In the author’s disputes with Tatars and other Muslims of the Russian Federation about the fate of national republics, some opponents with persistence worthy of better application propose pan-Turkism as a model of development. This is far from a new idea unites idealists who dream of a revival of the Great Turan, called to unite all Turkic peoples – at least Russia, and at most the entire post-Soviet space, and perhaps the whole world.
Such an ideology is surprising, to say the least. How many attempts have been made on different continents, by different ethnic groups and representatives of religious denominations to create empires on the basis of a single idea, a single religion or belonging to a single language group!
The author treats such pan-Turkist plans with tolerance, taking the example of the Ukrainian authorities in their relations with the Crimean adherents of Hizb ut-Tahrir: they want to believe in the World Caliphate – let them believe, but only do not violate the laws of the country where they live. It is only shameful that supporters of pan-Turkism in the national liberation movement of Tatarstan, for example, do little in practice. For them, the illusory idea is akin to opium intoxication – it frees them from heavy thoughts and unsettled reality. And real progress in asserting one’s rights is not good. It turns out that Tatar patriots-pantturkists fall out of the bunch of fighters for Free Tatarstan.
Sorry, but that’s it!
Pan-Turkist rhetoric and ideology in general is quite common among the Tatar intelligentsia. The one who hasn’t fallen into sediment yet and doesn’t doze in front of the TV. It’s sad with RT’s intelligence. Here we see a disappointing picture, as part of the Tatar intelligentsia is simply lulled by power and praying for comfort and well-being. Such fighters as F. Bayramova, brothers Kashapova, F. Zakiev are very rare. The public of Tatarstan supports the mobilization and sending of Tatars to war, does not protest against the destruction of the Tatar language and culture, and has come to terms with the dilution of Tatar identity. And in addition, even genuinely patriotic Tatars have become addicted to sweet pan-Turkist opium, step aside and call for the revival of the Great Turan. But they associate this revival with circumstances that are as unlikely in real geopolitics as fantasy warriors on flying dragons.
In general, Pan-Turkism is the same cabinet invention as Pan-Slavism, Pan-Arabism, Pan-Germanism and other theories rejected by time and peoples striving for sovereignty and identity. Any resemblance to them is possible only in totalitarian state entities, and only for a short time. Faced with the realities of life, such “homunculus” inevitably died.
Neither the Arabs under Gamal Abdel Nasser, nor the Germans with the Austrians under Hitler, nor the Slavic-Yugoslavs under Marshal Joseph Broze Tito could coexist in a single state. It was not possible to create a new world ethnicity “after Christ” at the beginning of the New Era – Catholics and Orthodox quarreled so much that they still cannot forgive each other. Here again the idea meets with interest and, as always, loses. Why is he losing? People do not like unification and haircuts under the same comb, in man nature is laid the urge for self-expression. And how will the pan-Turkist state solve this problem? Well, the Tatars from modern Kazan do not want to find themselves in the position of Afghan women: wearing a burqa and sitting at home locked up. It’s what’s called a random example, and there’s a lot of them. What about those who do not want to live according to the Pan-Turkist ideology and Muslim laws in the Pan-Turkist Empire? Evict? Send Uighurs to re-education camps like the Chinese? The nationality of a person, belonging to an ethnic group is determined by his self-awareness! What, break your self-awareness? Make you forget you’re a Tatar? You are now a pantyr, like an Afghan, a Turkmen, a Uighur, a Solar, a Karaim, a Krymchak, a Tofalar… The last three, by the way, are not Muslims at all, so how can they be persuaded to “rigor” their self-consciousness under the ideology of pan-Turkism?
The whole world aspires to the other – to live freely on its own territory, respecting the rights of its neighbor to the same freedom. According to the author, this has reached R. Kashapov and some other participants of the Tatar national-democratic movement, which is why he considers him an intellectual capable of self-improvement and leadership in the national-liberation struggle. Some respected friends on the move, unfortunately, the opposite trend: if there is a basic knowledge and a probable higher education offer a “way to a fairy tale”! Let the author forgive his fellow patriots-pantturkists, you are his friends, of course, but the truth is more expensive! The Pan-Turkist idea is detrimental to our common cause. Today it is necessary to focus on such fighters as R. Kashapov, F. Bayramova, L. Latypova, S. Ismagilov, F. Zakiev and others. They rejected the sweet opium idea of building a Free Tatarstan through the illusory unification of all Turks under the patronage of powerful Turkey. They have harnessed and pulled the heavy axe of defending Tatar rights in their homeland and persuaded others to follow their example. They boldly, in Tatar style, follow the path of struggle and preach faith in their own strength, and all other ways and ways – from the evil one!