Three Cheers for Turkish Mythinformation Board Editorial, 4 May 2011

Diplomats, strategists, and journalists have been scratching their collective heads in the past few years to explain the megalomaniacal political ambitions of Recep Erdogan’s and Ahmed Davutoglu’s Turkey. Yes, the country has experienced several years of economic halcyon times, but a bubbling economy is ephemeral: It can bite the dust in a shockingly short time.

So what is fueling the so-called Neo-Ottomanism of Erdogan and Co.? Board Editorial, 4 May 2011

Diplomats, strategists, and journalists have been scratching their collective heads in the past few years to explain the megalomaniacal political ambitions of Recep Erdogan’s and Ahmed Davutoglu’s Turkey. Yes, the country has experienced several years of economic halcyon times, but a bubbling economy is ephemeral: It can bite the dust in a shockingly short time.

So what is fueling the so-called Neo-Ottomanism of Erdogan and Co.?

To understand the bizarre phenomenon of Ankara puffing up to influence political developments in the Middle East, North Africa, the Balkans, and in the Moslem world, one has to go back some 80 years—to the era of dictator Mustafa Kemal—a man who self-styled himself “Father of the Turks” (Ataturk), although he was a deunme–Jewish convert to Islam.

Kemal, the “Victor over the Infidels” (another self-assumed title), was a habitué of brothels; although some people maintain the often drunk “great man” was a closet homosexual. Kemal, a bachelor, liked young ladies to such an extent that he adopted four of them, including a survivor of the Genocide of Armenians. One day one of the girls he had adopted, named Afet, came to Father Kemal, complaining that there was nothing positive about the Turks in European history books. Considering that the Ottomans have, for centuries, ravaged Eastern and Central Europe, and the Middle East, the European take would have seemed logical to any reasonable person. Besides, until a few decades before the fall of the Ottomans, Turk within the empire meant a peasant, a country bumpkin.

That Afet, who had studied history, and her “father” were shocked by European historians’ take is an anomaly. Surely, they didn’t expect glowing reports about Turkish barbarians who lay waste wherever their horses trampled. The glory days of the Ottomans lasted barely a century. The rot set in immediately after Sultan Suleiman was succeeded (1566) by his son, Selim II. An intemperate alcoholic, Selim II was to set the tone for the empire’s succeeding 25 corrupt, incompetent and fratricidal rulers who were manipulated by their shrewd viziers, concubines, eunuchs and Sublime Porte courtiers and hangers-on. Thus, it’s inexplicable that Erdogan and his straight man, Davutoglu, hail their foreign policy as Neo-Ottomanism.

But back to the bloody soldier from Salonika. Something had to be done to “correct” the Western infidels’ perception of Immortal Turkey–and pronto! He swiftly put together a committee of “scholars” to write the history of the Turkish people. Obedient servants of Ataturk, the scribes produced such a tome in 1930. But Kemal was not impressed by the effort. Although he had no academic background, let alone knowledge of history studies, the Father of Turks edited the errors of his minions. He was out to manufacture the history of the Turks, and by God, he would not let historic truth stand on his way. A four-volume version, “corrected” by Kemal, was published the following year. The man was fast with his pencil, just as he was fast with his yataghan sword. The four tomes became a compulsory historicism on Turkish curriculums.

Called simply “History,” the books were—unintentionally– the funniest thing since Hoja Nassreddin hit the road. The books were also more inventive than anything Jonathan Swift, Jules Verne and H.G. Wells could have dreamt. It was a farrago of an opus which took the readers’ breath away.

The core of the Kemal’s literary piece de resistance was his Turkish History Thesis. According to THT,

— All civilizations sprung from Turks or were profoundly influenced by them.

— In 10,000 B.C. Turks lived around an inland sea, which covered Central Asia. Unbeknownst to any archeologist, they developed metalworking, domesticated animals and discovered the techniques of agriculture. There was no mention in the book that they had discovered the Law of Gravity, Relativity, the equation on how to devise a nuclear bomb or the recipe of Turkish Delight.

