ISSN 2330-717X

Alternative History For Turkey – OpEd


There is a definition called “Alternative History.” Would the Turkish Central Bank reserves that were filled during WW2 speed up the country’s development? Would we join NATO? Would we send soldiers to the Korean War? Would there be next military coups? If the left parties had not disintegrated in the 2000s, would the current political  environment still exist, if they had not split the votes with different candidates?


If Atatürk had lived during WW2, would Stalin have had the courage to ask Turkey for Kars and Ardahan afterwards? Would Atatürk go to the Cairo conference? Could Churchill force Turkey to enter war? Would we bow to NATO and Korean impositions?

How would society change if we brought compulsory military training for Turkish women during and after WW2, as was the case in Russia-Israel and other similar countries? If so, then Turkish women would not get married before the age of 18 because they would go to the military, they would get rid of the pressure of their parents in the village, more balanced marriages would be established after the military service, women would be self-confident, they would not be slaves of men, they would start a their own business and earn their own money, they would not accept their poor fate.

During WW2,  German women  stayed at home, gave birth to children, and worked only in healthcare. Whereas Russian Women became direct fighters, over a million women operated tank tops, snipers, Germans lost their manpower, they killed their own 6 million educated Jewish population, while the Russians, on the other hand, with Jewish citizens, plus East Siberian people, fought together. They recruited women soldiers, so they were able to drive almost unlimited manpower to the battle front, and eventually won the war in the end. 

Wouldn’t Turkey be governed by a different administration if the left parties had not put forward separate candidates and divided the popular  votes in the 2000s? Would the economic difficulties in Turkey  on the agenda still happen? We could have directed Turkish Treasury revenues to different better investments, maybe we would have closed our eastern and southern borders and prevented the entry of Middle Eastern immigrants. Would there be less immigration of educated young people abroad?

I will recommend two good books on Alternate History, the first is “The Fatherland” by Robert Harris in 1992, and the other is Philip Dick, the book is called “The man on High Castle”. Both have been translated into Turkish.


Both novels describe the period after WW2, where  WW2 was won  by the Germans and Japanese. Alternative history goes back to ancient times, such as what would have happened if the Carthaginians had won the war against Rome, if the winners of the wars had been changed?

If we bring the subject to Energy Markets, what would it be like if we did not spend tax money on the construction of thermal power plants for coals below 4000 kcal/kg LHV, but prioritized renewable energy investments in solar wind and hydraulic dams? Turkey’s large agricultural areas would remain in our hands. We could use vast land to grow mostly sugar beet, wheat and grains in the Elbistan plain. Agricultural fields of  Kangal Tufanbeyli, Muğla would be an agricultural paradise. Alternative history brings us important strategic interpretations in evaluating the past and  strategic smart planning  for the future.

Haluk Direskeneli

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP, Entergy), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

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