By Naveed Tajammal
The secularist, movement, was started, by certain elements which were the real pressure groups, as well the intellectual class of the later ottoman empire, whose efforts, were the culmination and introduction of the idea of secularism in the new constitution of a new Turkey in 1924, these people, who were, infused with this thought process, brought a, disaster, for the Muslim's, of Turkey.
The purpose of highlighting, Ottoman Turkey, as a case study, though very briefly and practically in general outlines, is to state that, just because, the Turk leadership, of that time had done a blunder, due to pressure of the super powers, we need not, even think about it, for reasons, as will be explained, as these have resulted in a chain reaction of events, a study of which however brief is a must.
The intellectual class which had spearheaded this move were ethnically and religiously not the actual Turks, as the term goes, as I had earlier stated, the composition of the Turkish empire was fifty percent, Muslims, as late as 1910, however at the time of the start of the 1839 and 1856 so-called reforms,"tanzimats" the Muslim population was much less as between 1839 and 1910, the empire had lost a lot of its area due to weak Sultans and the leadership factor.
The powers of that time were obsessed with breaking up of Turkey, as they are, to breakup Pakistan. The balkanization maps are so eagerly being propagated to soften the Pakistan minds for its acceptance and its merits for the Zionist controls. Reverting back to the empire, and its, population as it stood, at the start of 20th century, they inhabited, Iannina, Scutari and Kosovo. Monastir had a population mix of both Orthodox Muslims and Christians, the Christian portion of Monastir formed part of Bulgaria. The Bulgarians, besides Monastir, also inhabited Salonika and Kosovo, all were Orthodox Christians. Here it is pertinent to note that the, headquarter of 'The Committee of Union and Progress' was based at Salonika. The Freemason Jews lent a strong support to the work of the committee; the later leader of Turks, Mustapha Kamal, was a key figure of this organization which later became part of Freemasonry League.
As stated earlier, the empire had 300,000 Jews all over, the business and commerce was in their control, the Greeks,
followed next. What happened to Adan Menders, and his hanging much later, on 16 September 1961, along with Fatin Rustu Zorlu and Hassan Palatka, was an interconnected sequence, spread over decades of resistance against secularism. The Servians were in Kosovo; the Christians and the Greeks, were spread all over the commerce and trade of the empire. They were orthodox as well, as Greco-Christians and the Kutzo-Vlachs (Macedonians) were Christians, the Lazes, found in Trebizond and east were Muslims as well, as Christians. The Kurds were in Erzurum, Sivas, serest, angora, and Mosul, all were Muslims, the Circassia’s, spread all over Asia Minor were Muslims. The Arabs, in the empire, were in Adana, Aleppo, Syria, Baghdad, Sanjak of Jerusalem, Hejaz, Yemen, Beirut and Basra, all being Muslims. Today, the name given Saudi Arabia has no relevance with history. It was coined when Abdul Aziz Al-Saud took over Hejaz and that was not without the support of Col D.E. Lawrence
Armenians lived in Istanbul, as well in other vilayets (provinces), of Turkey in Europe. They were also in Sivas, Angora, Trebizond, Adana, Erzurum, Bittlis, Mosul, Van and Aleppo; all were Gregorian and Christian Catholics. The Jews, had spread in Europe, courtesy the empire, on whose destruction they were bent upon, they retained the jugular of business, in the empire. A sect of Jews called the Samaritan, were confined to Napluze, a vilayet of Beirut.
The Chaldeans or the Nestorians, who then spoke, Syro-Chaldaic, and partly Arabic, were too in Baghdad, Mosul, Aleppo, Beirut, and Mamurat-ul-Aziz.the Malachite, or the Syrian, were greco-catholics, who were Greeks, ethnically, spoke Arabic, but were, united Orthodox Christians, as went the classifications, and lived, all over Syria. The Jacobites/Syrians, who spoke Arabic, were all Monophysite, as well Jacobite Christians, the monites, spoke Arabic, but in their, churches, it was syro-chaldaic. They were located around mount. Lebanon and Beirut. all were Monophysite, (Catholics). The Druse, and the Mendaties, or Ben-i-Yahya; too were located around, Mount Lebanon and the Sanjak of Hauran and Basra; they were all Sabaeans. The main aim of these, other then Muslim races was, to, disrupt and destroy the empire; the first to go were the "janissaries." This will be explained later, as to why they were, axed.
