Mittwoch, 5. März 2008

A short review of “The valley of wolves“

First I have to admit that I’ve never seen this movie, because I could imagine what was coming up.
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.

Catharsis' link:


Anand hat gesagt…

Welcome back! May this be the first of many lessons teacher.

I still say, you got to love the Turks.

Those guys can fight. And man are they tough. A little wierd. But very tough.

Too bad they are not cool with the totally awesome Mountain Turks.

BTW, Eastern Orthodox, South East Europeans detest the Ottomans.

Heh, thanks for sharing your wisdom at Mojo.

Iraqi Mojo hat gesagt…

Interesting post! The Prophet was Turkish?? LOL! Some absurd views indeed.

I like the news feed in your sidebar. How did you do that?

nadia n hat gesagt…

I don't think they needed an Armenian, the anti-Christian along with the anti-Jewish message covered that, there was definitely an idea that the bad people were bad because of their religion. If you really want to be depressed you should read the comments on the movie's IMDB page.

Though on the other end of the spetrum, you could also look at the page for Red Tide.

Anonym hat gesagt…

@ Anand

Yes, East Europeans really have contempt for the Turks, on the other hand, the Turks fear the Gürcs, that are the Georgians.

Interestingly I observed a view about the Turks, common among Georgians, Arabs, Kurds, and all the other "oppressed" peoples that says: The Turks really came about 1000 years ago to this region. Implication: So they should return where they are from.

@ Iraqi Mojo

I don't know how I did it. Give me time to look up, a week or so.

@ Nadja

I don't need to see any comments. On youtube you find masses of Turkish (and anti-Turkish, Kurdish) propaganda. Turks comparing Kurds with apes and vice versa. There are so much things I observed and viewd, I really don't need to see youtube bozkurt to vomit. But thanx.

BTW, I once heard an Iraqi telling me that the Turkish personal cult around Atatürk is much worse than in Iraq under 3abu 3oday (Saddam). That tells me at least a lot!

Gilgamesh X / exile iraqi

nadia n hat gesagt…

Oh it wasn't just Turks commenting there, like a bunch of white people posting there-things like "watch this movie! learn how muslims think!"

And I totally believe that guy on Turkish nationalism being worse.

sujan hat gesagt…

i saw this movie 3 times.

it make a different feeling.

thanks for review.


Anonym hat gesagt…

"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"."

looks like you tried hard about finding this, but let me help you with understanding the issue. Valley of the Wolves was actually a TV-show, which was telling about the operation of the Turkish Intelligence Agency to abolish and destroy the mafia in Turkey. It was a 4 seasoned tv serial, and in every part of it, the man who planned this operation said: "we'll face all kinds of wolves in this valley, they control lots of things, they have this much power..etc but we have to defeat the wolves of this misty valley".

so this name was actually given to the "bad mafioso people", and the man who started this operation was actually named "Lion",(aslan- in Turkish) fighting in the valley of the wolves.

the movie was made after the tv serial is finished, and it was called the valley of the wolves iraq, because the characters were the same, it was like the movie of the tv show, that's why it had the same name. sorry but if you really thing the script-writers thought as you guess when giving this name to the movie, you're getting it wrong. they didn't even think about the movie when they started the tv serials with that name.

also, about the"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" part. Again a wrong assumption. You already said you didn't watch the movie, and probably that's why you have these prejudiced thought. In the movie, actually, just the against of it said, one of the main guys (actually the right arm of the main guy- Polat Alemdar is Kurdish, and when it is said that all the conflict is started because of Kurdish people, he says I'm also Kurdish, why are you telling that?" Actually, the message given in this movie is not against Kurdish people but just the opposite.

And I'd like to remind you that it was Turkey who helped Talabani and Barzani and saved them when Saddam wanted to kill them. Kurdish refugees were welcomed in Turkey when Saddam wanted to kill them. I'd suggest you to make some research on this.

Anand hat gesagt…

Anonym, most interesting. Why do you think the KRG is so suspicion of the Turks?

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