Turks are set to vote for the next general election in June 2011. The result of a poll released on January 16, 2011 – showed that AKP ruling party led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to win its third term with 46% votes. This is not a good news for the local pro-Western elites and the rulers in Tel Aviv, Washington, London, Bonn and Paris.
So how to demonize AKP and its leadership, which has brought confidence in country’s economy and prestige amongst Turkey’s Muslim neighboring countries. Well, one of the trick being played is that Erdogan is not a nationalist but a ‘radical Muslim‘.
Amberin Zaman (Zaman Today, January 29, 2011) took a shot on Erdogan’s ‘Islamic radicalism’ for his reciting a common Muslim tradition prior to performing any act, such as eating food, entering his house on his return from a journey, starting automobile, writing exam or a making a speech. Erdogan after accepting Kuwait Charity Award, began his speech by reciting “Bismillahirahmanirahim (In the Name of Allah the All Compassionate and the Merciful)”. When the US, British, German and French Christian heads of states travel to Jerusalem and pray in front of the Jewish holy Wailing Wall, they don’t become ‘Jewish’ – but a leader of Muslim-majority (99.5%) country becomes a ‘terrible’ Islamist by praising his Lord (Allah) in public.
According to Ms Zaman that is not the only ‘un-civilized’ crime Erdogan has committed to get AKP re-elected for the third term. Some of them include:
1. To fight the rising divorce rate (6% as compared to US’s 45.8%, Switzerland 25.5% and Israel’s 14.8%) in Turkey – Erdogan has pledged to incorporate “guarantees for the integrity of the family” in the new constitution he has pledged to write following the 2011 elections.
2. Erdogan believes in ‘criminalizing’ sex out of marriage (adultery) and may invoke the ‘horrible’ Shari’ah punishments for an act which according to western human-rights – is woman’s choice to decide how she wants to use her body.
3. A draconian bylaw issued last May by the Alcohol and Tobacco Market Regulatory Authority came into force on January 7, 2011. This severely restricts the use of alcoholic products in advertising and in the sponsorship of cultural and sports events. Additionally, it raises the age of consumption from 18 to 24 at public gatherings. Zaman has quoted Erdogan and his deputy prime minister Bulent Arinc as saying: “They drink until they wheeze and sneeze and we say nothing” and “Life isn’t just about sex and booze” respectively. Such uncivilized thinking could push the modern Turkey back to Europe’s Dark Age!
4. Erdogan wants the 2005 unfinished statue, symbolizing Turkish-Armenian friendship, in Turkish city of Kars on Arminian border to be demolished. The reason – statue overshadows an ancient Muslim saint’s shrine. This invokes the ‘horrible’ memory of those anti-Israel Taliban who destroyed two Buddha’s statues in Afghanistan.
5. The Kuwaiti award presentation ceremony was attended by the anti-Israel Bulent Yildirim, Chairman of Turkish NGO charity IHH, which lead the armed flotilla against Israel last year.
Ms Zaman also tries to prove that Erdogan is not honest in his relation with the Islamic Republic. “By agreeing to NATO plans to erect a nuclear defense missile shield over Europe that takes aim at Iran……” lied Zaman. Erdogan had rejected Obama’s proposal by saying that Ankara will never accept it if the system is meant to target Iran or protect Israel.
Amberin Zaman (an Istanbul-based female Turkish columnist, who was educated in New York and Switzerland and writes for British weekly ‘The Economist’ and Turkish daily ‘Haberturk’) – grudgingly admits: “He (Erdogan) came to power promising change. He delivered it. The Turkish economy is thriving as never before. The country’s international clout is greater than ever before. And for all of Erdoğan’s outbursts of authoritarianism, Turkey is, generally speaking, a more democratic kind of place”.
Erdogan is a ‘radical Muslim’ | Rehmat's World