Posted tagged ‘Erdogan and Islamism’

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.

************************************

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.

***********************************

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.”

NATO Ally Turkey Working with U.S. Muslim Brotherhood

April 4, 2017

NATO Ally Turkey Working with U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, Center for Security Policy, April 3, 2017

Osama Abu-Irshaid (National Director of American Muslims for Palestine, AMP, a founding member of the USCMO), USCMO Secretary General Oussama Jammal (center) and Naeem Baig (President of the Islamic Center of North America, ICNA, a founding member of the USCMO) outside AK Party Headquarters in Ankara, Turkey, during an August 2014 visit

While the Center for Security Policy has followed the activities of the USCMO, MLFA and AMJA, the realization of just how closely the Turkish government at the highest level is working in collusion with these Muslim Brotherhood-associated groups to thwart any legal measures that may be directed their way by the new Trump administration and Department of Justice led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions still comes as something of a shock. The U.S. Brotherhood and its international partners were way ahead of the Trump team in foreseeing a possible renewal of legal risk and liability under this new management and began taking steps to confront it. They bring significant financial and legal resources to the fight, plus, as we now see, state-level backing from NATO member Turkey whose pro-HAMAS stance has long been known.

But given that an official organization of the Ankara regime is now operating a large Center (with numerous associated centers and mosques) barely thirteen miles from the U.S. Capitol and working there in collaboration with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood to thwart possible legal actions by the U.S. government is certainly noteworthy. As the international as well as U.S. Muslim Brotherhood gear up for coming confrontations, so must U.S. national security leadership as well.

************************

During the 2016 U.S presidential campaign, senior leadership figures of the United States Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) began strategic planning to ensure the advancement and protection of the group’s objectives, no matter who won the White House. USCMO Secretary General Oussama Jammal and HAMAS dba Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Executive Director Nihad Awad set plans in motion to defend the Muslim Brotherhood’s Civilization Jihad inside the U.S. Those objectives were first exposed and described in the Center’s 2015 publication, in Star Spangled Shariah: The Rise of America’s First Muslim Brotherhood Party.

Joining directly in those efforts then and now is the pro-HAMAS Turkish government, under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP). The groundwork for what is now a close working relationship began well before the March 2014 announcement of the USCMO’s formation, but it is known that on 15 May 2013, a visiting President Erdoğan placed a ceremonial stone on the 16-acre construction site that would become the Turkish Diyanet Center of America in Lanham, Maryland. The following year, in August 2014, a USCMO delegation led by Secretary General Oussama Jammal traveled to Ankara to meet with President Erdoğan and AK Party leaders. And then, on 29 December 2014, in a recorded video message, Dr. Mehmet Görmez, President of the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), addressed the 13th Annual MAS-ICNA (Muslim American Society-Islamic Circle of North America) Conference in Chicago, Illinois and discussed a gift for all Muslims: the Turkish Diyanet Center of America. Of note for the future of the US Muslim Brotherhood-Turkish relationship, this conference was sponsored by the Turkish-backed American Zakat Foundation and included the first-ever attendance of a Turkish-American group at a MAS-ICNA conference.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan shaking hands with USCMO Secretary General Oussama Jammal during the USCMO delegation reception with Erdoğan in NYC in September 2016
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addressing an assembly of US Muslim Brotherhood leadership during the week of the September 2016 UN General Assembly meeting. USCMO Secretary General Oussama Jammal is in the front row at the far right, Mazen Mokhtar, Executive Director of the Muslim American Society (MAS), can be seen in the middle, and Nihad Awad, CAIR Executive Director, is seated at the far left. Awad also welcomed the Turkish government delegation to CAIR’s WDC headquarters that same week.

It will be recalled that Erdoğan himself joined U.S. President Barack Obama on 2 April 2016 at the opening ceremonies for the Diyanet Center of America, located on a large 16-acre site in Lanham, Maryland. The Diyanet Center, also known as the Turkish American Cultural Center (TACC), is a wholly-owned facility of The Presidency of Religious Affairs, an official state institution of the Turkish government.

