Below is a thread on the coin flip politics related to the final years of the Ottoman Empire. Thread is on Armenian, Kurdish, Turkish disputes.

Many atrocities occured between 1912 to 1923. This was mainly due to slow reaction of Ottoman Government to western modernization. 1/n
The empire’s elite failed to construct economic and information networks among its multinational subjects. They were avid to modernize the empire, yet were too late to the party.
Worst of all, the Ottoman Elite (New Ottomans) got the Western ideals yet could not grasp the fact that Western thought is rooted on individual enterprise. They merely brought modernized institutions aimed to “produce” the “saviors” of the Ottoman Empire 3/n
That new generation of Ottomans were called the Young Turks. Their ideal was to unite the multinational subjects of the empire under the identity of Ottomanism. These young folks were soldier-doctors who did not like the Sultan due to his despotism. 4/n
Among those times, social darwinism was on stage, and due to the soldier-doctor background of the Young Turks the school of social darwinism resonated deeply on them. According to “most” of them, the world was composed of winner and loser societies. 5/n
At the same time, the non-Muslim community in the Ottoman Empire started enjoying the (so so) equal (ahem) rights granted by the Tanzimat Fermanı. Yet there is a catch. The rights of the non-Muslim community were guaranteed by the industrialized countries. 6/n
By industrialized, I mean, Liverpool dirt, pre-Marxist movements west. The countries in which the worker population being crushed by the cotton & iron producers. So, quickly, the guaranteering status turned into same old Game Theory. 7/n
Where on one side, the elites upbrought by the empire, held themselves above the empire’s people “tebaa” and hated the sultan and at the same time wanted to re-bring democracy to the Empire. Oh, also they thought running elections would magically solve the Empire’s issues. 8/n
Make no mistake, this is how you spell populism. Nevermind. On the other hand, there were the non-muslim community incentivised for the nationalist movements -which I deeply respect. 9/n
The issue is, the guaranteers benefited from the instability of the Empire and they had an instrument. On this fun game, Sultan Abdülhamit tried to counter this with compromises to the guaranteers, a large intellegence network and D E S P O T I S M 10/n
You know who hates despotism, the soldier-doctor weirdos. So Young Turks, did some funny stuff and finally an assembly has been formed in 1908. The assembly consisted of 142 Turks, 60 Arabs, 25 Albanians, 23 Greeks, 12 Armenians, 5 Jews, 4 Bulgarians and so the list goes on. 11/n
So the Young Turks established the new Ottoman identity and the nations lived happily ever after - should the politics of the empire were to be formed on the void of space, under normal conditions. 12/n
Although an assembly was formed, the non-Muslim population was not content. Balkan nations could have just rebelled and form their own political body. Also, guaranteers would love to supply arms. And so this is how it happened. On 1912, hell broke lose. 13/n
Although the popular culture depictions of the Ottoman Empire were mainly focused on the Arabic culture, Ottoman elites were actually of Balkan origin. The coolness rank were as:
1. Balkans
2. Turks, Armenians and Greeks
3. Nobody cares
The Young Turks did not see the Balkan Wars coming because they were simply enthusiastic new grads that were neither soldiers nor doctors nor fucking statespeople. So with the trauma of losing Balkans, the very very home of the Ottomans, they clinged on to social darwinism. 15/n
To resonate it deeply with you, consider losing Balkans as United States losing Massachusetts. Hits hard. Well, just around the Balkan Wars, Armenian elite sided with Russia to slay muslim population around Adana and Maraş motivated by promise of land. 16/n
Make no mistake, millions of Turks died until 1915. Millions. Yet the Ottoman govt tradition was very focused on responding based on interest and not holding grudge. When Young Turks seized the power, absent of Ottoman govt tradition, they did hold grudge. 17/n
So the Ottomanism ideal of Young Turks collapsed to a newly formed identity of Turkishness motivated by the German school of thought. Pride. Power. Ubermensch. blah. blah. And to retaliate - stressing on this, to retaliate -they also started killing. 18/n
Oh, also, in this fucked up atmosphere, they decided that going into war with the Germans was a good idea. Fucking. Morons.

