Archive for the ‘Europe’ category

Europe’s ‘Turkish Awakening’

March 14, 2017

Europe’s ‘Turkish Awakening’, Gatestone InstituteBurak Bekdil, March 14, 2017

Europe looks united in not allowing Erdogan to export Turkey’s sometimes even violent political polarization into the Old Continent.

Erdogan clearly rejected Merkel’s mention of “Islamist terror” on grounds that “the expression saddens Muslims because Islam and terror cannot coexist”.

Turkey increasingly looks like Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. An Iraqi government guide refused to discuss politics: “In Iraq half the population are spies… spying on the other half.”

Officially, Erdogan’s Turkey has embarked on a journey toward Western democracy. Instead, its Islamist ethos is at war with Western democracy.

Turkey, officially, is a candidate for full membership in the European Union. It is also negotiating with Brussels a deal which would allow millions of Turks to travel to Europe without visa. But Turkey is not like any other European country that joined or will join the EU: The Turks’ choice of a leader, in office since 2002, too visibly makes this country the odd one out.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is now campaigning to broaden his constitutional powers, which would make him head of state, head of government and head of the ruling party — all at the same time — is inherently autocratic and anti-Western. He seems to view himself as a great Muslim leader fighting armies of infidel crusaders. This image, with which he portrays himself, finds powerful echoes among millions of conservative Turks and [Sunni] Islamists across the Middle East. That, among other excesses in the Turkish style, makes Turkey totally incompatible with Europe in political culture.

Yet, there is always the lighter side of things. Take, for example, Melih Gokcek, the mayor of Ankara and a bigwig in Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP). In February Gokcek claimed that earthquakes in a western Turkish province could have been organized by dark external powers (read: Western infidels) aiming to destroy Turkey’s economy with an “artificial earthquake” near Istanbul. According to this conspiracy theory, the mayor not only claims that the earthquake in western Turkey was the work of the U.S. and Israel, but also that the U.S. created the radical Islamic State (ISIS). In fact, according to him, the U.S. and Israel colluded to trigger an earthquake in Turkey so they could capture energy from the Turkish fault line.

Matters between Turkey and Europe are far more tense today than ridiculous statements from politicians who want to look pretty to Erdogan. The president, willingly ignoring his own strong anti-Semitic views, recently accused Germany of “fascist actions” reminiscent of Nazi times, in a growing row over the cancellation of political rallies aimed at drumming up support for him among 1.5 million Turkish citizens in Germany.

The Dutch, Erdogan apparently thinks, are no different. In a similar diplomatic row over Turkish political rallies in the Netherlands, Erdogan described the Dutch government as “Nazi remnants and fascists”. After barring Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu from entering the country by airplane, the Dutch authorities also escorted another Turkish minister out of the country. Quite a humiliation, no doubt. An angry Erdogan promised the Netherlands would pay a price for that.

Dutch police in Rotterdam use batons, dogs and water cannon to control a riot that broke out when pro-Erdogan crowds violently protested the Dutch government’s refusal of entry to Turkish government ministers, on March 11, 2017. The Turkish ministers had planned to address political rallies of Turks in the Netherlands. (Image source: RT video screenshot)

Europe, not just Germany and the Netherlands, looks united in not allowing Erdogan to export Turkey’s highly tense and sometimes even violent political polarization into the Old Continent. There are media reports that the owner of a venue in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, has now cancelled a pro-Erdogan rally, although Sweden’s foreign ministry said it was not involved in the decision.

Europe’s anti-Erdogan sentiment is going viral. Denmark’s prime minister, Lars Loekke Rasmussen, said that he asked his Turkish counterpart, Binali Yildirim, to postpone a planned visit because of tensions between Turkey and the Netherlands. Although Turkey thanked France for allowing Foreign Minister Cavusoglu to address a gathering of Turkish “expats” in the city of Metz, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called on Turkish authorities to “avoid excesses and provocations”.

None of the incidents that forcefully point to Europe’s “Turkish awakening” happened out of the blue. At the beginning of February, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Erdogan held a tense meeting in Ankara. Erdogan clearly rejected Merkel’s mention of “Islamist terror” on grounds that “the expression saddens Muslims because Islam and terror cannot coexist”. The row came at a time when a German investigation into Turkish imams in Germany spying on Erdogan’s foes made signs of reaching out to other parts of Europe. Peter Pilz, an Austrian lawmaker, said that he was in possession of documents from 30 countries that revealed a “global spying network” at Turkish diplomatic missions.

At the beginning of March, after Turkey said it would defy opposition from German and Dutch authorities and continue holding rallies in both countries, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern called for an EU-wide ban on campaign appearances by Turkish politicians.