Under the Trump administration, the USCMO is especially concerned with legal issues, as calls were heard during the 2016 campaign urging that the 2008 Holy Land Foundation (HLF) HAMAS terror funding trial be re-opened to pursue possible cases against the more-than-200 unindicted co-conspirators named by the Department of Justice. Apparently concerned over possible vulnerability should the books of mosques, Islamic Centers and Muslim Brotherhood front groups come under renewed official scrutiny, CAIR and other members of the USCMO therefore engaged the services of the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA), itself a founding member of the USCMO.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the first major event to be co-sponsored by the USCMO, TACC and the MLFA in the Trump era will be a 13 May 2017 Muslim Non-Profit Leadership Conference, to be held at the Diyanet Center of America. Among the program topics are Safeguarding 501(c)3 status; Board fiduciary responsibilities; record keeping and disclosure requirements; Fundraising regulations, state registrations, unrelated business income; and Banking regulations, FDIC, DOJ, Watchlists, international charitable giving.

One of the MLFA’s top legal representatives, now working openly with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, is U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander (ret.) Charles Swift, formerly of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Swift, a 1984 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, who was recognized by the Muslim Brotherhood for his legal role advocating for client Salim Ahmed Hamdan in the U.S. Supreme Court case Hamdan v. Rumsfield 548 US 557 (2006). This role doubtless contributed to the choice of Swift as Director and Counsel for the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America (CLCMA), a project of the Muslim Legal Fund of America led by Executive Director Khahil Meek.

The MLFA’s CLCMA project presents itself as dedicated to two primary missions:

    • “Challenging governmental security measures affecting Muslim communities which encroach upon the constitutional liberties guaranteed to all.”
    • “Protecting the rights of Muslim individuals and organizations in the United States to exercise their constitutionally and statutorily protected rights to worship.”
Pictured left to right: “Jihadis in Suits” Nihad Awad, Khalil Meek, Oussama Jammal

In apparent pursuance of these missions, the MLFA continues actively to seek the release from federal prison of defendants in the HLF trial, which concluded in late 2008 with a unanimous guilty verdict on all 108 counts. The MLFA also engages in lawfare, using lawsuits as an offensive means of shutting down opposition to its civilization jihad operations. For example, as noted by the Thomas More Law Center in the 2009 case of Joe KAUFMAN, Appellant, v. ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF ARLINGTON, Texas, Islamic Center of Irving, DFW Islamic Educational Center, Inc., Dar Elsalam Islamic Center, Al Hedayah Islamic Center, Islamic Association of Tarrant County, and Muslim American Society of Dallas, Appellees, No. 2-09-023-CV: “The head of that organization [MLFA], Khalil Meek, admitted on a Muslim radio show that lawsuits were being filed against Kaufman and others to set an example. Indeed, for the last several years, Muslim groups in the U.S. have engaged in the tactic of filing meritless lawsuits to silence any public discussion of Islamic terrorist threats.”

More recently, in response to U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s early March 2017 revised executive order to restrict immigration from six Muslim-majority nations, the MLFA working in conjunction with the USCMO, is referring all Muslims to its “advisory prepared by Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America.” The MLFA may cloak itself in the colors of Star Spangled Shariah as a “constitutional rights organization” but Executive Director Khalil Meek still whines that “We continue to be troubled by this administration’s ongoing attempts to single out Muslims for adverse actions. Such blatant discrimination is a violation of our nation’s constitutional freedoms of speech, expression and religion.”