–Because of climate change, the ancient Turks spread out in all directions. Heading east, they brought advanced civilization to China while becoming the nobility. Perhaps Beijing was named after a Turkish bey called Jing.

–Turks who preferred sunny climes headed to India but found the subcontinent inhabited by dark people who lived like monkeys. Turks, with their superior intellect and not living like simians, drove the darkies south. The energetic Turkish Ariler (Aryans!) also founded the Indus Valley civilizations of Harappa and Mohengo Daro in today’s Pakistan.

–Saka, another Turkish tribe, followed the pioneers to India. In fact, Buddha was a Turk.

–Turks, who headed west, introduced irrigation and drainage to the Middle East and founded Sumer and Elam. In Sumer they developed the world’s first writing system. Some millennia later they discarded their alphabet and adopted the Arabic version. But being innately progressive, they tossed that a few centuries later and appropriated the Latin alphabet.

–Around 5,000 BC, these intrepid Turks entered Anatolia where the Turkish Eti tribe established the Hittite empire… Eti=Hittite.

–With the Eti came the Traklar (similarity of the sound to Turkler is not coincidental) who founded Troy. Thus Hector and Paris were (you guessed it) Turks. So was Trojan Aeneas who founded Rome. A related tribe—the Littler–became the Lydians. Some Lydians travelled to Italy where, as Etruscans, they helped brother Turk Aeneas lay the foundations of the Roman civilization. If you shift a couple of letters, you will note that Etruscan and Turk are similar-sounding words.

Just when you thought the stunning list of Turkish contributions to humanity was exhausted, Kemal, the historian, revealed that Turks brought agriculture to Egypt, but the pharaohs—those untrustworthy Semites–erased all traces of Turkish genius from Egyptian inscriptions.

The effulgent wonders of Turkic supermen continued…

–The Minoans of Crete were migrants from Turkic Anatolia. Minoan leaders were called ege (agha?) thus the sea around Greece was called Aegean. Other Minoan Turkish leaders were called aka. They are known to history as Achaeans who produced the Mycenaean civilization. The Torlay (Dorians) and Iyonlar (Ionians) eventually ruled Crete. Macedonians were Turks from the Danube area. Keltler (Celts), also known as Golluler (Gauls) came from Turkic Central Asia. The Germenler (Germans) were another Turkic nation (Hitler’s bones must be doing somersaults), so were Kimriler (Cimmerians) and Iskitler (Scythians) who spread civilization from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea. The English, being originally from Germany, were automatically Turkish.

–The Natives of North America are Turks who crossed the Bering Sea.

–Kemals’ wondrous oeuvre also offered the Sun Language Theory which proved that all languages are derived from Turkish.

–Six years after the publication of the voluminous nonsense, Ataturk’s cohorts surprised the world by declaring that Prophet Mohammed was (you guessed it) Turkish. Meanwhile, irrepressible Efet launched the Turkish Anthropometric Investigation which, following a study of 64,000 Turkish skulls, concluded that Turks were a white Alpine race and Turkey had always been inhabited by a single homogenous Turkic people. Of course, Armenians were a figment of spoilsport infidel historians’ imagination.

Years later, some serious Turkish historians disavowed the Father of Historians’ fantasies, but the damage had been done: For decades Turkish history books took their cue from Kemal’s molestation of scientific historiography. These muddied effusions continued to be read for decades; every student was taught the transparent lie that Turks were the original inhabitants of Anatolia.

While the above hallucinations are no longer mandatory on Turkish curriculums, these otiose emanations have seeped into Turkey’s culture and mindset. The monumental distortions have trickled into the Turkish subconscious. While the mad books are gone, the madness persists. Thus the over-the-top ambitions and pathetic superiority complex of Erdogan, Davutoglu, and Gul. Blame the False Turk from Salonica for the Dynamic Trio’s absurd posturing.


