Posted tagged ‘Erdogan and Islamism’

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.

What’s on the Mind of a Muslim ‘Refugee’?

September 14, 2017

What’s on the Mind of a Muslim ‘Refugee’? Middle East Forum, Burak Bekdil, September 10, 2017

Last year, three Afghans stopped in front of my house on the same island and asked for drinking water. I gave them three bottles and asked if they needed anything else. Coffee? They accepted and sat down in the garden chairs.

Over coffee, they said they were glad to be hosted “not by an infidel on this infidel island” but by a Muslim. The young Afghan who was dressed like a dancer from a cheap hip-hop clip on MTV said, “One day we good Muslims will conquer their infidel lands.” I asked why he was receiving “infidel” money for living. “It’s just halal,” he answered. “They [‘infidels’] are too easy to fool.”

M., another fluently English-speaking Syrian, gave me a long lecture on the wonderful governance of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. “Turkey is the best country in the world!” M. said. ” Erdoğan is the leader of the ummah.” I asked why he had risked his life to cross illegally from the “best country in the world” to the “poor, infidel lands.” “I want to go to Europe to increase the Muslim population there,” he said. “I want to make a Muslim family there. I want to have plenty of children.” I reminded him that Greece, too, is a European country. No it’s not, he answered.

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The autumn of 2015 was unusual in almost every way on the north Aegean Greek island of Lesbos from which I am writing. There were tens of thousands of illegal migrants on the island, the native population of which was scarcely 100,000. New refugees arrived every day by the thousands.[1]

One evening, the blue-grey sky grumbled shortly after sunset. The thick clouds blackened and rain poured down over the city with a roar. As I ran across the slippery pavement into a friend’s bar, I heard a group of five poor souls speaking Persian with a Turkic accent and running amok, seeking shelter under the eaves of a building.

A quarter of an hour later I found them in front of my friend’s bar, totally soaked. I went out and asked them if they spoke English; they shook their heads. I asked them in Turkish if they spoke Turkish. With glittering eyes, three of them cheerfully said, “Evet!” [“Yes” in Turkish]. I told them they could come into the bar if they liked. They hesitated but politely declined. I asked if they needed food, water, or cigarettes.

The one with the most fluent Turkish stepped forward. He drew a pack of banknotes from his pocket and said, “If you really want to help, find us a hotel. The best, if possible. We have cash. Money is no problem. Find us a hotel and we’ll pay you a commission.” He explained that all the “damn” hotels on the island were full [of refugees] and they needed rooms.

I apologized and disappeared into the bar.

Nearly two years later, on a beautiful and cool summer evening, I met A. at a bar on the same island. A., a Syrian refugee, often spends his evenings bar-hopping with his Western friends. Those friends are mostly romantic European social workers who, I observed several times, sport t-shirts, bags, and laptops festooned with the Palestinian flag. They are on the island to help the unfortunate Muslim refugees who are fleeing war in their native countries.

“I’ll tell you strictly Muslim-to-Muslim,” A. said in good English after having poured down a few shots of whiskey. “These (European social workers) are funny guys. And they’re not just funny. They’re also silly. I don’t know why on earth they are in love with a Muslim cause that even some of us Muslims despise.”

Last year, three Afghans stopped in front of my house on the same island and asked for drinking water. I gave them three bottles and asked if they needed anything else. Coffee? They accepted and sat down in the garden chairs.

Over coffee, they said they were glad to be hosted “not by an infidel on this infidel island” but by a Muslim. The young Afghan who was dressed like a dancer from a cheap hip-hop clip on MTV said, “One day we good Muslims will conquer their infidel lands.” I asked why he was receiving “infidel” money for living. “It’s just halal,” he answered. “They [‘infidels’] are too easy to fool.”