Finally, it is worth taking note of the following guidance. The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) provides the authoritative juridical backup on Islamic Law (shariah) for the American Muslim community and U.S. Islamic legal organizations such as the MLFA. Addressing the U.S. Muslim community on 28 November 2016, shortly after Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election, AMJA issued the following bracing statement:

“No one could possibly be unaware of the political storm that has recently overtaken this country…For this reason, the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America is addressing the Imams, Islamic workers and the entire Muslim community with permanent values that must be emphasized during this stage as well as a number of principles to be used in dealing with these events, what has happened as well as what is expected to happen…Islam, with respect to its belief and legal foundations, is unalterably fixed. It does not accept any replacement for change. (emphasis added)

While the Center for Security Policy has followed the activities of the USCMO, MLFA and AMJA, the realization of just how closely the Turkish government at the highest level is working in collusion with these Muslim Brotherhood-associated groups to thwart any legal measures that may be directed their way by the new Trump administration and Department of Justice led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions still comes as something of a shock. The U.S. Brotherhood and its international partners were way ahead of the Trump team in foreseeing a possible renewal of legal risk and liability under this new management and began taking steps to confront it. They bring significant financial and legal resources to the fight, plus, as we now see, state-level backing from NATO member Turkey whose pro-HAMAS stance has long been known.

But given that an official organization of the Ankara regime is now operating a large Center (with numerous associated centers and mosques) barely thirteen miles from the U.S. Capitol and working there in collaboration with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood to thwart possible legal actions by the U.S. government is certainly noteworthy. As the international as well as U.S. Muslim Brotherhood gear up for coming confrontations, so must U.S. national security leadership as well.

Westminster carnage, Turkish delight

March 24, 2017

Westminster carnage, Turkish delight, Israel Hayom, Ruthie Blum, March 24, 2017

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan didn’t know he was going to get so lucky on Wednesday when a threat he issued instantly materialized.

Indeed, the Islamist leader of the formerly modernizing democracy was probably happily amazed at the news of the terrorist attack in London, as it came on the heels of a speech he delivered in Ankara, in which he warned that in “no part of the world, no European, no Westerner, will be able to take steps on the street safely and peacefully.” This fate would befall them, he said, if they “continue to behave like this.”

Of course, Erdogan was not personally responsible for the rampage of U.K.-born Khalid Masood, who managed to murder four people before being killed by police. Nor had he specified what he meant by claiming the West would not be safe.

He did, however, caution that Turkey is “not a country to push, to prod, to play with its honor, to shove its ministers out of the door, drag its citizens on the floor.”

He had a point: Only Erdogan and his goons are at liberty to drag Turkish citizens on the floor.

This was not the point he was trying to make, however. Erdogan denies that he imprisons anyone he considers critical of his regime. But he has to do that when he spends so much time accusing Europe of human-rights abuses.

Meanwhile, the only “human rights” Erdogan really cares about are his own. More precisely, what he most hungers for is power, which he has been ruthless at procuring and making sure not to lose, by any authoritarian means. The failed attempt to oust him last July made this all the more clear, when he took the opportunity of the thwarted coup to crack down on every sector of society, locking up journalists, judges, police and members of the military on bogus grounds.

This is also why he is so intent on winning the April 16 constitutional referendum, which if passed will see Turkey shift from a parliamentary to a presidential political system. Erdogan and others who support the move claim it will make governance more efficient. But the wannabe dictator’s real reason is singular: to enhance and secure his growing reign of terror.

With polls indicating that the Turkish public is split down the middle on this issue, Erdogan took his campaign to the EU, where Germany and the Netherlands in particular are home to many expatriate Turks. Facing reservations from both — though Germany said it would give permission if he made the process more transparent and put a stop to his aggressive and inappropriate rhetoric — Erdogan doubled down, calling them Nazis and fascists.

“They have nothing to do with the civilized world,” he said in a televised address earlier this month. “The EU is fast going toward drowning in its own fears.”

If this assertion has any merit, it is precisely because of rulers and proxies with Erdogan’s ideology. Though he touts his role in the war against Islamic State to show his enlightenment, he is attempting to bring his country into the same dark ages that the Sunni murderers occupy. In other words, Erdogan, who has close ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, has shown time and again that it is only certain terrorists he wants eradicated; the others, his allies, spill the blood of infidels.

