Recently, the Republic of Turkey barred both Israel, and the European Union, from participating in a NATO summit in Chicago on May 20-21. Apparently, the Turks were miffed that the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) were not invited, and they were also still “troubled” about Israel’s legitimate actions to defend its blockade of Hamas ruled Gaza from violently “peaceful,” pro-terrorist blockade runners on the ship Mavi Marmara, who were sponsored by Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH), an Islamist Turkish group. Many of that ship’s passengers were members of IHH, by the way, including some of those who were killed and injured in their attack on the Israeli commandos who boarded the vessel. Several had indicated a willingness to engage in martyrdom prior to the incident.
For some reason, President Obama and his Administration have granted Turkey the power to make decisions like these. This is probably because President Obama has developed such a good personal relationship with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In fact, Obama went so far as to name Erdogan as one of the five world leaders with whom he has the closest personal ties. President Obama has also gone to Erdogan again and again for help in formulating U.S. policies in the Middle East and elsewhere. Indeed, President Obama is so close to Erdogan that he even goes to him for parenting advice. This is a big problem, considering the Islamist background and tendencies of Erdogan and his political party, The Justice and Development Party – in Turkish: Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP).
So what information do we have on President Obama’s New BFF (Best Friend Forever) and the regime he leads? Erdogan is an authoritarian, democratically elected but non-democratic Islamist who is creating a religiously based totalitarian regime. These days, Erdogan is increasingly cracking down on his domestic Turkish opponents. Turkey has imprisoned at least 94 journalists for their reporting – the largest number of press imprisoned in the world even higher than communist China’s, which has a population over 17 times larger than Turkey. The policies of the Islamist friendly government in Turkey have led to an explosion in honor killings of women. In fact, once again, Turkey is number one worldwide when it comes to this dubious statistic. The honor killing of gays, lesbians, etc. is also on the increase in the country. Gay activists have complained that they get little sympathy from Erdogan’s AKP, “which has its roots in political Islam and is known for its socially conservative stance,” and that the police are disinclined to investigate these murders. AKP-dominated Turkey continues to discriminate against religious minorities, both Muslim and non-Muslim alike. This discrimination appears to be accelerating – in 2009, Turkey was placed on the “Watch List” of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, and it stayed there until 2012, when, in “an unprecedented move,” the bipartisan commission recommended that the State Department name Turkey to its annual list of “countries of particular concern,” marking “the first time a NATO ally has been designated as a nation whose government has engaged in, or tolerated, systematic and egregious violations of the universal right to freedom of religion and belief.” Of course, there is also some anti-Semitism and violence towards religious Turkish minorities. And, Turkey just wouldn’t be Turkey if there weren’t violence and discrimination against the ethnic minority group the Kurds. Finally, the regime goes after its secular foes in the Turkish military. The Turkish press has reported that one in five Turkish generals – who tend to be strong foes of political Islam and Erdogan – are currently serving jail sentences.
Even better than being an authoritarian, non-democratic Islamist , Prime Minister Erdogan is also openly hostile towards our interests and allies. For example, in Syria, Turkey is currently directing our support to the radical Sunni fundamentalists within the opposition, rather than the more secular groups that we should wish to support. In Cyprus, “Turkey continues its 40,000-strong troop occupation of a large part of the Republic of Cyprus — an EU and UN member state — despite numerous Security Council resolutions since its initial 1974 invasion calling for its immediate withdrawal. Turkey does not comply with its legal obligations to Cyprus or to the EU and forcibly interferes with Cyprus’ rights in its exclusive economic zone of maritime jurisdiction.” In the Middle East, the Turkish AKP leadership is a recognized sponsor and enabler of terrorism. In Israel, the government is worried that the Turkish leadership might share Israeli intelligence secrets with the rogue and genocidal regime in Iran. In the U.S. Congress, Turkey continues to whine and bluster about the U.S. recognizing the Ottoman Turkish genocide of Armenians in the early part of the 20th century. (It also does that internationally too.) In Iraq, Turkey continues to threaten the Kurds, who just so happen to be the most pro-American group in that nation.
This is not a comprehensive list, of course. In addition, I should add that over just the last year, “Turkey has sided with Iran on the nuclear issue, held secret air force war games with China without first informing the Pentagon or NATO, threatened to initiate military action against Israel and Cyprus, and made anti-American rhetoric a staple of the Turkish ruling party’s proxy press.” And best of all, the Turks are now meddling in the Balkans, but as we all know there is really no downside to that (aside from the occasional World War).
So why not put Turkey in charge of who gets invited to NATO events?
The Denice Gary-Pandol Show ~ 05.18.2012. Special guest Sarah Stern
Prize-winning Harvard essay urges relocating settlers en masse to new Israeli towns
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