Jihadi State Rising

Scanning news reports this week, I was surprised to learn that according to much of the press, Turkey had been Israel’s “staunchest ally in the Muslim world,” until the Gaza aid flotilla debacle. According to the Associated Press, the UK’s Daily Mail and other media, the Gaza aid flotilla crisis has irreparably damaged the “close” relationship between Israel and Turkey.

The fact is such reports are simply untrue and misleading. It was not the Gaza aid flotilla that irreparably damaged relations between Turkey and Israel. The relationship had already been under severe strain for the past seven years, since the now ultra-conservative Islamist AK Party led by Turkish Prime Minister Erodgan took power in 2002.

Indeed friendly relations between Turkey and Israel prior to the flotilla incident had already, for the most part, been over.

Turkey, the country that led the flotilla initiative, has shown absolutely no interest in continuing peaceful relations with Israel in the past year, resorting to hostile rhetoric and policies against the Jewish state. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan barred Israel from annual military exercises on Turkey’s soil last year, while signing a military contract with Syria. At the World Economic Forum in Davos last year, the Turkish PM Erdogan verbally attacked Israeli president Shimon Peres about Gaza and stormed off the stage. In October 2009, Turkish national television aired a drama casting Israeli soldiers as sadists set to kill Palestinian children.

Not that Turkey’s human rights’ record is so squeaky clean. In 1974, Turkey invaded northern Cyprus, creating 160,000 Greek Cypriot refugees. Turkey still denies these refugees’ rights to return to their homes, as well as access and use of their property. Since the Turkish invasion, a large number of Turks have been brought to occupy the homes of the Greek Cypriot refugees, in violation of Article 49 of the Geneva Convention.

In 2009, the Orthodox Church of Cyprus launched legal action against Turkey for destroying 522 churches during the invasion. The Cyprus Church states that Turkey continues to destroy those remaining churches, converting them into “morgues, stables, night clubs, and chicken coops.”

But in addition to human rights abuses, it is those who Turkey counts as its friends, not its enemies, that should truly worry the West.

Turkey has announced that it would not join any sanctions aimed at preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and has warmly welcomed Iranian president Ahmadinejad to its capital city. But in May, Turkey went a step further and actually attempted to forestall UN economic sanctions against Iran much to the chagrin of the United States.

Back in February, the Turkish daily, Today’s Zaman wrote that the Turkish State Minister, Cedvet Yilmaz stated that his government was committed to working on improving relations with its neighbor Iran. The driving force behind this commitment, indicated Yilmaz, were the mutual gas transfer projects, which both Yilmaz and Iranian Foreign Minister, Manoucheher Mottaki agreed will bring both countries to a “historical era.”

Turkey and Iran have signed a number of deals to facilitate the flow of gas through Turkey to Europe, including agreements to allocate some Iran’s South Pars gas field to the Turkish Petroleum Corporation, where Iranian gas will be trasported across Turkey.

The Turkey-Iran pipeline transfers natural gas worth around $2 billion every year. “We believe that the projects for the tansfer of Iranian natural gas to Europe via Turkey will give a momentum to relations between the two largest economies in the world,” Yilmaz has stated. Another Turkish government official, Zafer Caglayan, stated that bilateral trade with Iran has grown to $10 billion in the past eight years.

But its not only economic ambitions or a record of human rights abuses that Turkey shares with Iran. Turkey’s government has grown more and more totalitarian in recent years, seeking not only to control economic and political matters but also attitudes, values and beliefs of its population. According to a recent article in Forbes, Melik Kaylan reports that the ruling pro-Islamic AK party has over 100,000 Turks wiretapped, thousands arrested and questioned, and over 200 reporters, intellectuals, academics and military officers jailed, all accused of a military coup.

“If you try to talk over the phone to people in Turkey about their current government, they will likely refuse to do so. The ruling pro-Islamic AK Party is now tapping phones so liberally that everyone is paranoid,” writes Kaylan.

A Washington Post blogger writes about similar observations of the Turkish government regime. Professor Susan Brook Thistelwaite reports that “far more Turkish women are wearing headscarves and religious dress than a decade ago. As one Turkish businessman observed about his university-age daughter, ‘They want to put a headscarf on her mind.’ He is thinking about sending his daughter to the United States to complete her education.”

“Erdogan’s administration has severely undermined the independence of the media, of the judiciary, of the banking system and has abolished long-standing rules prohibiting religious dress on university campuses. It is now moving on to re-write school textbooks to revise the country’s secular history,” writes Thistelwaite.

