Archive for the ‘Turkey and Israel’ category

Turkey urges Islamic world to unite against Israel, calls summit

May 16, 2018

Press TV May 15, 2018

Source Link: Turkey urges Islamic world to unite against Israel, calls summit

{You can bet Trump will weigh in on this one. – LS}

Turkey has urged Islamic countries to review their ties with Israel after dozens of Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire on the Gaza border.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told his ruling party in parliament that Ankara would call an extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

“Islamic countries should without fail review their relations with Israel,” Premier Yildirim said, adding, “The Islamic world should move as one, with one voice, against this massacre.”

Yildirim said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who currently holds the rotating chairmanship of the body, called the OIC summit on Friday.

Yildirim said that after the summit at 3:00 pm a giant rally would be held at the vast Yenikapi meeting area in Istanbul under the slogan of “Stop the Oppression” to express solidarity with the Palestinians.

“This has nothing to do with party politics. This is to show solidarity, brotherhood and togetherness,” he said.

“The Islamic world should move as one, with one voice, against this massacre,” Yildirim added.

Ankara has reacted with fury to the killing Monday of 60 Palestinians in clashes and protests, on the same day as the United States formally moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem al-Quds from Tel Aviv in defiance of international outrage.

Ankara said it was recalling its ambassadors to the United States and Israel for consultations in the wake of the events.

On Tuesday, Israel expelled the Turkish consul in Jerusalem al-Quds.

The Foreign Ministry’s spokesman said the consul had been summoned and was told to return to Turkey “for consultations for a period of time.”

Yildirim earlier accused the US of sharing responsibility with Israel for a “vile massacre” along the Gaza border, during which dozens of Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire on Monday.

The United States took its place without complaint alongside the Israeli regime in “this massacre of civilians and became a party to this crime against humanity,” Yildirim told reporters in Ankara.

“This is … vile massacre and we condemn it strongly,” he added.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during a visit to London, said that the United States had lost its role as mediator in the Middle East by moving its embassy to the occupied territories.

Turkish President accuses Israel of ‘genocide’ 

President Erdogan later in a speech broadcast on Turkish state television accused Israel of carrying out a “genocide” as nearly 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in one day of protests.

The Turkish president accused Israel of being a “terrorist” entity and announced he would pull ambassadors out of Israel and the US.

“What Israel has done is genocide,” the Turkish president said, adding, “I condemn this humanitarian drama, the genocide, from whichever side it comes, Israel or America.”

He added: “We will continue to stand with Palestinian people with determination.”

Thousands held anti-Israeli rally in Istanbul

Thousands gathered in Istanbul’s Istiklal Street to condemn the US’ decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem al-Quds and the Israeli bloodshed in the Gaza Strip.

The rally organized by several NGOs under the name “Raise Your Voice Against Occupation.”

Demonstrators carried banners that read “Al Quds belongs to Palestinians.”

Speaking at the event, organizers and speakers said that the relocation has reignited an awakening for Muslims and encouraged them to put up a fight against the Israeli occupation.

Turkish protesters wave Palestinian flags as they shout slogans in front of the Israel consulate in Istanbul on May 15, 2018 during a demonstration against US President’s decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds and Israel’s attack against protesters in Gaza. (Photo by AFP)

They also called for protests to continue throughout Muslims’ holy month of Ramadan outside the Israeli consulate in Istanbul.

Israeli gunfire killed 59 Palestinians and wounded over 2,700 in the Monday clashes, the highest toll in a single day since a series of protests demanding the right to return to ancestral homes began on March 30.

The embassy inauguration also coincides with the climax of a six-week demonstration on the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), May 15, when Israel was created.

The occupied territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US President Donald Trump on December 6, 2017 announced US recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and said Washington would move US embassy to the city.

The dramatic decision triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories as well as Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim countries.

