Mahmut Esat Ozan

The Turkish Times

It’s been ages now that I’ve been trying to find a way, in my mind, for
the solution of a long-standing personal dilemma. I’ve been wrecking my brain
attempting to formulate a logical explanation to satisfy myself. This
cranial exploration of mine concerns the existence of a phenomenon involving
Turkey and her many detractors. I’ve been searching and researching clues to
unearth any acceptable reason for the justification and rationalization of the
hostile actions of many, such as the members of the European Union community
and of the neighbors of Turkey. They all seem to have a synchromeshed sense
of belligerence towards Turks.
I’ve been asking myself the following question over and over again,
“‘wHAT IS THEIR PROBLEM?” Additional questions pop up in my mind, such as,
“WHY DO THEY BEHAVE THE WAY THEY DO?” The recent events involving ABDULLAH
OCALAN come to mind and revive old recollections. There he stands as a
notorious terrorist, whose bloody organization, responsible for thousands of
murders, is outlawed not only by the Turkish government, but also by Germany,
France, and the United States of America. And he is set free! This is a very
disturbing situation. Upon his illegal entry into Italy, we had hoped and
expected some repercussions, some popular movement leading to an indictment
for his dastardly actions of the past 15 years. This wishful thinking of many
has not materialized. Furthermore, when the world-famous, and universally-
respected international police agency, INTERPOL, was rendered impotent even
though it had a long-standing warrant for Ocalan’s arrest, but was not allowed
to incarcerate him in a jail and keep him under 24-hour surveillance,
everyone, with the exception of the Italian Communists, was saddened. To top
it off, he was rewarded by a life of leisure in a luxurious Renaissance villa.
This is part of my quandary.
Since, as a writer, I’m not in a position to figure out the answers to
those inquiries, the more I ask questions, the more I become frustrated. It
is the erratic and unexplainable behavior of many countries such as Italy and
the ones surrounding the Turkish Republic that discourages many Turks.
Everyone seems to be out to get Turkey. This priceless piece of Anatolian
real estate must be an irresistible magical attraction for them. And in real
estate terms the most desirable notion for success is location, location, and
The country has just finished celebrating the 75th anniversary of the
foundation of that republic, and its occupants, the Turks, do not have an inch
of their soil to give away to anyone. The land area comprising Turkey may not
be huge, but if we are allowed to brag a bit, we could say easily that Turkey
is larger than TEXAS, with a population three times as much. The city of
Istanbul alone has more people living within its boundaries than the entire
population of Greece.
A variety of countries share this geographical area with Turkey. They
are Greece, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Armenia, as Turkey’s ages-old neighbors.
Most of them have been coveting a portion of this valuable Anatolian
topography, and hoping to get a part of it some day. Ordinarily, Bulgaria and
Russia would be included in this rapacious, hostile group. However, after the
dissolution of the old Soviet Empire, Turkey’s prominent construction
conglomerates played their cards right and underbid all European construction
firms, and found themselves in a position to assist the tottering Russian
economy, by default. They have been, ever since, constructing impressive
shopping centers, hotels and governmental buildings and public housing in many
parts of Russia. These firms have now an established reputation for good and
honest work, and tens of millions of dollars in the banks. Some Turkish
contractors have recently signed contracts to build a four-lane highway from
Edirne to Sophia and around Bulgaria. This is the only reason why neither one
of these two traditional enemies of Turkey wish to find their names on the
roster of trouble-causing adversaries of the Turks.
Unfortunately, on some other fronts things do not look as well. Time and
again Iran claims that it has no desire to foment trouble for its neighbor,
Turkey, by helping the infamous PKK terrorists. Nevertheless, every
investigative probe shows they are not telling the truth, and that they are
clandestinely subsidising the PKK and arming the Kurdish guerillas to the
When it comes to Armenia, we see that the bankrupt republic of Yerevan is
still suffering from the Turkish embargo, still adamantly anti-Turkish and
anti-Azeri in its over-all foreign policy and is still being advised by the
Dashnak factions of the Kotcharian government. It looks like they are going
to miss the “Caucassus Oil Express” by a mile.
Yes, instead of patching up its long-existing differences with its
neighbor, Turkey, the Armenian government supports blatantly Ocalan and his
PKK terrorists. By the same token, it is not about to iron out its grievances
with the Azeri people, 20% of whose land they still occupy in the NAGORNO-
KARABAKH, causing the continuation of unheard of misery for over a million
In the meantime, the Armenian and Greek propaganda machines in the United
States are cranking out unfavorable misinformation without batting an eye. A
Harut Sassounian writes in the CALIFORNIA COURIER that there was no doubt in
his mind that the Turkish government had forced four different religious
leaders to make statements against their will. Previously, the newly elected
Armenian Patriarch of Turkey, Archbishop Mesrob Mutafyan, the Greek Ecumenical
Patriarch Bartolomeos, Israel’s Chief Rabbi Arus Ratson, and Turkey’s
religious chief, Mehmet Muri Yilmaz had all criticized the actions of the
Italian Communist government of Prime Minister, Massimo D’Alema, for refusing
to extradite Ocalan to Turkey, his birth place. One even pleaded with Pope
John Paul II, asking him to intervene on behalf of the Turkish people, and
said the terrorist Ocalan did not even know Kurdish, emphasizing his
disconnect with the people of his own kind.
In another ridiculous letter written to the CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR,
the Executive Director of the American Hellenic Media Project, Mr. P.D.
Spyropoulos, referred to Turkey as a “militant Mideast backwater,” called the
reactions of the mothers of the Turkish martyrs “hysteria” and unabashedly
described the Turkish people as “a mob.” By the way, both “ethnic chetnicks”
disowned their religious leaders, who sided with Turkey, as being ‘”traitors.”
P.D. Spyropoulos is the same individual who had replied in one of his so-
called rebuttals concerning the article, “Who Burned Izmir?” Following a slue
of insults against Turks, he claimed that the liberating Turkish forces not
only burned their own city, but that they had also butchered 200.000 Greeks
and Armenians in the process, not knowing that the total Greek and Armenian
population of Izmir at that time did not even reach one half of that
ridiculous figure, proving him the champion PREVARICATOR of the century.
Now back to the main problem Turkey has been afflicted with for almost
two long decades.


With the inauguration of the Marxist-Leninist terrorist organization in
Moscow in the late Seventies a new element was added to the list of sinister,
vulture-like characters waiting in ambush, in the wings. They are now
everywhere. They are present at all points of the compass: NORTH, EAST, WEST,
and SOUTH. The first letter of the names of their geographical locations
creates the word N.E.W.S., and the news they create remains associated with
the belligerent behavior displayed vis-a-vis the Turks. The favorable
attitude of the detractors of Turkey towards this terrorist organization has
never been explained in a convincing fashion, even by the most astute
political science experts alive today. As for myself, not being a schooled
psychoanalyst, nor a trained behavioral psychologist, find myself completely
helpless in passing judgement on this bizarre demeanor. Curiously, most
observers I reviewed so far on this subject, be they Turkish or otherwise,
seem to be as baffled about this phenomenon as I am. I have to admit I’m lost
for words confronting this abnormality of conduct. I call it,