It is evident that he is a staunch Kemalist. The office is adorned with posters, pictures, quotes of the Atartuk, the Pasha, the Marshall, the father of Modern Turkey.
He is also anti religionists, anti Mullahs, anti Islamists. He is a Muslim, prays and fasts during Ramadan. A typical Turkish Secularist which form the majority of Turks?
If one reads the history of the Republic and stretching into the last century of the Ottoman Empire one would understand the Secularist Turkish psyche.
The Mullahs, religionists and the Islamists were integral to the Ottoman decay. They were in cahoots with the eunuchs, the viziers, the scheming queen of the harem. Edicts were issued to govern. Religion and politics were muddled up. The basic structure of the Ottoman Government became flawed. I guess, when the independence of the judiciary, was being compromised and the muftis became integral of the system, it was a matter of time before the empire collapsed.
the decay, the change, the closure
The openness of Islam disappeared. Printed matters were considered Haram and evil. Humongous mosques became a measure of righteousness. Istanbul became a city of mosques. An architect was put to death for apostasy. The grand Caliph spent his time fornicating and the grand mufti could be joining the orgy.
The words of God were being traded for meager sums, as God says in the Book. They lost an empire. The mullahs were a party to the decay.
Had it not been for Kemal the mother land would have been savaged by the winner of the world war. Sultan Selim was a buddy-buddy, an ally of Kaiser Wilhelm. They lost the war.
The Sultans and its descendents disappeared from Modern Turkey. The Mullahs, the clergymen, the Imams are lucky to have survived, they are still relevant to many Turks.
does it matter?
Is there such thing as Mullahs, clergymen in Islam? No. The Answer from a political Islamist would obviously be different.
The bartender at the hotel put it nicely when asked by my colleague, “are you a Muslim?” Is it important? I believe in One God, I believe in righteousness, he answered. Spot on. A sampling of the Turkmen?
Note; written in Istanbul october 2006