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I plan to collect historical documents and articles by various authors in this blog, usually without comments. Opinions expressed within the articles belong to the authors and do not always coincide with those of mine.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Was Hitler a Kemalist?

Mahmut Esat Bozkurt (1892-1943) states:

"Zamanımızın bir Alman tarihçisi gerek nasyonal sosyalizmin, gerekse faşizmin Mustafa Kemal rejiminin çok az değiştirilmiş birer şeklinden başka bir şey olmadıklarını söylüyor. Çok doğrudur. Çok doğru bir görüştür." ("Atatürk İhtilali", M.E.Bozkurt, Kaynak Yayınları, Sayfa 88)

My translation:

"A German historian of our time states that both national socialism and fascism are nothing but slightly modified versions of the Mustafa Kemal [Ataturk] régime. This is very true. This is a very correct view."

Mahmut Esat Bozkurt was M. Kemal's "Minister of Justice."

Now, there is a new book titled "Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination" by Stefan Ihrig (2014). The book may not be a very credible scholarly work and therefore does not constitute a "scholarly reference," but it contains some interesting material. For example, the following passage from a short review of this book agrees with the statement by Mahmut Esat Bozkurt:

"Hitler later remarked that in the political aftermath of the Great War, Atatürk was his master, he and Mussolini his students. This was no fading fascination. As the Nazis struggled through the 1920s, Atatürk remained Hitler’s “star in the darkness,” his inspiration for remaking Germany along nationalist, secular, totalitarian, and ethnically exclusive lines."

On the other hand, Stefan Ihrig talks about "The Nazis' one-sided love affair with Atatürk and his Turkey..." in a later article titled "Erdogan's New Turkey: Goodbye Atatürk, Hello Atatürk." This is not entirely accurate, since the "love affair" was not completely one-sided; see Bozkurt's statement given above.

Murat Yazıcı

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