M., another fluently English-speaking Syrian, gave me a long lecture on the wonderful governance of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. “Turkey is the best country in the world!” M. said. ” Erdoğan is the leader of the ummah.” I asked why he had risked his life to cross illegally from the “best country in the world” to the “poor, infidel lands.” “I want to go to Europe to increase the Muslim population there,” he said. “I want to make a Muslim family there. I want to have plenty of children.” I reminded him that Greece, too, is a European country. No it’s not, he answered.

Almost all the illegal migrants on that and other Greek islands want to get to Germany, where they have heard from friends and relatives that they will be the best paid for being “poor” refugees. The cliché “the-poor-souls-are-fleeing-war-in-their-native-country” is becoming less and less convincing every day. True, most Syrians fled to Turkey after the start of civil war in their country. But why did they then risk their lives to squeeze into 12-man rubber boats with 40-50 other people, including children and the elderly? Because of war in Turkey?

No. Despite political instability and insecurity for all, there is technically no war in Turkey. It is a Muslim country whose mostly Muslim migrants want to leave it as soon as possible for non-Muslim Europe.

They reach the shores of the Greek islands, which are so beautiful that people from across the world fly there for their holidays. But the islands are not good enough. They want to go to Athens. Why? Because there is war on the Greek islands? No. It’s because Athens is the start of the exit route to the Balkans.

Apply the same logic to Serbia, Hungary, and Austria. Like Greece, none of those countries will be good enough for the refugees. Why not? Because there is war in Serbia or Hungary or Austria? Or because “my cousin tells me Germans pay the best?”

Turkey’s leaders often threaten Europe that they will “open the gates” and flood Europe with millions of refugees. They should ask themselves instead why those Muslim refugees are so eager to leave the “new Turkish empire” if given the chance. Why would they choose not to live a comfortable life in a powerful and peaceful Muslim country and instead flock to the “infidel” west?

Erdoğan blames the West for the tragedy. He has criticized the West for having taken only 250,000 Syrian refugees. In 2016, then Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the United Nations Security Council’s five permanent members (the US, Russia, Britain, France, and China), should pay the price, not Syria’s [Muslim] neighbors.

It is ironic that millions of Muslims are trying, through dangerous means, to reach the borders of a civilization they have historically blamed for all the world’s evils, including those of their own countries. The “romantic” West does not question why millions of West-hating Muslims are heading in their direction. Or is it “Islamophobic” to point out that there is no war in Greece, Serbia, Hungary, or Austria?

Burak Bekdil is an Ankara-based political analyst and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.

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[1] By the end of July 2017, the number of refugees and migrants in Greece waiting to be granted asylum or deported had fallen to 62,407. The five Aegean islands (Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros) are presently home to 15,222 asylum-seekers and migrants.

Europe: Denying the Threat of Islamic Imperialism

May 11, 2017

Europe: Denying the Threat of Islamic Imperialism, Gatestone InstituteMaria Polizoidou, May 11, 2017

The UN report and Erdogan’s rhetoric both evidently expresses the Muslim world’s thoughts about what it apparently thinks should be the fate of Israel and Europe. So far, not a single Muslim state has condemned or opposed Erdogan’s aggression against Judeo-Christian civilization.

The enemy is already inside the gates; many European regimes seem unaware that there is even a threat.

The logic of much of Europe’s religious and political community seems to be that if the elephant in the room is spoken to nicely and made to look cute and adorable, people will not think of it as a threat to their safety.

The Western world can no longer ignore the latest elephant in the room: Islamic imperialism. Europe has gone so far as to hamper free speech on the subject, apparently preferring to put the safety of its citizens at risk over admitting that the elephant exists.

Meanwhile, Muslim countries make not the slightest effort to hide their intentions, as recent actions of 18 such states at the United Nations illustrate. They cooperated in the preparation of the report released in March by the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA), which accused Israel of “the crime of apartheid,” despite knowing full well that such a baseless claim would be rejected by the world body now that Donald Trump is at the helm of the free world. The reason they went ahead with it anyway was to convey to the West that delegitimizing the Jewish state was merely the first step in a master plan to unravel all of Judeo-Christian civilization and values.

