Tag Archives: Erdogan

Turkey-Can Divisions Be Bridged?

During the past hundred years the Turkish military and court system have been bastions defending secular traditions established a hundred years ago by Kemal Ataturk. The emergence of the Justice and Development Party led by Prime Minister Erdogan and President Gul has not only exacerbated these gaps as to what constitutes the basis of a modern Turkey. In its March report, the European Union noted that generals in the Turkish army had intervened in order to end investigations about allegations there was a plot to overthrow the Muslim government of Erdogan. Ironically, any attempt by the Erdogan party, AKP to push for more Muslim rights will only make harder entry into the European Union.

There is need for some assembly or convention which could clearly describe the nature of a Turkish government which respected religious rights without threatening those of secularists. Is it possible? If it were to emerge, this could be a Muslim 21st century model

Turkey Threatens Sweden And Armenians

If there is a single issue which transforms Turkish people into deniers of the obvious, it is the question of what happened to the Armenian people in the Ottoman empire in 1915 when hundreds of thousands were killed. The Swedish parliament and the US Congress both passed resolutions condemning the murders as an example of genocide. The prime minister of Turkey responded by threatening the 170,000 Armenians who currently reside in Turkey. About 100,000 of these individuals lack Turkish citizenship. For some reason, they are now responsible for what is voted in legislatures in America and Sweden. PM Erdogan made clear, “if necessary I will tell the 100,000, OK, time to go back to your country. Why? They are not citizens, I am not obliged to keep them in my country.”

OK, PM Erdogan, the children’s hour is now in session. Grow up and behave as the leader of Turkey. And, by the way, you are the prime minister of Turkey, it is not your country!

Turkey Intends To Tell It Like It Is!

During the past several decades, Israel’s main ally among Muslim nations was Turkey. Both nations cooperated on military matters and Turkey went out of its way to support the existence of Israel although that stance damaged its relations with Muslim nations. However, during the past few years, the people of Israel have voted into power right wing demagogues who preach the greatness of Israel regardless of how their policies impact the lives of Palestinians. The disastrous invasion of Gaza simply was even too much for Turkey and its leaders denounced the assault on individual rights.

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan reacted angrily to Israel complaints that a TV program depicted the Israel Defense Force in a negative manner. The program showed Israel soldiers killing children. Robert Goldstone urged Israel to conduct its own investigation of claims that civilians were killed in Gaza. But, Israel continues insisting it has never made a mistake and turned down his offer. What exactly did Israel expect would be the Muslim reaction to its policy of denial?

Turkish PM Says Will Of People Led To Israel Action

The state of Israel has done an outstanding job of isolating itself from the rest of the world and the evidence mounts just about every day. Turkey has long been Israel’s main supporter in the Middle East and the two nations for decades have conducted joint military maneuvers, but a proposed exercise was cancelled by Turkey. Prime Minister Erdogan told an interviewer from Al-Arabia he had bowed to the “will of the people” who wanted action against Israel for the invasion of Gaza. Turkey also signed a treaty of cooperation with Syria even though both nations several years ago were on the brink of war.

What exactly will it take to convince the people of Israel their present policy of antagonizing other nations is counter-productive to their national interests? Even Egypt and Jordan are upset at Israel’s actions in areas like the west bank settlements and the invasion of Gaza. The future of Israel and its long sought quest for peace lies in working with moderate Muslims, not infuriating them by a selfish desire to do as they wish regardless of the cost to relations with other nations.

Turkish Children Urged Not To Hate

Thank God Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh do not work in the Turkish media because they would be furious the Education Minister of that nation gave a lecture to the children urging them not to participate in any hatred toward those who they believe are different from their own group. He sent a circular to all schools urging educators to begin the year with lectures and activities that emphasize the importance of respect for all people. Education Minister Nimet Cubukcu, in her lecture to the children, told them “tolerance means to be able to listen to those who not defend the same idea as you, without getting angry.” Prime Minister Erdogan praised the new initiative.

There are no reports of Turkish parents pulling their children out of these efforts to stimulate respect for all people. There are no reports of angry Tea Party activists shouting hatred toward “the government” for interfering in the right of parents to preach hatred. Just imagine if President Obama compelled all schools to have students devote the opening week of school discussing gender equity issues or the need to cease discriminating against people. Wow, this sure is SOCIALISM IN ACTION IN A MUSLIM NATION!

