Why am I less critical of Atatürk today?
• In the past, I used to think that those who spoke against Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, were “extremely courageous personalities.”
• Now, I think that those who speak in favor of Atatürk are the “extremely courageous personalities.”
• In the past, I used to mutter to myself, when I saw Atatürk’s stylish clothes, “while these clothes were worn, the nation was suffering in poverty and misery.”
• Now, when I see the planes and the palaces being used today, I don’t say that anymore…
• I used to make fun of the literature that went, “My dear Ata, rise up and let me lie there for you…”
• Now, I make fun of those who say “My Ata is Erdoğan…”
• I used to think that Atatürk’s victory was extremely overrated.
• When these days I see that winning five elections is considered more important than saving the country, I think Atatürk’s victory was not exaggerated, even in the slightest sense.
• I used to fervently criticize Atatürk for changing the country’s orientation to “the West.”
• Now, when I see what kind of situation Egypt, Syria, Iraq, etc. are in, I have softened my discourse.
• I used to regard those who expressed their respect for Atatürk as “those who are expecting to gain something in the ranks of state.”
• These days, when showing respect to Atatürk does not promise anything at any level of the government, I now bear witness to the sincerity of those who show their respect for Atatürk.
• In the past, I used to consider it unacceptable that - even though it was the 1920s - Atatürk headed an authoritarian system.
• When I see today that what was happening in the 1920s is being done in 2014, my reaction has become much softer.
• In the past, Atatürk was brought up in debates about any kind of demand for diversity, change and freedom, and this would make me furious.
• Today, the sentence, “There may be a coup, this isn’t the right time” in response to all kinds of demands for diversity, change and freedom, also makes me furious.
If you want to win the hearts of Alevis…
Instead of launching initiatives, instead of visiting Hacı Bektaş, instead of uttering pompous words, instead of trying to win hearts, instead of saying “Oh, poor, poor Dersim,” you need to do only these two things:
ONE: You will grant “worship house” status to cemevis (Alevi places of worship).
TWO: You will change the practice of compulsory religion classes.
No good will come of these things…
No good will come of the following things: Those who don’t shiver in the face of chopped down olive trees, those who don’t get angry at disrespectful acts against the al-Aqsa Mosque, those who do not get excited when the time comes for the book fair, those who are rude to waiters, those who don’t feel sad when the month of Muharram arrives, those who can’t write and speak what they think…