The Turks in Arab History

They came as slaves and bullied the Arabs after they became free

The Turks met the Arabs for the first time in the Abbasid era, when they worked for the Abbasids as soldiers and vassals. After a period of time, Turkish women married caliphs and notables. Their numbers increased in the state armies, and they became the second nationality after the Arabs. It was even said that Caliph Al-Mu’tasim Billah obtained a lot of them, as the number of his Turkish slaves reached 20,000 Turks. But as soon as they were freed from slavery and the Turks established their state in Istanbul, they repudiated everything that belonged to the Arabs. They were not satisfied with that. Rather, they tried to “Turkify” everything related to religion and life and obliterate the Arab features in the lives of the peoples under their control in the three continents that they controlled, in a step of revenge.

The Ottomans invaded 3 continents using the "Arabic language" and then turned against it.

The facts and events demonstrated the arrogance of the Turks and their ethnic intolerance within a well-studied methodology and a firm belief. Turkification became clear when the Turkish nationalists came to power after the Ottoman coup against Abdul Hamid II by the Association of Union and Progress (İttihad ve Terakki Cemiyeti) after it took power in 1908 AD. This happened with the help of the Arabs represented in the national societies that spread in the capitals of the Arab countries starting from 1842 AD. They continued to demand independence from the Ottoman Empire after the development of its work and the modernization of its ideas.

The Turkish Association of Union and Progress (İttihad ve Terakki Cemiyeti) emerged as a result of the resurgence of Turanian nationalism for the Turks, motivated by being influenced by the Masonic lodges that entered Turkey in 1717 AD through the establishment of an association for it in Istanbul and later affected by the spirit of the French Revolution. 

In addition to the inherent hatred of the Ottoman Empire, which drives it to hate other cultures, unlike the religion of Islam, which calls for acquaintance between tribes and peoples, friendship, mercy and equality among all, Istanbul has adopted a policy of exclusion and bullying against Arab culture. This is despite the fact that the Arab culture was the most important and largest weapon for the conquest of the Arab world and other regions. It is possible that the Ottoman Empire was boasted of its culture after its numerous victories and its desire to glorify oneself, until their belief in Allah and surrendering to Him became possible only by believing in all Turkish principles and applying them.

They violated the covenant with the Arabs because of their sense of cultural and historical weakness.

Although the Arabs supported the Turkish nationalists to get rid of the authoritarianism and absolute sovereignty of Sultan Abdul Hamid II (1909 AD), the Turkish nationalists violated the covenant with the Arabs due to their sense of cultural weakness in front of the Arab culture and the historical minority against the ancient history of the Arabs. This also happened because of their inner thoughts that they came from Central Asia to the Arab world without a strong cultural reference, especially since they interacted with the Arab culture being the strongest and the largest.

1. Said Berjawi, The Ottoman Empire – Its Political and Military History (Beirut: Al-Ahlya for Publishing and Distribution, 1993 AD). 

2. Talal Al-Tarifi, the Ottomans – This was not a lie (Riyadh: Eatlaf publishing house, 1441 AH / 2020 AD).

3. Muhammad Al-Imrani (580 AH / 1184 AD), News in the History of the Caliphs, edited by: Qasim Al-Samarrai (Cairo: Dar Al-Afaq Al-Arabiya, 2001 AD).

4. Muhammad Al-Dhahabi (748 AH / 1347 AD), History of Islam and the deaths of celebrities, edited by: Omar Al-Tadmouri, 2nd Edition (Beirut: Dar Alkitab Alarabi Publishing, 1993 AD).

In order to control them and Turkify them

They imposed teaching Arabic grammar in Turkish to the children of Arabs

When Turkish nationalism took over the sultanate, it denied everything that belonged to the Arabs. Istanbul imposed the Turkish language in its governmental transactions in the Arab world, and imposed it in education in its regions without taking into account the peculiarities of other nationalities, and without regard to the language of the Holy Quran. The matter has reached the point of imposing it on Arab citizens to communicate with their embassies, even though the two parties speak Arabic. Officials in the Arab states no longer communicate with people except through translators, in a strange incident that only expresses intolerance and racism.

Turkification of Arabic names from Muhammad to Tamerlane and Genghis.

