Turkey’s Wrong Bet on Syria

  • Today, instead of the free movement of labor and capital, there is, around the border area, the free movement of bombs and bullets.
  • Ankara considers the real security threat from Syria as not the jihadists, but the secular Kurds who fight the jihadists.
  • Turkey has worked so hard to create a “Peshawar” (Afghanistan) across its border with Syria — hoping instead to create a Muslim Brotherhood zone.

It was supposed to be Turkish gambit: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s days in power were numbered; the Nusayri (Alawite) man would be toppled by Syria’s Sunni majority in a popular revolt. The Sunni majority would set up in Damascus a Muslim Brotherhood type of regime that would be subservient to Ankara, and Turkey’s southern border with Syria would be now be a borderless Sunni “Schengen” zone; cross border trade would flourish with the free movement of labor and capital. Peace would prevail along the 900-km border, and Turkish and Syrian Sunni supremacists would advance their agenda in the not-always-so-Sunni lands of the Middle East. Continue reading

Turkey’s View of Israel

  • The media’s unethical coverage of the Israel/Palestine conflict seems to be the number one reason why people in Turkey have remained so misinformed and brainwashed about the issue. It is not just anti-Semitism, but also anti-Zionism, that is racist and hateful.
  • The houses and apartments Israelis built in their historic homeland are called “illegal settlements.” But there were no “settlements” before 1967. What, then were the Israelis supposedly “occupying” between 1948 and 1967? Why was the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) even then trying to destroy Israel? What did it think it was “liberating”?
  • This “occupation” myth seems, instead, to have a lot to do with the “Islamization” of history and geography. Since the creation of the world, it goes, there has been only one religion: Islam. All our religious teachers have taught us that earlier historical figures were prophets — Isa [Jesus], Musa [Moses], Davut [David] and so on — were Muslims and that the original religions they brought were Islamic. These prophets, we are told, preached the teachings of Allah, but their followers, who came later, distorted their messages, changed the writings in their holy books, and fabricated these fake, untrue religions called Judaism and Christianity. Then Islam came as the last, the perfect and the only true and unchanged eternal word of Allah, which led to Muhammad to this world as a “liberator.”
  • If someone says, “there is a place related to King David and it is a Jewish place,” then a Muslim would say, “Yes, but David was also a Muslim. So this place actually belongs to Muslims.” There is never Islamic invasion; there is only Islamic liberation. If these people truly cared about Palestinian Arabs, they would do their best to stop the incitement and help to achieve a sustainable peace where both Arabs and Jews would be safe.

A large number of the citizens of Turkey, a NATO member, see Israel and the United States as enemies.

A survey conducted recently in Turkey found that nearly half the country’s citizens (42.6%) see Israel as the biggest security threat, followed by the United States (35.5%), and only then Syria (22.1%). Continue reading

“Secular” Turkey

  • A deeper look into the history of Turkey reveals that, unfortunately, Turkey has never been either truly secular or democratic. In Turkey, freedom of conscience and religion is respected — but only if you are a practicing Sunni Muslim.
  • The problem is that “modern” Turkey claims to be a “secular” republic; a secular republic is supposed to treat all people — Muslims and non-Muslims — equally. The objective of the Diyanet (Presidency of Religious Affairs), on the other hand, is to keep religion (Islam) under the control of the state, and to keep the people under the control of the state by means of religion.
  • “Those who are not genuine Turks can have only one right in the Turkish fatherland, and that is to be a servant, to be a slave. We are in the most free country of the world. They call this Turkey.” — Mahmut Esat Bozkurt, Turkey’s first Minister of Justice, 1930.

When many Western analysts discuss the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey, they rightfully criticize it for its religious intolerance, authoritarianism and lack of respect for secular principles and minorities. They also tend to compare the AKP to former Kemalist governments, and draw a distinction between the Islamist AKP and former non-Islamist governments.

