Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Kazim Karabekir House Museum

I had the chance to visit the museum-house of General Kazim Karabekir. This was an Ottoman and Turkish Republican officer, who came to prominence during the First World War. He was one of the most successful Ottoman officers in the Caucasus Front, and was the commander of Turkish Nationalist forces during the war between the Turkish National Assembly and the Social-Democratic Republic of Armenia (1919-1920). He was one of the big political players during the period called in Turkey as the Turkish War of Independence (which covers the Greek-Turkish War of 1919-1923, Franco-Turkish War of 1919-1921, and Armenian-Turkish War of 1919-1920). If Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) had been defeated or overthrown, either Karabekir or Enver Pasha would had dominated the nationalist movement. Instead Mustafa Kemal won, and Karabekir was sidelined, venting his energy in the writing of a couple of important books.

His role or position in the Armenian Genocide (which most Turks would accept as a massacre or ethnic cleansing campaign, but not a genocide) is not clear, though he is associated by some Armenian circles with the "turcification" of armenian orphans (he was one of the main leaders of the scouting movement in Republican Turkey, and did create a lot of orphanages in eastern Turkey). In the eyes of the descendants of the muslim populations ethnically cleansed by the Armenian Republic during its own attempt to create an Armenian state he is of course a hero that saved them from destruction.

Anyway, his daughter made his house a private museum, in order to keep his memory in Turkey alive (his role as a potential competitor to Mustafa Kemal) tempered any state attempts to honor him.

Anyway the house is cool small museum

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