So they did join the world war. Near that time, they deported the Armenian population and initiated targeted killings of Armenian elite. 19/n
By the 1915, Turks died. Balkans died. Armenians died. Ottoman Empire’s slackness on modernization created a vacuum of power and rained death upon its subjects. Irrespective of religion and ethnicity. 20/n
Yet targeted killings of the Armenian elite was sensational and magnified by the Western media. Also it was framed so that the Armenians were killed out of the blue. Make no mistake, I do not blame the media for that. 21/n
Framing the event like that was of their interest and it was natural for them to do so. This. Was. Young Turks’ Mistake. So to average it out, you can consider the events as Turks getting slayed until 1908 and Young Turks holding grudge and slaying Armenians & Arabs. 22/n
Following their inaptitude in leadership and war management, Young Turks failed. Ottoman Empire failed. And the people of the Empire failed. Balkans fell over the Soviet influence briefly after independence, Greeks decided that everything is Greek and sinking EU is cool. 23/n
Armenia thought forming a land locked country is a great idea. Then fell under Soviet influence. Arabs were traumatized by the abolishment of the Caliphate. Turks and Kurds... oh boy. 24/n
As everything was about to fail for Turkish & Kurdish population of the Ottoman Empire by the Sevres Treaty, an idealist, a thinker of positivism and lover of French thought - Mustafa Kemal - struck and struck hard. 25/n
Before him, the Turkishness was basically depicted from the Gaza (conquest) motive. Turks were defined as this fighter nation that erected the mighty bighty bibbly bubbly Ottoman Empire. Fucking basic. 26/n
His political agenda was to define the Turkishness based on the positivism of Comte and solidarity of Durkheim. His objective was to get industrialized and create for the peace. It was a stark rupture from the Gaza identity. 27/n
And people of Turkey freaking loved it, partly due to war exhaustion and partly Mustafa Kemal’s design of identity was his night time job and during the day time he was busy saving the people of Turkey from the invader yoghurts. So he had fuck tons of charisma. 28/n
Nevermind. Remember this new Turkishness, which is the political epicenter of modern Turkey. Oh and it has been formalized by Ziya Gökalp, a Kurd from Diyarbakır. Gotcha. 29/n
Yet there is another gotcha. Mustafa Kemal l o v e d secularism. And by secularism I mean laicism. So after a couple of shit show events happening in 1924, he decided to abolish the Caliphate. And he did. 30/n
Consider this as Mario Draghi abolishing the Vatican. Just. Like. That. Boom. Middle finger to muslim world. Gotcha-akbar. 31/n
This was a nuke to the muslim world. And do you know who were in that muslim world? The Kurds. Following 1924, Muslim Kurds started uprisings. Uprisings have been sustained by 1930s and Kurds decided to call themselves Mountain Turks. Just. Like. That. No force included 32/n
Gotcha-hewal. Then an idealist student of Mülkiye (Ankara School of Politics) decided to study his Kurdish background. He was a leftie during the cold war. ~500 kms south of Russia. Hmm. Leftie. Movements. During. Cold. War. Guess. Who. Doesnt. Like. That. 33/n
Well... just like that lower ranks of the military thought leftie movements in Turkey is bad and decided to stage a coup and crush Turkish lefties. 34/n
The idealist leftie took it very personal and decided to form a guerilla organization. Then military took it very personal and decided to counter with well counter-guerilla tactics. 35/n
All this shitshow continued until 2001 and the public tired of the shitshow elected AKP (JDP). AKP’s policy was mainly based on forming good relations with the neighbors to diversify portfolio of Turkey’s foreign relations. Oh also they had a beef with secularism. 36/n
By 2001-2014 or so AKP tried to:
- reunite Greeks with Turks on Cyprus (Greeks denied, see Annan Plan)
- join Turkey to EU (EU denied)
- resolve Turko-Armenian disputes (Armenia declined)
- seek diplomatic solution to PKK conflict (PKK ended up digging trenches in country)
Remember the Balkan Wars? Oh, also there is a crazy battle between the secular military and AKP. I won’t even mention it. But it is fun. Nevermind. 38/n
Why am I sharing these? While all these crazy events have been occuring with fascinating battle of ideologies, ethnicities, institutions and interests; the Western perspective on Turks is to pronounce “Oh you don’t look Turkish” when a Turk drips a crisp of intellect. 39/n
And I share this to stress hard on the fact that while citing the “so called” Armenian genocide or framing terrorists that slay civil Kurds as the real Kurds probably all of your enlightened ideas depict from a mere NY times article. 40/n
Whereas the Turk or Kurd you refer to has skin in the game. So if you tolerated me until this point, please keep in mind that this thread is what I remember when you ask me:
“Why did you kill Armenians?”
“Why do you kill Kurds?”
“Do you ride camels?” 41/n
“Wow your English is so good. Where did you learn that?”
“Does your mother wear a hijab?”
“Why do you support terorism?”
“Do you think Turkey will ever be a democracy?”
When you ask these, most definitely I’ll spin a joke and change the subject yet below is my full response:
Do you think Turks hate Armenians? You are wrong.
Do you think Turks love Armenians?
You are wrong.
Do you think Turkey loves Kurds?
You are wrong. 43/n
Do you think Turkey hates Kurds?
You are wrong.
Do you think Turks love a despot leader?
You are wrong.
Do you think Turks love democracy?
You are wrong. 44/n
Turkey is a society. Complex as any other society. Some in it love West, some does not. Sometime people that love it gets elected. Sometimes does not. Sometimes Turks and Kurds hate each other. Sometimes they love each other. Sometimes our economy is good. 45/n
Most of the times it is bad lol. This is a complex system and there is no one answer to any of those questions. This includes Biden’s answer too. Coin flip politics. So rather than opinionated questions and judgements, I welcome your thoughts & sincere questions. 46/n
Finally as a cookie for bearing my 47 tweets, here is a song that embodies the thread. Good evening blue birds.
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