Wednesday’s attack at Westminster — whose perpetrator Islamic State claimed as a “soldier” in its call to ill Britons — may not have been inspired by Erdogan’s friends. But Masood’s knife-wielding, car-ramming actions expressed the same antipathy towards Judeo-Christian societal values that all Islamists harbor.

Erdogan ought to know, which is precisely why Europe must take his admonitions seriously and pray he loses next month’s referendum.

Turkey’s Holy War

March 20, 2017

Turkey’s Holy War, Front Page MagazineRobert Ellis, March 20, 1017

(What common interests do Trump’s America and Erdogan’s Turkey have? Are they sufficient to warrant cooperation with Turkey in any area? — DM)

In Islamic eschatology the Mahdi (‘messiah’) plays a prominent role. For the Iranian Shia he is already born and has hidden down a well for over a millennium, waiting for the right time to emerge. Turkish Sunnis already have a candidate, breathing fire and brimstone and ready to purge the world.

At least, so it would seem, to judge from the campaign Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has waged against unbelievers who have dared to block his plans to become the country’s all-powerful leader. 

On April 16 a referendum will be held in Turkey, where voters can decide on constitutional amendments which will remove all cumbersome checks and balances to Erdoğan’s power. In his campaign to secure a ‘yes’, Erdoğan has admitted he has been planning for such a system since he was mayor of Istanbul in the 1990s. Furthermore, that his plans for an executive presidency will concentrate all power in the hands of one person.

This “Turkish-style” presidential system means Erdoğan will have the power to appoint and dismiss ministers and high-level state officials without the need for parliamentary approval. He will also be able to declare a state of emergency, issue decrees, dissolve parliament and call elections without being held to account. The president will not only be head of state but also head of government – the post of prime minister will be abolished, and in effect the judiciary will be subject to his control.

What is particularly alarming, as the Venice Commission (the Council of Europe’s advisory body) has pointed out, the way the new constitution is configured means the president could stay in office for a potentially unlimited period of time.

The current conflict with Europe derives from Erdoğan’s insistence to extend his referendum campaign to the Turkish diaspora (there are about two and a half million Turks eligible to vote in Turkey in various European countries). However, as not all Turks are Erdoğan supporters, there is the danger of clashes, which could destabilize forthcoming elections in France and Germany, and latest in Holland.

Erdoğan has reacted violently to Germany and Holland’s refusal to allow him and his ministers to hold rallies, accusing Germany of “Nazi methods” and Holland of being “Nazi remnants” and “fascists” as well as “a banana republic.” This may go down well with Erdoğan’s supporters but not in Europe, where relations with Turkey are already strained.

But Erdoğan has stepped up the rhetoric. In a spectacular example of projection Erdoğan has claimed that “the spirit of fascism is running wild on the streets of Europe” and has compared the banning of rallies to the treatment of Jews during the Second World War. Here Erdoğan conveniently ignores that there has been a state of emergency in Turkey since the abortive coup last July, where public assemblies are banned and free speech is stifled. Also the fact that more than 135,000 have lost their jobs and over 140,000 have been detained or arrested in the ongoing purge of the Gülen movement, which has been held responsible for the coup.

Naysayers have been stigmatized as siding with the coup plotters, and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Gülen movement have been accused of backing the ‘no’ campaign. A prominent cleric has also branded opponents of the constitutional amendments as “opponents of Islam.”

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu has warned of “holy wars” in Europe and Erdoğan has spoken of a struggle between the cross and the crescent, after the European Court of Justice allowed employers to ban the Islamic headscarf along with other religious symbols. As Turkey is term president of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), President Erdoğan also intends to mobilize the OIC against Euro-fascism.

President Trump has not yet formulated a policy against radical Islamic terrorism but until now has left it to his generals to decide policy in the war against ISIL.

