Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 02:18:51 +0000
From: HS <htnbetkf@NETCOMUK.CO.UK>
Organization: HTN International * Kfel Fund
Subject: An Important day on Turk calender
To: Multiple recipients of list CENASIA <CENASIA@VM1.MCGILL.CA>
For the info of Turk friends..
Today, the 29th of October is the 74th anniversary of the official ending of Sultanate in Turkey and the beginning of the Republican era. This was the result of the First World War.
23rd of April, 1920 was the opening date of the Turkish Republican Parliament in Ankara which was opposed by the Sultan, who was based in Istanbul. 29th of October, 1923 was the completion of the process.
Historically, the composition of both the Turkish Republic and Ottoman Parliaments (there were Ottoman Parliaments in 1877, 1908) usually comprised representation of all nationalities living under the Ottoman banner, including different religions. Even in modern Turkish Parliament the representation cuts across the fabric of the nation (large number of ethnic Kurdish, Jewish, Christian, Caucasian, Bosnian, Balkan, Arab MPs etc)
In today’s Turkey, the supporters of Sultan do not attach much importance to events of 1920 (and before) due to termination of the Caliphate, where the Sultan was the spiritual head. Infact some see it as a day of mourning. Nonetheless, comparing the the performance of Sultan and that of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk gives clues as to which was following the correct path for the benefit of the nation. It must be said that, to be fair, the religious factor must be taken away from any research into the subject as the manipulation of religion for political means had been prevalent.
The political scenery of today is reminiscent of yester-years.