For a body such as UNESCWA to declare the State of Israel in an official Institute’s report, as being guilty of “the crime of apartheid” according to international law, shows that Islamic expansionism is a real and an active political problem.

UNESCWA must have had some idea, before publishing the report, that such a loopy conclusion could not be adopted, even by the UN, which has been doing its utmost to rewrite historical facts. In the last few years, UNESCO has repeatedly declared pre-Islamic historical sites Islamic.

Nevertheless, UNESCWA proceeded to pass this surreal political concoction, probably to declare to the Western world again its attempts to delegitimize the State of Israel and all the freedoms it represents in the Judeo-Christian world that might threaten the expansion of Islam.

It was an attempt to project power.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey, which even before his new, absolute powers, wanted to represent all of Sunni Islam, shows to the Western world the true face of Islamic imperialism and the conventional, irregular and cyber war it appears to have declared on the Christian world.

The UN report and Erdogan’s rhetoric both evidently expresses the Muslim world’s thoughts about what it apparently thinks should be the fate of Israel and Europe. So far, not a single Muslim state has condemned or opposed Erdogan’s aggression against Judeo-Christian civilization.

ANKARA, TURKEY – APRIL 17: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan gives a referendum victory speech to his supporters at the Presidential Palace on April 17, 2017 in Ankara Turkey. Erdogan declared victory in Sunday’s historic referendum that will grant sweeping powers to the presidency, hailing the result as a “historic decision. 51.4 per cent per cent of voters had sided with the “Yes” campaign, ushering in the most radical change to the country’s political system in modern times.Turkey’s main opposition calls on top election board to annul the referendum. OSCE observers said that a Turkish electoral board decision to allow as valid ballots that did not bear official stamps undermined important safeguards against fraud. (Photo by Elif Sogut/Getty Images)

According to Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu, “[T]here will soon be religious wars inside Europe”. The enemy is already inside the gates; many European regimes seem unaware that there is even a threat.

Corrupted elites, with the help of many in the international community, try to suffocate Israel economically; and the biased and dishonest media seem to be trying to hide from the public that they work as proxies of Islamic imperialism, promoting Islamic ideology and condemning the values of the West.

Pope Francis and Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew use Jesus’s phrase “Love each other as I have loved you” as a religious justification to love people who are ordered — under threat of eternal hellfire — not only never to love you, but to have nothing whatever to do with you, apart from trying to win you over to their firmly-held belief:

“O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one] of them.” — Qur’an 5:51

The logic of much of Europe’s religious and political community seems to be that if the elephant in the room is spoken to nicely and made to look cute and adorable, people will not think of it as a threat to their safety.

Left-wing ideologues and unwitting fellow travelers hide the nature of the elephant. This was the approach of President Obama, who, along with European leaders, provided space in which the elephant could operate, grow and undermine the fabric of Western societies.

Key to this enabling has been a Western focus on fake politics — such as the obsession with issues such as transgender bathrooms and rights for women who are already blessed with rights — while Islamists are actually oppressing gays and women in the most rigid fashion.

The Obama administration metamorphosed real politics into fake politics, where people talk — instead of about freedom and democracy — about feminism, gender studies, transgender bathrooms, feeling offended and endless vaginology.

Christian leaders have also been trying to deflect from the threat. Both Pope Francis and Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I use Jesus’s phrase, “Love each other as I have loved you” to disguise and minimize it.

Meanwhile, the elephant in the room gets bigger and bigger and is ready, according to the Turkish president’s statements, to destroy the house.

The West seems addicted to prettying up terrorist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood or the PLO. Wishing away danger is nothing new to the West. It was not until President Ronald Reagan exposed the Soviet Union as an “evil empire,” for example, that the threat of Communism began to be taken seriously. Within six years, the USSR collapsed.