They claim that Turkey was “secular” and somewhat “democratic,” until the AKP came to power.

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Erdogan’s Dream: The Sultan Rules

  • Erdogan is not happy with the powers the Turkish constitution grants him. He wants more.
  • Once he has given orders, there should not be judicial, constitutional or parliamentary checks and balances. He will become the first ballot-box Sultan of the Turkish Empire of his dreams.
  • 367 parliamentary votes are required to pass a constitutional amendment in parliament without a referendum, and at least 330 to make Erdogan an elected Sultan. But if he wins, he will be the president of less than half of the Turks, with the other half hating him more than ever.

It is election time in Turkey. On June 7, the Turks will go to the ballot box to elect a government and a prime minister who will rule the country for four years.

In reality, they will go to the ballot box to decide whether they want an elected Sultan or not.

Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, wants more than just to win a parliamentary majority for his Justice and Development Party (AKP). He wants a two-thirds majority, so that the constitution can be amended to introduce an executive presidential system and the Sultan can once again officially rule.

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Turkey’s most powerful president since Ataturk: A profile of Recep Tayyip Erdogan

It would not be an exaggeration to say Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is currently one of the world’s most charismatic leaders. Any conversation about Turkey always includes a reference to Mr Erdoğan – such is the growing cult of personality – and in a country which reveres great leaders, i.e. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, it is not surprising either.

The 61-year-old Turkish president has taken Turkey forward economically, politically to an extent, and severed the power of the army within politics. It is not hyperbolic to say the military wielded too much power in Turkish politics. Continue reading

Erdogan Raising “Devout Generations”

For the Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a pious Sunni man is, by definition, a more decent man than any other. Therefore, he reasons, a pious Sunni youth is better than any other youth.

In 2012, (then prime minister) Erdogan openly declared that his political ambition was “to raise devout generations.” The opposition protested that it was not a government’s mission to raise devout or non-devout generations; that in a secular country this choice belonged to parents, not to the government. In response, Erdogan said: “Should we, then, raise atheist generations?” He does not understand. He evidently will not. Continue reading

Wild cheers for proposed invasion of Israel

 

NATO ally encouraged to ‘liberate’ Jerusalem

Turkish and Palestinian flags fluttered like angry birds in a crowd of thousands of people chanting “Allahu Akbar!” and “Down with Israel!”

The chants grew more exuberant as the hulking, bearded man on the speaker’s platform assured them that “God willing, we will liberate Jerusalem together.”

The speaker was Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and his audience was Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, gathered for its annual meeting Dec. 27 at a convention hall in Konya, the hometown of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

The Turkish prime minister introduced the Hamas leader and then took a seat in the front row, cheering and clapping for the radical Islamist statements being made by Meshaal.

“As Turkey for centuries was the main defender of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque, likewise with you are the center of the Muslim Umma (Muslim nation) which will carry on the mission of liberating Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque,” Meshaal told the crowd in an address that received almost no major media coverage. “Know this, that strong Turkey is the strength of Palestine and of Jerusalem. Turkey is the strength that represents all Muslims.”

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Turkish President Declares Lawrence of Arabia a Bigger Enemy than ISIS

In a stunning speech, Erdogan railed against Western “spies” and journalists and seemed to endorse the ISIS plan to redraw the region’s borders.

GAZIANTEP, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took on the iconic Lawrence of Arabia Monday in a furious anti-Western diatribe.  The Turkish president compared the outside meddling in the region now to the role the renowned British army officer played during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans during World War I. And Western diplomats here say the tirade bears a rather striking resemblance to some of the propaganda that has come out of the so-called Islamic State, widely known by the acronym ISIS or ISIL.

Last week, stung by Western criticism of Turkey’s conspicuous absence from the U.S.-led air combat against the terror organization, and the refusal of the Turkish government to rescue the besieged town of Kobani, just across the Syrian border, Erdoğan insisted he had no sympathy for the jihadists.

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