]]>position:absolute;

Revelations

"The Jewish people as a whole will be its own Messiah. It will attain world domination by the dissolution of other races...and by the establishment of a world republic in which everywhere the Jews will exercise the privilege of citizenship. In this New World Order the Children of Israel...will furnish all the leaders without encountering opposition..." (Karl Marx in a letter to Baruch Levy, quoted in Review de Paris, June 1, 1928, p. 574)

Sunday, 22 April 2007

"Ataturk the great"

WHEN KEMAL ATATURK RECITED SHEMA YISRAEL


WHEN KEMAL ATATURK RECITED SHEMA YISRAEL
"It's My Secret Prayer, Too," He Confessed

By Hillel Halkin

ZICHRON YAAKOV - There were two questions I wanted to ask, I said over the phone to Batya Keinan, spokeswoman for Israeli president Ezer Weizman, who was about to leave the next day, Monday, Jan. 24, on the first visit ever made to Turkey by a Jewish chief of state. One was whether Mr. Weizman would be taking part in an official ceremony commemorating Kemal Ataturk.

Ms. Kenan checked the president's itinerary, according to which he and his wife would lay a wreath on Ataturk's grave the morning of their arrival, and asked what my second question was.

"Does President Weizman know that Ataturk had Jewish ancestors and was taught Hebrew prayers as a boy?"

"Of course, of course," she answered as unsurprisedly as if I had inquired whether the president was aware that Ataturk was Turkey's national hero.

Excited and Distressed

I thanked her and hung up. A few minutes later it occurred to me to call back and ask whether President Weizman intended to make any reference while in Turkey to Ataturk's Jewish antecedents. "I'm so glad you called again," said Ms. Kenan, who now sounded excited and a bit distressed. "Exactly where did you get your information from?"

Why was she asking, I countered, if the president's office had it too?

Because it did not, she confessed. She had only assumed that it must because I had sounded so matter-of-fact myself. "After you hung up," she said, "I mentioned what you told me and nobody here knows anything about it. Could you please fax us what you know?"

I faxed her a short version of it. Here is a longer one.

Stories about the Jewishness of Ataturk, whose statue stands in the main square of every town and city in Turkey, already circulated in his lifetime but were denied by him and his family and never taken seriously by biographers. Of six biographies of him that I consulted this week, none even mentions such a speculation. The only scholarly reference to it in print that I could find was in the entry on Ataturk in the Israeli Entsiklopedya ha-Ivrit, which begins:

"Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - (1881-1938), Turkish general and statesman and founder of the modern Turkish state.

"Mustafa Kemal was born to the family of a minor customs clerk in Salonika and lost his father when he was young. There is no proof of the belief, widespread among both Jews and Muslims in Turkey, that his family came from the Doenme. As a boy he rebelled against his mother's desire to give him a traditional religious education, and at the age of 12 he was sent at his demand to study in a military academy."

Secular Father

The Doenme were an underground sect of Sabbetaians, Turkish Jews who took Muslim names and outwardly behaved like Muslims but secretly believed in Sabbetai Zevi, the 17th-century false messiah, and conducted carefully guarded prayers and rituals in his name. The encyclopedia's version of Ataturk's education, however, is somewhat at variance with his own. Here is his account of it as quoted by his biographers:

"My father was a man of liberal views, rather hostile to religion, and a partisan of Western ideas. He would have preferred to see me go to a * lay school, which did not found its teaching on the Koran but on modern science.

"In this battle of consciences, my father managed to gain the victory after a small maneuver; he pretended to give in to my mother's wishes, and arranged that I should enter the [Islamic] school of Fatma Molla Kadin with the traditional ceremony. ...

"Six months later, more or less, my father quietly withdrew me from the school and took me to that of old Shemsi Effendi who directed a free preparatory school according to European methods. My mother made no objection, since her desires had been complied with and her conventions respected. It was the ceremony above all which had satisfied her."

