Kenan Evren, Progenitor Of Neo Turkish Islamo-Fundamentalism, Dead At 98
On the 9th of May, while the UK recoiled, Gollem-like, from the realisation that it would endure a further five years of food banks, austerity, zero hour contracts and morally illegal bonuses, Turkey woke up to the news that the designer and perpetrator of the own cause of their undoing, the 1980 coup, Kenan Evren had died.
At the end of the first world war, with around a million Armenians killed or sent eastwards to their death at the time, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk established modern Turkey from the ruins of the Ottoman empire. After Ataturk’s death in 1938, the country went through government after government, coup after coup until Kenan Evren’s defining takeover in 1980.
Thousands were detained, tortured and killed as the military exercised its terror over the country. Ataturk’s reforms towards west-looking secularism had always been at odds with many of the population, and the army finally seized their chance to exploit this unspoken reality. Whilst tourism boomed, Turkey itself proceeded on a knife-edge, with wary, tacit support from the US.
Turkey persisted until ex-footballer and jailbird Recep ‘Reggie’ Erdogan bought power via bags of coal at the turn of the century. An apprentice of the even more hardcore Islamist Saadet party from the 90s, Reggie eventually bought himself the biggest palace in the world, while presiding over the deaths of 300 miners, slapping one of their supporters at the scene, and telling his son to get rid of millions of lira from shoeboxes from their home.
Reggie is the natural heir of Kenan Evren and his bullying, pious ilk. On his passing, I’ll leave it to a Turkish friend to put it better than I ever could:
‘Thankfully! I know of no power that can resurrect his wretched soul. Imagine him as a mixture of Thatcher and … and Satan, I guess? Good riddance is all I have left to say’
Words by Sean Bw Parker. more of Sean’s writing for Louder Than War can be found in his author’s archive.