Turkish Twitter Explodes with Genocidal Jew-Hatred

December 31, 2017

Turkish Twitter Explodes with Genocidal Jew-Hatred, Gatestone InstituteUzay Bulut, December 31, 2017

According to Islamists, all prominent figures beginning from Adam and Eve were Muslim, therefore all the lands where they lived were Muslim lands. Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Yazidism, and others are not belief systems which could also be respected. The believers of all those religions are occupiers in Muslim lands. They are not natives or honorable residents. They are not even communities whose rights and religious liberty should be respected as much as that of Muslims. They have, in fact, according to this view, abandoned the only true religion; they have therefore been cursed and will be punished by Allah unless they convert to Islam. If they are allowed to live despite that, it is all because of the “mercy” of Islamists — but they are always to remain inferior to Muslims.

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The statements of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — and those of Turks who share his worldview – are further evidence that fundamentalist Muslims oppose Israel’s very existence as a sovereign Jewish state. Their ire over Trump’s Jerusalem declaration has nothing to do with U.S. or Israeli policies.

Their fury stems from Jews existing in Israel as a powerful nation – not as dhimmis (second-class and persecuted people). Fanatic Muslims cannot get over the fact that Jews still live in, and are in charge of, supposedly their Muslim holy land.

To justify their rage, these radicals rewrite history. Their claims that Jerusalem is a Muslim holy city, for example, are false. While Jerusalem is mentioned 850 times in the Old Testament, it is not mentioned once in the Koran.

Although U.S. President Donald Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital drew condemnation from much of the Muslim world, one reaction stood out — that of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“Those who think they are the owners of Jerusalem today will not even be able to find trees to hide behind tomorrow,” he said, during a Human Rights Day event in Ankara on December 10.

Erdoğan was referring to a hadith (a reported saying by Islam’s prophet, Mohammed) about Judgement Day:

“Abu Huraira reported Allaah’s Messenger (sall Allaahua layhiwa sallam) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allaah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.”

Although U.S. President Donald Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital drew condemnation from much of the Muslim world, one reaction stood out — that of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. (Photo by Elif Sogut/Getty Images)

Radical Turks echoed Erdoğan’s sentiment on social media. Under the hashtag #KudüseSahipÇık (“Safeguard Jerusalem”), which quickly became a trending topic, Turkish Twitter-users expressed a seething Jew-hatred — not hatred of Israelis, but Jews. Here are some examples:

  • “I hope this will be a cause of war for us. I will spit on the blood of Jews.”
  • “[With each] Jew massacred, the world will get more relaxed, and say ‘I have got rid of those filths’.”
  • “The ummah [Islamic community] is ready for an intifada. They can exterminate the Jew.”
  • “To declare Jerusalem the capital [of Israel] means to start a new war in the Middle East. We have no fear of war. [The question is] Where will we bury millions of Jewish bodies? To touch Jerusalem means an end to Jews.”
  • “The Jew is cowardly. He cannot fight. He trusts his money, and recruits soldiers. But what we need is unity and livelihood.”
  • “For Jerusalem to belong to Muslims, not a single Jew should be left alive in Palestinian lands. It is either victory or victory.”
  • “Oh Allah! Do not take my soul before you grant me the privilege to engage in jihad against Israeli Jewish dogs.”
  • “There is only one thing to be said about Jews: There has never been a more cowardly, dishonorable, and peasant nation like them. The victory will definitely be ours.”

Some Twitter-users praised Hitler for killing Jews, while others condemned him for not doing a sufficient job. Then there are those who suggested persecuting Turkish Jews. Tagging Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, one user tweeted:

“Synagogues, the Israeli consulate and Jews… If we burn down, destroy and kill all of these things, will we be considered criminals now?”

Other Tweets in the same vein included:

  • “Close all synagogues in Turkey. Either arrest or deport all Jewish citizens. Close all the water lines to Israel. Then they will croak automatically.”
  • “What if we shut down synagogues and churches? And open Hagia Sophia [Christian Basilica in Istanbul] to [Muslim] worship?”
  • “Chain all the synagogues in Istanbul. Tolerance has limits. Jerusalem is the capital of Muslim believers.”