Who was Mustafa Kemal's father, who behaved here in typical Doenme fashion, outwardly observing Muslim ceremonies while inwardly scoffing at them? Ataturk's mother Zubeyde came from the mountains west of Salonika, close to the current Albanian frontier; of the origins of his father, Ali Riza, little is known. Different writers have given them as Albanian, Anatolian and Salonikan, and Lord Kinross' compendious 1964 "Ataturk" calls Ali Riza a "shadowy personality" and adds cryptically regarding Ataturk's reluctance to disclose more about his family background: "To the child of so mixed an environment it would seldom occur, wherever his racial loyalties lay, to inquire too exactly into his personal origins beyond that of his parentage."

Learning Hebrew

Did Kinross suspect more than he was admitting? I would never have asked had I not recently come across a remarkable chapter while browsing in the out-of-print Hebrew autobiography of Itamar Ben-Avi, son of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the leading promoter of the revival of spoken Hebrew in late 19th-century Palestine. Ben-Avi, the first child to be raised in Hebrew since ancient times and later a Hebrew journalist and newspaper publisher, writes in this book of walking into the Kamenitz Hotel in Jerusalem one autumn night in 1911 and being asked by its proprietor: " 'Do you see that Turkish officer sitting there in the corner, the one* with the bottle of arrack?' "

" 'Yes.' "
" 'He's one of the most important officers in the Turkish army.' "
" 'What's his name?' "
" 'Mustafa Kemal.' "
" 'I'd like to meet him,' I said, because the minute I looked at him I was startled by his piercing green eyes."

Ben-Avi describes two meetings with Mustafa Kemal, who had not yet taken the name of Ataturk, 'Father of the Turks.' Both were conducted in French, were largely devoted to Ottoman politics, and were doused with large amounts of arrack. In the first of these, Kemal confided:

"I'm a descendant of Sabbetai Zevi - not indeed a Jew any more, but an ardent admirer of this prophet of yours. My opinion is that every Jew in this country would do well to join his camp."

During their second meeting, held 10 days later in the same hotel, Mustafa Kemal said at one point:"

'I have at home a Hebrew Bible printed in Venice. It's rather old, and I remember my father bringing me to a Karaite teacher who taught me to read it. I can still remember a few words of it, such as --' "

And Ben-Avi continues:
"He paused for a moment, his eyes searching for something in space. Then he recalled:
" 'Shema Yisra'el, Adonai Elohenu, Adonai Ehad!'
" 'That's our most important prayer, Captain.'
" 'And my secret prayer too, cher monsieur,' he replied, refilling our glasses."

Although Itamar Ben-Avi could not have known it, Ataturk no doubt meant "secret prayer" quite literally. Among the esoteric prayers of the Doenme, first made known to the scholarly world when a book of them reached the National Library in Jerusalem in 1935, is one containing the confession of faith:

"Sabbetai Zevi and none other is the true Messiah. Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one."

It was undoubtedly from this credo, rather than from the Bible, that Ataturk remembered the words of the Shema, which to the best of my knowledge he confessed knowing but once in his adult life: to a young Hebrew journalist whom he engaged in two tipsily animated conversations in Jerusalem nearly a decade before he took control of the Turkish army after its disastrous defeat in World War I, beat back the invading Greeks and founded a secular Turkish republic in which Islam was banished - once and for all, so he thought - to the mosques.

Ataturk would have had good reasons for concealing his Doenme origins. Not only were the Doenmes (who married only among themselves and numbered close to 15,000, largely concentrated in Salonika, on the eve of World War I) looked down on as heretics by both Muslims and Jews, they had a reputation for sexual profligacy that could hardly have been flattering to their offspring. This license, which was theologically justified by the claim that it reflected the faithful's freedom from the biblical commandments under the new dispensation of Sabbetai Zevi, is described by Ezer Weizman's predecessor, Israel's second president, Yitzchak Ben-Zvi, in his book on lost Jewish communities, "The Exiled and the Redeemed":

'Saintly Offspring'

"Once a year [during the Doenmes' annual 'Sheep holiday'] the candles are put out in the course of a dinner which is attended by orgies and the ceremony of the exchange of wives. ... The rite is practiced on the night of Sabbetai Zevi's traditional bithday. ... It is believed that children born of such unions are regarded as saintly."

