Arrogant, Brazen Turks

Thomas Jones

turks2

Throughout its history, Turkey has been the scene of many an invasion and migration of peoples moving west-east and vice versa. The Ottomans absorbed many cultural aspects of the various regions they conquered, often added new dimensions to them. As such, the Turks are predominantly a mix of West Mediterranean, West Asian (Semitic) and even Central Asian ethnic backgrounds; all since unified by a common tongue and faith.

The historian Andrew Mango, noted for his biographical work on the Turkish Republic’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, describes the Turkish nation as such:

“The Turkish nation took shape in the centuries of Seljuk and Ottoman power. The nomadic Turkish conquerors did not displace the original local inhabitants: Hellenized Anatolians (or simply Greeks), Armenians, people of Caucasian origins, Kurds, Assyrians and—in the Balkans—Slavs, Albanians and others. They intermarried with them, while many local people converted to Islam and ‘turned Turk’. They were joined by Muslims from the lands north of the Black Sea and the Caucasus, by Persian craftsmen and Arab scholars, and by European adventurers and converts, known in the West as renegades. As a result, the Turks today exhibit a wide variety of ethnic types. Some have delicate Far Eastern, others heavy local Anatolian features, some, who are descended from Slavs, Albanians or Circassians, have light complexions, others are dark-skinned, many look Mediterranean, others Central Asian, many appear Persian. A numerically small, but commercially and intellectually important, group is descended from converts from Judaism. One can hear Turks describe some of their fellow countrymen as ‘hatchet-nosed Lazes’ (a people on the Black Sea coast), ‘dark Arabs’ (a term which includes descendants of black slaves), or even ‘fellahs’. But they are all Turks.”

Prior to Ottoman defeat in WWI, giving way to language reforms initiated by Atatürk, the Turkish language was heavily influenced by both Arabic and Persian. Turkey’s largest religion, Islam, is in many ways an expression of Arab culture. Indeed, Atatürk, a secularist, claimed it was a form of Arab nationalism. Atatürk tried to eradicate the old Arab-Persian cultural dominance and Islam in favour of a renewed Turkish language, culture, and French-style laïcité secularism. It didn’t work.

Continue reading

Danes Lead the Way?

Thomas Jones

danmarks_flag_1219_lorentzen
Dannebrog falling from the sky during the battle of Lyndanisse, Christian August Lorentzen

Sweden has become rather notorious in right-wing circles of late. Their quest to become the progressive jewel in the crown of the EU has led them to become a joke in the eyes of many, with the ‘Captain Sweden and ‘Sweden Yes’ memes being good examples. It is a shame that a country which could produce men like Gustav II Adolf could become a nation ruled by people who become upset when they realise they can only play host so many Somali and Arab migrants. Sweden is much like Canada or Germany in this regard. Although, in all fairness, the dynamics are quite different. Germany is in a stranglehold, supposedly indebted, endlessly apologetic, and crumbling under the weight the greatest guilt complex in Europe. Canada, meanwhile, anxious to atone for its own colonial origins, finds solace in PR campaigns designed to promote itself as niceness and humility incarnate. Indeed, Justin Trudeau, a man with maple syrup for blood, makes the job a fair bit easier. Sweden carries a much lighter load. Pure as its own driven snow, this is a nation at the bottom of the list for finger pointers, and yet it insists on outdoing everyone else in the competition of self-destructive tolerance.

In Norway, another nation subject to only a small measure historical grievances, constitutional monarch Harald V recently decided to (perhaps, under duress) declare his support for the usual policies of multiculturalism, endless mass immigration, feminism, LGBT pandering, so on and so forth.

However, not everything is so bleak in Scandinavia, as Sweden’s historical rival and Norway’s former master, Denmark, appear to have taken some positive steps forward.

Continue reading