In response, further challenging Europe, Turkey arrested Deniz Yucel, a Turkish-German reporter for a prominent German newspaper, Die Welt, on charges of “propaganda in support of a terrorist organization and inciting the public to violence.” Yucel had been detained after he reported on emails that a leftist hacker collective had purportedly obtained from the private account of Berat Albayrak, Turkey’s energy minister and Erdogan’s son-in-law.

Erdogan’s propaganda war on “infidel” Europe has the potential to further poison both bilateral relations with individual countries and with Europe as a bloc. Not even the Turkish “expats” are happy. The leader of Germany’s Turkish community accused Erdogan of damaging ties between the two NATO allies. Gokay Sofuoglu, chairman of the Turkish Community in Germany, which is an umbrella for 270 member organizations, said: “Erdogan went a step too far. Germany should not sink to his level”.

The most recent wave of tensions between Erdogan’s Turkey and Europe, which it theoretically aspires to join, have once again unveiled the long-tolerated incompatibility between Turkey’s predominantly conservative, Islamist and often anti-Western political culture and Europe’s liberal values.

Turkey increasingly looks like Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. During my 1989 visit to Iraq a Turkish-speaking government guide refused to discuss Iraqi politics, justifying his reluctance as: “In Iraq half the population are spies… spying on the other half.” Erdogan’s Turkey has officially embarked on a journey toward Western democracy. Instead, its Islamist mindset is at war with Western democracy.

The Turkish-Dutch culture clash

March 13, 2017

The Turkish-Dutch culture clash, Israel Hayom, Ariel Bolstein, March 13, 2017

How ironic that the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland (and you can be sure that others in the Old World will follow) suddenly praise sovereignty and protest against attempts by the dictator in Ankara to interfere in their affairs. Indeed, the actions of a variety of European bodies in regard to Israel are no different from those of Erdogan. He is trying to influence Europe’s internal affairs, funding organizations and communities that suit his outlook, and that is exactly what the EU is trying to do with us. At least Erdogan has an excuse in that he is to a great extent communicating with his citizens on the continent. But the Europeans interfere in Israel’s affairs with the aim of influencing its democratic elections, and without even the slightest justification for doing so.

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The recent confrontation between Turkey and the Netherlands is indicative of the significant change underway in both countries. It all began when the Netherlands prevented Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu from entering the country. Cavusoglu was scheduled to attend a rally in support of Turkish constitutional reforms that would increase presidential powers in the country. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded to the move by calling the Dutch fascists and Nazis. Turkey has further threatened the Netherlands with sanctions.

For close to two decades, Turkey has put increasing emphasis on its Muslim identity and imperialist mission. Erdogan has succeeded relatively quickly in erasing much of the legacy of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder and first president of the Turkish republic. Instead of a secular and pro-Western republic, Turkey, now a regional power far from extolling liberal values, aspires to return to the days of the Ottoman sultanate. Erdogan might still be called a president, and Ankara might still be the capital, but in all other aspects, the country is more reminiscent of days of yore. A strong autocracy based on Islam that purports to force its positions on its citizens, neighboring countries and now even distant countries.

On the other side of the this diplomatic feud is the Netherlands, which has experimented with liberal democracy and extreme multiculturalism, and is only now beginning to understand that in certain precarious situations, neither will be their salvation. A large Muslim minority has taken root in several European countries that has not only refused to adopt Western values, but does not hesitate to confront those around it to impose its imported Islamic lifestyle. European weakness is primarily responsible, but there are other factors, such as countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran, which stir up the Muslim enclaves in Western Europe and fund, incite and guide them. In quite a few of the cities’ largest suburbs, the imams, selected by foreign, not local authorities, are effectively in control. The change is the willingness of the traditional European population to regain sovereignty at home.

How ironic that the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland (and you can be sure that others in the Old World will follow) suddenly praise sovereignty and protest against attempts by the dictator in Ankara to interfere in their affairs. Indeed, the actions of a variety of European bodies in regard to Israel are no different from those of Erdogan. He is trying to influence Europe’s internal affairs, funding organizations and communities that suit his outlook, and that is exactly what the EU is trying to do with us. At least Erdogan has an excuse in that he is to a great extent communicating with his citizens on the continent. But the Europeans interfere in Israel’s affairs with the aim of influencing its democratic elections, and without even the slightest justification for doing so.

The current crisis between the Turks and the Europeans will eventually subside, one way or another, but a resolution to the imminent clash between the two cultures is nowhere in sight. Moreover, the points of friction between them will only multiply. Erdogan, who is used to galloping ahead and trampling his opponents at home and abroad, is not used to folding to anyone who is not equally as determined. And in Europe, they are sick of past capitulations, which only served to whet the appetites of Muslim immigrants o change the face of the continent and demand sovereignty. There will be no calm there.