Although Ben-Zvi, writing in the 1950s, thought that "There is reason to believe that this ceremony has not been entirely abandoned and continues to this day," little is known about whether any of the Doenmes' traditional practices or social structures still survive in modern Turkey. The community abandoned Salonika along with the city's other Turkish residents during the Greco-Turkish war of 1920-21, and its descendants, many of whom are said to be wealthy businessmen and merchants in Istanbul, are generally thought to have assimilated totally into Turkish life.

After sending my fax to Batya Keinan, I phoned to check that she had received it. She had indeed, she said, and would see to it that the president was given it to read on his flight to Ankara. It is doubtful, however, whether Mr. Weizman will allude to it during his visit: The Turkish government, which for years has been fending off Muslim fundamentalist assaults on its legitimacy and on the secular reforms of Ataturk, has little reason to welcome the news that the father of the 'Father of the Turks' was a crypto-Jew who passed on his anti-Muslim sentiments to his son. Mustafa Kemal's secret is no doubt one that it would prefer to continue to be kept.


A short Propaganda Video
ATATÜRK-The greatest leader of World...


Reality:
Dictator Mustafa Kemal confesses his Jewishness




Ataturk the jew



"Ataturk the great!"

According to Joachim Prinz in his "The Secret Jews", K. Pasha was a descendant of the Jewish Marranos of Salonika in the Asia Minor. Two commandments that the Marranos adhered to were --

(1) "Shall not marry into a Muslim family nor maintain any intimate association with them, for they are to us an abomination and particularly their women"

(2) "Shall meticulously adhere to the customs of the Turks so as not to arose their suspicion. I shall not only observe the Fast of Ramadan but all the other Muslim customs which are observed in public". Kemal Pasha followed them and thus earned confidence of his fellow Muslims. He became the Turkish national leader during World War I and 'liberated his country'. Then the real drama began.

According to TIME, 2 July 1928, Kemal Pasha ordered all mosque floors to have their rugs removed and replaced with pews like in the Church so that no Muslim forehead could bow toward Mekka and prostrate on the floor during prayer. He ordered installation of organs and choirs in the mosques. The traditional Fez cap was removed from the Turk's head, shoes were worn during prayer in the mosque. The language of worship was changed from Arabic to Turkish.

In his "The Emergence of Modern Turkey", Bernard Lewis has described how Pasha indoctrinated his own ideas of prayer into Turk life. Any opposition to his reform was meted with prison, gallows and terror. I wonder how Mr. Hussain discovered humanism in Kamal Pasha's "vision of a united humanity".

According to Grey Wolf, in his "Mustafa Kemal, An Intimate Study of a Dictator", Kemal Pasha declared, "Islam, this theology of an immoral Arab, is a dead thing."

He became an ardent drinker and womaniser as historians testify. Mr Hussain, do you still call Ataturk not anti-Islamic?

In today's Europe, Turkey maintains the worst record of human rights violations in imprisoning political opposition, banning religious freedom, ethnically cleansing the Kurds population.

I am at a loss to fathom how people glorify Turkey's place in the modern world. If you have ever lived in Europe and Australia it is certainly not a joy to be a Turkish. I wouldn't be proud to bear the legacy of Kemal Pasha who made Turkey a prisoner of Europe. Once the conqueror of Europe, today's Turkey is begging to be just a part of the European Union.

"Ataturk the great!"

http://www.dailystarnews.com/200207/15/n2071511.htm#BODY7

Kemal Ataturk was born in 1881 in Thessaloniki, Greece which was at that time a Muslim nation. His full name was Mustafa Kemal and the Ataturk surname, meaning the Father of Turks was given to him by the Turkish people in accordance with the reforms he introduced to destroy the Islamic state and convert it to a "Turkey" state. He was a "doenmeh". Meaning, of Jewish descent. The "doenmehs" never inter-married with Muslims and celebrated their version of Islam indoors. The doenmehs were known to be false converts who were planted in the Muslim Empire to destroy it. One must admit that Kemal Ataturk performed his task well.