Now, to have a brief, insight in the administrative, set up of the empire, is also a must. Muhammad the second, the conqueror of Constantinople in1453, had created a very free set up. With not much of red tape, as the term goes, he presided over all key matters, and led the army too. The administration was composed of "kazas' or cantons, under command of a kazi, the sanjaks, or departments, came under, Alia Beys or Mir-i-Livas (colonels and brigadiers) with one horse-tail banners. The vilayets were under, bey-ler-beys, pashas with two-horse tail banners, in war times all bey-ler-beys served under the Grand Vezier, the title of vezier was also held by, six or seven persons, they all met under a "kubbe" or a dome (cupola) as the hall of the divan had a massive cupola, the veziers were also pashas, with three-horse tail, banners. Here it should also be kept in mind that prior to the reforms of 1839 the empire was much larger and had more Christians; the Arabs were cut off after the Arab revolt spearheaded by, T. E. Lawrence in 1914-1919.
The Christians hated the Turks because they had taken over the capital of their Eastern Roman Empire in1529 they were at the gates of "Vienna" Austria, and Khair ud Din, called Barbarossa. The Mediterranean Sea was converted into a Turkish lake. In1683, the brilliant, "Kara Mustapha" the grand vezier, with an army of 500,000 was again at Vienna, this time, he wanted, the conquest of the whole of Germany, and create Ottoman province, from, Rhine to Danube. The weak ruler, Muhammad the fourth, could not bear the grand vezier, so planned his destruction while Kara Mustapha, led the army. But, in history such, fickle minded, weak rulers have always existed, hence in the middle of the war, Kara Mustapha, was executed at Belgrade, by the cowardly sultan’s orders. Eventually, the Turkish Army, deposed him and brought forward Suleiman the second.
Now, the "janissaries" revolted; so all these events, were manipulated that led by a constant interference of the super powers, the Christian population, as well the Jews, ended in 1839 and 1856 reforms. As by 1821, the Greeks had revolted, on the behest of Russians, it was only the timely help of Mehmet Ali the Pasha of misr, (Egypt) who saved the day. By the protocol of 4 April 1826, signed at St. Petersburg on the behest of British. Vide this treaty, Greece was to be governed by its own elected authorities and would have independent commercial relations. the further end on Turks by the superpowers came at battle of Navarino, on the 20th Oct.1827 with this came the axe on the "janissaries" and the end of the main fighting force, of the Turks. Bad and incapable leadership always destroys the organization which it is unable to control or manage and then dies its own death. A new and capable leadership controls the events and leads the same nation, once declared dead by all, on a new path.
Ruining empires and nations, is and has been, the policy of various pivotal powers, this would continue to be the same in the future also; unless we awaken up to these facts and counter the moves. The nations are always misled by propagandists, working in various modes and using different means of implementing their ends. The unwary and unwitting gullible people are taken for a ride thus damage is inflicted, as is in the case of the Muslim world. There has to be a collective awakening, infusion of some new blood in the leadership who will have to take some measured steps to put the nation on a solid and sound path.
We study history, or political process, which is an ongoing event with a purpose, the point of all discussions is to exchange ideas and arrive at some mental conclusions, if a debate continues without an end, it is a waste of time, and effort. The purpose to my mind is, we should, analyze and try to stay away from something which has been proven a failed experiment, as was, and is, the case of secularism, in Turkey. Through these articles, the purpose is to create awareness for a better insight for a reader more insight to understand the course of events that led to this situation in Turkey.
Our people fail to understand that, the political events are a chain of events, which, a player had played in the past, and they affect our lives in one form or the other, even now so, instead of remaining a "pawn in the game,” we too should do something about it in, some form or the other.
The present policy is the old "statesman” policy being used on us, the power players in this case, subvert the loyalty of the victim nations’ population, from it’s states, which eventually travels down to the very foundations of the country’s military power- which is in reality the final objective. Militarily weakened nation is then targeted and destroyed from within then dismembered or balkanized as is said now. This term originated from the nation that was the Osmanli Empire till the last century, the Headquarter of our Muslim Khilafat, the present case study, the scourge of the west had been it’s, "janissaries."
