A Surprising History of Turkey in America

How do you get from Christopher Columbus to Butterball by way of Constantinople? Just ask Ataturk.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently made the news when he claimed that Muslim seafarers “discovered America” and that when Christopher Columbus arrived in Cuba in 1492 he found a mosque, built there by the natives, who were also Muslim. It may sound ridiculous (OK, it is ridiculous), but it says a lot about Turkey’s president and the Islamic chauvinism that makes Erdogan’s “new Turkey” so different from the secular ideals of the country’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Ataturk had a similarly inventive view of history. As explained by the Turkish Historical Society he founded, Native Americans were Turks, not Muslims. And also, it was the Turkish admiral Piri Reis who drew the oldest map of America. Instead of embracing a religiously centered bad history, the founder of the modern Turkish state saw the world through the triumphs of ethnic Turks.

Read more at Foreign Policy: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/11/26/a_surprising_history_of_turkey_in_america

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s