Ankara, Turkey, 04.01.2017: “The minarets are our bayonets. The faithful are our soldiers. Allahu akbar. Allahu akbar.” So said the Turkish president during his presidential campaign 20 years ago. He was charged and jailed for this statement by a secular political system in Turkey that he later changed to accommodate his brand of dangerous political Islam. One of his political supporters, Aslihan Dede, 21, a student journalist wearing a Muslim head scarf in Istanbul, said with a self-convinced glee “He is one of us” — meaning President Erdogan is a certified Islamist in power in a major NATO ally country with immediate aspirations for membership into the EU, the world’s most exclusive political club for democracies! He lifted restrictions on Islamic headscarves and pumped religion into schools, slowly reversing the 95-year old legacy of secularism in Turkey founded by its first president, Kemal Pasha Ataturk. Erdogan and his party have won nine straight elections, drawing their strongest support from poorer and more religious Turks. Meanwhile, he put in an administrative and political stranglehold on the remaining Greek Christian minority in Turkey, ensuring that the very old and traditional Christian Ecumenical East-Catholic Church of Istanbul will be finally eliminated after its current and last Patriarch, Bartholomew, dies in office. The few coastal Greek communities have all largely abandoned Turkey in the last 25 years.
Shadi Hamid, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington and author of “Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the World” detected this pattern of pan-Islamic populism sanctioned at the ballot box, which uses and abuses the vehicle of democratization to placate Western powers with a veneer of legitimacy, all just to ensure a gradual political victory for Islamism, if not also at the point of the bayonet in the street. The so-called ”Islamic State” draws strength from ideas that have a broad resonance among Muslim-majority populations, in Turkey, and in Egypt and elsewhere in the Islamic world. For this reason, Turkey’s cynical Islamist president supported the dreadful ISIS in the early years when he was hoping to see a minority Alawite government in Syria overthrown by a hardcore Sunni Muslim rebellion from the desert dustbins of the wide open Syrian countryside. In this way, he was hoping to demoralize Turkey’s own Alawite minority, which looks up to the Syrian Alawites as their brethren. In a sign of how committed Erdogan is to Islamism – he still remains the most outspoken supporter of Mohammed Mursi, the jailed Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt who was toppled by the Egyptian army in 2013. Erdogan’s government hosts prominent Brotherhood leaders in exile. This author believes that President Erdogan has engineered or instigated a military coup against himself in Turkey last year in order to flush out his enemies inside the Turkish military and then eliminate them (which he did).
The dictatorial appetite of Erdogan was satisfied for now by the referendum on the expansion of presidential powers in Turkey, held earlier this year (in April). The changes to Turkey’s political system proposed by Erdogan (and adopted following the successful referendum) eviscerate the power of both the legislative and judicial branches of the government in favor of the executive, which will be concentrated in the hands of one person (Erdogan). The new presidential term limits allow Erdogan to remain in office as late as 2029. Erdogan has also abandoned an ambitious foreign policy that boosted Turkey’s economy by securing the flow of foreign capital. Instead, he replaced it with crude nationalism. He rails at neighboring countries on various pretexts, even at America for protecting his chief domestic rival who lives in exile in Pennsylvania (Gulen). He still has a low key Kurdish insurgency to deal with, as well as various sorts of blowbacks from returning terrorists who used to receive covert Turkish government support abroad. And above all else – Erdogan has been cynically exploiting the millions of Turks who live in Europe as his power play’s exponents. He would incite them so they hold rallies and he would send money to open schools in Europe where only Muslims need apply (madrassas). Every little incident in Europe involving Muslims his government uses as a pretext for a verbal onslaught against the Europeans. He is an absolute danger to the West, far greater than Saddam Hussein of Iraq used to be. Erdogan’s ironically named ”Justice and Development Party”, or AKP is a mere nationalist platform of yes-men from which the little Turkish Mussolini can tune his loud pitches on the open strings of his Islamist followers.
So, all things considered, it ought to come as no surprise that Erdogan issued threats to Westerners, as reported in the article translated below.
ERDOGAN more vitriolic than ever before: If the EU continues like this towards Turkey, Europeans will not be safe to walk the streets!
Europeans will not be able to safely walk the streets if the European Union continues to maintain a hostile attitude towards Turkey – this according to the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
It was during a speech in Ankara that he said that “Turkey is not a country that you can push around, whose honor you can toy with and whose government ministers you can simply expel!” – said Erdogan.
“If you continue to behave in this way, no European, no westerner will be able to safely walk the streets, anywhere in the world! We as Turkey urge Europe to respect human rights and democracy.” – said Erdogan.
Turkish President stated this in the midst of increasing tension in relations between Turkey and the EU in recent weeks, which came on the heels of the official banning of numerous public gatherings for Muslims who support Erdogan in Germany and the Netherlands, which some Turkish ministers were hoping to attend.
Turkish officials have responded to heavy criticism from European capitals, and Erdogan has accused Germany of using “Nazi practices,” which caused outrage in Berlin.
The renewal of tensions with Europe takes place less than a month before the scheduled referendum in Turkey on April 16, in which citizens will declare on the proposed expansion of presidential powers in the country.
The president of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, warned Erdogan that he risks destroying everything that his country has achieved in recent years.
European countries, however, have not granted permissions for Turkish public rallies to be held in support of Erdogan’s referendum in Turkey, which caused an even deeper rift in relations between Turkey and other countries.
“Stop the terrible Nazi comparisons! Do not cut ties to those people who want a partnership with Turkey. Follow the rule of law and of freedom of the media and of the journalists. And free Deniz Jucel.” – said Steinmeier.
Deniz Jucel is the correspondent of the German “Welt” news service who holds both Turkish and German citizenship but was arrested last month in Turkey.