Erdoğan’s statements — and those of Turks who share his worldview — are further evidence that fundamentalist Muslims oppose Israel’s very existence as a sovereign Jewish state. Their fury over Trump’s Jerusalem declaration has nothing to do with U.S. or Israeli policies. Their fury stems from Jews existing in Israel as a powerful nation – not as dhimmis (second-class and persecuted people). Fanatic Muslims cannot get over the fact that Jews still live in, and are in charge of, supposedly their Muslim holy land.

These reactions are also the most observable examples of Islamist genocidal hatred of Jews and extreme Islamist intolerance of a non-Islamic faith’s religious sensibilities and its national history.

To justify their rage, these radicals rewrite history. Their claims that Jerusalem is a Muslim holy city, for example, are false. While Jerusalem is mentioned 850 times in the Old Testament, it is not mentioned once in the Koran. Ever since King David made Jerusalem the capital of Israel some 3,000 years ago, the city has played a central role in Jewish existence. It only became a focus of Muslim agitation in 1980, when Israel adopted a Basic Law — equivalent to a constitutional provision — declaring united Jerusalem as its capital.

Muslims never declared Jerusalem their capital, even when they controlled the area later called “Palestine,” after their invasion in the seventh century. Instead, in the beginning of the eighth century, they built the city of Ramla and named it their local capital. Jordan also did not declare Jerusalem a Muslim capital when it controlled the city from 1948 to 1967. Moreover, during those 19 years, the only Arab leader who even visited Jerusalem was King Abdullah I of Jordan — who was assassinated there in 1951 by an Arab nationalist associated with the former mufti of the city.

It is true that Al-Aqsa Mosque is located in Jerusalem; the first reference to the mosque appeared in the 12th century. Yet, the common perception that the Temple Mount, where Al-Aqsa is situated, is the “third-holiest site in Islam” is based on a rhetorical ploy: Mecca is Islam’s holiest place; Medina is its second-holiest. For Jews, Jerusalem is the holiest city and the Temple Mount the holiest site; Judaism’s second-holiest site is the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, which Muslims usurped when they conquered the city in the 7th century and re-named it the Ibrahimi Mosque. If Muslims are entitled to have control over the city that hosts their so-called “third-holiest site,” why do they oppose Jewish control over the city that contains Judaism’s first- and second-holiest sites?

Many Muslims also often purposely muddy that Jerusalem’s status as the capital of Israel does not compromise the religious freedom of Muslims and Christians. In fact, the city has never in its history been as open to pilgrims from all religions as it has been under Israeli rule. By contrast, during the 19 years when the Old City and its holy sites were under Jordanian occupation, Jews — regardless of the origin of their passports — were prohibited to visit and pray there. Still today, Jews visiting the Temple Mount are prohibited from praying there.

Since the advent of Islam, Muslim regimes have destroyed — or converted into mosques — synagogues, churches, Buddhist and Hindu temples, and other non-Muslim places of worship. Accusing Israel of engaging in such behavior is both a projection and a propaganda device.

The false narrative about Jerusalem is part of what Moshe Sharon, Professor Emeritus of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, calls the “Islamization of History.” The basic attitude, he says,

“is that … all major figures of history basically are Muslim — from Adam down to our own time. So, if the Jews or Christians are demanding something and basing it on the fact that there was a king called Solomon or a king called David, or a prophet called Moses or Jesus, they say something which is not true or, in fact, they don’t know that all these figures were basically Muslim figures.”

He further explains:

“Anywhere which was connected with these people or with these prophets who were all Muslims becomes a Muslim territory. And therefore, when Islam was not in …the Middle East or other parts outside of the Middle East which are now Muslim… any place like this had to be freed, not to be conquered. … Islam appeared in history in the time of Mohammed — or reappeared in history from their point of view — as a liberator…”

…presumably of an Islamic religion that existed since forever and was distorted by religions which came along later: Judaism and Christianity.

