Turkey was another of the
first Islamic countries where the school of nationalism found its
way. Bernard Lewis, the well-known orientalist, confesses that three
European Jews inspired the spirit of nationalism in Turkey. /
Bernard Lewis: "Islam in History", London, 1973, may also be noted
that Lewis himself is a Jew /.
The first person who tried
hard to kindle the flame of Turkish nationalism was Arthur Lumley
David (1811-1832). He was an English Jew who traveled to Turkey and
wrote a book called, 'Preliminary Discourses' in which he tried to
show how the Turks were a distinguished and independent race,
superior to the Arabs and other oriental races.
Lewis writes: "The book of
this English Jew made the Turks imagine themselves as having a
distinct nationality and independence." Before the spread and
indoctrination of Western ideas, no sign is seen of nationalism in
the Ottoman, Empire. Even until the beginning of the present
century, the Turks did not consider the Arabs as aliens, and the
Arabs looked upon the Turks in the same way.
The Arabs were content to be included in the Ottoman Empire on
account of being of the same religion, and the Turks respected them
because of 1heir culture, and knowledge of Arabic was considered a
sign of learning. Even a Sultan like Abdol-Hamid was surrounded by
Arab counselors in his court, the likes of Abol-Hoda and Ezzat
Pasha. In the revolution of 1908 against Abdol-Hamid there were at
least two Arab officers, named Aziz Ali Mesri and Mahmood Showkat
Pasha among the leaders. But the book of the said Jew gradually
convinced some self-sold and dependent intellectuals and politicians
like the leaders of the "Young Turks" movement of the superiority of
the Turkish race.
In 1851, Fu'ad and Jowdat
Pasha translated most of David's writings into Turkish. In 1869,
another writer, Ali Savi, published a treatise in Turkish which was
an imitation of David's, speaking of the glorious past of the
Turkish race. This was one of the first writings in which
nationalism was propounded and it was something quite unprecedented
in the Ottoman Empire. As Lewis says: "Thus the Turks discovered
their nationality through the West and copied the writings of the
David Leon Cohen, a Jewish
French writer was another man who greatly contributed to the
expansion of Turkish nationalism. In 1899, he published a book
called "Introduction Generale a l'Histoire de L' Asie". In this
book, he writes of the racial superiority of the Turks and of their
epical records in history. This book was translated into Turkish in
the first decade of the l0th century in a large number. Prof.
Khadouri and Bernard Lewis believe that the said Jew inspired the
Pan- Turkism of 'Young Turks' who started a revolution in 1908.
In addition to the above
book, Cohen published several epical stories on the past glories of
the Turks. Clearly, the main aim of this Jew in his eulogy of the
Turkish race was to rouse their racial prejudices and weaken their
bond with other Muslim nations. He was not content with writing
only, but also formed societies of exiled Turks and Egyptians in
Paris and tried to lay the foundation of nationalistic movements in
those countries. / Refer to Jewish Encyclopedia, an article by Zodic
Kahn, p. 61, and "Turkism and the Soviets" by Hutler /.
But the person who had the
greatest role in the creation of Turkish and Arab nationalism, was
the famous orientalist, Arminius Vambery (1832-1918), the son of a
Jewish Hungarian priest. He published many works on the necessity
for the revival of Turkish nationality, language and literature. His
works intensely captivated the attention of Westernized, so-called
enlightened Turks and incited their patriotism. He was closely
acquainted with the Turkish statesmen and politicians of the first
rank. / Concerning the role of David Cohen and Vambery in the
emergence and expansion of the Turkish nationalism refer to
"History-Writing and national revival in Turkey" by Bernard Lewis
and "The Development of secularism in Turkey" by Niazi Brex, Printed
in Montreal, 1944 /.
One of the main aims of the
Jews in inciting nationalistic sentiments was to pave the way for
the occupation of Palestine.
The Jews in their unsuccessful contact with Sultan Abdol-Hamid to
secure Palestinian territories for Jewish emigrants, came to the
conclusion that the only way to fulfill their dream was to overthrow
Abdol-Hamid and break up Islam and Arab and Turkish unity. Under the
cover of nationalism and through encouraging the creation of the
'Young Turks' movement, Zionism first succeeded in deposing
Abdol-Hamid, imprisoning him and laying the ground for inciting
differences and enmity between the Turks and Arabs.
These plots of colonialism
and Zionism gave birth to the 'Young Turks' movement which resulted
in the revolution of 1908 and deposal of Abdol-Hamid. The "Young
Turks" who executed the Zionist scheme, embarked on a 'Pan- Turkish'
policy based on a belief in the superiority of the Turks.
So they adopted an anti-Arab stand, closed down Arab cultural
societies and began acts of discrimination against the Arabs and
non- Turks, a conduct which was in line with the direct plots of
British colonialism in rousing Arab nationalism. Thus Zionism and
imperialism and their discrimination towards the Arabs on the one
hand, and inciting Arab nationalism and their opposition to the
Turks on the other.
Until this time, the Arabs did not consider themselves a separate
race. But as the Turks were seeking the superiority of Turkish
culture over other cultures, the Arabs, too, insisted upon their own
independent identity. It was the racial and nationalistic policies
of Young Turks that kindled the flame of Arab nationalism-a matter,
which as we shall see, was directly supported by the British.
/ Concerning the role of
Zionism and the westerners in the creation and expansion of the
Turkish nationalism refer to: Mardin's "The Genesis of young Ottoman
thought" a study in the modernization of Turkish political ideas (Princitton
N.J. 1962, p. 250). Harold Boven's British contribution to Turkish
studies, London, 1945, p. 43-4. Also refer to "The Emergence of
Arab Nationalism" by Zein Nzein. /.
After the revolution of
1908, the "Young Turks" expanded Turkish nationalism by force and by
propagation through the mass media. Moreover, the repeated blows
inflicted upon Turkey by Arab countries, together with the extension
of western education and dispatch of students to Europe, intensified
Turkish nationalistic frenzy. Even some Muslim thinkers as Namek
Kamal (1840-1888), Zia Pasha (1825-1880) and Jowdat Pasha
(1823-1898), tried hard to blend Islam with nationalism-an idea
which was doomed from the very beginning since these two schools are
The progressive advance of nationalism and colonization at last led
to the rise of Ataturk accompanied by his anti-Islamic policy. With
him, Turkey became totally dependent on the West, exactly what the
Satanic West wanted.
The Western intellectual class continued to promote this school
which was now supported by the bayonets of Ataturk and his
successors. Zia Gukalp (1876-1942), the greatest theoretician of the
Turkish nationalist school, was a well- known personality of the
west who busied himself copying Western ideas and culture, both of
which he made the core of his ideology. Turkish nationalism resulted
at last in the membership of Turkey in the NATO, thereby
surrendering its political and cultural independence.
This was then an account of
the rise and advance of nationalism in Turkey.
Excerpt from the book of
Dr. Ali Muhammad Nakavi, "Islam and Nationalism"