Americans people of the book, heathen Russia!

The downing of the Russian jet has called into question a show of might by nationalistic forces and displays the politics of Russia following its Eurasionist strategy

Americans people of the book, heathen Russia!

Akif Emre

At a time when fierce anti-Communism was dominant in the country during the Cold War era, the anti-Soviet propaganda mechanism worked hard. While the base and organizations were formed by the hand of the state against the Communist threat, a Soviet image was drawn to suit the perception of the conservatives. The historical and cultural realities feeding the image drawn made it easier. The Ottoman-Russo wars were still fresh in the memories of the society, and the term “Moscow” contained all kinds of anger, fear and insult. Who could possibly deny the impact of the Russian wars in the collapse of the Ottoman Empire? The Caucasus genocide and the mass migration that followed… The Russians had significant involvement in the catastrophe that started from Crimea and expanded to the Balkans. On top of all this, the efforts of the heathen Russians (Soviets meaning Russia) to bring atheism to the country would create enough fear.

On the other side of the picture was the US. Despite the recentness of the occupation of the capital city by the British and French, it could be tolerated because the US was against Russia. Americans were People of the Book; they at least had a religion, but the Russians were trying to spread the regime of irreligion. Adding nationalistic sentiments to this, the slavery of the Turkish world crushed under the “red Russian boot” was on display. The US was protecting the free world against this danger!

The most important argument made by the right-conservative section and religious communities in particular was that People of the Book, America, needed to be preferred to the Communists. A great deal of proof was cited from Bediüzzaman Said Nursi to support this argument.

Meanwhile, the socialist segment raised under the shadow of Kemalism tried to develop sympathy toward the Soviets as a requirement of anti-imperialist discourse. With directly linked organized structures and the intelligentsia on one side, Moscow was like the qibla, or direction of Mecca toward which Muslims pray, for the left and later the revolutionary socialists. They would always talk about American imperialism and aggression, yet the invasions of Soviet imperialism, the state of the Muslims and Turks it colonized would be interpreted as the “freedom of peoples.”

As the Cold War was beginning to end in this way, a question mark would start to appear amid the lines; new formations would emerge that would try to look at both the Soviets and the US from different aspects.

The large section squeezed into the right-conservative bracket in particular, would start to disintegrate and find its own specific voice by synthesizing new tendencies, the Islamic and thought movements around the world with local dynamics. The discourse, freed from the East-West, anti-Communist-rightist equation will start questioning the American propaganda as well as start to see the world differently. The US was not a priori innocent simply because it was People of the Book, opposing Communism did not mean automatically becoming soldiers of the state-backed rightist organizations.

I explained this story, because the attitude displayed in the country regarding the latest hot tension with Russia is creating the opinion that behind the curtains, the codes of the Cold War era are still valid…
Before anything, the opposition's hostility toward President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is greater than the matter of state. Criticizing the policies followed, questioning where a mistake was made, is, before anything, necessary for the country. However, the arguments made by those interpreting the developments, and in fact the newspaper headlines and the expression of accumulated anger, particularly on social media, is unbelievable. A Russian plane was for the first time downed by a NATO-member country, Turkey. Despite going through an extremely critical period, the attitude displayed cannot be explained with anger. The sympathy of those who complaining of dictatorship toward the iron-fisted power of the one-man-rule like Russian President Vladimir Putin, wanting their own governors to be taught a lesson…

Of course this attitude cannot be explained with merely an opposition anger developed in internal politics. It is the expression that the left intelligentsia, deep down, still carries its ideological codes. The ironic question is: What to you is Russia, which has integrated with global capitalism, in fact taken by capitalism, and has become the military force of a crude capitalism instead of a socialist utopia, and wants to be part of the game of states once again? Even if you weren't from these lands and felt no belonging to this country, what kind of bigotry is this, even in the plain ideological context?

On the other hand, there is nothing incoherent about the reaction of a large section, particularly the conservatives, who believe the country is under Russian threat and in fact attack. It is the reaction expected from every citizen who feels they are under attack. The problem is this reaction being exaggerated by masses and turned into a delusion of power that challenges the world. Those who interpret, each step taken with this thought as a challenge to the world, create a hollow pride. It is certain that those concerned with the Russian threat questioning the US's position at the İncirlik Air Base and the troubles they are likely to cause us, is associated with rightist conservative codes.

Since it started to pick itself up, Russia has actually been following a politics that is trying to dominate the Eurasionist strategy. According to a strategic understanding to which Putin is also close, Turkey and Russia becoming close, is a requirement of it entering the region and the Eurasia axis rather than the Atlantic equation. We can consider that this approach has been effective in the convergence policies it followed with Turkey.

At the point reached, we saw how harsh the results of a show of power beyond its capacity or certain steps based on the delusion of power can be… Politics is being able to establish a sound relationship between the place the country deserves and the horizon, ideal and realpolitik it seeks.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Kasım 2015, 16:40