Idi Amin: A Bloody Dictator or a Great Hero?

Idi Amin: A Bloody Dictator or a Great Hero?

He is remembered as a cannibalistic and bloody dictator by Western states, but as a great hero by Muslim countries. He became the most talked about name of an era with his coming to power, his relationship with the public, his way of governing the state, and the extraordinary steps he took in foreign policy. Many allegations were made about him, thousands of articles were written, dozens of documentaries were prepared, and he was held responsible for the deaths of 500 thousand people. These products, which emerged as a result of biased publications and insufficient research, are not enough to fully describe him. Here is Idi Amin with all his unknowns…

I had a series of interviews with his closest relatives, his own son, his colleagues with whom he worked for many years, people from his neighborhood and ordinary people. I researched that name, Idi Amin, who remained in the dark, unspoken and avoided to be spoken. I have prepared this article with the data I have collected at first hand. At the end of the article, I would like you to answer the question in the title.

Although the name of Idi Amin was mentioned a lot in our country for a while, unfortunately, it did not find much public place after his death. We actually know İdi Amin from a Yeşilçam production that we are all familiar with. There is a scene from the movie Hababam Class. Groom Ferit, wearing a big flag, heads towards the school’s exit door with the entire Hababam Class behind him. He says, “Open the door, Veysel Efendi, we are going to meet the President of Uganda.” Over the years, this line has turned into a slogan that we are all familiar with and has become a buzzword. When the movie was released in 1975, Idi Amin was President of Uganda. This scene was actually pointing to him.

In 2003, when Idi Amin passed away, an advertisement in a local newspaper published in Ayvalık stood out. This ad, expressing condolences to Idi Amin, was published with the note “A Group of Cannibals”. Idi Amin, whose reflection is like this in our country, actually has a very interesting life story.

Is Idi Amin a Cannibal?

Another person I interviewed was Idi Amin’s close colleague, Abdallah Nasur, who also served as the central governor. I said that I would direct all the allegations to him, even if they were absurd, and that I would share his answers without changing them. I asked the most absurd and most talked about claim, whether Idi Amin was a cannibal. He let out a big laugh. He said it was a big bullshit. Like every head of state, Amin may have made mistakes, but allegations such as cannibalism do not reflect the truth, he stressed. To summarize our conversation, he said that Idi Amin always acted with good intentions, made mistakes like everyone else, worked hard for Muslims, and moreover, did his best for the development of the Ugandan people. When I asked him if he was held responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, he replied that the changes in power in Africa would be bloody. In fact, this situation did not start with Idi Amin and can be interpreted as it will not end with him. He stated that black propaganda is being made about him because he defies the Western states that dominate in Uganda and all of Africa.



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