Sunday, 29 August 2010

Today's Zaman: Turkish nationalist discovers his Armenian roots, or dissection of hatred

Thanks to the link posted under the comments section of Study: Homophobia is associated with... homosexual arousal, below are extracts from a relevant piece by Today's Zaman columnist Orhan Kemal Cengiz Was Hitler a self-hating Jew?

Once I heard a story about a Turkish nationalist who accidentally found out that his ancestors were actually Armenians. [...]

I believe in most extreme forms of hatred and stigmatizing certain groups there is an element of self-hatred. A person who obsessively fights against homosexuals may be fighting against his actual self, his homosexual dark persona. The one who hates the Roma may be fighting against his “colorful,” marginal threads to protect his dull life, governed by the dictatorship of “shoulds.” I have many times observed in Turkey that most hard-line secularists come from devout Muslim families, and with their Islamophobic attitudes they actually express their shame and discontent with their background.

When I first heard the story of this Turkish nationalist Armenian guy, I thought this was a divine message from God to him. All of a sudden he was given an opportunity to reflect on his entire life, his purpose, his attitude and the way he relates with other people. Did he receive the message? I did not believe that he had no clue about his background; he most probably kept pushing every sign showing that he is not Turkish into the dark corners of his subconscious. Apparently, later on, some undeniable evidence showed up and he entered in a kind of shock. Or maybe with this sudden revelation everything became much clearer. Things started to make sense.

Can he continue on with his life as if nothing has happened? After this kind of painful confrontation, nothing can be the same. He would either abandon his Turkish nationalism or become more and more nationalistic.

This guy did not know his background (at least consciously) and became a Turkish nationalist.[...]

This new revelation about Hitler’s genetic code is filled with food for thought about racism, human destructiveness and self-hatred. It provides us with a fresh perspective when looking at people who somehow hate others. And, of course, I hope it will help those who hate and stigmatize some groups; I wish they could see the real meaning of their hatred.

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