  1. Kemal, the Mythologist

    Thank you for your hilarious editorial. I would like to point out that Mustafa Kemal showed remarkable talent for writing mythology long before he undertook to edit the Fabulous Legends of the Turkic People.

    During the destruction of Smyrna (Izmir), Kemal wrote the below letter to the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Yussuf Kemal Bey in Ankara:

    "…the Greeks and Armenians, with their pre-arranged plans have decided to destroy Izmir…the burning of Izmir was defined [by Greeks] as a religious duty…To confirm this, there are many documents and eyewitness accounts. Our soldiers would with everything that they have put out the fires…The Christian population is treated with good care and the refugees are being returned to their places…"

    The fact that the Turkish and Jewish quarters were untouched, while the Frank, Greek and Armenian quarters were destroyed is one of many testimonies that Kemal was taking liberties with the truth.

  2. Turkish Mythinformation

    Thank you for writing "Turkish Mythinformation!" I appreciate your solid information which separates fact from fiction in such a clear way. I knew that the Turkish government methodically rewrote their history and seriously brainwashed their students. Thank God for Hrant Dink who fought valiantly for truth and justice in Turkey for which he was assassinated by Turkish extremists just a short time ago. He will live eternally in the hearts and minds of honorable Armenians and Turks everywhere.  

  3. Turkish Mythinformation

    For 500 years considered the "Terrible Turk" by Europeans, hated by millions of conquered people (Arabs, Armenians, Assyrians,Greeks, Bulgarians, etc.) for its brutal treatment of minorities, losing practically all of its occupied lands during the First World War and in the years immediately preceding it, Turks were in a deep funk in the 1920s–their already low self-esteem below the freezing mark.  It was time to lift Turks from their well-earned national depression. Thus Mustapha Kemal’s ridiculous over-compensation of an imaginary Turkish history.

    The tragedy is that Turks believed (some still do) the pathetic fantasy. Incidentally, time and again, odar friends, who have visited Turkey, have told me how hospitable and friendly Turks are. This is also an aspect of the above. Aware that they are considered "Terrible Turks" for their long list of bloody acts, modern Turks go overboard to demonstrate that they are a civilized, friendly, peace-loving people.

  4. Thanks

    Thanks for operating the Keghart  website. I appreciate the selection of articles and the analysis. Top notch.

  5. US Ambassador Eric Edelman on Turkish Historiography

    The Armenian Weekly, 30 November 2010 

    WikiLeaks: US Ambassador Links EU Membership with Facing Past
    ANKARA, Turkey (A.W.)—In a report about Erdogan and the AK Party after two years in power, U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman notes that the study of history in the country is subject to “to rigid taboos, denial, fears, and mandatory gross distortions,” noting that without facing its past, Turkey cannot take on the challenge of becoming an EU member. “Until Turkey can reconcile itself to its past, including the troubling aspects of its Ottoman past, in free and open debate, how will Turkey reconcile itself to the concept and practice of reconciliation in the EU?” he says.
    Edelman notes that “the study of history and practice of historiography in the Republic of Turkey remind one of an old Soviet academic joke: the faculty party chief assembles his party cadres and, warning against various ideological threats, proclaims, ‘The future is certain. It’s only that damned past that keeps changing.’”
    The most significant of Turkey’s denials and “mandatory gross distortions” pertains to the Armenian Genocide. Official Ankara continues to vehemently deny that there was any genocidal intent towards the Armenians in the last years of the Ottoman Empire and spends millions of dollars in its denial campaign—lobbying politicians, enticing support from journalists, funding academic denial efforts, suppressing education efforts on the Armenian Genocide, and presenting denial assertions to the general public in North and South America, Europe, and the Middle East. At home, Turkish scholars and journalists who write about the importance of recognizing the Armenian Genocide risk harassment and prosecution.

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