Is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk on Boris Johnson's side?

Is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk on Boris Johnson's side?

by Jonathan Stanley
article from Thursday 23, August, 2018

IT’S TIME as a Eurosceptic to wave my Johnson proudly again. Boris recently had a rough week following his comments on the niqab and burqa. Some accused him of being the ultimate hypocrite after previously citing his Turkish heritage. He wisely said little when journalists arrived at his door and instead offered them tea, which the English and Turkish share as a tradition.

I’ve been reading a little on the founder of the Turkish nation, Mustapha Kemal Ataturk. He penned a few poems and speeches in his time and this one really sums up Boris Johnson’s position rather well.

No great fan of war abroad, a national conservative, a bon vivant and a liberal with scarcely covered contempt towards the sentiments of religious extremism that held his country back. It’s pretty clear Ataturk would have been opposed to the EU given his derision of appointed ideological experts to make law.

See what you make of it all!

“O nation

I am Kemal Mustafa

If my thoughts and beliefs are not of this day and age

If my wisdom isn't still the most authentic mentor 

Then let my tongue cleave to the roof of my palate 

I apologise, 


Forget everything I said

Destroy and shatter the statues you have built of me


If freedom isn’t still the supreme value

If you’d rather have slaves stay chained 

If you see no sense in living a civilized life

If you want to be sent back in time to the middle ages and wish to put a crown on the head of a man who spits into the face of art


If the pain of war violence was not enough

If peace at home, peace in the world has no meaning

If to be awarded requires an arms race


If you miss the fez and the veil and prefer to light the night

If you’re still hoping to find healing from a dervish, a sheik or an amulet


If you say women should not be equal to men and should be covered in black sheets in order to flee from the wrath of bigots

If you say you don’t want to see our women and daughters to get an education just because you believe this is their fate


If freedom and democracy is too much for you to handle. 

If you have a longing for the sultan of the Sultanate and are still not able to determine the significance of being a nation.

Be servants, stay on the path of religion and wait for Şeyḫülislām to lay down the law for you


Forget everything I said

Destroy and shatter the statues you have built of me


Swap the Sultanate for the Commission and Şeyḫülislām for ECJ judges and it can be seen without too much persuasion Johnson is, if anything, a Kemalist.

That may not be the most affection accolade to him but Ataturk took his country to modernity and prosperity and championed his nation in the world. That’s not a bad start. A cup of tea seems suddenly quite a nice idea!

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