In a moment the fruits of patient toil, the prospects of material prosperity, the fear of death itself, are flung aside. The more emotional Pathans are powerless to resist. All rational considerations are forgotten. Seizing their weapons, they become Ghazis – as dangerous and as sensible as mad dogs: fit only to be treated as such. While the more generous spirits among the tribesmen become convulsed in an ecstasy of religious bloodthirstiness, poorer and more material souls derive additional impulses from the influence of others, the hopes of plunder and the joy of fighting. Thus whole nations are roused to arms. Thus the Turks repel their enemies, the Arabs of the Soudan break the British squares, and the rising on the Indian frontier spreads far and wide. In each case civilization is confronted with militant Mahommedanism.
This is how Winston Churchill described anti-colonial Muslims and the institution of ghazis in his 1898 book "The Story of the Malakand Field Force." Not seeing the bloodthirst of their own ambitious colonialist understanding, he accuses Muslims of brutality as they defended their dignity to avoid coming under the yoke. In a sense, this biased approach still continues today.
If not, the West should have raved about the civil disobedience against a bloody coup attempt, which left 249 people dead and 2,193 others injured in just 12 hours. While the image of a man who stood in front of tanks in Beijing's Tiananmen Square has been imprinted in minds for years, we cannot understand this insouciance in a different way, as tens of thousands of people did the same in Turkey in one night. According to this approach, a man standing against communist China is honorable, but Muslims who stand against a fascist junta and their soldiers coded as secular by the West are irrational savages. This is why the former arouses appreciation, while the latter sparks fright.
As a matter of fact, contrary to Lenin's claim, the Turkish nation, which carried out a revolution with white gloves, should be supported further in the struggle against this ferocious terrorist network. But it did not happen so. Fetullah Gülen, the leader of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), is still in his comfortable mansion in Pennsylvania and all the senior members of the group live freely in various parts of the U.S. Germany has become the number-one shelter for FETÖ-linked soldiers. The U.K., on the other hand, prefers to embrace FETÖ members with capital by acting more low key, as usual. In fact, this further strengthens the Turkish people's thoughts on FETÖ's links to the CIA and NATO. How else could Gülen, who had two senior CIA members as guarantors on his green card application, be allowed to open schools in 147 countries? Did U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) Commander Joseph Votel not say that he had close friendships with arrested coup plotters and that their arrests worried him immediately after the coup?
Despite the fact that our so-called allies sided with Gülen and left Turkey alone, the Turkish people who went out to the streets in the millions again for the commemoration of July 15 last week proved that the coup attempt was treachery that will be never be forgiven or forgotten. Opinion polls also show that the overwhelming majority of the people are convinced that FETÖ was behind the coup. In fact, the struggle with FETÖ is one of the rare basic common aims of Turks, although they differ on other political issues. Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's rally, where 175,000 or 1.5 million, who cares, people gathered with great difficulty after his 25-day march, is due to his protective statements about FETÖ.
While the anti-FETÖ attitude is one of the central elements of Turkish social discourse, it is curious to see how far we can move on with allies who ignore this sensitivity.