understand that larger and stronger nations conquer smaller and weaker nations, a reference to Social Darwinist ideology.
Turkish nationalism’s ideology is rooted in the work of Ziya Gokalp. Gokalp believed that blacks were inferior in intelligence and because of this the white man could not make enough money off of him:
“as the black and red races were inferior in terms of intelligence and skill, the white master could not make enough fortune. In order to be a good worker in today’s standard of agriculture and industry, it is necessary to have a high level of civilization.”
Gokalp held that the Turks of Central Asia were the original founders of Mediterranean civilization, but because of wars had to retreat eastward deep into Asia. He said that the “ancient Turks were among the earliest founders of that Mediterranean civilization” and it was only “after attacks that they were forced to move to Far East only temporarily”.
In the first half of the 20th century there were in Turkey what was known as “Turkish Ojaks” or cultural clubs where Turkish nationalism was promoted. The institution of the Turkish Ojaks went back to the year 1912 and was founded “to reinforce the ethnic conscience among the Turks; to elevate their social and intellectual level; to purify their language; to increasing their economic prosperity”. One of the ideologues of Turkish nationalism, Rechid Safvet, believed that the Altai region (a land of the Turkic people in Russia) was the original home of the White race:
“The Turks had always and profoundly the consciousness and the pride of their origins, their ascendances, so much that there was almost no leader among them that has stood with honour to trace back their ancestors to Altai, the birthplace of the white race itself.”
The Republic of Turkey, established in 1923, was founded as a country of Darwinist and Enlightenment ideology. The Young Turks, influenced by the ideas of Herbert Spencer — the one who coined the term “survival of the fittest” — were, like the philosophers of the Enlightenment, anti-clerical and put a fanatical emphasis on science. Turkish intellectuals were strong believers in the ideology of positivism which held society as something mechanical, and thus something that can be engineered and altered through science and technology. Since they believed that society could be engineered, these Turkish ideologues were firm believers in Social Darwinism or Eugenics, which is the idea that human society can be manipulated so as to be transformed into something else. Positivism was the philosophical root of Darwinism.
Herbert Spencer found in Positivism the philosophical explanation for the idea of human evolution. The philosophy goes back to the Frenchman Auguste Comte, the inventor of the term Positivism, who believed that humanity had gone through three stages of intellectual evolution: religious, metaphysical and positive. In the first stage man tried to explain things with religion; in the second, with philosophy or metaphysics; and in the third, man began to observe things through the lens of science.
Comte believed that in the “positive” stage, society will be ruled under a technocracy, or under a regime of scientists who would know what is best for the people. This should remind us of Eisenhower’s warning about the “danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” By the age of 14, Comte, in contempt towards his monarchist parents, embraced the republicanism of the French revolt against the Church and had “naturally ceased believing in God” and had already “gone through all the essential stages of the revolutionary spirit.” While he rejected monarchy he became an apostle for the idea of a regime of the religion of science and technology. It was this hatred for religion, combined with an emphasis on science, that was lodged within the movement of the Young Turks, or the political movement that overthrew the rule of the Sultan and established the Republic of Turkey. In the words of Alemdaroglu:
“Reformers, both before and after the founding of the Republic, shared many positivist attitudes such as anti-clericalism, scientism, biological materialism, authoritarianism, social Darwinism, intellectual elitism and a deep distrust of the masses (Zurcher, 2001: 54).”
The aspects that made up Kemal Ataturk’s new country were populism, republicanism, nationalism and the fixation on a national identity and the nation-state. These aspects were codified under one label: Kemalism, the ideology of the CHP. The Kemalists saw the Western world and as they envied its success, they also observed its emphasis on science and social-Darwinism, and believed that if Turkey was going to be successful they needed to make a society that put science and technology above religion. With the hope of Turkish advancement, Turkish intellectuals began resorting to race science to prove that the Turk was equal to the White man of Western Europe. One physician, Şevket Aziz Kansu, who had ties to Kemal Ataturk, went so far as to compare Turkish and European skulls to show that they both have similar brachycephalic structure.
