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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Norman Stone Explains Why Egypt Isn't Turkey - Newsweek

"Egypt Isn’t Turkey
If history is any guide, there will not be an Atatürk in Cairo.
A portrait of Ataturk, the founder of modern secular Turkey, hangs in a store window in Istanbul, Turkey in 2007. Q. Sakamaki / Redux

A hundred years ago, Egyptians looked down on Turks: etrak bi itrak, ran the pun. “Turks are clods.” Egyptians had Westernized first, had a modern Army that defeated the Turks twice, and then got a huge amount of money from the tolls of the Suez Canal. Cairo had resplendent mosques and religious schools, whereas the Turks, speaking a Central Asian language the grammar of which was tortuous and the vocabulary limited to physical activities of a rudimentary nature, did not rate. Egyptian money was all over the Turkish capital, and there are still splendid buildings to mark that era."

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