"His background was military, and he served in various posts in the Ottoman Army. During the World War I, he was the colonel in charge of Infantry at Gallipoli in 1915 and it was his genius defence tactics that prevented the allied forces (British, French, Anzacs - Australians and New Zealenders and Senegalese) from capturing the Dardanelles and eventually Bosphorus." This is what the false historians try to preach. The truth is that the British suddenly and mysteriously backed out after negotiations with Kemal.


His success and fast growing reputation disturbed the capital and to keep him under control he was promoted to Pasha (General). When the War ended the armies of the allied forces occupied nearly all corners of the country including Istanbul. The allied forces realised that cornering the Muslims like this would prove fatal, as history is a witness to what happens when Muslims are cornered. Thus, instead of marching in and taking the nation for a few months and then running on their heals by the inevitable Muslim Jihad they devised an interesting devious plan.


The plan involved their puppet Kemal Ataturk. He left Istanbul in a small boat, namely Bandirma (a nice model of the boat may be seen at the Ataturk Museum in Ataturk's Mausoleum, Ankara), going ashore at Samsun, a coastal town in the Black Sea, on the 19th of May 1919 (a date later to be presented by Ataturk to the Turkish Youth as the Turkish Youth Day), the day the War of Independence began. He showed the people his desire for Independence. The British thus gave the "oppressed, cornered ready to fight" masses a leader -- their one and only puppet, Kemal Ataturk.


With skirmishes Kemal and his army friends' armies started fighting the enemy. One should wonder how the powerful allied forces suddenly could not fight the friends of Kemal. Ankara was chosen to be headquarter for its central location and the seeds of a new country were planted there. The real agenda was to break up the Khilafah and to leave the Muslims leaderless and thus baffled and in a perpetual state of confusion and "leaderlessness". Thus by the end of the year 1922, all of the powerful invaders had left the country.

The Ottoman Sultan was forced to resign and while he was signing his forced resignation, Kemal stood there witnessing it along with a Jew friend (a banker), pictures of which are available in any history book. The birth of a new nation had begun.

Today Turkey has an agreement with Israel and the USA and the West. The "Sick man of Europe" was feared by the entire West. Today the "The healthy man of Europe" is treated with no dignity and holds absolutely no say or position in the world affairs and the Turks still don't get it!

Was Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, crypto-Jewish?

Conspiracy theories were quite prestigious in the 1970s and into the 1980s, but ever since the release of Oliver Stone's 1991 movie "JFK," the elite cultural atmosphere has turned strongly against them.

And yet, there really have been lots of secret societies, cabals, covert activities, and the like down through history. For example, the history of Italy since WWII can't be adequately explained without reference to the Mafia, Operation Gladio "leave-behind" cells, the P2 Masonic Lodge, and secret CIA funding of the anti-Communist parties, not to mention all of the Communist conspiracies on the other side.

It turns out, of course, that most of the secrets are pretty mundane. My late father-in-law, a 32nd degree Mason, liked to say that he couldn't tell any outsiders the secret protocols of the Masons because it might be fatal to them.

"Because if you told them, you'd have to kill them?" I asked.

"No, because if they heard what we really do, they might die laughing."

Secret groups are by no means omnipotent. In fact, they are generally less effective than public groups in most circumstances. Secrecy imposes costs and makes expansion harder.

Nonetheless, there are aspects of the world that do resemble a Jorge Luis Borges story, such as the murky role of crypto-Jewish pseudo-Muslims, the "Donmeh," in modern Turkey. Three and a half centuries after the forced conversion from Judaism to Islam of the false messiah Sabbatai Zevi, his followers and their secular descendents remain, apparently, strongly represented among the anti-Muslim fundamentalist political, business, and cultural elites in Istanbul and Ankara.

But what about the founder of modern Turkey himself, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk? Was he a crypto-Jew?