One idea of Turkish republicanism was to establish a utopia in which the whole of Turkish society would conform to a particular way of living, even to the point of how one washed his face. Very specific things of common day to day actions would be dictated by the state. The Turkish diplomat Burhan Asaf said: “In Ankara, there will be a single form of spoken Turkish, a single way of washing a face, a single way of sitting at a table and a single meaning attributed to the city”. In the Republic of Turkey, peasants were in fact prohibited from walking on Atatürk Boulevard, Ankara’s most prestigious avenue, because they did not dress like Westerners and had primitive manners. Falih Rıfkı Atay, a prestigious Kemalist author, scorned the average man on the street, describing him as pale-faced, fat, crooked and having no resemblance to the Europeans of Paris, Berlin or Stockholm.
The Kemalists lobbied for a more masculinist society in which athleticism and being physically strong would be revered. There was Selim Sırrı, an educator who was influential in Republican policy on the physical fitness of the society. According to Sirri, a physically fit society was paralleled with a well trained army. The Kemalists worked to create a culture of athleticism in which being physically fit was either a matter of pride or shame. The parliament passed the Body Discipline Law in 1938 to “regulate games, gymnastics and sports that improve the physical and moral capabilities of the citizens in accordance with the national and reformist principles”. Article 3 of the law made it mandatory that youth partake in physical fitness during their free time.
The major conduit for social Darwinism within the Republic of Turkey was the Committee of Union and Progress (later known as the Union and Progress Party), the secret society of the Young Turks the successors of which would later form the CHP. Abdullah Cevdet, a founding member of the Union and Progress Party, taught that the socio-economic status of a person would effect the genetic traits of his or her offspring. For example, Cevdet said that the children of subjugated women would perpetuate the inferior traits of their mothers. The Turkish government under the Kemalists of the CHP, instilled in its education system a belief in the Turkish master race, and the idea that mothers needed to birth children of superior genetic qualities. In a 1934 biology textbooks for secondary students, it teaches this doctrine:
“The Turkish race, to which we are proud to belong, has a distinguished place amongst the best, strongest, most intelligent and most competent races in the world. Our duty is to preserve the essential qualities and virtues of the Turkish race and to confirm that we deserve to be members of this race. For that reason, one of our primary national duties is to adhere to the principle of leading physically and spiritually worthwhile lives by protecting ourselves from the perils of ill health, and by applying the knowledge of biology to our lives. The future of our Turkey will depend on the breeding of high valued Turkish progeny in the families that today’s youth will form in the future.” (Biyoloji ve I˙nsan Hayatı II, 1934: 321)
It is this racialist fixation that the CHP still holds today. It is not surprising that in a CHP meeting in Antwerp there was found Filip DeWinter, a neo-Nazi and the head of the Flemish separatist Vlaams Belang party, which recently became the second largest party of Belgium.
The nationalists of Turkey are with with the nationalists of Flanders; those who continue the legacy of the Young Turks, who did ethnic cleansing for a homogenous Turkish empire, are with DeWinters who declared: “Yes, Vlaams Blok will put our own people first and yes, Vlaams Blok will have a Flemish Flanders and YES, the Vlaams Blok will have a white Europe!”.
The parties of ethnic cleansing are here collaborating. What makes this even more interesting is the fact that it was Filip DeWinter who organized the 2007 Counterjihad Brussels Summit in the EU Parliament building, the very conference that would establish the Counterjihad movement of Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, Baron Bodissey and a plethora of other nefarious figures, into an international network of internet agitators. The Counterjihad movement, as we have shown substantially, is really a conduit by which to spread nationalism, racialism and eugenics. It would not be surprising that the racialists and technocrats of the West want the CHP to take power so as to spark nationalism in Turkey (the CIA was working with Turkish Nazi Alparslan Türkeş for this very goal). Regardless, we should not be optimistic about the CHP.