Going Cold Turkey

One of the major questions confronting Western strategists and politicians today has to do with the political direction in which Turkey, a presumed ally and Western lynchpin in the Middle East, seems to be heading. Is it the beacon nation it has long been assumed to be, a stalwart democracy firmly rooted in Islamic soil? Or is it, on the contrary, a fundamentally Islamic nation now shaking off its Western trappings and faux identity to re-enter the theological orbit of the past? Who are we treating with, the Young Turks or the old Ottomans?

As Dinesh D’Souza writes in The Enemy at Home, it is time “to retire the tiresome invocation of Turkey as a model for Islamic society. No Muslim country is going the way of Turkey, and even Turkey is no longer going the way of Turkey.” But is not Turkey an electoral democracy and does it not therefore merit our approval and support? We in the West appear to have forgotten that elections in themselves do not constitute democracy. In the Muslim world, elections are only mechanisms for regulating the balance between competing tribal, ethnic and religious blocs intent on political domination, social coercion and economic exploitation—to be suspended the moment it seems opportune to do so. They are pretexts for structures of autocratic or theocratic control. It should come as no surprise that under the auspices of an ostensible democratic apparatus, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) is steering Turkey towards ever closer ties with the totalitarian regimes of Iran, Syria and Sudan and re-introducing Islamic norms of behavior.

The unpleasant fact of the matter is that in an Islamic context, democracy as we understand it does not work very well, if, indeed, it works at all. It is not a reliable or enduring phenomenon. Secular institutions in such a cultural and historical framework can survive only if they are imposed and backed by a strong military determined to check the influence of the clerical establishment and suppress the circulation of Islamic doctrine and extremist sentiment among the laity. Thus the folly of The European Commission’s 2005 report which declares that the Turkish army should concern itself exclusively with “military, defense and security matters…under the authority of the government,” ignoring the fact that the secular aspects of the state were achieved and protected only by internal military interventions.

The unwillingness of the West to recognize the true state of affairs regarding Turkey is encapsulated in an AP report on the recent arrest by the government of fifty Turkish commanders alleged to have planned a coup d’état. The article states: “Erdogan also has dramatically curtailed the military’s power, under EU pressure, and reinforced civilian rule while bolstering democratic institutions.” Apart from the reference to (typically misguided) EU pressure, the reality is very different.

By all reputable accounts, Turkey is inexorably being Islamized, which was already evident when it refused to permit American flyovers and the use of military bases and staging grounds during the second Iraq war. As noted above, political and economic relations with Iran are growing ever more intimate; a $3.5 billion natural gas deal has recently been confirmed. There has been a rapprochement with Syria and the principal bone of contention between the two countries, the status of the Turkish province of Hatay claimed by Syria as the historical Iskandaron, has been quietly buried. Turkey launched a venomous propaganda campaign against Israel over Operation Cast Lead in the terrorist statelet of Gaza and refused to cooperate with Israel in long-planned war games, leading to the U.S. dropping out as well. Erdogan boasts that Turkey has “opened a new approach to foreign relations…We have a philosophy of strength.”

Domestically, the Turkish parliament has cancelled the ban on the hijab, prompting even the Russian journal RiaNovosti to speculate on the danger of radical change in the country. As RiaNovosti wryly points out, “the [pro-hijab] bill will burnish Turkey’s democratic credentials, hastening its accession to the European Union”—a clever move, no doubt, given Eurabian sympathies. Turkey has recently attempted to pass a law criminalizing adultery in order, according to Erdogan, to preserve the family. The law did not carry but the current atmosphere in the country suggests it will be proposed once again. The fact that Mein Kampf has become a bestseller in Turkey is equally worrying.

For a sense of what to expect in the future, Turkey’s premier novelist Orhan Pamuk furnishes a rather disturbing speculum in his novel, Snow, which anyone interested in taking the pulse of the country should consult. The snowstorm which cuts off the town, where the central action occurs, from the secular West is more than meteorology; it is an emblem and parable of the gradually closing mindset that prevails in the country.

We should no longer delude ourselves about Turkey. Barring a successful military insurrection and a Kemalist revival, it is arguably lost to the West, or soon will be. Turkey should be met with forceful economic and diplomatic measures if we wish to prevent or at least defer a deteriorating situation. It would have to be made to realize that joining the Islamist axis is not to its long-term advantage. Significant countervailing pressure needs to be brought to bear and the secular command of the country’s military should be effectively supported.

