Monday, June 17, 2013

Two contrasting views of Ataturk

Over on the Daily Times of Pakistan, Mr. Yasser Latif Hamdani, a lawyer and author, writes of Ataturk
he abolished the state religion and made Turkey a modern secular republic, albeit flawed at times (a 1932 law banned 30 odd professions to citizens of Turkey belonging to the Greek Orthodox faith).
and of Jinnah and Ataturk:
It is also known that Jinnah stood for the same indicators of modernity, i.e. republicanism, women’s rights and the right of each person and indeed each Muslim to live free of the tyranny of the clergy’s dictates. Both men believed that sovereignty must rest unconditionally with the people and the parameters of material progress of a people were defined by their education, culture and civilisation.
Meanwhile. in the New York Times,  Edhem Eldem, a professor of history at Bogazici University writes:
Turkey’s past has little to offer in terms of democratic inspiration.