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Fact checkers and truth squads are the media’s latest tool for blurring the line between the editorial page and the new page. The ubiquitous fact checks are editorializing dressed up as verification. While on some occasions there are actual facts to verify, for the most part the fact checks defend a partisan liberal viewpoint on a particular issue.
So no sooner did Rick Perry suggest that Turkey had no place in NATO and that some perceive its government to be run by Islamic terrorists than the media rolled out its fact checks. In the spirit of fact checking the fact checkers, let’s have a fact check of our own.
CNN Statement: “Turkey is not ruled by Islamic terrorists. It is led by a party with Islamist roots, the Justice and Freedom Party, or AKP.”
Those are the facts according to CNN’s Truth Squad, which took its name from a certain book by George Orwell. But let’s look at the actual facts.
The Facts: The AKP emerged out of a series of banned Islamist political movements. CNN’s Lie Squad mentions that the AKP’s current leader of Turkey Erdogan was banned for reading an Islamic poem in public. It neglects to mention the content of the poem.
“The minarets are our bayonets; the domes are our helmets. Mosques are our barracks, the believers are soldiers. This holy army guards my religion. Almighty, Our journey is our destiny, the end is martyrdom.”
It also neglects to mention the context in which it was read, at protests that were being conducted by Islamists after their Welfare Party was disqualified. Erdogan was not jailed for reading an Islamic poem, he was jailed for reading a poem calling for a violent Islamic overthrow of the government.
Erdogan was specifically convicted of “inciting hatred based on religious differences.” There’s quite a difference between noting that Erdogan was convicted of Islamic bigotry and just writing that he was convicted for reading an Islamic poem. Would CNN write equally vaguely that David Irving was put on trial for writing a book?
What exactly was the Welfare Party? It was an Islamist party under Prime Minister Erbakan, Erdogan’s Islamist predecessor. Erbakan gave some of his thoughts to the press a few years ago in which he explained that the Jews run the world, organized the Crusades, control all the money and created the Protestant Church.
The AKP’s leaders emerged out of Erbakan’s Milli Görüs based movements. Another group that emerged out of Milli Görü is IHH which has been designated as a terrorist group by the United States government and has ties to Al Qaeda. Erdogan maintains close ties to IHH and his son is a member.
Erdogan has his own Al Qaeda connections. Yasin Al-Qadi, who funneled millions to Al Qaeda is a close friend and though his assets have been frozen worldwide, he enjoys a safe haven in Turkey. The co-founder of the AKP party, Erdogan’s senior and advisor and right hand man, Cuneyt Zapsu gave Al Qaeda a mere 300,000 dollars.
Mohammed Fatih al-Hassanein, the head of an Al Qaeda front charity who helped shelter Bin Laden, met privately with Erdogan and the local Al Qaeda franchise has an office in Turkey where it puts out its propaganda magazine.
So while technically Erdogan and Gul are not going out and planting bombs, they have close ties to those who do and they support them. Islamist parties have gone two routes. They have infiltrated the political system when possible and when impossible they have turned to terrorism. Erdogan’s poem made it quite clear that he was contemplating the latter. Had the AKP not succeeded then Erdogan might be giving orders to plant bombs in public places. Since it didn’t he instead supports terrorist groups like Hamas.
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