But the problem, of course, is not only Turkey—or Iran for that matter, or Russia or any other nation against which we refuse to exercise leverage. The problem is us. We are addicted to the drug of appeasement. It is high time we showed a little character and took steps to bring about our long-overdue political and moral detoxification. For the reflex posture the West adopts of conciliation and procrastination, which in the case we are examining entails indifference to or even complicity with Turkey’s current domestic and foreign policies, will only hasten its departure from the fraying nexus of the Western alliance.

  • Robert Bernier

    Read this one. It is really good. And this gentleman says it just like it is. ____ This venerable and much honored WW II vet is well known in Hawaii__for his seventy-plus years of service to patriotic organizations and causes all over the country. A humble man without a political bone in his body, he has never spoken out before about a government official, until now. He dictated this letter to a friend, signed it and mailed it to the president. Consult : http://xrl.us/bgeewc__

  • eyes wide open

    Turkey , whose government was secularized by AttaTurk , and that , thusfar secured by the military , is now tumbling towards becoming another islamic sharia-based basket case . The signs ? With muslims they are quite obvious , persecution of their christian populations which starts with restrictions on their freedoms , confiscation of church property , restriction and outright denial of building permits for any place of worship besides moaques , honor killings increasing , and of course that ole stand-by for all muslims -JEW HATE ,and hatred of Israel . At the moment Turkey attempts to keep one foot in the present , in order to gain entry nin the EU and the other in the 7th century to placate its "restive " muslims and their desire for Sharia . It is happening as we speak , and this upcoming election will prove to be critical . The Military which has vowed to prevent a departure from secularism is more and more being infiltrated , and false accusations by the opposition in the upcoming elections , are increasing .

  • eyes wide open

    It is not the "ambition " of islam to subjugate the world to Islam it is THE GOAL of the PROPHET , and thus incumbent on all good muslims to struggle [jihad ] to achieve it .
    Islam by it's own doctrine and dogma submits to no government , no authority , and is accountable to no one , but all MUST submit to islam .
    Indeed an ETHOS , which is anti-thetical to all humanity , and poses a clear and present danger to every human being on the face of the planet . This evil plague has taken on the charachter of a world-wide juggernaut on the move . There is no "moderate islam " for if a muslim is moderate , then that person is not a good muslim for islam can live in peace with NO ONE .

    • Stephen D.

      I wish to thank you for this post Eyes. And if you don’t mind I’d like to quote you OFTEN. Well said. THIS is what we all need to be saying to have ALL eyes opened. Why and how is it that our leadership folks have no clue?

  • maria

    I agree there is no moderate islam and the US and all the democratic countries must fight.
    Islam is not a religion it is an "ideology of terror" exactly as Nazism or Communism.
    If you read Koran, you see that it is not at all like Tanach(Old Testament) or Bible.
    It is a hotch potch of different half ideas. It is a terror idelology, which promotes murder and hate. It hates love and democracy and as you mention: everybody MUST SUBMIT TO ISLAM. Islam means subjugation.

  • eyes wide open

    There is no compromise with islam , TAQIYYA , is and has been the standard method of deciet . Indeed mohamed said " war is deciet " . ANY and ALL truces , cease-fires ,pacts , agreements , alleged alliances are merely HUDNAS
    This is no religion , it is a CULT , rivaled only by the nazis and deadlier than the Thuggees of 18th century India [ which not surprisinjgly was made up of Brahmans ….and MUSLIMS . ] This in fact is a WAR , and it is utterly of no consequence whether you are a "righty " , "lefty "or anywhere inbetween , if you are not muslim , then you are religiously licensed fair game to islam …your are NOTHING , and will be converted or …EXTERMINATED .

  • gama

    I think the arrest of those 50 military commanders was the end of our last chance of a Turkish ally.

  • http://www.islamicreform.org Edip Yuksel

    "By all reputable accounts, Turkey is inexorably being Islamized, which was already evident when it refused to permit American flyovers and the use of military bases and staging grounds during the second Iraq war."

    Because Turkey did not approve the mantra of "Weapon of Mass Destruction" fabricated by Neocon Zionists to invade Iraq, Turkey is depicted as Islamized!