Talaat Pasha (1921 AD) says: “There can be no equality of citizens unless we succeed in Turkifying the empire”. Jalal Nuri (1938 AD), one of the most arrogant Turkish nationalist extremists, added: “The interest eliminates the Astana government by forcing the Syrians to leave their homelands, and that the Arab countries, especially Yemen and Iraq, must be converted into Turkish colonies to spread the Turkish language, which should be the language of religion. In order to defend our Turkish nationalism, there is no objection to converting all Arab countries into Turkish countries. This is because the modern Arab young minds began to feel an ethnic nervousness, and it threatens us with major problems that we must take care of from now”.

When Nuri said with wild danger that the Turkish language should be the language of religion, he is aware of what happened in Istanbul by imposing the change of names of people throughout the country from Arabic to Turkish names, including the name of Muhammad. Names such as Tamerlane and Genghis spread outside their original environment throughout the Arab and Islamic world. They also dedicated prayers to the Turks, unlike other nationalities, in which they chant the white wolf, which is one of the ancient Turkish gods, and one of their slogans.

Jalal Nuri: The Turkish language should be the language of religion.

Istanbul government targeted Arab schools because they were the first basic environment for raising and forming young minds, through which the Turkish race and its culture can be easily and deeply rooted. They have forced Arab school students to chant hymns that honor the Turkish character, and they have worked to give the newly established schools in Arab countries Turkish names. When Suleiman Faidi wanted to establish “Tazkar Alhuriya” School in Basra in the year (1908 AD), and the request was submitted to Istanbul, the federal government decided to be under their supervision and for Faidi to be its director with a monthly salary. They called it the School of Union and Progress, inspired by the name of the association. They decided that education in the school would be in the Turkish language only, in a fanatical attack on the privacy of Arab culture and education. Expressing his pain from that incident, Suleiman Faidi wrote in his diary: “From the time I saw the new banner on my school and heard its students chanting lessons in the Turkish language, I realized that the Union and Progress Association wanted only the bad for the Arabs, and that it wanted to Turkify them and erase their Arabic identity, so I resigned from the association and turned against it”.
Among the characteristics of Turkification is the federalists’ call that it is not necessary to read the Holy Qur’an in Arabic, and that the Turks do not have to learn Arabic to read it. It has come to the point of translating the Qur’an into their language. Among the most prominent and tragic historical incidents when Obaidullah Al-Afghani spoke in the Friday sermon at the Hagia Sophia Mosque to the worshipers: “Muslim Turks, stop your weakness. Shake off this dust and erase the names of the Rightly Guided Caliphs and the Prophet’s family from your mosques. Write the names of the federal heroes instead of them, such as Talaat, Jamal, Anwar, and Jaweed, who are the righteous guardians of Allah, may Allah bless their secret”. This reveals the reality of the Ottoman Empire, which showed its racism against the Islamic religion, as if it was involved in it by mistake and is trying to get rid of it by various methods and within a deliberate strategy. However, these practices brought down the Ottoman Empire forever.

They targeted Arab schools and gave them Turkish names.

1. Al-Qiblah newspaper, “Who is Obaidullah, the author of a new people book?”, first year, Mecca (Shawwal 29, 1334 AH). 

2. Diary of Suleiman Faidi, edited by: Basil Suleiman Faidi, 3rd Edition (Beirut: Dar Al-Saqi, 1998 AD).

3. George Anthony, The Awakening of the Arabs, translated by: Nasir al-Din al-Assad and Ihssan Abbas, 8th Edition (Beirut: Dar Al-Ilm LilMalayin, 1987).

4. Sati` Al-Hosari, The Arab Countries and the Ottoman Empire, 2nd Edition ((Beirut: Dar Al-Ilm LilMalayin, 1960).

5. Talal Al-Tarifi, the Ottomans – This was not a lie (Riyadh: Eatlaf publishing house, 1441 AH / 2020 AD).

Play Video

By Obliterating the Language of the Qura’n..

They Wanted to Destroy the Arab Identity and Remove Its Heritage

Arabic language represents cultural entity, civilizational heritage, and great identity that unifies Arabs. Language is the greatest connection, the beginning and end of the story through which history is made; features of civilizations are formed; and epics and heroisms are created. Arabic is the language of the Holy Qura’n. It fought to survive, and resisted the streams of removal, alienation, and abandonment. Language is identity, and identity is language. Language is the belonging prop, permanence of survival, and fortress of purity. If you try to destroy a nation, start with their language.

