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By Jirair Tutunjian, Toronto, Ontario 13 February 2021
A few days after their usual wide-ranging talkfest over coffee, Mehmet phoned his friend Ahmet and said it was urgent that they meet ASAP. So, the two widely-read ethnologist/etymologists savants met at Selcuklar’s Ataturk Bistro.
Ahmet: Sabah khayeer.
Mehmet: Likewise, arkhadash, likewise.
Ahmet: Would you like an Italian mechiatori coffee? It’s very fashionable...Sit down. Merry Santa Claus.
Mehmet: Did you say “Santa Claus”? Don’t you know he was a gavoor? Besides, the gavoor bayram was last month.
Ahmet: Santa Claus was not a gavoor. He was 100 percent pure Turk like us.
Mehmet: Obviously, you need something stronger than mechi…what did you call the coffee?
Ahmet: Santa Claus is German for Saint Nicholas. He was the bishop of Myra. Myra is in southern Turkey. Ergo, as we used to say in geometry class, Saint Nicholas was a Turkish bishop.
Mehmet: Wow. Wait I’ll tell it to the people at the office.
Ahmet: I thought your bosses at the propaganda office would love that bit of nonsense.
Mehmet: Why nonsense? We promote Myra…pilgrims start visiting Myra… and boost tourism.
Ahmet: Our last week’s conversation was not pleasant. Let’s talk about happy things. Do you remember the other day I criticized the Turkish-owned Godiva chocolate people for using the name of GOD—which means Allah and DIVA which means a spoiled opera singer…
Mehmet: Let’s not go there, as the Americans say.
Ahmet: Why not? Allah listened to me and Godiva has shut all its 128 stores in America. Allah punished them for the sacrilege.
Mehmet: You are incorrigible.
Ahmet: I have a question.
Mehmet: Shoot, as Americans say.
Ahmet: What’s with the “as the Americans say?” Your bosses at the propaganda office…sorry, I meant the R.T. Erdogan Historiography Authentification Institute are promoting Pan-Turanism to unite Turkic peoples.
Ahmet: Have you read the history of the Turks that Ataturk edited? It’s the funniest book since the Hoja Nasreddin’s tales.
Mehmet: Who hasn’t read it? That’s where he wrote: “How happy is the person who can say ‘I am a Turk.’”
Ahmet: Imagine… 82 million happy Turks smiling as the lira shrinks by 30 percent while unemployment soars to 26.7 percent. Most of us now face the risk of being plunged into poverty as per capita income falls to $8,000.
Mehmet: That’s because international bankers—you know who I’m talking about—conspire to hurt us. In his masterpiece Ataturk proved humanity and civilization emanate from the Turks. That means the whole world’s population is of Turkish origin and world’s civilization is Turkic.
Ahmet: But why waste your time on a relatively small group like the Pan-Turanists here and in Central Asia? Why not go big and go for Universal Turanism?
Mehmet: Once we become strong, everybody will want to become a Turk. Power is like catnip. People will find their inner Turk.
Ahmet: So if the whole world is Turkish, according to Ataturk, why did we commit genocides of our brother Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians? Why did we attack them in Karabakh?
Mehmet: Because Armenians foolishly deny their Turkishness. Why do you think the lords of Karabakh were called “meliks”? There’s a city in Armenia called “Allah Verdi”? There was an Armenian king named SENE KERIM: “good year.”
Ahmet: Like Goodyear tire?
Mehmet: You are not funny. Did you know the Ashkenazis come from the Armenian province of Azkazounian and the greatest Armenian dynasty in the middle Ages was the Bakradinyan? They were Jewish. ‘Bakrad’ is a Jewish name and ‘din’ means religion in Arabic.
Ahmet: Please stop it. A minute ago you said Armenians are Turks. Now they are Jews.
Mehmet: They’re all the same: they are chameleon. What are the national symbols of Israel and Armenia?
Ahmet: The six-point star and our Agri Dagh.
Mehmet: Wrong. Armenia’s and Israel’s national symbol is the pomegranate. You think that’s a coincidence? Ben-Gurion’s name means lion in Jewish and in Armenian. ‘Zmeli’ means razor in both languages. Moshe Dayan’s grandfather was Armenian. Look at his last name. Why do you think the Armenian Monastery in Jerusalem sits on Mount Zion? Mount Zion…Zionism. Do you see the link?
Ahmet: Please stop it. Your propaganda job is turning your brain into puss-filled mush. You have to quit your job and go to back to Germany—you lived there for a while.
Mehmet: I can’t get an exit permit. I know too much insider stuff. The reason I wanted to see you today… I had a phone call from someone who wouldn’t give his name. He warned me not to see you anymore. You’re a dangerous subversive, he said. I think all the waiters here are spies. They overheard our conversation and reported it to the intelligence services.
Ahmet: Of course, the waiters are spies. There are more spies in Turkey than there are photos, paintings, busts, statues, murals, mosaics, and garish neon images of Ataturk. Since the security people call me “subversive,” I might as well ask what’s a bankrupt country doing declaring war in all directions? At this rate, the biggest Turkish industry will be making humongous Turkish flags.
Mehmet: You underestimate Erdogan. He keeps everyone guessing. See how he toys with Israel. “If it’s Friday, Israel is a racist and colonialist dictatorship” and “If it’s Saturday, ‘Israel is Turkey’s best friend.’”
Ahmet: He will trip some day. If he was so clever, why didn’t he know about the coup a few years ago? I wonder how many judges, generals, journalists, and activists he has jailed. He has even jailed a 12-year-old for insulting him on Facebook.
Mehmet: It’s my turn to go to jail. Tonight I’ll be waiting for the midnight knock on the door.
Ahmet: That’s not going to happen (smiles).
Mehmet: Are you also an expert on intelligence matters?
Ahmet: I was the one on the phone yesterday. I changed my voice and pretended I was from military intelligence. I was joking to see your reaction.
Mehmet: Alchak…kaltak…Allah belani versin…Allah sena…