THE COUP AND ATATURK LEGACY OF MODERN TURKEY
Since the death of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the revolutionary leader of modern Turkey, who was taken by death on November 10th, 1938, Turkey
as a nation-state and its people have gone through many stages of political leadership and social changes. Such political changes are normal, as that is part of the dialectical process in the growth or dissolution of any modern country. History in a country counts for nothing, if the history is not given life by its people. In other words, it is the social, cultural and political motivations of a people, and in this case the Turkish people, who will change the course of their nation’s history. No single nation-state, be that nation from the East or West, will have the final say about the initiated military coup that took place in Turkey on July 15, 2016, as the world was reeling from the terrorist shock in Nice, France.
There will be many political analyses, media pundits throughout the world, and intelligent services with their propaganda apparatuses that will seek out a way to influence the peoples of the world as to what is taking place in Turkey, and how the outcome should be orchestrated, as that is the function of Realpolitik. At this stage in the modern world, we live in an atmosphere where the diplomacy of the pragmatic is more useful than the idealism of an ideology or ideologies that hold no substance, for instance like the fanaticism of ISIS or Daesh or that of the American imperialist view of ‘Democracy’ which is tainted by militarism and a hegemony world view. With this all in mind, let us consider what Ataturk wrote in a speech was delivered in 1927 at the National Convention of “The People’s Party of the Republic” in Ankara, in which he said the following:
The Turkish nation should live in honour and dignity. Such a condition could only be attained by complete independence. No matter how wealthy and prosperous a nation may be, if it is deprived of its independence it no longer deserves to be regarded as anything more than a slave in the eyes of the civilised world. To request the protectorate of a foreign power is to admit to a lack of all human qualities; it is to admit to weakness and incapacity. Indeed, it is unthinkable that any group of people should ever voluntarily accept the humiliation of being ruled over by a foreign master.
In the present historical period of Turkey’s legacy to world events, the country is beset both by external and internal problems that have exasperated the Turkish people as a whole, and including nation-states abroad who have their own self-interest regarding their manipulation of the internal affairs of Turkey, and it is that latter which the danger lay. In Ataturk’s time, he was fighting against not only reactionary and backward political forces within the nation state of Turkey, but also fending off British imperialism and other European powers who wanted to control the foreign policy affairs of Turkey, if not her military forces as well. This Ataturk could not allow, and therefore his zeal and fight for self-determination and independence for a modern Turkey. Now, in 2016, such a battle is being waged again among the Turkish people. No one can predict the outcome to the engagement taking place in the streets, government buildings, media centers and army, naval and air force bases throughout the Turkish region.
The ongoing struggle in Turkey will be a historical dialectical process that can only be decided by the Turkish people in the end. Neither the West nor the East can totally manipulate the class and social disparities that exist in modern Turkey. Whether the coup was orchestrated inside or outside of Turkey, in the end, will not decide the outcome of the conflict that besets Turkey within and outside its borders. However, with an unstable Turkey, NATO, itself, will eventually become unstable, and that will insure a more stable multi polar world, not a world of a hegemonic world as the Obama regimes is constantly looking to achieve. At the same time, Turkey can be like a tinderbox that, if not contained, could play a significant role in the orchestration of a World War III.
If the Turkish coup was initiated covertly by the Obama regime which has been suggested by various news agencies and political, social pundits, not excluding various intelligence agencies throughout the world, then we shall see a more intense shift regarding Turkish foreign policy. The Obama regime, like previous American regimes before it, have as its mission or foreign policy goal to export their political vision of ‘democratic government’ that should in one way or another mirror U.S. foreign policy aspirations. What Obama fails to understand, besides his intelligence agencies and armed forces, is that you cannot export revolution let alone imperial policies that will only in the end backfire and cause chaos in the homeland in terms of political revenge through terrorist acts.
If indeed the Obama regime has supported a subversive coup through the auspices of the Turkish Islamic leader, Fetullah Gulen, who lives in comfortable exile in the United States, then the Turkish Prime Minister, Endogan, could use such a founded or unfounded conspiracy, to limit or close down the air bases used by the American air force, for instance at Incirlik. There is also the retorhic from the former, American officer, Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, who is vehemently opposed to the mixed signals given by Obama concerning the Endogan Islamist state vision for a modern Turkey.
However, to obsess about who caused the coup to happen in the first place, is to ignore the actual circumstance regarding the root of instability in the modern era of the twenty-first century Turkey. It is well known in history, since the time of the Peloponnesian War, that civil wars and military coups were orchestrated from abroad and within the city states of that ancient period. In modern times, the hidden agendas of modern nation-states in fermenting coups abroad is a normal reality. Turkey must decide its own future in terms of Turkish domestic policies and a foreign policy that is independent and not subservient to another nation-state
What one must remember is that as the Ottoman Empire was collapsing before and during World I, its allegiance was with autocratic or imperialist Germany, and it was only after the revolution, created by the militant General Ataturk and the Turkish people, that brought Turkey into the modern world. Politic change and revolutionary fervor, along with long periods of peace have been a part of Turkish history. However, Turkey has also been a major participant in social revolutions.
And one should not forget that Ataturk was a friend of Lenin and corresponded with him through letters, thus the historical ties between Turkey and Russia are cemented in revolution. As Ataturk once said “Sovereignty is not given, it is taken”.