EU seeks to help prosecute Marine Le Pen for… Tweeting

March 3, 2017

EU seeks to help prosecute Marine Le Pen for… Tweeting, Hot Air, Jazz Shaw, March 3, 2017

The horrible, dangerous activity which Le Pen engaged in was the tweeting of an “image of violence” last year. The picture in question was one of James Foley, the journalist who was beheaded by ISIS. 

The law in question is one which forbids the publication of violent images but this is where the true irony comes in. Le Pen was considered in violation of a rule which was designed to stop people from distributing such images as a way to recruit terrorists. She was doing precisely the opposite, drawing attention to the barbaric nature of the enemy, but now may run afoul of the law.

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Clearly French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is making all the right enemies in high places. The established political class in France clearly despises her but the European Union is now getting in on the act, no doubt because of her less than favorable opinions of the continental organization. In one of the stranger stories to come out of the French election cycle, the EU has moved to suspend Le Pen’s standard immunity from prosecution over images which she posted on her Twitter account. If that sounds to you like something out of a George Orwell novel, fasten your seat belts because it gets even more strange. (Washington Post)

On Thursday, the European Parliament voted to lift Marine Le Pen’s immunity from prosecution for tweeting violent images, a crime that in France can carry up to three years in prison.

As Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Front party, rises in the polls ahead of France’s presidential election next month, authorities will now be able to pursue a case against her. Speaking on French television Thursday morning, she was quick to condemn her European colleagues for what she called “a political inquiry.”

Apparently in France the phrase “political inquiry” is the European equivalent to what we in the United States would call “an obvious witch hunt.”

This question of immunity is the first one to sort out because the entire concept will no doubt sound like something from an alien planet to most Americans. The European Union Parliament provides immunity to its members in matters of free speech so that they will be free to express their opinions in public debate. That sentence alone is a chilling reminder of precisely how different things are across the pond if you grew up taking American rights to freedom of speech for granted. Yes, in Europe you can frequently be prosecuted for thought crimes.

The horrible, dangerous activity which Le Pen engaged in was the tweeting of an “image of violence” last year. The picture in question was one of James Foley, the journalist who was beheaded by ISIS. Such images are no doubt disturbing to some people, in this case the Foley family in particular. After a complaint was raised by relatives, Le Pen apologized and deleted the tweet but the damage had already been done.

Keep in mind that one of Marine Le Pen’s main selling points in the election is her outrage over attacks by violent Islamic extremists and her insistence that the nation do more to protect its citizens. The law in question is one which forbids the publication of violent images but this is where the true irony comes in. Le Pen was considered in violation of a rule which was designed to stop people from distributing such images as a way to recruit terrorists. She was doing precisely the opposite, drawing attention to the barbaric nature of the enemy, but now may run afoul of the law.

It’s simply impossible to deny that this is a political hit job. By lifting Le Pen’s immunity, the European Union is paving the way for France to prosecute her over a tweet. This prosecution is taking place (assuming it happens) just as the final stages of the presidential election are kicking into high gear. You don’t need the world’s best detective to figure that one out. Of course, it would be nice to pretend that this is somehow a unique situation, but it’s obviously not. You’ll recall that Dutch candidate Geert Wilders was actually taken to trial and convicted for chanting a slogan at a political rally. Wilders did not wind up serving any time for his “crime” and the trial lead to a surge in sympathetic support for him in the polls. But it still underscores the fact that freedom of speech in Europe is largely a joke.

The thing to watch for now and over the next few weeks is whether or not Marine Le Pen receives the same sort of boost in her popularity which Wilders experienced previously. Are the French truly such a nation of sheep that they want to stand by idly and watch a presidential candidate be dragged into court over a tweet expressing a political position? If not, and if they are truly disgusted by this effort to stifle Le Pen’s opinions, there may be another upset brewing in the European electoral races.