Arabic also remained the master of languages in Arab and Islamic world during middle ages. Arabic was the crucible that embraced cultural, intellectual and literary heritage. It was rather a civilizational container of all spectrums of the nation whether it was political, religious or sectarian. 

Arabic went through a dangerous turning point only when fragmentation swept the Arab body, and greed pervaded the Arabian land controlling the hearts of foreigners and non- Arabs. Arabian land became the desire of invaders and aspiration of tyrants including Crusaders, Tatars, Mongols and Turks. Then, the legend of Arabs ended, and weakness was deeply rooted in them. Their language became weak so its literature lapsed, and its flow declined. In addition, it was swept by waves of removal, distortion, and counterfeiting. Those ages were called the Era of Decadence.

Arabic Language was the master language during middle ages.

Turks coming from Central Asia settled in Anatolia. Then, they assailed Arab countries which they took over one after another. Invading Ottoman Turkish State dominated the present and future of Arabs invoking the illusion of the Caliphate and the Universal Dome of Islam. However, much corn lies under the straw that is not seen, a letter of a Turkish officer addressing his colleague was found that in (1912), in which he stated: “make Arabs the target of your bullets, and be eager to get rid of them because killing them is for our benefit”.
Ottoman racist practices started to increase until Ottomans began to practice their racism not only against Non- Turks but also against Turks themselves. Therefore, a long time has passed in their state while Turks did not have any advantage at Sultans of Bani Othman. They were classified in a parallel framework of everything that was underdeveloped and barbaric. The word (Turk) had the connotation of contempt and inferiority, villager, ruthless peasant, ignorant Bedouin, or the one who adheres to religion or the rules of morality. They saw Turks as Zimmis (free non- Muslims enjoying Muslim protection). The word Turks implied every disgusting and unpleasant thing. Notwithstanding, they used to precede Turks over other races. If that was the extent of their racism against Turks, how was it against Arabs?

Arabic embraced the arts of cultural, intellectual and literary heritage.

Racist classification was evident in formal way during Ottoman Empire. Muhammad Al-Fatih issued a Law which stated that anyone who drinks wine shall be flogged, whether he was Urbanite or Turkish, two lashes and one dirham shall be taken from him as a monetary penalty. This ethnic classification and stratification regarding Law shows us that there was racial discrimination between Urbanites and Turks classifying Turks as inferiors, and discriminating them as the least civilized ones with the least status in Ottoman society at that time.
Arabic language was the first target in Arab and Muslim lands. Attention of Ottomans was drawn towards it. Arabic and Persian were the two prevailing languages in Turkey before the establishment of Ottoman Empire, especially during the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent who included Turkish language as a third language. Over time, Turkish language became the official language of the country not only in Turkey but also in various countries that were colonized by Ottoman Empire including Arab countries.

Suleiman the Magnificent has included Turkish Language along with Arabic and Persian languages.

Turkish language became the alternative language of Arabic, the language of the Holy Qura’n, within occupied Arab countries. Racist discrimination became evident against Arabs. Turkifying the Arabs’ identity and removal of Arabic heritage were fundamental principle in Ottoman policy. The main goal of Ottoman invasion was to spread Turkish identity and obliterate Arabian heritage by replacing Arabic language by Turkish language.

The aim of Ottoman invasion of Arab countries was to spread the Turkish identity.

1. Asaad Dagher, Arab Revolution: Introductions, Causes, Results, (Cairo: Hindawi Foundation, 2012). 

2. Sohaila Al- Rimawi, Jma’iah Ala’rbiah Alftaah Alsriah- Drasah Wthaa’kiah 1909- 1918 (Amman: Majdalawi House, 1988).

3. Sati’ Al-Husari, Arab Countries and Ottoman Empire, 2nd edition (Beirut: Dar El Ilm Lilmalayin, 1960).

4. Naguib Azoury, The Awakening of the Arab Nation, translated by: Ahmed Bou Melhem (Beirut: Arab Institute, R&P).

5. Talal Al- Tarifi, Ottomans, Not a Tale Invented, 4th edition (Riyadh: Eatlaf House, 2020).

They Praised Their Offspring and Changed Their Names..