That is why the struggle of Israel is also the struggle of the West against sharia-imposed historic revisionism and the slavery of dhimmitude, the second-class, “tolerated” status assigned by Islamists to Jews and other non-Muslims. It is a struggle for freedom in which the Jewish people take back their history and freedom from Islamist and other dictators and preserve them in their own ancient homeland.

The Islamist understanding of history and geography, however, is completely different from scientific and historical facts.

According to Islamists, all prominent figures beginning from Adam and Eve were Muslim, therefore all the lands where they lived were Muslim lands. Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Yazidism, and others are not belief systems which could also be respected. The believers of all those religions are occupiers in Muslim lands. They are not natives or honorable residents. They are not even communities whose rights and religious liberty should be respected as much as that of Muslims. They have, in fact, according to this view, abandoned the only true religion; they have therefore been cursed and will be punished by Allah unless they convert to Islam. If they are allowed to live despite that, it is all because of the “mercy” of Islamists — but they are always to remain inferior to Muslims.

This is what Islamists assert and have acted on in the lands they rule. But science — including real history, archeology, and objective theological studies, among others — would disagree with the Islamists’ revisionist understanding of history.

It is natural that a religion claims that it is the only true one. But most do so by still recognizing and respecting other faiths and their histories. What is destructive and intolerant is if one religion denies the authenticity of other religions and dehumanizes and demonizes their believers. This distorted and misleading understanding of world history has also helped to create extremely oppressive and violent Muslim regimes that have never treated non-Muslims as equals.

An ideology that asserts that all of human history is actually its own history, and other faiths are just inventions created by frauds that led their believers astray, and that misled people who will burn in hell forever because they do not believe in the only eternal, true, and perfect religion, is not fit to create a tolerant culture that is respectful to, and accepting of, other faiths. That is why this denialist, supremacist, and totalitarian ideology has not been able to promote religious, cultural, or intellectual diversity at any time in history in the lands that it took over.

This denialist view on history, which recognizes nothing but Islam, is what mainly creates the enormous differences in understanding between the Islamists who falsely claim ownership of Jerusalem and the Jews of Israel who rebuilt their homeland and wish to live there in dignity.

The Islamists attempt falsely to Islamize history, by combining it with the hate-filled teachings in Islamic scripture openly claiming that Jews and other non-Muslims are “cursed by Allah” and “shall be killed off.” This revisionist history is how and why fundamentalists such as Erdoğan — and the Turkish Twitter-users who follow his lead — have no compunction about disseminating genocidal vitriol.

Their lies need to be exposed for what they are: anti-Semitism and falsehoods disguised as legitimate criticism of U.S. and Israeli policy.

Uzay Bulut, a Turkish journalist born and raised a Muslim, is currently based in Washington D.C.

Abbas lacks important Arab support against Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem

December 7, 2017

Abbas lacks important Arab support against Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem, DEBKAfile, December 7, 2017

Israeli soldiers clash with Palestinians during a protest in the West Bank city of Hebron, following US President Donald Trump’s announcement that he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, on December 7, 2017. Photo by Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90

It is no secret in Ramallah or Nablus that King Abdullah of Jordan has fallen out of favor with the majority of Arab rulers, especially the Saudi crown prince and strongman, the UAE emir and the Egyptian president.  DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources reveal that Riyadh has gone so far as to cut off financial assistance to Amman.

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The Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas only found Jordan’s King Abdullah and Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan to back him up Thursday, Dec. 7, in the first 24 hours after US President Donald Trump’s announced recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The Arab street’s first response was also minor in scale and pitch – less than 100 protesters at most of the rallies. Prepared for an outbreak of “the third Palestinian intifada (uprising)”, foreign correspondents arrived on the scene kitted up in helmets and vests, only to find a fairly low-key event to cover rather than a violent backlash. The Palestinian sources reported 140 injured so far, most of them from inhaling gas and three from rubber bullets.

The Palestinians were called out by their leaders to stage massive protest marches in East Jerusalem, Hebron, Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin and Tulkarm, as well as at the Gaza border fence.  Stones were hurled at Israeli troops and tires set on fire for the cameras, but nothing more lethal at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, for instance, than bottles of water. Only in Hebron did real clashes occur between security forces and protesters. They were broken up with tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets.