The behavior of many Western political leaders, jumping from one definition to another about the “true nature of Islam,” has so far been disastrous. The tenets of Islam are there or all to see; people in the West seem not to want to look.

What are we Westerners doing trying to tell Muslims what their religion is, in the first place? Do they try to tell us what “real Christianity” is?

Sadly, too much of what we have seen of Islam in the West has been violent. Countless attacks, with shouts of “Allahu Akbar” have been claimed in the name of Islam. In terms of what their religion stands for, you at least have to give them credit for being forthright. We in the West are the ones who have lied.

Ultimately, if we do not confront this problem, this problem will confront us.

Erdogan will not “allow Muslim prayers silenced in Jerusalem”

May 8, 2017

Erdogan will not “allow Muslim prayers silenced in Jerusalem”  DEBKAfile, May 8, 2017

(Turkish Dictator President Erdogan and President Trump should have an interesting meeting next week. — DM)

Turkish President Reccep Erdogan talking to the International Forum on Jerusalem in Istanbul Monday, referred to the draft bills before the Knesset, banning amplified overnight calls to prayers from mosque loudspeakers in residential areas. He called the bill “shameful” and declared “we will not allow the silence of prayers form the heavens of Jerusalem.”  Erdogan also said that the discussions about the US moving its embassy to Jerusalem are extremely wrong. “We made the necessary warnings on this issue at the highest level and we are continuing to do so.”

The end of Turkish democracy

April 19, 2017

The end of Turkish democracy, Israel Hayom, Clifford D. May, April 19, 2017

(Please see also, Kurdistan Independence Referendum and Why It Matters so Much in the Fight Against Radical Islam. — DM)

I made my first visit to Turkey 13 years ago. With the 2001 attacks on the United States still a vivid memory, Turkey struck me as a hopeful place. The people were friendly. The food was good. Istanbul was vibrant and cosmopolitan. This was not a Muslim country but rather a Muslim-majority country, a distinction made repeatedly and with pride. Turks, I was told, understood the importance of separating mosque and state.

Those who campaigned for a “no” vote had limited access to media and in some instances were prevented from holding rallies. The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party complained of unstamped ballots affecting 3 million voters — more than the margin of Erdogan’s victory.

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On the grounds of the Turkish Embassy facing Massachusetts Avenue in Washington is a statue of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, father of the Republic of Turkey, the nation-state he built from the rubble of the defeated Ottoman Empire and Islamic caliphate.

He is wearing a three-piece suit that would look stylish today, although he is steely-eyed in a way peculiar to early 20th century revolutionaries. He appears to be gazing into the future — a future in which Turkey would be modern, prosperous, secular and democratic.

If truth in advertising applied to governments, that statue would now be removed.

In a referendum on Sunday, Turkish voters were asked to give President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers. To no one’s great surprise, it was announced that they did, albeit by a narrow margin of 51.2% approving to 48.8% opposing, according to the state-run news agency. People in rural areas mostly voted yes, people in the cities — including Istanbul where Erdogan was once mayor — mostly voted no. But a win is a win and Erdogan has won.

I made my first visit to Turkey 13 years ago. With the 2001 attacks on the United States still a vivid memory, Turkey struck me as a hopeful place. The people were friendly. The food was good. Istanbul was vibrant and cosmopolitan. This was not a Muslim country but rather a Muslim-majority country, a distinction made repeatedly and with pride. Turks, I was told, understood the importance of separating mosque and state.

A NATO member, Turkey appeared to be the one sturdy bridge between the Middle East and Europe. It maintained cordial relations with Israel, too. While no Jeffersonian democracy, Turks had been going to the polls on a fairly regular basis for decades. Surely democratic habits were being acquired and democratic institutions were being built. A persuasive argument could be made that this was the direction history was taking throughout the Middle East and perhaps the world.

