Friday, June 23, 2006

Dim knowledge of the Donme   posted by Razib @ 6/23/2006 07:10:00 PM

Steve Sailer has been on a rampage about the Donme recently. There are two overall lessons that the Donme can teach us.

1) The truths of human psychology. The Donme make the Millerites seem as credulous as Pyrrhonian skeptics. To say the Donme illustrate the depth of human credulity and irrationalism is trivial, but, that is certainly the start of any subsequent analysis.

2) As Steve points out, cultures are complex. As Americans, and citizens of an imperial nation, it would behoove us to appreciate this complexity and take it into account in making our decisions. But the reality is that time is finite, and representative government relieves us of the tedium of such theory.

As for the Donme specifically...well, I've tried to find literature on this group in college libraries, and there isn't much. Google print results in 17 and 19 hits respectefully for "Donme Turkey" and "Donmeh Turkey." What I think is something that we can spread the word about is the presence of Alevis in Turkey, which goes unnoticed by many. I recall a few years ago that a representative of Turkish origin in Germany a few years back had problems speaking to the greater Turkish community in that nation because of his Alevi background. As sage an authority on all things green as Ikram Saeed simply couldn't believe that 10-30% of Turks might not be Sunni. In any case, here's a map from Wikipedia (this concords with what I've read in the literature):