By Art Stepanian, Toronto, 22 April 2021
Last August, seemingly out of the blue, Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin announced that today’s Greeks had no genetic link to the people of Ancient Greece. Kalin, who has no scientific background let alone knowledge of genetics, ignored scientific research, especially by several American institutions which had asserted contemporary Greeks are related to the Ancient Greeks.
Why would Erdogan’s spokesman make such a statement without providing a smidgen of scientific evidence? When did Greeks stop being Greek? Kalin didn’t elaborate.
There was a reason for Kalin’s assertion. Turks are obsessed by the need to find out their roots. Since their Central Asian barbarian forefathers galloped across the Middle East plundering, killing, and raping, contemporary Turks suspect they have Arab, Armenian, Assyrian, Greek, Kurd, and Slav DNA. After all, the Turkification policy persisted for nearly five hundred years through kidnapping, abduction, the Janissary system, slavery, forced marriages and the rape of Christian women.
Kalin’s point was obvious: Greeks couldn’t claim the western half of Asia Minor if they had no DNA links to the Ancient Greeks.
Several years ago, in an attempt to comfort the DNA-obsessed Turks, Ankara released a national DNA study. The project failed due to its success: there was such a massive response (8 million Turks requested information about their pedigree) that the system crashed. The government mothballed the project and for good measure banned home-genetic testing. While, for weeks the DNA study made front-page news, Turkey’s docile media didn’t mention whether Erdogan had checked his DNA.
Months later, Erdogan made an interesting statement. He said that when he had asked his father whether they were Turk, his father had told him what Erdogan’s grandfather had said. “…When you die and go to heaven, they will ask what God you believe, who your prophet is, what your religion is. They will not ask for our ethnic origins.”
But “what is a Turk?” is a hot topic in racist Turkey. Although people around the world laughed at the idea, during the early days of COVID-19 many Turks believed they were immune because of their unique DNA.
A century ago, in the Ottoman Empire, “Turk” meant peasant, an uncouth person, and a rube. To raise the confidence and stature of the Turks, Ataturk came up with catchy slogans including “happy is the man who calls himself a Turk.” That illogical quote and other bromides were intended to elevate the self-image of Turks. The efforts of the Turkish government to polish the image of Turks are an unenviable task because it has to deny their thousand- year career as barbarians. In the 1920s, Ernest Hemingway wrote: “If you want to kill me, call me a Turk. I will die of shame.” ‘Turk’ is still used in North America to describe a brute. The National Hockey League has had at least two ‘Turk’ players: Walter ‘Turk’ Broda of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Derek ‘Turk’ Anderson of the Boston Bruins. On the ice, both were brutish.
For years, Erdogan’s ethnicity has fascinated Turks although Erdogan has promoted a version which claims his immediate ancestors had emigrated to Ottoman Turkey from Georgia. Although this version has received the Erdogan’s Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, it was still challenged by people who claimed he was Albanian, Bulgarian, Georgian, and Greek. The gossip created such pressure on Erdogan that he mocked the allegations and thanked Allah that he had not been accused of being Armenian.
Then the bomb dropped. A retired high school history teacher named Cezmi Yurtsever discovered interesting facts about one of Erdogan’s grandparents. Through Ottoman tax records, Yurtsever learned that Erdogan’s grandfather’s name was Memis Bakedoglu–a Greek freedom fighter against the Ottomans in Potamia (Pontus). The tax records included the note “Islamized” next to Bakedoglu’s name.
The story made mockery of Mr. Warmth’s claim that his grandparents were ethnic Turks who had migrated from Georgia. It was difficult to discredit Yurtsever because he had written fifty history books—admittedly slim volumes—which had been subsidized by the government. Yurtsever had also been history consultant to documentaries telecast by the government-run TRT station.
Further details came up about Erdogan. While he had said he was born in Istanbul’s Kasimpasa neighborhood, it was revealed he was born in Beyoglu (Pera), where many Greeks lived. As a young man, Erdogan had worked for a Greek shopkeeper and could speak Greek. Finally, when he had visited Potamia (Turkified to Gunaysu), he had been greeted with “Welcome to Potamia” banners and not to the Turkish Gunaysu.
Erdogan, a man with a short fuse, couldn’t take the “Greek” insult. Since the merchant of venom couldn’t deny his Greek origins, he charged his spokesman to persuade the world Greeks were not really Greek. One Greek publication bated him by printing an article titled “The Greek President of Turkey”.
While the debate about Erdogan’s roots continues, a new tangent has developed to Erdogan’s roots. Keghart.org recently discovered another mystery about Erdogan.
What Keghart.org discovered is Rogan’s birth date.
Erdogan, the Butcher of Artsakh, was born on Feb. 26.
Ariel Sharon, the Butcher of Shatila, was born on Feb. 26.
Rogan’s ex-pal Ahmet Davutoglu was born on Feb. 26.
Not the same years but the same day and month.
What’s the significance of three butchers having been born the same day? There has to be a cosmic explanation for the coincidence. Had the stars lined up in those days to produce three certified monsters? The coincidence is almost sufficient to persuade one to believe in astrology.
After nearly twenty years in power, Erdogan is like the Energizer Bunny, the battery that never dies. Erdogan never tires of spouting outrageous threats, broadcasting fake news, and weaving ominous fantasies. The deadly charlatan has said the Turks discovered America; were the first to undertak space journey, and why Jerusalem belongs to the Turks. He will reveal anything except his origins and that he shares stars with war criminals.