Indeed, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah presented the Turkish Prime Minister with one of the country’s most prestigious prizes, the King Faisal International Prize, also known as the ‘Arab Nobel Prize,’ in March.  The prize was given to Erdogan for “rendering outstanding service to Islam by defending the causes of the Islamic nation, particularly the Palestinian cause.” He received $200,000 in prize money.

The Palestinian cause has become a rallying banner for the Muslim world, serving as a means to distract the rest of the world from the human rights abuses that continue in countries like Turkey, Iran and Saudia Arabia, as well as from their growing economic power.

Indeed the humanitarian goods, among the weapons and arms, on the Gaza-bound flotilla should have gone to refugees elsewhere in the Middle East who have been displaced by Muslim powers. But then the incitement and hatred against Israel which unifies Muslims worldwide would have been lost.

Anav Silverman is a columnist and educator whose work has been published widely online and in print, both in Israel and internationally. She has appeared on Al Jazeera, BBC Radio, and CBS 2 and has contributed to BBC News, The Philadelphia Bulletin, Sderot Media Center, Front Page Magazine, Bangor Daily News, Maariv, The Jerusalem Post, Ynet News, and other publications.

  • Detfef Schmidt

    It is the biggest non-sense I ever read in regard with Western confrontation with Iran. The matter of the fact is that Turkey slowly realizing the common double standard of Western country specially USA with regards to Israel and non proliferation treaty. The fact is that until now there is no solid evidence that Iran is up to some thing else that peaceful use of nuclear technology. The US is quick to point out the Missiles program of the Iran as an evidence for military intention of Iranian Nuclear program. But exactly these missiles saving the Iranian population from being Massacred bu Israelis and US military. So the more missile they develop the more saver they are from the US aggression which we see on the daily bases in Iraq.

    • Rob

      We're not going to play "I throw the ball, you chase it."

      We're going to play "I throw the bomb, you run from it." like we've been~ doing for the past 50 years. Iran is next.

    • Rich

      You are a mornon wake up and smell the roses, there is plenty of solid evidence if you take time to look for it.

    • crazyhorse

      What!!??? bist sie stupid..Are you still a member of the comunist party..

  • Farees

    Absolute nonsense article.This shows how , corrupt, cunning and crooked minded are the supporters of the west and Israel.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/JosephWiess JosephWiess

      It's not the west and Israel that are lobbing rockets. Israel gave up land in return for "Peace" and paletine used it to place rockets, which were shot at innocent civilians.

      Israel went to the great trouble of warning innocent people that they were going to bomb terror targets.

      Israel doesn't kill people, Muslims kill people.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/IceStar IceStar

    After reading Quackdafy's statement I read on Jihad Watch, yeah the article makes some valid points. Turkey has no business in the EU, and it is not a friend to Israel or the USA.

  • RebelJim

    USA and Zionist Israel is the biggest danger to the World peace

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/JosephWiess JosephWiess

      Right, and the "Peace loving Muslims" never kill people. Wrong. Fail….Muslims rape Christian girls, cut the heads off Christian men, and blow up other Muslims.

      Muslims are barbarians that should be locked on the far side of the gate and left out in the cold.

  • Mike

    Nicely biased, cleverly bent article. Anybody against Israel is either anti-zionist or leftist or ultra-conservative…. Article itself doesn't worth a word since it just states lies as part of a campaign to attack Turkey and Turkish president who has courage to stand to tyranny unlike Obama. Same day of the flotilla incident, several soldiers were shot by terrorists in southern sea side Turkish city and yesterday some other terrorists bombed a police bus and killed 2. coincidence? I do not think so. We will see more junk articles, more bombings and seperatist movements in Turkey to destabilize government…Keep working Israel, your way is not going anywhere.

    • ajnn

      You are suggesting that Israel is responsible for Islamist terrorism in Muslim nations?

      Wow !!!

      There really is a powerful jew-hatred motivationg people in the world today.

  • TBone

    Turkey. Another islamofascist nation. Why are we suprised?
    Islam equals hate.

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  • Hammer2

    The Trolls are out in force today! LOL Keep reading the articles boneheads – eventually the truth will begin to leak past the lies & propaganda that so fill your minds. If David Horowitz managed to purge the radical thinking from his mind – you can too!

  • steven L

    All this is a response to the pacifist stand of B. Obama. So far he has shown a total lack of determination towards the enemies of the Western world while coercing his allies to give in.
    Extremists take pacifism as a sign of weakness.
    This will lead to a conflagration just like in 1940

  • http://hyphenatedamericans.blogspot.com Hyphenated American

    I am not sure a lot of people realize how much Turkish domestic polices are driving her attack against Israel. The Islamists in charge of Turkey need the distraction from their attempt to seize the power, and the attack on Israel is a perfect way of doing this. Don't forget, Erdogan is now attempting to pack the Supreme Court (the last bastion of secularism) with his goons.