A corrupted Turkish word, from the word, "yenni-cheri" or the new troops, the entire corps was commanded by the "Agha" of the yennicheri, called "oj ak"(the hearth).it was divided into ,"ortas"or units, of varying numbers, the "oda"or the room, was the name given to the barracks in which they were lodged. Sultan Suleiman the first, had organized them into 196,ortas, divided into three classes," jemaat' had 101 ortas; beuluk, had 61, and sekban had 34 ortas. there were also additional, 34 ortas of apprentices. In the peace times, the ortas were 100, men strong, in war times it was raised to 500.
The distinction, between the different classes, was in duty, they performed, the jemmat; or the "yaya beiter" were charged with, the frontier duties, the beuluk, had the privilege to serve as the sultan’s guards, and kept the sacred banner both during war and peace. The sacred, banner was the flag of the holy prophet.
Until 1574, the effective strength of the yennicheri, including the ajami, was not allowed to exceed 20,000, in 1805, they numbered 112,000.and at the time of their destruction they were 135,000.
The ‘yenicheri’ were spread all over the empire, guarding all the vital places; it was this fighting machine which was destroyed by the weak and cowardly Sultan Mahmud the second, on the orders of his, mentors of the powers.
To have a better insight into the function of this remarkable institution, this kept the empire in one piece while it was in existence. The Code of conduct was a creation, which only affected them. Implicit obedience to the officers, perfect accord and union among themselves, abstinence from luxury, Islam was the code, enforced by the rules of "Hajji Bektash" a learned, pious Muslim, saint.
Yennicheri, were entitled to special rules ,regarding, a death penalty, if awarded to them, promotion, was by seniority, they could be punished and admonished by their own officers. Only the infirm and unfit were pensioned off, they were not allowed beards, nor to marry, nor to leave their barracks, or engage into trade, but to spend, the time in drill and in the practice of the "art of war".
In the time of the peace, the Janissaries (yennicheri) could not carry arms, but were armed with clubs, only in the frontier were they allowed arms in peace times.
The Janissaries, banner, was of white silk, on which verses from the Quran, were embroidered, in gold, this banner was planted besides, The, "agha’s" tent, in the camp, with 4 other flags, in red cases and a three horse tail banner/standard.
Each aorta, had its flag, half-red and half-yellow &placed before the tent of its commander in the start, the janissaries, bore no other, mark of distinctive nature, save a white turban. This was converted into red. With gold work on it. The officers had the difference in the colour of the boots, the commanding officers, of the, beuluk, wore red boots, the others yellow, while the juniors wore black.
Thus on 10 June 1826, Mahmud the second, ordered the destruction, a fatwa (decree), was issued by the Shaikh-ul-Islam, the flag of the holy prophet was "unfurled" and Ibrahim Agha the artillery commander opened cannon fire on the barracks, they were asked to ‘’surrender’’, which was, replied with the cry of "olmaz" never or not possible. None survived the massacre, the barracks were burnt down, men burnt, but none pleaded for mercy, such was the unity and discipline.’’ Amongst them’’. The rest of 135,000, men too met the fate as stoically, All over the empire. The reason being the flag of the prophet had been "unfurled" on them by a devious, sultan. The cause of none resistance was, that the janissaries, had been the custodians of the same flag in the past. It was only "unfurled" in grave circumstances thus was the signal of the final act," to do or die." for it. Thus died the Manhood of the empire, with its destruction ended the State. Eventually what had been the gravest threat to the whole Europe, within a year, the powers of West had forced the ill-fated Sultan, “By the treaty of London,” on 6th july1827 to grant autonomy to Greece who were to be governed by a prince of their choice. (Christian).
With the destruction of ‘yenicheri’, Mehmet Ali, viceroy of ‘’Egypt’’, too revolted and was at the doors of Istanbul, from the eastern and southern side. He was made by these powers, a hereditary ruler of Egypt, by a, ’’fireman’’ issued by the new boy sultan, abd-ul-majid (1839-61).through him these powers introduced, edicts, called "tanzimats "much to the pleasure of the merchant classes and traders of the empire, who were all Christians & Jews, for whom all these efforts in the breakup of the structure were done, through the hands of a doomed sultan, named Mahmud the second. Followed by an equally, ill-omened, ruler.
TO BE CONTINUED………..
To read Part I click HERE