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June 10, 2012 1:41 pm

Turkey Continues Its Irrevocable Slide to Becoming an Islamic Theocracy

avatar by Lakkana Nanayakkara

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey leaves the session 'Gaza: The Case for Middle East Peace' at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum. Photo: WEF.

Modern Turkey bears little resemblance to the secular republic created by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923. Over the past decade, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been transforming Turkey into an Islamic state. The most recent example of this has been the arrest of an internationally acclaimed Turkish classical pianist for insulting Islam. Fazil Say said “the Koran says there are rivers of drinks in heaven, that makes it sound like a pub, while the beautiful women available there make it sound like a brothel.” He could receive a jail sentence of up to 18 months.

Meanwhile Turkish prisons are filling up with political prisoners who have been charged with crimes such as treason and terrorism. The Turkish military used to see themselves as the guardians of the secular republic. Now dozens of senior military officers, including former generals are facing trials for having acted against previous Islamist governments. These actions pose a direct threat to Israel, as influential secular individuals, who tend to be pro-Israel, are being silenced and replaced with radical Islamists who are anti-Israel.

In this atmosphere of increasing Turkish hostility towards Israel, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman has sensibly refused to apologize to Turkey over the Gaza flotilla incident. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan recently continued his anti-Israel rhetoric by saying “Palestinian men, women and children that have done nothing wrong are being killed wholesale or held in the largest prison”.

The media and the Israeli government have failed to hold Erdogan to account by pointing out Turkish hypocrisy. Yes, there is a country in the Middle East that has committed a genocide, continues an illegal occupation and discriminates against its citizens. Turkey committed a genocide against the Armenians, illegally occupies northern Cyprus and discriminates against its Kurdish minority. The Israeli government should follow the example of 21 countries and respond to the next Turkish incitement by recognizing the Armenian genocide.

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  • Youseph

    This is a tad bit hypocritical, considering the article condones Israel in the same sentence.

  • Charlie

    @Kiprios Do not forget the greek genocide against the minority Turkish population in Cyprus by greek nationalists and the majority of the greek population. From 1956 -1974 12,000 Turkish civilians were killed. The Greeks wanted ENOSIS union with greece and began murdering the minority Turkish population. It is a shame that Greeks are so racist against the Turks. Racism is a huge problem is greece. To call greece a democracy is a joke. They may have invented it, but the seldom practice it. The Greek government and its people are so corrupt that they cooked their books in order to get in to the EU. Turkey is a economic regional power that has surpassed Greece’s economy many years ago. Visiting Greece from Turkey is like stepping back in time. Visit all the major cities in turkey and you will see that they rival or even surpass many western EU countries. Turkeys economy alone is larger than greeces over all economy ans is larger than that of 6 other european countries.

    Its time Greece realises who they are dealing with and should give up the notion that Turkey is backward when in fact Turkey is light years ahead of Greece.

    Turkey is becoming an economic tiger

  • Kiprios

    Erdogan should go fly a kite in a thunderstorm. He is a regional bully with no class or diplomacy and is a hypocrite to boot. Women’s rights, freedom of expression, speech and religion are not to be found within this backward 17th century nation’s borders. The turkish (not capitalized on purpose) government’s consistently jailing of people for making the slightest spin on the muslim faith is ridiculous. It is ok for them to threaten all of their neighbours, insult all European heads of state, invade Cyprus, steal 1/3 of the island, illegally occupy it and murder 1600 people which to date are not accounted for. In addition they massacred, murdered and raped the Armenian people and one cannot speak of it? Who the heck do they think they are? And they want to dictate terms to the European union while the Prsidency is being held by the Republic of Cyprus? Give me a break. Europe has it’s own problems and the last thing it needs is this backward thinking muslim nation to be aspiring to become part of the EU. Maybe turkey should partner up with syria, and iran and start their own club of backward, neandrathal nations and stop crying to the “civilized” world.