February 12, 2010 | By Crethi Plethi
Turkey Shows its True Face
You can read this article in dutch here.
In the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead, the friendship between Turkey and Israel is declining more and more. It seems that Turkey, under the influence of Erdogan’s Islamic Justice and Development Party (AKP), has made the choice to join its Islamic allies. This implies also that Turkey turns away from the Western democracies and its Western values, but is still pressing for membership with the European Union. What it also means is that the European Union is subverting into a leftist-Islamic Union (Eurabia), where Turkey almost feels at home with its Islamic values and anti-Israel bias. While Erdogan and his party (AK) is praised by western leaders as an example for moderate Islam in a modern Turkey, the reality is that Erdogan himself objects to the phrases “moderate Islam” or “moderate Muslim.” (Here and here). “There’s only Islam,” he says.
At no surprise, because Turkey has a strong Islamic tradition and the (Ottoman) Empire ruled over what was all of North Africa, Middle East, Persia and Europe to the gates of Vienna for more than 400 years. Let us not forget that Turkey (Anatolia) once was part of the great Byzantine Christian Empire with Constantinopel as its capital. After the fall of the city, Sultan Mehmet turned the Hagya Sofia, at that time the largest cathedral in the world, into a Mosque. Yet it’s of much significance that Turkey’s political change is happening now, because Israel has lost an ally in the Islamic world, while Israel already has virtually no allies at all in the Middle East. Partly because Egypt (another fragile basis of friendship) criticizes Israel even more openly, despite the peace treaty, which President Sadat (assassinated by the Islamic Brotherhood in 1981) signed with Israel in 1979. The same goes for Jordan. When the cards are down they both will line up with their “Muslim friends” in order to get a piece of the cake (that is, Israel). And so is Turkey.
Simultaneously with the estrangement between Turkey and Israel, the Turks seek rapprochement with Ahmadinejad of Iran, who openly calls for a new Holocaust. Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are. At the same time, Turkey deepens it’s ties with Syria, opens the border between the two countries and trains the special forces of Lebanon. Lebanon, which cannot be trusted, as long as Hizballah continues to play a major role in Israels ‘northern neighbors’ politics and military.
Let us not forget that Turkey is playing a hypocritical game. They condemn Israel for its Gaza War, while Turkey would never accept that their territory would be rocketed for years with thousands of missiles from a hostile territory, and not show any military response. See how Turkey responds to the Kurdish PKK fighters with military reprisals even into Iraqi Kurdistan. Rightly or wrongly, they deny the Kurds the right to have a home land. They are called terrorists by Turkey, but is it not true that in history Kurdistan has been (in various forms) an independent country and is it not a fact that the Kurds, over the centuries, have to deal with censorship and repression of their culture and their language? Is history, culture and language of a people not a basis for a home land in their own geographic region? (see Flags of Kurdistan). Turkey also commonly forget that they themselves have created a holocaust, by killing between 800,000 and 1.5 million Armenians during (and after) the 1st World War. And what to say about the Kurdish civilian casualties through the ages until now? How difficult this is for Turkey is shown by the fact that Turkey never has acknowledged that they committed war crimes against the Armenian people and their denial of the Kurds’ rights to have a home land. This is also a stumbling block for membership of the European Union. And what about Cyprus? When will Turkey get out of Cyprus and leave the Cypriot people (Turks and Greek) to rule their own country again? As a minority (Kurd, Armenian, Greek, Christian or Jew) in Turkey you better watch your step. No, Israel, as a common enemy is better than a distant friend, Erdogan must have thought as a ‘good’ Muslim. This makes him a showcase in the Muslim world and opens the doors for him to strengthen the (economic) ties with his Islamic Allies.
This whole controversy since the Gaza war was further fueled by two Turkish TV soaps on Turkish television about the Gaza war and about the so-called Israeli ‘occupation’. In these TV series, Israel and the Israeli army are described as brutal and ruthless occupiers. Israeli soldiers shoot babies and children in many scenes of these TV series. What effect this has on Turkish public opinion goes without saying, but even apart from the bias and lies, these images are very indoctrinating and insulting for Israel as well. The world has strongly criticized the Israeli military action during the Gaza war, but the role of Hamas remains virtually undiscussed, just as it is mainly left out in Goldstone’s UN report. I believe there is another important point neglected (or willfully left out by the media) in the whole discussion about Operation Cast Lead: “The nature of the Israeli soldier.”