Hillel Halkin, the respected New York native turned Israeli journalist who is a regular in Commentary and a columnist for the Jerusalem Post and the New York Sun, thinks so. In a January 28, 1994 article in New York's Forward, a Jewish newspaper, entitled "When Kemal Ataturk Recited Shema Yisrael: 'It's My Secret Prayer, Too,' He Confessed," Halkin wrote:


Stories about the Jewishness of Ataturk, whose statue stands in the main square of every town and city in Turkey, already circulated in his lifetime but were denied by him and his family and never taken seriously by biographers. Of six biographies of him that I consulted this week, none even mentions such a speculation. The only scholarly reference to it in print that I could find was in the entry on Ataturk in the Israeli Entsiklopedya ha-Ivrit, which begins: "Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - (1881-1938), Turkish general and statesman and founder of the modern Turkish state. "Mustafa Kemal was born to the family of a minor customs clerk in Salonika and lost his father when he was young. There is no proof of the belief, widespread among both Jews and Muslims in Turkey, that his family came from the Doenme. As a boy he rebelled against his mother's desire to give him a traditional religious education, and at the age of 12 he was sent at his demand to study in a military academy."

The Doenme were an underground sect of Sabbetaians, Turkish Jews who took Muslim names and outwardly behaved like Muslims but secretly believed in Sabbetai Zevi, the 17th-century false messiah, and conducted carefully guarded prayers and rituals in his name.

The encyclopedia's version of Ataturk's education, however, is somewhat at variance with his own. Here is his account of it as quoted by his biographers: "My father was a man of liberal views, rather hostile to religion, and a partisan of Western ideas. He would have preferred to see me go to a * lay school, which did not found its teaching on the Koran but on modern science. "In this battle of consciences, my father managed to gain the victory after a small maneuver; he pretended to give in to my mother's wishes, and arranged that I should enter the [Islamic] school of Fatma Molla Kadin with the traditional ceremony. ... "Six months later, more or less, my father quietly withdrew me from the school and took me to that of old Shemsi Effendi who directed a free preparatory school according to European methods. My mother made no objection, since her desires had been complied with and her conventions respected. It was the ceremony above all which had satisfied her."

Who was Mustafa Kemal's father, who behaved here in typical Doenme fashion, outwardly observing Muslim ceremonies while inwardly scoffing at them? Ataturk's mother Zubeyde came from the mountains west of Salonika, close to the current Albanian frontier; of the origins of his father, Ali Riza, little is known. Different writers have given them as Albanian, Anatolian and Salonikan, and Lord Kinross' compendious 1964 "Ataturk" calls Ali Riza a "shadowy personality" and adds cryptically regarding Ataturk's reluctance to disclose more about his family background: "To the child of so mixed an environment it would seldom occur, wherever his racial loyalties lay, to inquire too exactly into his personal origins beyond that of his parentage."

Did Kinross suspect more than he was admitting? I would never have asked had I not recently come across a remarkable chapter while browsing in the out-of-print Hebrew autobiography of Itamar Ben-Avi, son of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the leading promoter of the revival of spoken Hebrew in late 19th-century Palestine. Ben-Avi, the first child to be raised in Hebrew since ancient times and later a Hebrew journalist and newspaper publisher, writes in this book of walking into the Kamenitz Hotel in Jerusalem one autumn night in 1911 and being asked by its proprietor:

"'Do you see that Turkish officer sitting there in the corner, the one* with the bottle of arrack?' "

"'Yes.'"

"'He's one of the most important officers in the Turkish army.'"

"'What's his name?'"

"'Mustafa Kemal.'"

"'I'd like to meet him,' I said, because the minute I looked at him I was startled by his piercing green eyes."

Ben-Avi describes two meetings with Mustafa Kemal, who had not yet taken the name of Ataturk, 'Father of the Turks.' Both were conducted in French, were largely devoted to Ottoman politics, and were doused with large amounts of arrack. In the first of these, Kemal confided: "I'm a descendant of Sabbetai Zevi - not indeed a Jew any more, but an ardent admirer of this prophet of yours. My opinion is that every Jew in this country would do well to join his camp."

