By Alem Hailu
Before marching to showdowns, while chanting war songs to embolden themselves, warrior forefathers of Ethiopia used to chant “ቱርክ ባይ የምፈራ ነኝ ወይ?” It literary means “Am I to back pedal if I see a Turkish man?” It was during my formative years I heard this saying encapsulated in our oral literature .It portrays when it comes to their freedom Turkish people are valorous and brave heart on par with a lion, for the war song should have been “Am I to back pedal if I see a lion!”
As an invited journalist, very recently, I had been in Ankara and Istanbul to be an eyewitness to the selfless sacrifice people of Turkey paid to foil the July 15 attempted coup laying before and jumping on Tanks. It is the aforementioned war song this realization conjured up in my mind.
From the discussions I and a group of journalists from Ethiopia,Nigeria and Gambia held with Turkish officials,media heads and veterans from Nov14-18 I learned that people of Turkey had the courage and determination of slapping on the face a down slide from democracy to a coup-imposed tyranny. This doesn’t come down as a surprise for me as I learnt later Turkish people are fed up with a coup-punctuated life, which they knew to be an outmoded and a derailing one .
Oblivious to their surroundings, with bare hands, people of Turkey were confronting FETO’s coup plotters armed to the teeth. Coup plotters were enjoying a go ahead from the oblivious West having a bent of fishing in troubled waters—sniffing for own advantages. The track record of opportunists, well known for exporting revolutions and to dos, testifies this fact as already dissected by African experts who saw through the sanctimonious stance of the west. Here one could google and read the articles CIA in Africa(Ethiopia) & Who killed Democracy in Africa(Democra-cide) by Ethiopian professor Aleme Eshete and by Kenyan Professor Ali Mazuri’s respectively.
True to their saying “We negotiate even with the devil to meet our ends” though they tout the urgency of fighting out terrorism and mounting a concerted effort towards that noble end westerners subtly and ironically support a terrorist organization like FETO, which under the guise of religion aspires to bring the world under the control of an Imam with subordinate Imams created in his image and infiltrated in every arm of the administrative machinery of a victim country. FETO’s people on the top recruit members from formative years to have at their disposal members who don’t bat an eye in tearing down a constitutional order.
Aside from derailing the development of a nation, a coup hits the last nail on the confine of democracy since it warrants a vicious cycle of coup. It creates hassle on people’s life and divest off the tranquility of a nation not to mention its grotesque nature of scaring away tourists,investors and business persons.
Sad as it may sound,turning a blind eye to the reality, some media outlets with opportunistic bent try to tarnish the image of Turkey dishing out the unfounded detention of Nigerian students in Turkey.
Approaching overseas students from their respective countries, members of the journalist crew invited to Turkey have proved the allegation to be a fabrication concocted to confuse the world.
Conversely, Turkish journalists having integrity were risking their lives carrying across president Erdogan’s message to the public to come out in to the streets and defend democracy..
As the mindset of the youth is always malleable, taking the lead in shaping their attitude of mind helps in parrying the swaying of their hearts in an wanted direction. This is all the more so as the terrorists like FETO,which recruits members from their formative years. is insidious by nature. To nip in the bud the activities of those who act underground, monitoring the activities organizations like FETO with the affectations of religiosity is exigent!Countries must also stand guard against cultural pollution, for that is one way of robbing the mind set of the youth. Whenever I think of this I allude to the book Decolonizing the Mind by Nugugi Watiango!
Unless some developed nations,specially from the west, mend their ways of fishing in troubled waters and least their media outlets prove honest to the audience and the truth, they will belittle themselves in the eyes of the global community. For it may be possible to hoodwink people for some time with the same technique but no always.
Conversely, if developed nations eye at a win-win approach in dealing with developing nations, be considerate in giving scholarships and prove warmhearted in receiving refugees, like Turkey, they could cut a cherished corner in the hearts of the world community.
To foil the propaganda warfare by the less genuine countries promoting public diplomacy goes without saying. By inviting journalists,artists,sportsmen and the like, countries must show their true picture, which might have been tainted by some media outlets.
My visit to Turkey has stirred a feeling in me that contradicts another feeling created on me while reading an image-tainting article on The Economist June 8 2013 edition(page11) portraying President Erdogan A Democrat or Sultan. After I spoke with veterans and families of martyrs of the July attempted coup that the president holds mirror to their ways of life and ambition I have learn t I have to take the writings of such media outlets with a grain of salt.
I believe Turkey is a crossroad of different cultures—Europe,Asia,Middle East and some what Africa. Also in their secular state Muslims and Christians live harmoniously in Turkey. I think that is why hospitable and cordial by nature people of Turkey are not that difficult to mix with. Here in Ethiopia Turkish films are widely embraced by the society as they are not culturally remote from ours. Family members dining together,extended families,filial and parental loves,considerateness are some of the commonalities I observed between Ethiopia and Turkey.
The country, strewn with mosques,rich with tourist attractions is an ideal country for tourists and foreignness that set their feet there for business,education or other reasons.///////
Excerpts from CIA in Africa by pro Aleme Eshete
“Greetings again Professor Levine. This chapter deals with the political issues you have raised in your response. Let us circumscribe our subject. I will not be talking as you did in general terms about U: S, or U.S official government politics towards Ethiopia, the State Department etc. Instead, I will talk about the CIA – the invisible unofficial, U.S government that has been misgoverning, mismanaging through its proxies in a large part of the Third World, above all in Latin America, but also, in Asia, and in Africa since the end of the Second World War. We all know the CIA is well present in the Universities in the U.S and Europe, among scholars and students. In general while lecturing on the Third World, Western scholars shy to talk about the CIA. They talk about our under-development, about our poverty. They talk about our famine; they talk about our civil war; about our “tribal wars” particularly in “primitive“ Africa, – as if they were all homemade homegrown problems for which we are entirely responsible, as “free” people. You characterize the Ethiopians, particularly those in the Diaspora as addicted to blaming others for their misfortune. You accuse me of “Indulging in postures, of blaming others…” With our hands tied as proxy colonial subjects, burning what ever we produce in successive proxy wars, destroying scarce infrastructure, robbing the tiny reserve of foreign currency or gold, in short, mismanaging our economies through its brutal proxy regimes, who as Arion wrote in Tobia (Meskerem 17.) are commonly assassins and outright robbers
Exerpts from Democra-cide by Prof Ali Mazuri
A string of suspects have emerged from history. Let me personify the forces at work.The magician who came in from the North . This suspect symbolises the first phase ofdemocratisation when we brought into Africa from the temperate zone of the Northernhemisphere magic models of governance. In former British Africa, this meant the adoption in
Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and elsewhere the Westminster magic model ofparliamentary govemment.
The magic which came in from the North was the fascination, the spell cast by Western ways.We were mesmerised into uncritical importation of an alien paradigm. This was the phase ofhigh political imitativeness as Africans imitated Western forms but not Western democraticubstance. There was a major disconnect between the imported institutions and the cultural
realities of Africa.