18
Jun
17

Anzacs and Islamism


I saw this interesting article that brings together my recent interests in Australia’s Anzac story of WWI, and more recent events related to Islamic extremism.

______________________________

 

Turkish Islamist push may be to blame for removal of Atatürk inscription at Anzac Cove

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/16/turkish-islamist-push-may-be-to-blame-for-removal-of-ataturk-inscription-at-anzac-cove

Two excerpts:

“The Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has removed from a revered Anzac Cove memorial the familiar words attributed to Turkey’s founding father, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, likening Australia’s dead “Johnnies” to Ottoman “Mehmets” and welcoming them to rest in his country’s soil.

 

The renovation of the 1985 monument has heightened suspicions in Australia and Turkey that the refurbished memorial could reflect a growing Islamist interpretation by the Erdoğan administration of Australia’s part in the 1915 British-commanded Anzac invasion of – and later retreat from – Gallipoli.”

 
AND
 

“Historians in Australia and Turkey believe the ‘refurbishment’ could be part of the Erdoğan administration’s moves to cast Gallipoli as part of a clash between jihadi defenders (the Ottoman empire did declare a jihad) and invading crusaders on the shores of Islam.
Peter Stanley, an author of more than 30 books, many about the first world war, and a professor of history at the University of New South Wales Canberra, said the erasure of the purported Atatürk words reflected a “new theocratic interpretation” of the conflict in Turkey.

 

‘It’s not always apparent to Australian visitors to Gallipoli, who tend to focus on the Anzac story, but another, Turkish, battle for Gallipoli has been going on for the past decade at least, between the formerly universally accepted Atatürk interpretation and the increasingly strong Islamist view,’ he said.

 

“Because the Erdoğan government is in power, Islamists are now in the ascendant – as the new Gaba Tepe interpretative centre [at Gallipoli] shows. It depicts Turkey’s 86,000 Gallipoli dead as “martyrs”, dying in a fight against Christian invaders.”

 

pre and post renovation of Anzac monument at Gallipoli.

The former inscription:

Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives … You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours … You, the mothers who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.

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6 Responses to “Anzacs and Islamism”


  1. 1 Marleen
    June 19, 2017 at 5:40 am

    Wow. That’s very significant.

  2. 3 Marleen
    June 19, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    In 1985 Turkey renamed the area where the Australians and New Zealanders landed on 25 April 1915 Anzac Cove, while monuments bearing the supposed Atatürk words were erected in Canberra, at Ari Burnu on Gallipoli and in New Zealand.

    Atatürk’s role as a commander of Ottoman troops defending the peninsula has been central to the nationalist narrative of the secular state, which airbrushed out other participants – including the German allies – in the 1915-18 war.

    ~ From the Guardian article

    In 1985 Turkey renamed the area where the Australians and New Zealanders landed on 25 April 1915 Anzac Cove, while monuments bearing the supposed Atatürk words were erected in Canberra, at Ari Burnu on Gallipoli and in New Zealand.

    Atatürk’s role as a commander of Ottoman troops defending the peninsula has been central to the nationalist narrative of the secular state, which airbrushed out other participants – including the German allies – in the 1915-18 war.

    ~ From the last article

  3. 4 Marleen
    June 20, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Hmm. I’ll have to see what I wanted to quote, instead of repeating the same thing LOL

  4. 5 Marleen
    June 22, 2017 at 12:05 am

    I think what I wanted to quote from “the last article” was the line about getting rid of Santa Claus or something like that. In context, that was an interesting take on the habit of getting worked up about threats to religious feeling based on falsehood.

    These links (below) might seem sort of random to include here, but I looked up the first two (via a search) out of curiosity. In the process, I ran across the third one.

    https://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070329023105AAkB5Mr
    In WWII, why did Hitler not attack Turkey?
    Best Answer
    Turkey was a neutral country.

    Turkey was the traditional enemy of the Greeks, with whom Germany was at war. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    Hitler had his reasons for going to war with the Russian Communists. The Nazis had battled their way to power on the strength of their proclaimed hatred of Communism. …..
    [Another answer included a possible residual feeling (for Turkey from WWI).]

    http://www.answers.com/Q/Why_did_Turkey_enter_World_War_2
    Turkey entered the second world war symbolically on the side of the allied forces, during the last few official days of the war. Turkey did not participate on any active war front during this war. The reason, if I am not mistaken, was to be identified with the winning side and somewhat erase the losing image left from the first world war. I am not sure if it is available in English, but there is a 3 volume set of books called as “ikinci adam” (translation: second man), which gives a detailed life story of Ismet Inonu, who was the president and the prime minister of Turkey at that time and there was a good section about this subject.

    http://www.answers.com/Q/What_did_Hitler_want_to_accomplish_by_entering_World_War_2
    Hitler wanted to “purify” the world by getting rid of Jews, Communists, Socialists, homosexuals, the disabled [or deformed], Gypsies, anyone who opposed him, etc. He also wanted to regain land he saw as rightfully Germany’s ….

    Never hurts to remember.

  5. 6 Marleen
    June 23, 2017 at 2:51 am

    Here is another piece from the Guardian article (in fact, it comes right after what I quoted from it before) — which I was reminded of when reading a timeline on Nazi Germany:

    Since the defeat of the Ottoman empire in 1918 and the rise of the modern, secular Republic of Turkey in 1923, it has been largely cast as a non-religious campaign.

    While Australia’s part in the British invasion and retreat at Gallipoli has increasingly been at the centre of debate in Australia about national identity, it is now becoming central to the culture wars associated with political Islam and military history in Erdoğan’s Turkey. The president has been at the forefront of conflating the Ottoman success at Gallipoli with Islamic conceptions of the modern Turkish state.

    He has said: “The crusades were not [finished] nine centuries ago in the past! Do not forget Gallipoli was a crusade.”

    Writing in the Conversation last April, Brad West of the University of South Australia and Ayhan Aktar of Istanbul’s Bilgi University said that after his security forces put down a 2016 coup, Erdoğan evoked Gallipoli and the battles against the Anzacs. In a pro-government rally in Istanbul’s Taksim Square large video screens displayed recreated scenes of Ottoman victories in some battles against the Anzacs.

    Here is what I was reading on Nazis/Hitler:
    https://www.thoughtco.com/hitlers-rise-to-power-timeline-1221353
    ……

    1933

    6 February: Hitler introduces censorship.
    27 February: With elections looming, the Reichstag burns thanks to a communist extremist.
    28 February: Citing the attack on the Reichstag as evidence of mass communist intent, Hitler passes a law ending civil liberties in Germany.
    5 March:
    The NSDAP, riding on the communist scare and aided by a now tame police force boosted by masses of SA, poll 43.9%. They ban the communists.
    21 March: ‘Day of Potsdam’ – The Nazis open the Reichstag in a carefully stage[-]managed act which tries to show them as heirs of the Kaiser.

    https://www.thoughtco.com/dachau-concentration-camp-1779272
    This link is about the first concentration camp there.


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