During their second meeting, held 10 days later in the same hotel, Mustafa Kemal said at one point:" 'I have at home a Hebrew Bible printed in Venice. It's rather old, and I remember my father bringing me to a Karaite teacher who taught me to read it. I can still remember a few words of it, such as --' " And Ben-Avi continues: "He paused for a moment, his eyes searching for something in space. Then he recalled: "'Shema Yisra'el, Adonai Elohenu, Adonai Ehad!'

"'That's our most important prayer, Captain.'

"'And my secret prayer too, cher monsieur,' he replied, refilling our glasses."

Although Itamar Ben-Avi could not have known it, Ataturk no doubt meant "secret prayer" quite literally. Among the esoteric prayers of the Doenme, first made known to the scholarly world when a book of them reached the National Library in Jerusalem in 1935, is one containing the confession of faith: "Sabbetai Zevi and none other is the true Messiah. Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one." It was undoubtedly from this credo, rather than from the Bible, that Ataturk remembered the words of the Shema, which to the best of my knowledge he confessed knowing but once in his adult life: to a young Hebrew journalist whom he engaged in two tipsily animated conversations in Jerusalem nearly a decade before he took control of the Turkish army after its disastrous defeat in World War I, beat back the invading Greeks and founded a secular Turkish republic in which Islam was banished - once and for all, so he thought - to the mosques.

Ataturk would have had good reasons for concealing his Doenme origins. Not only were the Doenmes (who married only among themselves and numbered close to 15,000, largely concentrated in Salonika, on the eve of World War I) looked down on as heretics by both Muslims and Jews, they had a reputation for sexual profligacy that could hardly have been flattering to their offspring. [More[


Keep in mind that Halkin loves this kind of tale, as he admits in a column about his meeting with a tipsy gentleman who claims to be the last descendent to the throne of the legendary Khazar Jews:


The fact is that I've always been a sucker for this kind of stuff. Ever since I was a kid growing up in Manhattan, I've lapped it up: stories about the lost tribes, descendants of the Marranos, shadowy Jewish kingdoms in the Middle Ages, Jews turning up in far places — the mountains of Mexico, the jungles of Peru, Kaifeng, the Malabar Coast, Timbuktu . The Jews of Manhattan were boring. Jews spotted by Marco Polo on the China coast or surviving centuries of the Inquisition in the hills of Portugal gave me goose pimples.

Call it the romance of Jewish history. The idea that we were a profoundly more adventurous, infinitely more varied, more far-ranging, more interesting people than the Jews I knew.


Halkin's 2002 book Across the Sabbath River: In Search of a Lost Tribe of Israel makes the case that the obscure Mizo ethnic group on the India-Burma border are really the descendants of Manasseh, one of the Lost Tribes of Israel.


This is just one bit of evidence about Ataturk, and most of the other evidence seems to suggest that Ataturk, although exposed to Donmeh influence, both growing up in Salonika (home of the Donmeh) and later in his career, was not a Sabbatean himself.


To shift gears, all this might help explain a little how the struggle between Turkey and its hostile neighbors, Greece and Armenia, is waged in Washington. The Greeks and the Armenians play an "outside game," based on grassroots hostility toward Turkey among Greek-Americans and Armenian-Americans. For example, the Armenian Caucus in Congress numbered almost 100 a few years ago, even though only one Member of the House was Armenian. In some Congressional districts, such as Pasadena-Glendale in California, promising to stick it to the Turks is a major vote-getter.

In contrast, the Turks play an "inside game" in Washington, relying on high level contacts in the Executive branch. For instance, in 2000, the House was minutes from passing a long awaited resolution blaming the 1915 genocide of Armenians on the Turks, when a phone call from President Clinton to Speaker of the House Hastert, reminding Hastert how important Turkish good will is to the American position in the Middle East, led to the vote being called off.

The Bush Administration has strongly supported Turkey becoming a part of the European Union, despite the evident downsides of opening the borders of Europe to 70 million more Muslims.