    Iraqi War had nothing with freedom, with democracy or human rights. Saddam was USA-Inc's man in the region and committed many of his attrocities against Kurds and Shiite minority with the assistance of the USA-Inc. But, when he stopped becoming a puppet dictator in the region, a coalition of Crusaders, Zionists, Oil and Weapon industry pushed the button.

    Iraqi war, directly or indirectly caused the death of more than a million Iraqi. The number of injured and displaced too is in millions. The covert operations and atrocities committed by USA and UK forces finally caused civil war. As always, the invaders, the murderers, the torturers, the biggest terrorists and bullies accused their victims.

    Shame on you Zionist warmongers. There will be a day of reckoning and you will be tried like Nazis were. You will beg for mercy from humanity, but you may not get any. Wait and see.

    • Murky Skies

      It is evident Edip Yuksel is one of the Turks that is buying Mein Kampf. Here you have a Turk who is crying over Saddam Hussein's genocidal rage against Kurds when his own country has killed millions of Armenians and hundreds of thousands of Kurds in its national ethnic cleansing policy. Turkeu should be evict4d from NATO. They have proven to be unreliable and unreliable "ally." Turkey is trying to retake the caliphatist mantle it lost by chosing the wrong side of history in both WW1 and WW2 to eke out an advantage over Arab and Persian ambitions to dominate the Muslim world. We must support the Turkish militar and the secularists in retaking control of Turkey.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Sorrow01 Sorrow01

      Thank you for your contribution Mr. Ahmadinejad. You might have a Turkish name, but that is all you have. You represent the garbage Mustafa Kemal Atatürk stood against during his life.

  • Elia

    Edip yuksel, islamist sample.

  • USMCSniper

    Booksellers in Turkey are reporting soaring sales figures for "Mein Kampf," or "Kavgam" in Turkish. Hitler's political manifesto has been a top 10 bestseller in the past two months…and at least two new Turkish language versions of "Mein Kampf" are now out in paperback.

    An Arabic translation of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf is being distributed by Al-Shurouq, a Ramallah based book distributor, to East Jerusalem and territories controlled by the PA. According to Agence France Presse (Sept. 8), the book, previously banned by Israel, has been allowed by the PA and is 6th on the Palestinian best-seller list."

  • James Manning

    From my personal study of the Holy Scriptures, it appears that Turkey is the land from where the Beast-666 is going to arise to power from. Currently, the Beast-666 is in the Bottomless pit, the Abyss from which he will ascend from the dead and bring with him a host of demons that will do his bidding. A very grave darkness is about to pervade the entire earth, due mainly to which the above article aludes to, we are addicted to the drug of appeasement and conciliation. Our Western leaders are deluded and decieved as has been foretold by the prophecies of the Holy Scriptures. They, (we, you & I) can do nothing against "The Truth", but always for "The Truth"! In the end, "The Truth" shall prevail.

  • Mr. Buzzcut

    Nuke em!

  • badaboo

    Ole"Edip Yuksel is remiss to remember the slaughter ,indeed the GENOCIDE his fellow Turks visited upon the Armenian Christians and the war crimes perpetrated against the Greek Cypriots ….not to mention , Turkey is one of the leading killers of Kurds along with Syria, Iraq and iran . And yes Mein Kampf is a bestseller along with the Protocols of Zion , in Turkey.
    So now he sheds crocodile tears for "Saddams victims " and blames the west for the Sectarian violence , Sunni vs Shia and both vs Kurds .
    You're laughable Edip.

  • Misfit

    I am even more appaled by the ignorance of most Americans regarding Islam and its history and true intentions. Now things are even more appalling with "our" present President (Obama) and administration who continues to ignore the threat of Islam to our country and an attitude of complacently, lack of will and also ignorance.

  • Sashland

    islamist Turks insult Attaturk – i have more regard for their nation's founder than they do. Why?

    Attaturk would side with the military and remove the current islamist leaders.

    Will there be a civil war, or a new genocide?

    Time to pass complete sanctions on Iran and stop the blood-money trade.

  • straightarrow

    I speak only for me. But seem to give more respect to muslims than do most. I believe them when they say they will kill or convert everybody if they can. Therefore, despite what our odious Obama says, I am at war with Islam. They declared it, I would be foolish to not believe it.