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VINE-PRODUKTTESTERam 16. Dezember 2012
Atatürk ist m.M. nach einer der bedeutensten Politiker des 20-sten Jahrhunderts - und einer der weniger bekannten.
Im Gegensatz zur ersten Biographie die ich über Atatürk las, scheint diese Biographie ausgewogener zu sein: Auch negative Seiten des Staatsgründers werden nicht verschwiegen.

Wer sich für die Türkei und deren Zukunft in/ohne Europa interessiert sollte wissen, auf welchem Fundament die heutige Türkei erbaut wurde. Dieses Fundament wurde von Atatürk entscheidend beeinflusst.
Diese Biographie hilft ganz sicher Atatürk und die moderne Türkei besser zu verstehen.

( Man kann nur hoffen, dass die gegenwärtige Regierung der Türkei nicht versucht "das Rad der Geschichte" wieder rückwärts zu drehen)
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am 3. Juni 2000
When the Turkish Republic made it mandatory for all citizens to adopt surnames, its president Mustapha Kemal selected "Ataturk" - "Father Turk" - as uniquely his own. (His sister and other relatives were not allowed to use it.) The sobriquet embodied Kemal's image of himself, which was shared by many other Turks then and thereafter.
This hefty biography, written by a veteran and sympathetic observer of the Turkish scene, is more detailed and less fawning than Lord Kinross's 1964 tome, previously the best-known English life of Kemal. It is based on an extensive array of printed Turkish sources, synthesizing what a diligent modern Turk would know about Kemal if he read everything that is readily available. On the other hand, the absence of archival research leaves many evidentiary conflicts unresolved and gives the accounts of controversial episodes a "he said, she said" flavor.
The focus is very closely, perhaps too closely, on Kemal himself. We are presented not only with the dramatic incidents of his exciting career (conspiracies, coups, wars, assassinations) and disorderly private life (womanizing, alcoholism, corrupt cronies, broken friendships, suspicions of foul play) but also with itineraries of his travels and summaries of numerous unmemorable speeches. The decrees of "Kemalism" - abolishing the Caliphate and the shariat, secularizing education, reforming the Turkish language, adopting the Christian calendar, granting equality to women, compelling men to wear European-style hats - issue forth from Ankara, but we barely glimpse how they were received in the country at large or how much fundamental change they truly wrought. Recent history makes it obvious that Kemal's project of detaching Turkey from the Islamic world and annexing it to his vision of Western civilization did not win unanimous support. Mango offers little help in understanding the reasons for acceptance or rejection. He also says virtually nothing about economic developments. The absence of statistics on production, incomes and trade is refreshing but leaves out important data that would place political developments in clearer context.
The author's decision to limit his perspective is forgivable. "Father Turk" is a large enough subject without devoting a lot of pages to his "children". Within its confines, the book is clearly written and comprehensive, though there is a certain trailing off near the end of Kemal's life, as he took less part in day-to-day governing and acted more like a king than a dictator. That, too, was the period when he became engrossed in eccentric historical and linguistic theories (not without parallel elsewhere in the 1930's) aimed at proving that every nation that lived or ever had lived in Anatolia was "Turkish" (especially the Kurds, though not, naturally, the Armenians or Greeks). Mango mentions these follies but clearly wishes that he didn't have to.
The book's overall evaluation of its protagonist is positive but not uncritical. Readers with strong partisan predispositions, whether pro or con, will find passages that will annoy or anger them. Kemal's admirers will question the generally favorable view of the Ottoman regime (termed "an inefficient and accommodating despotism" that was moving steadily toward modernity) and the emphasis on the early Republic's brutal and dictatorial ways. Critics will complain that the picture of modern Turkey is sugar-coated, that the sufferings of Greeks, Armenians and Kurds are downplayed and that the destructive side of Kemal's "cultural revolution" is ignored.
So this is not the "ideal" biography of Turkey's founder. It is, nonetheless, an excellent one and is worth the time of anyone who has more than a passing interest in the largest and most powerful nation in the Middle East.
