الأحد، 29 أبريل 2007

I wish we had an Egyptian Ataturk!

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is the founder of what is now the great nation of Turkey!

The guy was a patriotic officer and a legend who turned the fortunes of Turkey! he modernized the country and laid down the roots of a secular state that is now a productive nation that has a GDP per capita (US$ 4,500) that is more than 3 times the Egyptian GDP per capita (US$ 1,400), although they don't have Oil, Gas, or the Suez Canal!

Watching the news showing hundreds of thousands of Turks demonstrating against backwardedness and theocracy, I envied them! how didn't we get someone like Ataturk in Egypt!

هناك 14 تعليقًا:

EgyPeter يقول...

I have asked myself this exact question ever since I visited Turkey in 2005.

"When will Egypt get its 'Ataturk?'"

I found myself in a Muslim country that was progressive and advanced and very much had a European "feel" to it. The people were friendly and courteous and I was very impressed with the Turkish people I met.

But the Turkish people better be very careful as there are underlying forces that currently want to destroy Turkey's precious secularism. And in situations like these, the Turks should be thankful that the military is responsible for safeguarding Ataturk's ideals. I wish them the best.

But when I ask myself, when will Egypt get its "Ataturk" I have to wonder, is Egypt ready for something like this? It seems to me that the majority of Egyptians want nothing to do with a leader like him but are more interested in leaders like Akef, Nasrallah, Meshaal and the like. I guess my point is, that if we're hoping for democracy to bring us a competent leader...well, we might be in trouble. We need a secular dictator to come to power...somehow.

Nice to see you blogging again and hope you are well :)

Hakan يقول...

I'm Turkish, so pleased at the implied compliment.

My comment would be: God save Egypt from the combination of circumstances that create / require an Ataturk. Remember that in 1923, Turkey emerged from 12 years of war, its former dominions stripped away, its ruling class demoralised, its most productive areas in ruins.

In circumstances like those, an Ataturk may emerge. And the tolerance for radical reform or revolution is at its highest then.

Egypt today is thankfully far from that.

Nah·det Masr يقول...

EgyPeter,

Thanks for your comment, sorry I have been too busy to blog lately. I was soooo impressed to see these demonstrations in Ankara and Istanboul in support of secularism.

Hakan,

Thank you very much for stopping by and for the very good background information, however, I was referring to Ataturk's accomplishments and setting up the foundations of the modern secular Turkey which is -in my view- the example other moslem countries should follow.

Aardvark EF-111B يقول...

I must admit, you inspired me to write this post

http://myantime.blogspot.com/2007/05/blog-post.html

Benjamin Cook يقول...

The days of Ataturk are long gone. We no longer live in a world where "civil" society will allow a leader like Ataturk to move a country from strong authoritarianism to strong democracy. That move is never easy. (In fact Turkey still struggles with it.)

The world has yet to reconcile the responsibility that comes with "knowing". Rather, we have become reactionary and more concerned with sensationalism and hyperbole than context and perspective. Can you imagine the YouTube videos of Ataturks necessary but heavy handed tactics? How soon would Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch be screaming about Ataturk?

Add to this the fact that international relations is moving from a "national" security ideology to a "human" security ideology and you don't have the situation necessary to support an "Ataturk" type leader.

Until the world reconciles information and responsibility we won't see another Ataturk.

Benjamin Cook يقول...

Speaking of Ataturk and Secular Democracies. Here is a blog post about the compatibility of religion and democracy.

http://arenablog.blogspot.com/2007/05/if-god-is-for-us-who-can-be-against-us.html

Nah·det Masr يقول...

Thanks Ben, I will look at that blog you're pointing to.

LeMag يقول...

I don't know how men can wish to have their language (common memory) erased and their alphabet be replaced by another.
I always failed to explain how people in egypt can easily give up their mother tongue, have their kids speak a language that their parents didn't speak.
I can explain why egypt is not near to have an ataturk simply because the arab world is run by technocrates that are proud to have their kids speak english with an american accent.
No wounder the nation is going down and their false intellectuals wish that fall to have happened earlier. Long live the european union. MONUMENTS TO THE VICTIMS OF POLITICAL REPRESSIONS ... have a look:
Cheers,
Keep up the good spirit.
(made in Turkey)

Nah·det Masr يقول...

There are many aspects to Ataturk's achievements for Turkey. I didn't mean that particular aspect about the language change. He however made many good things to turkey; he created a civil society, and a secular state with grassroot support. That's what I wish we had in Egypt.

Forsoothsayer يقول...

it's true: ataturk was an authoritarian tyrant who imposed his "modernizations" on an unwilling people. he trampled all of the fundamental freedoms, not least of which was freedom of religon, which is why many turks are unhappy with this militarily enforced secularism. not everyone wants an alcoholic with an inferiority complex for a leader.

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ramsesthesecond يقول...

Ok.I am politically secular person and I adore Mostafa Kamal Attaturk, and think that he was a great leader but I must disagree with certain point in the article:
The writer here tried to link Turkey's economical progress to its secular system and this is not at all right.
Turkey was the capital and the ruling nation of what we call now (the Islamic world) and it had lots of centuries to get the best benefit of such colonies including Egypt itself so the case of Turkey's economical progress is much like the economical progress of England and France.
Also it is worth mentioning that Turkey (that is less that quarter the real surface area of Egypt if we count it by kilometers) is much bigger than the area of Egypt used for living as we all know that Egypt is vast desert surrounding tiny ribbon of life in the nile valley that harbors 80 million citizen
Economy is very different from politics, take Egypt last year as a better example: the country still suffering from dictatorship and corruption as viewed by its population achieved 7% economical growth in the same time where democratic states in the EU had recession!
So I really wish for Egypt to go secular and have lots of political reforms, but that isn't enough to solve the economical problem as it wasn't the reason for Turkey's development.

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