Turan and national security
There are several approaches to national security. According to one approach, when the national and territorial security of Turkey is at stake, everything else becomes irrelevant. This view must be respected as it is the state and government’s fundamental duty to take every required measure to ensure national and territorial integrity and the well-being of Turkish citizens. According to another approach, a country’s national and territorial integrity and security are very important, but a government must try to fulfill such sacrosanct duties in conformity with local and international law.
Another extreme view is to deal with all challenges, including national security, in full compatibility with norms and values, as well as international and domestic law, without recognizing an exception to the universal rights and liberties of every single person living on this land. I doubt this might ever be applicable in this country.
“Turan” is the Persian description of the Central Asian “united homeland” of all Turkish people. However, according to some, it has no relevance to the Turkish nation but is rather a Persian reference to a prehistoric “Persian” settlement in Central Asia. Some consider it a reference to a peculiar pre-historic culture.
Particularly based on an obsessed interpretation of Turkish nationalism, it is not just the name this mythological united Turkish homeland, but also a utopic grand Turkish state, which would bring all members of the Turkish family of nations under its flag. At the same time, Turan is a reference to the Turkish culture and a Shamanist way of life, which is built on the notion of universal respect to mother nature, sanctity and immortality of the soul and the reflection of mother nature in every individual, providing everyone some degree of sanctity.
Even if today’s Turks are predominantly Muslims of all colors and their understanding of statehood appears to have been shaped by the notion of a country with clear geographical borders, Turanist concepts and Shamanist heritage lie deep in social psychology. Turan is a utopic country with no borders. It is a flag providing shade for all Turkish people.
Is it because of Turan the concept of state has been so sacrosanct and indeed divine for Turks? Or is it because of the Shamanist heritage that Turks have such a different and rather humanist interpretation of Islam as opposed to a rather vengeful, Abbasid perception of culture and religion? Indeed, the present-day understanding of religion influenced by the Abbasid Caliphate dominating the state and polarization of Turkish society might all be evaluated within this context.
The political, geographical and cultural Ottoman heritage is important in shaping the modern understanding of Turkish nationalism, or conservative world view, even though it does not match perfectly with the Turanist utopia. Still, the sanctity of the homeland on one hand and an aspiration for the glory and grandiose of the imperial times on the other, coupled with mythologies and utopias have produced a new reality. The palliative and conjectural policies of the West aimed at “fighting extreme Islam with mild Islam” have helped this new reality consolidate in Turkey.
Coupled with the Balkan syndrome and Sevres Phobia, as well as fears of disintegration fueled by persistent Kurdish uprisings instigated by the West since the early years of the republic have helped consolidate the notion “If what’s at stake is national security, the rest are details,” at the expense of everything else. Defending peace and criticizing the Turkish operation might become tantamount to treason or collaboration with the enemy, when those in power have evaluated threats and decided that Turkey’s national security might be endangered with a certain formation and development. Who is the enemy? That is totally irrelevant as the state has already decided and has pointed its long finger at them.
Unfortunately such approaches do not appear healthy at all…