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am 20. April 2000
Finally...I've been waiting for this book to come out since1997 when I first read a review of this book. I already knew whoAndrew Mango was since I'd read several articles of him. I was waitingsince I'd had the belief that he was an objective historian. In that review Mango was saying that the book may disappoint the Turkish Government and people a little bit. I purchased the book and read immediately. Yes he is objective. He successfully points to some facts such as how the elimination of Armenian citizens deprived the country of her talented cratfsmen and merchants or to some other facts such as the misdeeds of the anti-minority policy during and after Ataturk. He calls the 1915 Armenian deportation an ethnic cleansing. This and similar books will help the young Turkish generation of Turkey strip themselves of hypnotizing government policy hopefully. On the other hand I think there are some flaws, such as he claims that the apologestics of Vahideddin (the Sultan) propose that the Sultan ordered M.Kemal to go to Anatolia. In fact Falih Rifki Atay, who was a Kemalist, mentions about the historical meeting between Vahdeddin and M.Kemal in his book "Cankaya" which included many memoirs of Ataturk. This book is another help for Turkish youth to think different and not to repeat the misdeeds of the Young Turks and their successors from CUP (Ittihat ve Terakki) to today's Turkish Government. I recommend it enthusiastically to all interested readers.
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am 21. November 2000
Actually one of the best books about Atatürk written by a foreign author. As the author spent long years in Turkey,he was able to give the reader an understanding of the social and psychologic structure of turkish society which is absolutely necessary to understand the historical developement of our nation and therefore of Ataturk and his politics. While the author researched most of turkish and foreign sources about Ataturk and presents a well structured and informative study,it has to be said that some facts are shown in a speculative way,especially while the author tries to solve some myths and anecdotes linked to the personality of Ataturk,as he doesnt show sources which would support his theories. Mango's book does not contain any unknown or real new facts about Ataturk for the Turkish (or Turkish speaking foreign)reader who is familiar with this theme,but is a well presented and objective foreign point of view and therefore of great interest for both turkish and non-turkish readers. An interesting and fair study about this great statesman.
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am 20. April 2000
I am a Turkish American who has read almost every Turkish and non-Turkish book about Ataturk's life. While I found this book to be a very well searched and written, it is a hard read. I found it does not pull you like Lord Kinross's Ataturk does. Mango did draw a very honest picture of Ataturk and at the end of the book, despite his weaknesses, you find yourself admiring the subject and what he accomplished. Still, the author talks more about the events surrounding Ataturk's decisions rather than his emotional and mental condition while making those decisions. One think that annoyed me through out the book was his trying to clear some myths and stories told over the years. That would be OK if there was any way of checking the facts but in most cases there are not. He questions stories told by friends, foes and Ataturk himself, without telling the reader why he is questioning them. In other words, he speculates that the particular story must have happened some other way but he does not have any prove to back it up. Still it is an honest book and I am glad he is very even handed dealing with history. Turks usually complain of biases in foreign authors' writings. It is clear Mango has no biases and he reports only the facts. I am also glad he is even handed about Ataturk's private life. Many ugly allegations have been made against Ataturk by his enemies that continues to this day. While he was not perfect, he was not what his enemies have made him out to be and Mango gives a very clear picture of his private life with warts and all. He also explains why and how some of these ugly stories were spread and continue to spread to this day. It is a good book for educational purposes. My favorite, however, is still Lord Kinross's Ataturk.
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am 13. Dezember 2014
Gutes Buch dringend empfohlen für die deutschen Leaser. Lies über die Türkei, damit Du nicht Türkenfeindlicher wird. Während des . Reich hatten 750 000 Deutsche in die Turkei einen Refuge gefunden, darunter der erste Bügermeisten von Berlin Reuter. Keine deutsche quelle erwähnt diese 12 Jahre der Deutschen in der Türkei.
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am 22. Juni 2000
What is not bad: The author tells story well. What is not good: Sometimes he is not accurate. Some important point are passed through. Mostly author implies things without stating them clearly. I guess he is afraid of reactions. Anyway a complete dissapointment for me. Authors main sources are well-known ,like Falih Rifki or Riza Nur. The main question is does he have something new to say, I think he doesnt. Moral of story: dont waste your time with this book if you are not crawling about the subject.
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