“Incredible how fixated they are on Turkey”
By our editor Hans Moll
NRC Handelsblad (Dutch newspaper)
April 3, 2004
Journalist Mehmet Ülger on Turkish nationalism
AMSTERDAM, APRIL 3. Many Turkish organizations are subsidised, however,
they do not promote integration. This is what Turkish-Dutch journalist
Mehmet Ülger says.
“Left-wing Netherlands protects right-wing immigrants”, says Mehmet Ülger.
He smiles but he does not really understand it. Last week an ‘updated
edition’ of “A Search for Turkish Extreme Right, Gray Wolves”, which he had
written with Stella Braam in 1997, was published.
Actively misleading the Dutch is often not even necessary. Ülger describes a
mosque in which, for those who understand, all kinds of symbols are hung
that refer to the Ottoman Empire and the last caliphate. To a Dutch person
this has no meaning, not only because he does not know the symbols, but also
because he is not a nationalist. Nationalism is a loaded concept in the
Netherlands that equals xenophobia and borders racism. “The Dutch hardly
have an idea of how deeply nationalism plays a role among Turks,” says
Ülger. He refers to the Austrian politician Haider who is depicted as a
nationalist and far-rightist in the Western media. But according to him,
Haider’s ideals pale before those of the Turkish MHP, the mother party of
the Gray Wolves. He refers to a meeting held last month in The Hague where
the president of the youth branch of the MHP, Alisan Satilmis, was a guest
of honor. “Satilmis led a demonstration against the showing of a movie in
Turkey about the Armenian genocide.” Recognizing that genocide means the
same as treason among nationalist Turks.
Ülger does not want his photograph in the newspaper. He is working