Cyprus Mail

Ataturk’s Turkey is dead and buried

Tayyip Erdogan addresses provincial chairmans of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara, Turkey 10 October 2019. Turkey has launched an offensive targeting Kurdish forces in north-eastern Syria, days after the US withdrew troops from the area. EPA-EFE/STR

A good legal analysis by Alper which would represent a significant and relevant argument in an independent court. Especially the concluding paragraph:

‘The proper way for the Turkish court to have proceeded was to have invited Unesco to make submissions as to the nature of any “legal commitments and obligations” to keep Hagia Sofia a museum made by Turkey that precluded the Adminstrative Court from allowing such a stale and insulting challenge to Ataturk’s olive branch compromise of designating Hagia Sofia a museum.’

A sound and, for the independent, sensible and reasonable among us, conclusion in a serious and mature democracy. But clearly Erdogan’s Turkey is anything but.

It is so sad see the great statesmanship and vision for Turkey of Kemal Ataturk being undone by this absolute autocrat and certainly undemocratic Turkish leader. Ataturk laid the foundations for a secular and modern democracy. He foresaw the dangers of radical Islamism and a theocratic state. Especially after the collapse of the Ottoman empire. We only have to consider the mess that these middle eastern Islamic autocracies are in to marvel even more at the path chosen by Ataturk for Turkey.

Unfortunately, since Erdogan came to power, we have seen his hidden Islamist agenda for Turkey gather pace. Initially creeping Islamization with some deference to Kemal by Erdogan.

But now this (Ayia Sophia). The unnecessary and unwarranted conversion of Ayia Sophia, a world heritage and cultural symbol, symbol into a mosque. And with it, the very clear message to the world by Erdogan that secularism in Turkey is dead.

A backward step that has entrenched Turkey in the autocratic, Islamist middle-east.


Unesco should have been consulted over Hagia Sofia

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