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Nigel Farage CPAC 2017 FULL Speech

February 24, 2017

Nigel Farage CPAC 2017 FULL Speech Via YouTube, February 4, 2017

Merkel: Europe Must Take More Migrants, Islam Is Not The Cause Of Terrorism

February 19, 2017

Merkel: Europe Must Take More Migrants, Islam Is Not The Cause Of Terrorism, BreitbartJack Montgomery, February 18, 21017

(According to Islamic scholar Merkel, “The Europeans alone could not cope with fighting international Islamist terrorism. We need the strength and the power of the United States of America, and their support.” Somewhat inconsistently with her reference to “international Islamist terrorism,” she observed, “we will be able to convince people that it is not Islam that is the problem, but a falsely understood Islam, and the religious authorities of Islam have to find strong language in order to delineate themselves and distance themselves from this fundamentalist and terrorist [version of] Islam.” Al-Azhar University, “Sunni Islam’s most prestigious university,” was asked to do just that last year by President Al-Sisi and refused. “Now the highest Muslim authority in Egypt has made clear that Al Azhar never had any intention of changing anything, that the ‘religious discourse’ articulated in the Medieval era—one of hostility and violence for the other, in a word, jihad—is the only ‘discourse’ Muslims can accept.” — DM)

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Angela Merkel claims that the European Union still has a “responsibility” to take in more so-called refugees, and pleaded to Islamic governments to help convince people that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam.

The 62-year-old German chancellor began her speech by acknowledging that “the European Union right now is in a very difficult situation due to the result of the British referendum … which is very regrettable”.

While calling on the bloc “to do more to integrate our military capacity”, she also confessed it could not fight terrorism without U.S. president Donald Trump’s assistance.

“Let me address this very openly. The Europeans alone could not cope with fighting international Islamist terrorism. We need the strength and the power of the United States of America, and their support,” she said.

“I say this because the external borders of the European Union, in a way, are the border that actually separates us from Islamist terrorism, and that very much has an influence on Europe.

“So co-operation with the United States of America is most important for us, but what’s also very important to me is that Islamist, Muslim states have been incorporated in this coalition, because I think those countries, first and foremost, have to give a contribution.”

(Video at the link. — DM)

According to Chancellor Merkel, however, working with such states is the only way “we will be able to convince people that it is not Islam that is the problem, but a falsely understood Islam, and the religious authorities of Islam have to find strong language in order to delineate themselves and distance themselves from this fundamentalist and terrorist [version of] Islam.”

“We cannot do this, we Christians,” she said. “It has to be done by the Islamist clergy and by the religious authorities.”

Having claimed that Western institutions have no authority to tackle extremist ideology, however, the chancellor went on to insist that Europe does still have a duty to absorb more migrants.

“We have a responsibility. The European Union has a responsibility to bear, accepting those refugees.

“Just think, Cyprus, after all, is a neighbouring state to Syria, so you see the external borders of the Union are the borders that separate us from those areas where people amass in great numbers … [W]e cannot simply say it’s got nothing to do with us; we have to deal with this issue.”

Cyprus does not in fact share a land border with Syria, being an island nation some 315 miles from the Syrian coast.

Draft Two – New Immigration Order Could Come This Week – Nigel Farage – Fox & Friends

February 13, 2017

Draft Two – New Immigration Order Could Come This Week – Nigel Farage – Fox & Friends via YouTube, February 12, 2017

 

ISIS Terrorists Tapping Organized Crime to Infiltrate Europe

February 11, 2017

ISIS Terrorists Tapping Organized Crime to Infiltrate Europe, Investigative Project on Terrorism, February 10, 2017

With the help of organized criminal elements, Islamic State terrorists reportedly are buying legitimate British passports that can evade security detection from security authorities, the Daily Beast reports.

An Italian intelligence investigation into the Camorra mafia discovered an advertisement on the deep web that linked to a Naples firm capable of producing sophisticated biometric passports.

“We are selling original UK Passports made with your info/picture. Also, your info will get entered into the official passport database,” the advertisement reads. “So its (sic) possible to travel with our passports. How do we do it? Trade secret! Information on how to send us your info and picture will be given after purchase! You can even enter the UK/EU with our passports, we can just add a stamp for the country you are in.”

Other investigations also shed light onto the broader ties between terrorists and European criminal organizations, including in the smuggling of weapons and forged documents.

Last year Italian authorities arrested an Iraqi man in Naples for facilitating weapons and document transfers to the Islamic State.

“Naples has been, for many years, a central logistics base for the Middle East,” prosecutor Franco Roberti told the Daily Beast last year, adding that “the Camorra (mafia) is also active in the world of jihadist terrorism that passes through Naples.”

Terrorists are diversifying their funding sources through various criminal means to underwrite their violent and nefarious activities. The criminal-terrorism nexus manifests itself in several ways: mainly in the form of cooperation between terrorist groups and organized criminal elements, and crimes by terrorists which are conducted to finance their own operations. Terrorists’ reliance in counterfeiting in particular has attracted more attention recently with the rise of Islamic State networks in Europe and other parts of the world.

Lacking a formal state sponsor, and facing setbacks in Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State may start to depend more on criminal relationships to fuel their operations and to infiltrate terrorists into Western for the purposes of carrying out attacks abroad.