Sunday’s referendum contradicts that thesis. For a decade, Erdogan has been slowly concentrating power in his own hands. After a failed coup last summer — it’s unclear who launched it or why — he went full throttle, firing or arresting more than 140,000 military officers, academics, judges and civil servants, shutting more than 150 media outlets, and jailing journalists who dared criticize him.

The new referendum will significantly diminish whatever checks and balances the legislature and judiciary have left. And the rules on term limits will be adjusted so that the 63-year-old Erdogan can remain in the new 1,150-room presidential palace until 2029 or longer. In democratic societies, presidents do not serve for so many years. In the Ottoman Empire, sultans occasionally did.

Can we be confident that the announced results of the referendum are accurate? Those who campaigned for a “no” vote had limited access to media and in some instances were prevented from holding rallies. The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party complained of unstamped ballots affecting 3 million voters — more than the margin of Erdogan’s victory.

In Cermik, a town in northeastern Turkey, two members of the opposition CHP party were reportedly killed and two ballot observers were wounded as they were trying to prevent “ballot stuffing.” On Monday, European election monitors said the vote “fell short” of international standards.

Erdogan quickly fired back.

“The crusader mentality in the West and its servants at home have attacked us,” he told a crowd at Ankara’s airport. That is not the kind of language you expect to hear from the leader of a secular country. It is the kind of language you expect to hear from an Islamist demagogue.

Erdogan claims he will use the additional powers he is being granted to solve Turkey’s not insignificant problems, including political and economic instability, the strain caused by the refugees pouring in from Syria, and unrest among Turkey’s Kurdish minority, estimated at up to 20% of the country’s 80 million people.

What I think we can more realistically expect is for Turkey to become less free, less democratic, and less secular. Already we’ve seen Erdogan closing churches and detaining Christian clergymen. He has implied that only Muslims, not Christians, should be helped to rebuild their ancient communities in and around Mosul in Iraq, where he has sent Turkish troops, uninvited by the Iraqi government.

He appears to expect Turks living in Europe not to assimilate or even integrate but to remain loyal to Turkey and, of course, to him. In the weeks leading up to the referendum, he dispatched envoys to campaign in the large Turkish communities of the Netherlands and Germany. When local officials turned them away he leveled accusations of Islamophobia and even Nazism.

“Those who treat me, my ministers, my deputies with disrespect will pay the price for their actions,” he threatened. That is not the way leaders of NATO nations generally address one another.

Many Turks regard the referendum as illegitimate. It’s possible that Erdogan will feel the need to make peace with them. On the other hand, he may feel the need to make them submit.

More than a quarter of a century ago, when he was Istanbul’s mayor, Erdogan quipped that democracy was “like a streetcar. When you reach your destination you get off.”

In other words, he sees liberal democracy not as the best way to organize a government but only as a means to an end. If that’s correct, April 2017 marks the failure of Turkey’s democratic experiment. An Islamist, neo-Ottoman and neo-imperialist experiment began instead. It should surprise no one if a statue of Erdogan replaces that of Kemal Ataturk on Massachusetts Avenue.

Dr. Jasser discusses Turkey’s Pres. Erdogan & his Islamist policies 04.17.2017

April 19, 2017

Dr Jasser discusses Turkey’s Pres. Erdogan & his Islamist policies 04.17.2017, AIFD via NewsMax and YouTube, April 18, 2017

 

Erdoğan’s Cleric Calls For Turkish Nuclear Weapons

April 4, 2017

Erdoğan’s Cleric Calls For Turkish Nuclear Weapons, MEMRI, April 4, 2017

(Please see also, NATO Ally Turkey Working with U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. — DM)

“First, with the Christian fanaticism; then when the West started using religion as an accessory and the main motives became monetary – for international and local benefits – the West planned to either destroy the Islamic East, or to alter it to be used to service it [the West] by dominating it, [and] has implemented policies to achieve it and continues to do so.