Extra Israeli security and military forces have been mobilized for the weekly Muslim Friday prayers at the mosques and Saturday. Will Palestinian protesters then turn out in force, as they have so many times before?

It must be said that, while most Arab and Muslim rulers have gone through the motions of condemning Trump’s pro-Israeli act, few are actively opposing it, which the Palestinian street has not been slow to notice. Their zeal for a violent confrontation with Israeli security forces is therefore less than expected – especially after their leader Abu Mazen had to fall back on the Jordanian king and Turkish president for support, instead of finding a rousing condemnation from the entire Arab leadership.

It is no secret in Ramallah or Nablus that King Abdullah of Jordan has fallen out of favor with the majority of Arab rulers, especially the Saudi crown prince and strongman, the UAE emir and the Egyptian president.  DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources reveal that Riyadh has gone so far as to cut off financial assistance to Amman.

Jordan has always been good friends with Turkey and so Abdullah flew to Ankara Wednesday to find a backer ahead of the Trump announcement. However, the ordinary Palestinian has a low opinion of President Erdogan and his efforts to set up an anti-American, Anti-Israel Islamic Front never found much response in Palestinian towns.

And so Abu Mazen’s panicky visit to Amman to talk with Abdullah is not expected to change the mood on the Palestinian street. At the same time, the situation is inflammable enough to catch fire in a trice. A large-scale Palestinian terrorist attack against Israel is always on the cards, and the potential for Israeli security forces facing a raging mob  to inflict a large number of casualties cannot be ruled out for triggering a major outbreak.

Turkey warns US of ‘major catastrophe’ if Trump moves embassy

December 4, 2017

Turkey warns US of ‘major catastrophe’ if Trump moves embassy, Israel National News, David Rosenberg, December 4, 2017

(Please see also, Report: US Quietly Taking Major Steps Toward Moving Israeli Embassy. Contrary to this article, Humor | Turkey pardoned by Trump had multiple contacts with Russian officials, the pardoned critter was the Islamic Turkish Republic of Erdogan. The U.S. Embassy in The Republic of Erdogan is scheduled to be moved within a year to The Peoples’ Republic of California.– DM)

President Erdogan reasserts authority in TurkeyFlash90

The Turkish government has warned the US that it could spark a “major catastrophe” if President Trump follows through on his 2016 campaign promise to relocate the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

The warning was made Monday during a press conference held by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag.

During the televised statement, Bozdag warned the US against either relocating its embassy or even recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, claiming that any change in the status quo could cause a “catastrophe”.

“If the status of Jerusalem is changed and another step is taken… that would be a major catastrophe.”

“It would completely destroy the fragile peace process in the region, and lead to new conflicts, new disputes and new unrest.”

Bozdag also claimed that any moves to change the status quo vis-à-vis Jerusalem, including mere recognition of the city as Israel’s capital, would benefit “neither Israel … nor the
region.”

“It would not benefit anything. Rather than open new doors, it would drag the region into a new disaster.”

Inside sources have claimed to American and Israeli media outlets over the past two weeks that the president is poised to either relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem in the near future, or at least announce that the US is recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

Under the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, the president is obliged to move the embassy to Israel’s capital city, or sign a six-month waiver deferring the move on security grounds. Every president since Bill Clinton has signed the waiver every six months. President Trump signed the waiver once since coming into office, but according to at least some reports, is hesitant to renew the deferral.

The previous waiver expires on Monday, forcing the president to either renew the waiver immediately, or approve the relocation of the US embassy.

 

 

Is Turkey Becoming Another Iran?

July 20, 2017

Is Turkey Becoming Another Iran? Gatestone InstituteUzay Bulut, July 20, 2017

“Because Muslims do not carry out the requirements of their faith, today all Palestinian territories are under the Zionist occupation. Gaza and the West Bank are like open prisons. Due to the embargo and isolation imposed on Palestine, children are dying of hunger and the ill cannot be treated because of a lack of medicine. As there is not enough food, even drinking water is not provided.”

