Well, what’s the movie about? Turkish soldiers arrested and one is taking revenge. And, of course, all stereotypes present in Turkish minds are displayed on its length and depth.
What most missed, is that the title of the movie "valley of wolves" is already a good hint for what was coming. It’s not just the wolves, that says Americans, Kurds etc. and all who hate the noble Turk. Wolf, in Turkish kurt, is just another name for Turk. After all, it was a grey wolf that is said ,by Turkish nationalist accounts, to have led the way to Turkish nomadic tribes from Central Asia to Turkey. The Turkish Fascists are called the Grey Wolves and even we Iraqis know the wolf / kurt in the Iraqi expression قزالقرط "red wolf". So if you consider the valley to be Iraq / Mesopotamia (wadi al-nahreen / Valley of the two rivers), then the title "valley of the wolves" is just a synonym for "Turkish Iraq".
(Just put the word "bozkurt" in youtube, this will save you to watch this movie.)
About the stereotypes, well, they are what is actually in many minds of a lot of Turks: bad Americans, organ – stealing Jews, Arab traitors, Kurd "stooges" etc. What I really missed in the accounts of the movie, was an Armenian. (By the way, it’s a shame how Israel, USA and other countries act on the issue of Armenian genocide.)
What led me to this conclusions, what led me to write about this movie I didn’t see. Well, I grew up with a lot of Turks, observed them and their nationalistic, even absurd views. Some samples:
- Have you ever known that Mohammed, Prophet of Islam, was a Turk?
- Have you ever known that only Sunni Turks are really Muslims?
- Have you ever known that Ali (Yes, Imam Ali, the one buried in Kerbela) is buried alongside with Atatürk, founder of the Turkish republic?
- And take care of the Osmanic empire which was ‚larger than the US today‘. Yes, they still take pride in it.
- I remember, of course, being spat during the Iraq elections which were held in Europe, too. In his eyes, I shouldn’t support democracy but better fight Americans in Iraq (that says bomb myself like so many other fools).
- When I was younger, we had a school festival and I took some Iraqi meals and all the mothers of the Turkish students were a bit suspicious or refused to eat it because they weren’t sure about the meat. Of course, I did buy the meat in a Turkish shop, where everything was halal. But do you really think, they believed me?
- Of course, you can't talk with them abouth the issue of "mountain Turks" (that are the Kurds).
I shared with you these things because they touch issues like religion or politics. In my mind, some things are out of the space and sometimes they behave more Christian than Christ himself in regard of issues like meat or Islam.
With the Turks it’s just so often in the Middle East, a case of twisted identity. I don’t say that all Turks are so, in contrary, they are a lot of reasonable ones, like Orhan Pamuk, but they have no voice in Turkish societies. (I remember also a friend from childhood, whom I told what’s in Iraq like and he asked me after the liberation if it was really a liberation for me. Well, ke knew and was compassionate). And that’s why I think that those incursions in Iraq are just a drug for Turks themselves, to pretend themselves they are doing something. And because of all written above, from what I observed and from my lectures in Turkish history, I would predict that either the Turks will start a war with the Iraqi Kurds, because the Turkish nationalists can’t stand a Kurdistan doing well and free, or the Turks will end up in a civil war of any kind (coup d’état, classic civil war, militias or something like that) because Turkey faces the same problems in regard to the European Union like the problems the Osmanic empires had to deal with – and it couldn’t. The problems were how to preserve identity while entering the Modern age. In fact, Turks took refuge in genocide and a rigid nationalistic and chauvenstic policy.
At last, because Catharsis admits to know too little about Turkish history, I advise to read the book Ali al-WARDI: Sociology of Nomadism, because it describes the impacts of Turkish rule on Iraq and another book from another Iraqi is Elie Kedourie, England and the Middle East: the destruction of the Middle East , because it describes the problems and structures of the Osmanic Empire and the initial ways of the Great Powers to divide the Middle East and the actual realization of those plans.