Jakarta’s Ataturk Avenue?

The plan for naming the road in Menteng after Mustafa Kemal Ataturk has drawn controversy

Thus begins one local media report, accurately enough.

The idea arose because the Turks are naming a road after Indonesia’s Founding Father…


President Sukarno


….President Soekarno, or Sukarno – spelling optional – so somebody thought that a reciprocal move might be a nice gesture.

Ataturk, after all, created modern Turkey from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire after WW1.



Uproar, because of  people like the Deputy Chairperson of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Anwar Abbas.


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Abbas considered Ataturk to be a figure who messed up Islamic teachings.


Perhaps Ataturk did.

Unlike the MUI, of course, who always offer wise guidance.

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I am staying neutral.

It was several years ago that I drew readers’ attention to Kemal Ataturk’s present-day political heirs, ‘the so-called “secularist” and “progressive” nationalist Kemalists,’ whom Western observers often deem an infinitely more promising alternative to Erdolf.

But they’re not, actually.

They too are as revanchist as Erdolf, ‘dreaming of expanding Turkey’s borders into Greece.’

This time, Sözcü newspaper has joined the choir of Turks dreaming of occupying Greek islands.

Only Erdoğan is a problem? Kemalist newspaper says Greece is occupying "18 Turkish islands" 5

…and that’s an ‘opposition’ newspaper!

They are heirs to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and while he did a dashed fine job of stamping out backward ‘caliphate’ customs,

…viz. his actions when he…


Ataturk – no uptights at his parties

“…..closed all religious courts and schools,

– prohibited the wearing of headscarves among public sector employees,

– abolished the ministry of canon law and pious foundations,

– lifted the ban on alcohol,

– adopted the Gregorian calendar in place of the Islamic calendar,

– made Sunday a day of rest instead of Friday,

– changed the Turkish alphabet from Arabic letters to Roman ones.”     http://dailycaller.com/2017/05/28/guns-politics-the-rise-of-ataturk/


…at the same time, he also stamped out a million Greeks!

So he did well by the Turks, but oversaw genocide against non-Turks unlucky enough to be within his reach.

However, many fanatics here do not share my positive view on his reforms in Turkey, hence the debate.

And hence my neutrality!