Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Arabs and Turks: Mending a broken relationship

"Turkey launched the Arabic version of its official TV last Sunday. Called “TRT Arabic,” the channel is expected to reach 350 million people throughout the Arab world. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who spoke at the opening ceremony, noted that it marked “a historic day for Turkish-Arab friendship,” initiating an era of “brotherhood, unity and solidarity” between the two peoples.

I share Erdoğan’s wishes on this. I also think that we Turks and Arabs need to do a little bit of historical revision to get rid of some of the artificial walls built between us in the past century.

On our side, these walls were built mainly by the nationalist ideology of the Turkish Republic. From the late 1920s on, the latter’s propaganda machine created two popular myths, by which many Turks were brainwashed."

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