A key to Turkey's inside game in Washington, besides American defense contractors, has been the powerful Jewish lobbies in Washington, who support Turkey because, among other reasons, Turkey spends a lot of money on Israeli arms. It's interesting that Richard Perle and Douglas Feith had a lobbying firm in the 1990s, International Advisors Inc., whose main client was the government of Turkey. Morris Amitay of AIPAC was an employee.

I have no idea if this is relevant to the story of crypto-Jewish influence in modern Turkey, but one recurrent pattern is that American neocons, based on their warm ties with the Turkish elites, have repeatedly over-estimated how pro-Israel and pro-American are Turkish voters, most notoriously on the eve of our war to bring "democracy" to Iraq, when Paul Wolfowitz was shocked by the Turkish parliament democratically voting against allowing America to invade Iraq from Turkey despite a huge payoff promised to the Turkish government.

This is not to say that there is a conscious conspiracy between the neocons and the Donmeh, but it may help explain why the neocons have misinterpreted what Turkey is really like. So many of their Turkish contacts have been people with whom they feel culturally comfortable that they can't really fathom what Turkish democracy unfettered by secularist military coups (which is what Turkish accession to the European Union would deliver) will really turn out to be like.


TIME Magazine, October 12, 1953, p. 67:

Turkey
...By conventional standards, Kemal Ataturk was hardly an admirable character. He was a bitter, sullen and ruthless man, a two-fisted drinker and a rake given to shameless debauch. Politically, though he proclaimed a Bill of Rights, he flouted it constantly; though he talked of loyalty, he hanged his closest friends. He was devoid of sentiment and incapable of love, unfaithful to everyone and every cause he adopted save one-- Turkey. But before he died, his driven, grateful people thrust on him the last and greatest of his five names: Ataturk, Father of All the Turks.
The Father of All the Turks (who left no legitimate heirs) was born in 1881 in Salonika, then part of the Ottoman Empire, of a mild Albanian father and a forceful Macedonian mother. He became a soldier; at 22, a captain, he rebelled against the Sultan and was nearly executed; at 27, he joined the Young Turks rebellion, then rebelled against the Young Turks. The army, fearful of him, shunted him from post to post, but could neither shake him nor subdue him. At Gallipoli, in 1915, he defeated the British; in the Caucasus, he checked the Russians; in Berlin, 1918, he drunkenly needled the high panjandrum of his allies, Field Marshal von Hindedburg; in Arabia, 1918, he held off T. E. Lawrence's Bedouin hordes. At 38, he came out of the crash of the Ottoman Empire the only Turkish commander untouched by defeat.