Turkey Moves To Confront Kurdish Issue

The issue of rights for Kurds is among the most divisive in Turkey and Iraq. Both nations confront guerrilla warfare being conducted by members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party(PKK) which demands an independent Kurdish state. The government of Prime Minister Erdogan is attempting to open a dialogue with Kurds in their nation in order to address their legitimate anger at prejudice and lack of economic opportunities. The government on Wednesday said it would take “courageous’ steps to promote more democracy and work with Kurds. Instead of supporting such efforts, the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) denounced the move as an effort to legitimize ethnic separation. MHP leader Deviet Bahgeli interpreted the move as evidence the prime minister “shows no will to fight terrorism” and is prepared to “surrender to terror by acting as subcontractor of separatist demands.”

Erdogan is not seeking to encourage separatism but he is attempting to incorporate the people of his nation who are of Kurdish heritage by fostering a feeling that it is possible to be a Kurd and enjoy full benefit of Turkish law.

Turkey Denounces “Genocide” In Uighur

The prime minister of Turkey issued a sharp statement directed at China for what it termed the “genocide” now occurring in Xinjiang province of western China. Prime Minister Recept Tayiyip Erdogan expressed his shock at the death of nearly 200 people and the wounding of about 1,700 caused by mobs attacking one another in the capital city and the ensuing actions of the Chinese army. Uighur exile leaders expressed their appreciation for Erdogan’s remarks Actually, in fairness of Erdogan he specifically referred to the deaths as a “sort of genocide” and wondered why the Chinese government would not take action to end violence.

It is wonderful that a Turkish leader finally has used the word, “genocide,” but, of course, it is disappointing the word was not used in reference to the genocide carried out by the Ottoman empire against Armenians. The death of 184 is horrible. But, to Erdogan, the death of hundreds of thousands of Armenians has yet to be resolved. Perhaps, one day the Turkish government will openly use words like “genocide” and allow their nation to move on.

If It’s Fascist, It’s Fascist!

Turkey has struggled for decades as to how a nation deals with its past issues. Every nation in the world has events in its past which reflect the horror of ignorance and prejudice. Turkey is no exception. Prime Minister Erdogan expressed his dismay about events in September, 1955 when crowds assaulted Greek shops and houses causing thousands of people to flee the land. Many Greeks who were born and raised in Istanbul decided it was not safe to live in their own homeland. The Erdogan comment aroused a fury of anger among members of opposition parties who accused him of insulting the people of Turkey. According to DEniz Baykai, leader of the Republican People’s Party, “what does he want to achieve by accusing Turkey? We should of course discuss what we did wrong, but the duty of the prime minister is to respect the rights of Turkey.” Huh!

The job of the prime minister is to be the moral conscience of a nation. In America, we have endured a president who was incapable of respecting human rights and the result has been disaster for his nation’s reputation. Prime Minister Erdogan’s comments are respected by people of the world and he has aided Turkey to hold up its head.

Turkey Faces Up To Expulsion History

Turkish Prime Minister Rcep Tayyip Erdogan was among the first Turkish leaders to speak out against efforts to expel ethnic identities from the country. It was the first time a high official accepted that there have been unlawful and undemocratic practices against minorities in the past. His speech most probably related to events in September, 1955 when many Greek shops and houses were pillaged by crowds after false reports that someone had burnt Kemal Ataturk’s house. Greek houses were burnt and thousands of Greeks fled the country.

Some day the people of Turkey will grasp what Americans have finally learned to admit. In the past terrible things are done to those who are defenseless. It requires courage to admit that one’s ancestors committed terrible crimes. In the 1980s, the US Congress apologized for the interment of Japanese Americans during WWII. The capacity to be truthful is necessary if a nation is to have a soul based on respect for human dignity.

What Bush Never Told America About Iran!!

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey told the British Guardian newspaper that Iranian officials made a request while George Bush was president of their desire to establish peaceful relations with the United States but never received any response. George Bush constantly lied to the American people by claiming the Iranian government was only interested in violence and had no desire for peace in the region. Erdogan said he will convey the Iranian desire for peace to President Barack Obama and offered to play the role of a conduit between the two nations in hope of creating a new image in the region that moves away from confrontation and violence. His comments came in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s appointment of Dennis Ross who is to serve as a special envoy in the Middle East and with Iran. In a recent article, Ross suggested a new approach towards Iran should best begin through a “direct, secret back channel.”

In the interview, Erdogan also made clear that Israel acted in a disproportionate manner in the recent invasion of Gaza and insisted that peace between Israel and Palestine would only be achieved if the Israel government recognized the need to include all factions in any peace negotiation. He made clear he has always told Hamas to act differently and accept the legal presence of Israel. “They have to accept this, but Israel also has to accept Palestine.”

Hopefully, the United States and Iran can begin to jaw, jaw and end thoughts of war, war.