“The Jews are the enemies of the entire ummah [Islamic nation]. Our prophet said that we will fight against the Jews before the end of days. Standing for the ummah, our Muslim siblings in Palestine and Gaza are struggling against them. I wish we too had the opportunity to be in Gaza and Palestine and help our siblings. I wish we too could fight against cursed Jews.”

With more Islamization of the Turkish educational system will come the segregation of women and men and the deterioration of women’s rights; more pressure and hostility to non-Muslim communities; more violent anti-Semitism; more anti-Western and anti-Israel bigotry, as well as more sympathy with, and even active participation in, jihad. These developments will automatically create less stability and less safety both in Turkey and throughout the Middle East as well as Europe.

Given the political developments in Turkey for more than a decade, the country seems to be fast-forwarding to be the second — and possibly even a more dangerous version of — the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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Evolution will no longer be taught in Turkish secondary schools, after being described as a “controversial subject” by the government.

So, the question naturally arises what exactly will Turkish schoolchildren be taught instead. The answer is “jihad.” Turkey is in the process of including the concept of jihad in compulsory school curricula. In eighth grade, jihad will also be taught under the title “Struggling on the Path to Allah: Jihad,” under a chapter called “Worshipping Allah.”

The Ministry of National Education has also increased class hours for the mandatory course in “religion, culture and morality,” and decreased art and philosophy classes to one hour per week.

Turkey has recently been in the news for various developments that include, among other matters, its record number of jailed journalists, the destruction of Kurdish towns and forced displacement of thousands of Kurds, the dismissal or suspension of thousands of government employees for political reasons, the arrest of thousands of citizens for allegedly “organizing” last year’s failed coup, the creeping conversion of the Hagia Sophia Basilica-museum into a mosque, and the seizure of Assyrian Christian lands, churches and cemeteries by the government.

One additional trend begging the media’s attention is the determined Islamization of the Turkish educational system.

Here is a short list of some of the latest developments in Turkish schools and their curricula:

Turkey to stop teaching evolution in secondary schools as part of new national curriculum

Evolution will no longer be taught in Turkish secondary schools after being described as a “controversial subject” by the government. The head of the education ministry’s curriculum board, Alpaslan Durmuş, said a section on Darwinism would be cut from biology classes from 2019.

“We have excluded controversial subjects for students at an age unable yet to understand the issues’ scientific background,” he told a seminar in Ankara, according to Hurriyet Daily News.

“Jihad” in compulsory school curricula

So the question naturally arises what exactly will Turkish schoolchildren be taught instead. The answer is “jihad.” Turkey is in the process of including the concept of jihad in compulsory school curricula. According to a statement issued in January by the Turkish Ministry of National Education, Turkish textbooks will be teaching “jihad” as a “value” in classes at Imam Hatip middle schools (schools that offer an Islamic curriculum to pupils).

At a press conference, Ismet Yilmaz, the minister of national education, explained the details of the new curricula to the press. According to the newspaper Cumhuriyet, jihad will be taught in seventh grade while pupils study the fundamentals of “tawhid” (oneness of God) and wahdat (Islamic unity) civilization.”

In eighth grade, jihad will also be taught under the title “Struggling on the Path to Allah: Jihad” under the chapter called “Worshipping Allah.”

1.5 million Imam Hatip students across Turkey

Under Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), the number of Imam Hatip schools has ballooned from 500 to 3,500, with enrollment surging from 60,000 to 1,500,000 since the AKP first came to power in 2002.

The first Imam Hatip schools in Turkey were opened in 1924 during the rule of the Republic’s first president, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, as vocational schools to train government-employed imams and Islamic scholars.

“All schools shall have masjids (mosques)”

The Ministry of National Education has also declared that for schools and other educational centers to be opened in Turkey, they have to have a washroom where people can perform ablution before reciting their prayers [salah] five times a day, as well as two masjids [mosques] — one for males and the other for females.