Six Day Marathon. Eight years later, smartly turned out in his favorite civilian attire-- the morning coat and striped pants of the Western diplomat-- he stood before the Turkish National Assembly (which he created), in the capital at Ankara (which he created), and for six full days told in the Turkish language (which he purified and revised) the full story of what he had done. He began:
"Gentlemen, I landed at Samsun on the 19th of May, 1919. This was the position at the time..."
To his hearers, it was well-remembered history. Turkey in 1919 was crushed, defeated from without, disintegrating within. Gone was the fury and might which, beginning in 1299, had sent Ottoman legions smashing at Vienna's gates and made Budapest a suburb of Constantinople. Gone was the conquering fervor that created a tri-continental empire the size of the U.S. encompassing what are now 20 modern nations stretching from the Dniester to the Nile, from the Adriatic to the Persian Gulf. In 1919, British warships still rode in the Bosporus and British troops held Constantinople; Italy, France and Greece were secretly dividing up the best of the remainder. The greatest empire between Augustus and Victoria had shrunk to a small, lifeless inland state in the barren interiors of Asia Minor; its Sultan was reduced to the status of a borough president of Constantinople. There was talk of asking Woodrow Wilson to take over the mess as a U.S. mandate.
Mustafa Kemal Pasha returned from his skillful but useless defense of Syria and asked for a job. "Get this man away-- anywhere-- quickly," the Sultan cried. The government hoped to save itself by submission to the conqueror; Kemal's unyielding patriotism endangered these schemes. So Mustafa got magnificent and meaningless titles-- Inspector General of the Northern Area and Governor General of the Eastern Provinces-- and was put aboard a leaky Black Sea steamer bound for Samsun, in remote Anatolia.
This suited Kemal fine. Arriving in Anatolia, he convoked a congress and proclaimed: "The aim of the movement is to free the Sultan-Caliph from the clutches of the foreign enemy." Desperately, the Sultan, who did not want to be freed, wired: "Cease all activity!" Replied Kemal: "I shall stay in Anatolia until the nation wins its independence." Turkey, or what was left of it, had two governments: Kemal's and the Sultan's.
The victorious allies, of course, favored the complaisant Sultan, but in their greed they served to further Kemal. The Sultan and the Grand Vizier went to Versailles to plead not to be denuded of all land and power. Clemenceau, the Tiger, said coldly: "Be silent, Your Highness! Relieve Paris of your presence." The Allies handed the Sultan the Treaty of Sèvres, which split Turkey six ways. The Greeks marched in to enforce the Diktat, and Kemal roared: "Turks! Will you crawl to these Greeks who were your slaves only yesterday?" He raised an army of peasants, veterans, criminals, patriots. Two years later, a few miles outside of Ankara, he gave the orders: "Soldiers, the Mediterranean is your goal," and drove the Greeks back into the sea.
The Treaty of Lausanne which followed reversed the humiliation of Sèvres. The last British admiral boarded the last British battleship in the Bosporus, snapped a respectful salute to the crescent flag and steamed off. The most defeated of enemies became the first to defy the victorious Allies, to scrap one of their treaties. The Ataturk miracle had begun: Mustafa Kemal, soldier, was master of Turkey.

Only Turks. The nation he put back together was slightly larger than Texas-- 296,000 sq. mi.-- its vast bulk nestled in Asia Minor, with 9,000 sq. mi. wedging into Europe's southeastern corner. Kemal was satisfied. "We are now Turks-- only Turks," he exalted. He wanted none of the old overextended Ottoman empire. "Away with dreams and shadows; they have cost us dearly," he said.

...Oy Birligile. Ataturk liberated law, education and marriage from the mullahs; turned mosques into graneries; switched the day of rest from Friday to Sunday; tossed out the Islamic calendar nad ordered in the Gregorian calendar of the Western world. He made suffrage universal, adopted the metric system, ordered all Turks to take on last names, took the first census in Turkish history. Harems were forbidden and monogamy became the law.
The most familiar phrase in the Turkish National Assembly during these electric days was Oy Birligile, meaning by unanimous vote. Opposed, Ataturk was ruthless. One evening in 1926, he gave a champagne party for foreign diplomats; it turned into an all-night carousal. Returning home at dawn, the diplomats saw the corpses of the entire opposition leadership, among them Kemal's old friends, hanging in the town square...
...In 1938, exhausted by periodic debauches and drinking bouts, undermined by diseases, he died...

The day after Ataturk's death, he was succeeded as President, legally and peacefully, by his handpicked successor, forceful soldier-administrator Ismet Inonu. For the next dozen years, the Inonu regime tried to maintain the Ataturk pattern...
In 1950, 88% of the voters went to the polls and swept out the Republican People's Party which had held power uninterruptedly for 27 years. Inonu yielded gracefully...
[The new] President was unspectacular Celal Bayar, an able banker and one of Ataturk's ministers for five years, his Premier for one...

Turkey today is still far from Ataturk's goals: 80% of itss 21 million people live in mud huts in isolated villages, in half of which there are no primary schools. The currency is soft; inflation has doubled food prices. Much of the land is unfertilized and carelessly utilized. The Turk is poor: he gets a third of the meat that a meat-starved Briton received under austerity; only one in 2,000 owns an automobile...
A month hence, Ataturk's body, which has lain in a "temporary" resting place these past 15 years, will be borne with ceremonial pomp to a new mausoleum on Ankara's highest hill. The mausoleum, reached by 33 marble steps 132 feet wide, will probably be the largest of its kind until Evita Perón's or the proposed Soviet pantheon tops it...

Related:

An Open Letter to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

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