Ataturk was better than those shahs to implement modernization. That's why he did not fail like them. If you think that Ataturk made Turkey a modern secular state in one year, you are wrong. It was a long and difficult process and most of the people did not support it at first. And circumstamces were completely different than in Iran or Afghanistan. It was after a war that the empire collapsed when Ataturk came to the scene and he was the only person that undertook the responsibility. I'm trying to say people had no choice but to follow him.
But the question why do Turks like Ataturk? Here people are saying what he has done for Turkey, how great he was etc... This is not an answer for your question. They are just showing their love for him, that's all.
The reason is in our genes. NOT only Turks' but in all eastern people's. We like making heroes and following them. Be sure if there was not Ataturk, we would make another hero and love him. That's why despite of having such great leaders like G. Washington, Charles de Gaulle, Bismarck, Churchill etc. you cannot see the same love for them in western countries. They have not done less than Ataturk for their countries and nations. But they are not the same in their countries as Ataturk is in Turkey.
I call this WORSHIP FOR PERSONA and it is hidden in our genes.
P.S. For those whom it may concern: I don't have any problem with Ataturk at all. Please do NOT misunderstand me. I just do not like "worship for persona" whoever the person is.
@ The Sorceress
I want to tell you that if you don't like my answer you can give a thumb down and move on. As 8 people have already done. It is more polite way than calling me dumb or childish etc. You don't even know me but you are judging me.
This is my opinion and I have strong evdences. It didn't just come into my mind in one minute. Ataturk was just a man with strong personality, a good soldier, that's all. He was not a superhuman, was he? Did he do more than Bismarck did to unite Germany? Come on friends, don't be fanatics. And I don't mean that for me Churchill was a great leader for me, you missed the point. I just mean what he did for British Empire was very important for them but you cannot see the people being fond of him much in UK. Most of Turks are muslim and practicing muslim. And we can't say that Ataturk was a good muslim. (come on, if you asked him he would say Orinoco is right) So, how come turkish people love him this much? Propaganda and the "personality cult" (thank you for teaching me this term, I didn't know it in English). And when I talk about nation, it doesn't mean only you dear friend. Your genes might be different but I'm talking about the whole nation.
I'm from Azerbaijan and yes, we also have the same problem as most of the eastern people have.
P.S.S. You misunderstood me, I told you and repeating, this is not a problem with Ataturk, my problem is with the "personality cult".
Do you call post war Turkish Republic modern democracy??? I'm laughing :)
@ The Sorceress
Yes, it is your right to repy anybody you want, but not to insult them. I have not given you this right.
Turkey might be modern democracy now but I meant post war Turkey. Even now Turkey is not a perfect democracy, and post war Turkey was very far from perfect and democracy. It was a totalitarian military state. (See what totalitarian means)
Do you forget single political party regime?
Ataturk was, has always been and is a taboo in Turkey. NObody can criticize him and his principles (there is even such a law prohibiting it). I don't want to say everything because everything is obvious and if you can't see it, I'll not be able to change your mind.
Those people among Azeri people are not more than 1 % and they do it for the same reason some Turks are trying to be more Europeans than their own selves. Such people are everywhere. And you are totally wrong that we don't have a leader to look up upon. Many people here consider Haydar Aliyev the greatest leader ever. (I can see you saying: Oh no. Ataturk is the greatest) And you know what? Their propaganda method is almost the same :) Simply he will be our Ataturk after some 50 years. (You are saying: no Ataturk was born Ataturk)
Why don't you understand Eastern genes? Look how people are treating their leaders and national heroes. You will understand what I mean. I know your problem is that you think that I'm against Ataturk or something. But you are wrong. I don't care actually. He is just a soldier and then the first president of Turkey for me that has played his role in turkish history. Again I'm repeating: To me the reason why people like Ataturk in Turkey is just that we are like this. We quickly idolize leaders.
It is good that you know about BIsmarck. And I think that he has done more than anybody for his country. I'm also too lazy to write everything here. I expect you to understand on yourself.
I'm not judging anyone according to their religious views. It is between God and them. And I have friends from different religions, and atheists. Same thing is about Ataturk. He would still be the same for me if he was very religious or atheist. But it is fact that from the point of view of Islam we can't consider him as a good muslim. You should know his life better than me, so just re-think about his religious beliefs. I don't need to get information about him from the heaven. He never hid it.
Even people in the sanatorium could see this obvious fact.
@ The Sorceress
First of all, I want to tell you that it is very easy to insult someone on the net and I can also do it. But I'm not a keyboard hero like you and I believe that everybody shows here their own level and maybe even their family's level.
You have been to Azerbaijan several times or have not been to at all. But I live here and I know my country and my people much better than you. And you bring examples from some Azeris and generalize it. I have seen some Turks that if all Turks were like them I'd never say that I'm turk. You are so wrong about russian sycopanths and as I told you they are not more than 1 %. I also speak Russian and English but when necessary. Speaking foreign languages does not mean being sycophant. But if someone prefers russian to her own language what can I do? And I mean those Turks, who consider Turkish culture and traditions lower than european. And yes, there are also wannabe europeans in Turkey. Maybe you have not met them but I have seen enough. (You are good at not seeing things)
And you confront yourself when you talk about Azerbaijan. You say that you love Azerbaijan and you say that Azeris are russian sycophants. Please don't talk about what you don't have an idea.
I'm not claiming to be a great person so yes I'm just a person writing on internet but not a troll, you could see my answers in this section if you looked attentively. But it is your character to judge without thinking thoroughly therefore it is very normal.
I brought up his religious views for certain reason and you can see it if you read the previous post attentively. You are the one who is trying to drag unrelated things from the main topic and discuss. And when you fail to base your argument, you blame me with bringing up those things. Yeah I accept that Ataturk was an important persona for Turkish history. But does it mean that everything in Turkey should be named after him? Does it mean that everybody has to have his picture in their houses, offices etc.? Have you seen such a thing in modern democracies?
Yes, Turkey was a totalitarian state please read here what totalitarianism means: "Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a political system where the state, usually under the control of a single political organization, faction, or class domination, recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible." I don't wanna teach you Turkish history and I'm sure you know it better than me. You just need to look at things neutrally.
I want you to know one thing: None of totalitarian states called itself totalitarian. You can define totalitarianism on yourself though.
You DO NOT understand what I mean. You say that Bismarck was a bad person but Ataturk was good. This also can be discussed but let's assume that Ataturk was the ideal person, the greatest leader ever and dedicated his life to his nation. I still don't accept that one person - a humanbeing shoud be idolized to such degree like Turks have idolized Ataturk. And I have said that this is not only Turks' problem but this problem exists in all eastern people. That's why I'm saying "we". Don't worry, I'm proud to be Azerbaijani turk and am not talking on behalf of you - Anatolian turks.
Benim aşağılık kompleksim filan yok, olsaydı ben de bu sorunu sizin gibi Atatürkün ya da başka birisinin arkasına saklanmakla çözerdim. Siz de isterseniz bunu bir iltifat olarak kabul edebilirsiniz. Since hiding behind Ataturk is a honour for you.
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