More Islamic classes, less art and philosophy

The Ministry of National Education has also increased class hours for the mandatory course in “religion, culture and morality” and decreased art and philosophy classes to one hour per week. The Ministry also repealed the “Regulations on Fine Arts Education,” which were enacted in 2008 “to give primary and secondary school students with special talents the necessary education to prepare them for the fine arts schools.”

Secularism, positivism “problems of faith”

The new curricula prepared by the Ministry of National Education to be studied at Turkish schools also describe “secularism, positivism, deism, agnosticism, atheism, nihilism, Satanism, reincarnation and false prophethood” as “problems of faith.”

Girls in niqabs in private-funded Islamic organizations

Full Islamization is overtly and increasingly on the rise in private associations, as well. The association of “Fans of the Prophet and the Generation of the Koran Platform” has been offering education on Islamic scriptures to its female and male members and organizing flamboyant ceremonies of “ratification.” The association has 63 branches across Turkey.

In 2014, for example, 144 female students wearing the niqab were given “documents of ratification” after completing their religious education in the city of Batman. The students were referred to with Arabic-Islamic names instead of their real Turkish or Kurdish names.

The association also celebrates “Jerusalem Day” on the last Friday of every Ramadan. Murat Güneş, a platform member, falsely claimed in his speech in the city of Batman last year:

“Because Muslims do not carry out the requirements of their faith, today all Palestinian territories are under the Zionist occupation. Gaza and the West Bank are like open prisons. Due to the embargo and isolation imposed on Palestine, children are dying of hunger and the ill cannot be treated because of a lack of medicine. As there is not enough food, even drinking water is not provided.”

Another Islamic organization famous for its female students, covered from head to toe is the Diyarbakir-based “Union of Scholars and Madrasahs” [Islamic theological schools].

After completing their four-year religious education organized by the Union, 78 female students in niqabs were presented with their “documents of ratification” in the city of Batman in 2015.

A graduate in niqab said: “This cause has sacrificed so many. Let them not forget that we — as individuals ready to sacrifice ourselves — will do anything that is required without making any concessions.”

The Union, which carries out activities all across Turkey, is also intensely interested in Israel. A Hamas delegation, for example, led by Osama Hamdan, who is in charge of the organization’s foreign affairs, visited the Diyarbakir headquarters of the Union in May of this year.

During the meeting, Mullah Enver Kılıçaslan, the head of the Union, said:

“The Jews are the enemies of the entire ummah [Islamic nation]. Our prophet said that we will fight against the Jews before the end of days. Standing for the ummah, our Muslim siblings in Palestine and Gaza are struggling against them. I wish we too had the opportunity to be in Gaza and Palestine and help our siblings. I wish we too could fight against cursed Jews.”

Turkey has for decades been hostile and discriminatory to its non-Muslim communities. Before the 1915 Christian genocide, the population of the territory that is now Turkey was about 15 million, about 4.5 million of which — nearly a third — was Christian. Today, one can hardly even talk of a Christian minority. Only 0.2 percent of the country’s current population is Christian or Jewish. This means that as a percentage of its population, Turkey has a smaller Christian community than any of its neighbors, including Syria, Iraq and Iran. So, the demographics of Turkey have already been Islamized. Now, the educational system is officially becoming Islamized, as well.

With more Islamization of the Turkish educational system will come the segregation of women and men and the deterioration of women’s rights; more pressure and hostility to non-Muslim communities; more violent anti-Semitism; more anti-Western and anti-Israel bigotry, as well as more sympathy with, and even active participation in, jihad. These developments will automatically create less stability and less safety both in Turkey and throughout the Middle East as well as Europe.

Given the political developments in Turkey for more than a decade, the country seems to be fast-forwarding to be the second — and possibly even a more dangerous version of — the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2015. (Image source: Tasnim News Agency/Wikimedia Commons)

Uzay Bulut, a journalist born and raised a Muslim in Turkey, is currently based in Washington D.C. She is a writing fellow of the Middle East Forum.