Friday, May 27, 2011

A civilisation of monekys

According to a special report on Turkey by The Economist: "Turkey has an especially significant place in the Muslim world. Thanks to the legacy of Ataturk, it is a rare example among Muslim countries of a functioning secular democracy. (23 October 2010)"

Really? A country that is virtually at civil war can hardly be said to be a functioning democracy. Kurds are 14% of the people, and yet Ataturk's continuing legacy of nationalism foments hatred between Turks and Kurds. This was Ataturk's real legacy: a brutish nationalism that denigrated Islam and denied Muslim brotherhood, thus turning Muslim Kurds into pariahs. He may have been a good soldier, but he was a disaster as a statesman.

And look at their funny alphabet: instead of the beautiful cursive Arabic script, they have adopted weird Latin letters with marks above and below that make them incomprehensible. I can read Farsi with relative ease, but Turkish is a different story. By adopting an alien script, Ataturk has completely cut off the Turkish child from his and her cultural roots in the Perso-Arabic world.

The first time I saw a mini-skirt was in Istanbul - on a Turkish woman with, admittedly, good legs. The lower classes wore long skirts concealing their legs. This was in 1970, before I moved on to the real land of mini-skirts and hot pants: England. To monkey England and Europe seems to have been Ataturk's idea of civilisation.

To the best of my knowledge, monkeys don't have a civilisation. But they say six monkeys typing for a million years can produce a play by Shakespeare. I'm sure about that: I am equally sure that no number of monkeys typing away forever will ever produce even a verse by Sheikh Sa'adi.

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