03 June 2006

743) "NATIONALIST" WORKS

For more than a year, there is a considerable increase in the number of ‘nationalist’ works, namely those novels, movies and TV series that address to the nationalist feelings. Such books are exhibited in forefront in the bookstores; they are the bestsellers as well. The rating of such movies and TV series are quite high.

This situation has nothing to do with ‘globalization’, as some authors argue. For the last two years, Turkish public opinion has been disturbed by some impositions of the EU, which are perceived as a humiliation. Unlike EU’s new members or candidates, which are former Communist countries that had either lost or overshadowed their nationalist tendencies and feelings, Turkey is proud and persistent in her national interests. On the other hand, the genocide allegations that have been promulgated by the Armenians as well as by some Turkish scholars and authors are disliked by the Turkish public opinion. It would be more accurate to search the reasons of emergence and increasing number of nationalist works in the reactions against these two occurrences. It is understood that people establish some sort of defense mechanisms and acquired resistance reflexes by remembering the successes and bravery of the period of the War of Liberation.

Armenian diaspora and Armenian state swept by it, believe that the first step of realization of ‘Great Armenia’ dream is the Turkish acceptance of genocide allegations. However, despite the open and covert efforts of some states, there emerges no such development in Turkey. The resolutions of some parliaments do not have an effect on Turkish stance on this issue as well. This situation force Armenians to develop a new strategy of collaborating with some ex-communist scholars and authors who turned out to be liberal after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Within this framework, it was decided to organize a conference in Bogazici University as a part of a series of conferences that has been held with regard to the 90th anniversary of the so-called Armenian genocide. Because of strong reactions, this conference was postponed and it could only be held four months later under mass demonstrations. The real intention of the conference, which can be summarized as ‘convincing the Turks about the existence of an Armenian genocide’, was not realized. Quite the contrary, the front formed by those who rejected genocide allegations was strengthened; the collaborators were isolated and quitened.

Increasing number of books in Turkey, which refer either directly or indirectly to the genocide allegations despite the marginalization of those, who supported these claims, is a contradiction in itself. However, considering that the book entitled ‘Ç�lg�n Türkler’ (Crazy Turks) by Turgut Özakman has reached to more than 260 prints, which exceeds half a million copies and that the first edition of the last book of Attila �lhan, “Gazi Pa�a”, was printed 25,000, the sale of the books supporting genocide claims remains astonishingly low.

Ömer Engin LÜTEM, Retired Ambassador
17 January 2005 - �KSAREN

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