    Read more on my blog: http://hyphenatedamericans.blogspot.com/2010/06/t

  • USMCSniper

    Reuters doctors photos of incident — http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/

  • johnnywood

    Wow! Reading some of these comments tells me that some of you guys woke up this morning and had a big bowlful of "stupid" for breakfast.

  • Jeff

    To all the damn trolls: The Turks are mass murders of Greeks, Armenians and Kurds and that's only in the recent history of the world! Everyone knows of the recent history of the Armenian Genocide (just like neo-nazis deny the holocaust–the Turks deny massacring Armenians) and the past few decades of Turkish military suppression of the Kurds but here is a link to the little known facts of the Greek Genocide:
    http://www.greece.org/cyprus/HellenicGenocide.htm

    When Paul did his walking tour of Asia Minor trying to convert pagans to his version of Jesus worship minus the Mosaic Laws, that region was a rich heritage mix of a Greco-Roman society. At this time the Roman occupied province of Judea (formerly an independent Jewish state of Judah) had not yet been renamed Syria-Palaestina (not for another 100 years) and Muhammad wouldn't have been born yet (not for another 500 years). The only Arabs were the ones still stuck constantly feuding in tribal warfare in the Arabian Peninsula and the only time they stopped fighting was once year in Mecca to honor their tribal idols housed in the Kaaba!

    So take a good long look you Turk lovers, Muslims and anti-Semites other than the Romans who brought hostility to the Jews, nobody else did! Christianity (as the organized Roman religion was 300 years away) hadn't taken hold to the point where pagan converts to Pauline Christianity blamed the Jews for killing Jesus! You trolls who hate Jews and Israel are backers of 2 of the worst groups of invaders to slaughter mankind! The Turks, who came from central Asia, who already have their modern representative state called Turkmenistan. And the Arabs, who thanks to Muhammad broke out of the Arabian Peninsula to slaughter Jews, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians and the wonderful cultured people of Indian subcontinent! So all of you are apologists to these 2 groups who are responsible for altering world history for the worst–not the better! Wow–aren't you wonderful people!!

  • watchful

    There seem to be quite a few ostriches flocking to this site today. More than the usual few grazers. This article must have hit a nerve.

    When I was in Turkey, our guide, explained that the majority or the Turkish wanted to align with Europe but there were 19 parties running on this side and one party running on the religious ticket. The majority spread their vote thinly over numerous parties and the religious all voted that one ticket so the Turkish government became a group of neo religious fanatics. There are 10,000 mosques in Istanbul alone and the religious party wants more. They want to align with Saudi Arabia. Turkey has been promised that it will become the "seat" of the New Caliphate that is forming. They will adopt their old borders and move from there outward in taking over the world inch by inch. The guide we had was a modern woman and was very worried about her future and her country's future.
    The majority in that country need to get organized and get some leadership so that in the future they won't be splitting their vote so many ways. The U.S. could help this situation by offering organizational skills. In the U.S. we need to get more people informed and educated so they can direct their votes to the right people before we all become an islamo-fascist communist country.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/TheFonz TheFonz

    Yep, if not for the polarizing nature of Israel, we would have more friends and allies among a more moderate landscape like the direction Turkey was heading (AND IRAN I might add before we overthrew their democratic republic and put in a puppet king.) But back a bunch of loony religious cultists with a superiority complex that constantly invades and steals land the way Israel does and you are bound to radicalize the region.

    • Mark Damon

      I guess you are referring to the Turkish "peace activists" who slaughtered millions and created the Ottoman Empire; murdered & tortured million and 1/2 Armenians; killed more than 45,000 Kurds ("thou shalt not kill") and send a bunch of new "peace activists"– thugs with knives, chains & guns so they could stab a few Jews for good measure. So now we got the "looney Turks" joining the Islamic Nazis of Iran. By the way, – the Jews have been in the land of Israel for 5,000 years since King Solomon & King David. The ones who stole the land are the Arab Bedouins , who came fleeing from their Moslem oppressors because they heard the land in Israel was rich and there was work…and they didnt have to be "slaves." to their Moslem cruel land holders, who made them work like "dogs" and collected "heavy Taxes' so they couldnt even "eat." Go read "From Time Immemorial", a book that brings out all the facts, quoting Arabs, Ottomans and Brits so you can understand what really happened.
      But then again, Muhamad taught the Moslems to pretend to be "peaceful activists" to be deceitful, and streal and grab and kill the heathens who do not accept him. This is how Erdogan, the other idiot Ahmad, and many more looney Muslims — following the path of savagery as they ddi on the Marmara.