Judging Ataturk

Religious Turks like to dismiss Ataturk because of his drinking habit. They get a strange pleasure out of claiming that he was a drunkard who governed the country from his dinner table where raki consumption was at a high. They also get secretly happy that even though they cannot go back and change Ataturk's deeds that make him a hero in this lifetime, they know for sure that the sinfulness of his drinking (and whatnot) will not allow him into heaven, where they surely are more than welcome (insallah).
Any judgement made on Ataturk and what happened in his time pitifully lacks basic consideration for circumstances. These people apparently know firsthand how hard war probably is, how piercing it must be to set out to kill people like you while you witness your fellow countrymen get killed all around you, how deep those injuries must go when you had to remain all nationalistic and heroic in the face of death but feared for your life like a little child. And apart from the sentiments of a plain soldier, how it must feel to have set out to fight for your nation's independence and had thousands of men and women enlist to fight by your side, sometimes on your behalf while you develop war strategies and keep your comrades', everyone's faith alive in this war for sovereignty. A sovereignty that had been neglected by Ottomans for centuries of mindless palace-building.
I'm wondering if Religious Turks Who Judge Ataturk had lived and fought in those times, how they would react to the circumstances, the pressure, how they would cope. I'm also wondering what kind of a life Ataturk would choose if he were to live in our time, where he would be relatively immune to chaos and challenge, compared to his lifetime.
In other words, you can't and shouldn't judge an act displayed in the kind of circumstances you haven't even come close to experiencing. It's just not fair.


Popular posts from this blog

Liddy's Nursery

Celebration of Life