Here Turkey plays a key role, especially as Turkish forces in support of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) occupy an area in northern Syria, driving a wedge between two Kurdish autonomous areas. The question is whether the US in its drive to take Raqqa will continue to support the predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) or agree to cooperate with Turkey. The issue is still open to debate but will not be decided until after Turkey’s referendum in April.

In the meantime, the Trump administration has decided to send Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to meet with Turkey’s leaders at the end of the month. Whether this will be enough to assuage Turkish fears remains to be seen.

Turkey’s long term plans are off to a good start in Holland

March 14, 2017

Turkey’s long term plans are off to a good start in Holland, Israel National News, Giulio Meotti, March 13, 2017

(Please see also, Europe’s ‘Turkish Awakening’. Will the native-Dutch or the Turks win? — DM)

The municipality of Amsterdam once had a fight with the Turkish Milli Görüs over the height of a minaret. The Turks wanted it 42 meters high, the Dutch were not willing to have it rise above 34. A compromise was found at 40. Milli Gorus was founded by former Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan and it is one of the bastions of power of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It is one of Erdogan’s “long-reaching arms”, as defined in a report by the Center for Freedom in Stockholm. The Ankara authorities control half of the 500 mosques in the Netherlands.

In the last few days, the “war” between Turkey and the Netherlands has been fought over Turkish ministers who have been barred from holding campaign rallies in Holland. It is the culmination of a year of tensions. The vast majority of the Turkish community in the Netherlands is composed of Erdogan’s supporters and these are ready to resort to any method, including violence.

Erdogan tried to intimidate the freedom of expression of Dutch journalists. He ordered the arrest of Ebru Umar, A Turkish-Dutch journalist who has mocked him on Twitter. Then he tried to sue the De Telegraaf, which published a cartoon of Erdogan as a monkey crushing freedom of speech. And Erdogan’s lawyers have sought to prosecute the comedian Hans Teeuwen, a friend of the slain filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who on radio mocked “the Sultan”. Janny Groen of the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant reports that Erdogan’s Turkish opponents in the Netherlands are intimidated: “Alevis, Kurds, Turks, seculars and followers of Fethullah Gülen.”

The Hizmet movement, accused by Erdogan of being behind the failed coup, has come under attack in the Netherlands. In Eindhoven, an educational center was stoned. Molotov cocktails were thrown at a Turkish foundation in Apeldoorn. The imam Necmi Kaya, who preached for thirty years in the Dutch city of Haarlem, was almost lynched during a visit at the Dutch Selimiye Mosque, under the control of the Turkish Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Journalists of the Zaman Vandaag group, adverse to Erdogan, are called “CIA agents” and threatened. Including the editor, Mehmet Cerit, who requested protection from the Dutch police. A well-known Turkish imam, Halil Celik, said to Cerit that he is ready to “die” for Islam, but also to “kill”.

And then the calls to boycott Turkish companies in the Netherlands owned by Erdogan’s critics. The police department of Rotterdam had to create an ad hoc unit to monitor such cases following the failed coup. Mustafa Ayranci, head of the union of Turkish workers in the Netherlands, said: “People are afraid, like in a tyranny. ‘Who will denounce me?’ they ask.”

There was the scandal caused by the Turkish consul in Rotterdam, Sadin Ayyildiz, who secretely asked the Dutch Turks to denounce Erdogan’s critics. Two days later, a Turkish owner of a company, Ali Ekrem Kaynak, was beaten in Amsterdam.

In December, it was discovered that the head of the Religious Affairs unit at the Turkish embassy in The Hague, Yusuf Acar, was spying on behalf of Erdogan. 145 Turkish mosques in the Netherlands are off-limits to many Turkish citizens. The Turkish officer had also drawn up lists of Dutch politicians: the Christian Democratic Party, for example, was accused of being a “Gulenist bastion.”

Today’s Turkish Sultan wants to subjugate, intimidate and ultimately Islamicize all of Western Europe. Holland is a good place to start.a