“Today, a mix of religion, national egoism, profit, racism, xenophobia, and a supposed threat/fear of Islam (Islamophobia) is affecting the Western public, and contemporary Western values such as human rights and democracy are being used as excuses, propagating the idea that these values have been violated [but] with the main reasons/motives [for this] being hidden; operations against Turkey are being accelerated.

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In his March 16, 2017 column in the Turkish pro-AKP government daily Yeni Safak, Hayrettin Karaman, suggests, under the title “What To Do,” that Turkey should develop its nuclear weapons capability as a counterbalance to the West. Karaman, a well-known professor of Islamic law in Turkey who is known for his closeness to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is often referred to as Erdoğan’s “fatwa-issuing imam” or Erdoğan’s cleric.

This column was the first of two articles in as many weeks in Yeni Safak by commentators calling for Turkey to acquire weapons of mass destruction. On March 27, the daily’s editor-in-chief Ibrahim Karagul called on Turkey to cease fighting the enemies of the West, presumably the Islamic State (ISIS), and to acquire all sorts of weapons, including nuclear ones (see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6845, Sensationalist Pro-Erdogan Turkish Daily Calls For Nuclear Weapons, A Stop To Fighting ISIS, March 27, 2017).

Following is the translation of Karaman’s March 16 column:

“What To Do”

“First, with the Christian fanaticism; then when the West started using religion as an accessory and the main motives became monetary – for international and local benefits the West planned to either destroy the Islamic East, or to alter it to be used to service it [the West] by dominating it, [and] has implemented policies to achieve it and continues to do so.

“Today, a mix of religion, national egoism, profit, racism, xenophobia, and a supposed threat/fear of Islam (Islamophobia) is affecting the Western public, and contemporary Western values such as human rights and democracy are being used as excuses, propagating the idea that these values have been violated [but] with the main reasons/motives [for this] being hidden; operations against Turkey are being accelerated.

“Everyone knows, and sees, the ugly double standards that the West applies, without shame or consideration for anyone else, when it comes to values such as human rights, morality, manners, and justice. The fortune that the West (including the United States) has today has been obtained by usurpation and theft (colonialism) from the East. It is not even possible to fathom the material and spiritual destruction and the blood spilled in the East for the damned monetary gains of the West.

“People say ‘These were in the old times, the West is civilized now, there is a human rights-based democracy there, there must be legitimate reasons for the things they are doing today.’

“It is plainly clear that that the main reason for the actions of Europeans (to oppose Islam and for monetary gain), nationally and internationally, are being hidden and modern values are being exploited to mislead the public. Failure to see this is caused by blindness of the mind and the heart, which is more harmful than blindness of the eyes.”

“Military Strength… Consists Of Effective Weapons… Nuclear Being The Most Relevant… We Need To Start Not Buying But Inventing These Weapons”

“While the West does whatever it wants to do with the East, and especially with Turkey, a potential leader, it does not rely on the power of rights, laws, justice, or modern values, but on monetary and military strength.

“If the East wants to stop being oppressed, it is not enough for its religion to be true and its cause to be just; in an era dominated by the strong and not the just, it must be stronger than its enemy.

“The first condition for this is for the victimized and oppressed East to unite and cooperate. After entering the path of unity and cooperation, collaboration with lesser evils to cross barriers is feasible, if it is a must.

“Once upon a time, military strength consisted of arrows and horses. But now it consists of effective weapons invented using our era’s knowledge and technology – nuclear being the most relevant – and tools that allow for the use of such weapons.

“Without wasting any time, or turning a deaf ear to the West’s complaints and obstacles, we need to start not buying but inventing these weapons. Let us invent and balance these weapons out. Let us not use weapons of mass destruction unless it is necessary – and the path to not using them is to have more powerful versions of them than the enemy’s.

“If the Lord allows, I will talk about the 100 plans that the West implemented to crumble the Ottoman Empire and exterminate Islam, in Sunday’s article.”