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The Zionists Behind the Islamist Ruse

Turkey is steadily becoming one of the most dangerous, complicated, and bizarre players on the world’s Islamic stage. The Washington Post has a story about a mega-best-selling Turkish book series asserting that Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other … Read More

By / October 4, 2007

Turkey is steadily becoming one of the most dangerous, complicated, and bizarre players on the world’s Islamic stage. The Washington Post has a story about a mega-best-selling Turkish book series asserting that Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other politicians in the strongly Islamic Justice and Development Party (or AKP) are actually Zionist agents. And the books are more than a popular phenomenon. They're part of a curious political movement.

The Washington Post says: "The cover of the first volume shows not only Erdogan in the middle of the six-pointed star, but also his wife, Emine, who is famous in Turkey for wearing a traditionalist Islamic headscarf — perhaps the world's least likely crypto-Zionist conspirator."

The article explains:

Ergun Poyraz, who wrote the series, is a self-declared "Kemalist," the term used here to describe the committed followers of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the resolutely secular war hero who founded modern Turkey in 1923. The politicians whom Poyraz is out to skewer define themselves as sensible conservatives, but they're derided as closet fundamentalists by their foes among Turkey's traditional elites, who are still deeply suspicious of any intrusion of Islam into the public sphere. Poyraz's books argue — apparently in all seriousness — that "Zionism" has decided to steer Turkey away from its time-worn secular path and turn it into a "moderate Islamic republic." It is hard to believe that "Zionism" (let alone any sane Israeli leader) would prefer an Islamic Turkey to a secular one, but Poyraz is convinced that a mildly Islamic state would be more easily manipulated by foreign powers than a staunchly nationalist one.

So, what’s behind the success of this series?

The answer, oddly enough, is connected to the anti-Europe sentiment that has exploded here in recent years. Since coming to power in 2002, the AKP has accelerated Turkey's bid to join the European Union. Some Europeans aren't keen to let a Muslim democracy join their Christian club, but E.U. membership has proved widely popular in Turkey. In turn, that has encouraged Turkey's xenophobic and anti-democratic forces — who fear that European liberties would be dangerous and corrupting — to crawl out of the woodwork. Opponents of the E.U. bid insist that the Turkish Republic faces grave threats from enemies within and without, and warn that the only way to save the country is to keep it illiberal and closed.

Turkey’s Islamists are apparently more “pro-Western” than are its secularists. The AKP was elected on a pro-E.U. platform. The secularist Republican People’s Party lost with their message of Turkish nationalism and skepticism toward the E.U.

In this context, the mystifying bestsellers make more sense: as a smear campaign cheered on by Turkey's spooked secularists, who hope that vilifying the AKP leadership as Jewish agents will help scare away the party's supporters, thereby staving off E.U. membership and limiting Turkey's exposure to corrosive European ideas.

I don’t know. Secular anti-Semitism may get Turkey into the E.U. faster than they realize.

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