Israel is still a young state (founded in 1948) and consists mainly of Jewish immigrants from all parts of the world. The Israeli ‘Arab residents’ (also mostly immigrants from neighbouring Arab countries) live in the most democratic country in the Middle East. As for the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, the situation is different. Israel in fact is not ruling these territories anymore following the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 where the Palestinian Authority rules large parts of the West Bank and Hamas is the de facto administration in the Gaza Strip since summer 2007. But Hamas and terrorist networks in these areas keep their grip on the current situation and are still aiming at destruction of the Israeli “Jewish” State. Note that this is not only directed towards Jews, but also against Palestinian Christians, moderate Palestinians, other Muslim groups and ‘moderates’ such as Abbas and Fayyad.
However, the thinking and actions of the Israeli soldier is fundamentally different from their Muslim counterparts and/or terrorists. See how the Basiji (a paramilitary movement in Iran) have helped President Ahmadinejad to stifle the Democratic calls for freedom in Iran. It’s evidently for everyone to see that demonstrators were beaten up by ‘Basiji’ thugs, young men and women were arrested and raped in prison, many are also killed. Arrested demonstrators are sentenced to death. Only by violence in the name of Shia Islam could Ahmadinejad break the democratic opposition. Have you heard Turkey cry out in favor of the reformists? Compare that with Israel and its military supremacy in the region. If Israel really would have a genocidal character (as many ‘Palestine’ supporters claim these days in compairing Israel with Nazi Germany), than they already would have put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Instead, Israel wants peace, but not at the cost of their own security and existence. While Hamas, if they had the same military status and capability as Israel, would have attacked and killed, slaughtered, murdered, and raped all the Jews in Israel years ago. Israel “Judenfrei”. The difference between Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, Iran and Israel is obvious.
The Arab culture is steeped in Islam. It is more than just a religion, it controls every aspect of daily life as well as politics. Many of the so-called “moderate Muslims” residing in the Netherlands (or Europe) would be targeted, killed in Arab countries just as Jews are targeted, killed, if they would express their freedoms the same way as enjoyed in western societies or speak out against Islamist Islam. While they are able to call Islam a “religion of peace” in the Netherlands, they would be killed by the Basiji thugs, by Hamas’ terrorists, by Hezbollah’ militants as apostates if they demanded more freedom and rights for women, homosexuals or oppose Islamic law. We know how it fares with the rights of minorities (including Jews and Christians), women and children, moderate Muslims, homosexuals, Sunnis in the Shiite countries (Iran) and the Shiites in the Sunni countries (Iraq). The modern Muslim in the Netherlands could not live in the Arab world under the Hamas, Hezbollah or strict Islamic law in Saudi Arabia or Taliban without adjusting to Shari’a law and Islamism. What weight gives this knowledge than to their words: “Islam is a religion of peace.” If there are no Jews or Christians (or Western troops) to be killed, they kill each other instead as apostates or ‘enemies of Islam.’
But not so the Israeli soldier. He thinks like a random Dutch, British or American soldier. He is educated in International Law and keeps in mind to the best of his capability, while entering a war zone, the Geneva Convention, like the British, the Americans and the Dutch do. Every Israeli soldier has also been educated in the IDF’s own traditional ethical code – ruach tzahal, “the spirit of the IDF.” (You can download a copy here). The vast majority of Jewish people in Israel have a different picture about the value of human life than the vast majority of muslims in the (Arab) Islamic world. The former Jewish immigrants (from the Western democracies) have taken many of the values with them, based on their religion (Judaism) and on Judeo-Christian values, into Israel. The Hamas thinks, acts and fight based on their Islamic traditions and beliefs, based on the Quran, the Prophet and Islam. (Read Hamas’s Charter.) We all know where this kind of religious fanaticism leads, human life does not count, even their own children are sacrificed in the name of Allah. Hence the genuine outrage of the Israeli government about the broadcasting on Turkish television insinuating that the Israeli soldiers are deliberate murderers of Palestinian children. Israel exercised more restraint in their attacks on Hamas militants in the Gaza war, then we ever have heard of in the West before. Israel wants and has the official position to stand by the Geneva Convention, also in contrast with Hamas. But Israel has not only to deal with an enemy like Hamas, who deliberately launches rocket attacks from civilian areas, and use children as shields if necessary. Israel also has to deal with the hate campaign in the Western world and the United Nations, who ignores the difficult position in which Israel finds itself. And that’s now also the case with Turkey. In showing its true face, Israel can no count on reliable friends in the Middle East anymore. There’s more behind it than we think.
This is the real Turkey, Erdogan’s Turkey, an Islamist Turkey. This is the revival of the Islamic “Ottoman Empire”, who were responsible for the downfall of the Byzantine Empire, the fall of Constantinopel and the Islamic conquest of eastern-Europe. Despite all efforts, however modern and secular Turkish people may still want to be, its Islamic heritage and Erdogan’s Islamization of Turkish society, media, military and politics, moves Turkey away from the Judeo-Christian values of the European Union and Israel. Turkey as a secular state is about to end. For many Turks, this is a bad dream as well.