Repudiated Everything that was Arab

The phenomenon of hostility and grudge towards Arabs became apparent in official practices. One of those hostility phenomena was the Turkification policy, as well as rejection of everything that was related to Arabs in anyway. They changed their names as Arabic names were changed to pure Turkish names. Some Arabic supplications were changed and converted into their own supplications.

They worked on publishing books that support the Turkish national orientation.

Turks also deliberately dismissed, ignored and excluded Arabs. This is confirmed by the fact that some official authorities affiliated to federalists fought Arabic language and its literature. They worked on publishing books which support Turkish national orientation. They have also sought to impose Turanian history, praise Oghuz offspring. Theorizing the claim that Turks are the greatest nation in the world; so that it was chosen to lead the world and its sovereignty, they created literary features for their Turanian culture through recalling the history of their ancestors.
Racist movement against Arabs became widespread in Turkish government departments. Federalists have expelled Arab advisors from the Ottoman government during the reign of Abdul Hamid II. They prevented them from entering the central elite of their Committee (Union and Progress). Ruling was left for Turks only as they dismissed all Arab Ministers except for the Ministry of Endowments which they kept for Arabs but this did not last long until they made Turks take it over.

Federalists dismissed all Arab Ministers from government.

Subsequently, federalists Turkified the University of Istanbul as they appointed (Shamsulddin Kun Al- Tali) as a professor of history there; because he was known for his strong distaste and hostility towards non- Turkish elements, and his adherence to Turkinism. He wrote, in eastern Turkish history, his book which he titled (From Past to Future). 

Obliteration became worse as higher authorities of Turkish State decided a critical precedent towards Arabian heritage. After hearing the speech of the President of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, upon opening session of the new council, the council decided the compulsory use of Latin letters after a certain period. Then, they directly printed school books in the new letters. Official departments were required to write their reports and conduct their processes in the new letters provided that the use old letters shall end.

Turkish Language Association was formed to be the last treacherous blow against Arabian heritage in Turkey. Turkish writer (Roshan Ashraf en Ayden), who was the Turkish ambassador in London, published a book which implied how the Society for Research on the Turkish Language was founded. The writer has mentioned that he was invited to the Presidential Palace of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the evening on July 11, 1932. He found Ataturk in a meeting with the members of the Turkish Historical Society. After Ataturk had finished discussing historical issues, he turned to the attendees and said: “Now, we have finished the works of historical conference, I think it is time to inevitably think of our language issue. I suggest that we establish a new association called the Society for Research on the Turkish Language which shall be concerned with linguistic affairs in terms of derivation, morphology, and origins of the language; as well as creating new expressions and parsing issues.”

President Ataturk took a personal interest in excluding Arabic language and replace it by Turkish language.

The Society for Research on the Turkish Language held four major language conferences which have been headed by the President of the Republic Kemal Ataturk in person, in 1932. They aimed at eliminating Arabic language, the language of the Holy Qura’n; and using Turkish Language as the official language of the state. In addition, processes of the state shall be conducted in Turkish language instead of Arabic. Society for Research on the Turkish Language was a racist phenomenon of hostility and grudge towards anything related to the heritage and culture of Arabs, even journalists had to revise Turkish language and get rid of Arabic vocabulary. 

Certainly, the amount of Turkish grudge towards Arabs drew the attention of the President of the Turkish Republic, Kemal Ataturk, in person to the Society. He attended the Society meetings and conferences for Turkish language, and to eliminate Arabic language, the language of the Holy Qura’n. This confirms the extent of grudge and hatred of Turks towards Arabs.

1. Fuad Hamza, Wsf Trkya Alkmaliah (Beirut: Dar Al- Jadeed, 2013). 

2. Memoirs of Suleiman Faydi and Basil Sulayman, 3rd edition, (Beirut: Dar Al- Saqi, 1998).

3. Naeem Al- Yafi and Khalil Al- Musa, Arab and Armenian Struggle against Ottoman Colonization, (Damascus: Dar Al- Hiwar for Publishing, 1995).