In 1980, Turkish military cracked down on religious opposition that challenged secular state, and took power over the country.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Photo: REUTERS/Umit Bektas On September 12, 1980, the Turkish military cracked down on religious opposition movements that challenged the secular state, and took power over the country. It was a textbook coup d’état. What stood out during these events was that Western nations, whose political structures vigorously opposed military involvement in civil politics, were actually relieved by the military’s action. After all, one year earlier the secular and allied state of Iran had transformed into a theocratic and hostile nation.
But over time, a worrying dynamic revealed itself: The western view on Islamic religious political movements changed, while the core ideology and intentions of these movements did not change one bit.
The West somehow stopped seeing political Islam as a hostile ideology, and on this newly found pink cloud started to actively aid the consolidation of Islamist power, particularly in Turkey.
It was the EU that stated that if Turkey was ever to become a member of the EU, the country had to abolish the influence the Turkish military had over civil politics. It is reasonable that the EU doesn’t want a member state with a military that can undo democracy at will. But it was highly unreasonable of the EU to think that the Turkish military simply made up the threat of Islamist opposition. And it was downright ignorant of the EU to dismiss Turkish military claims that Islamist doctrine was inherently anti-Western.
True, modern Turkish Islamists, with the current Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, being a prime example, have started to preach their theocratic intentions in more discrete and innocent-sounding ways, but it’s not as if Erdogan is a master of disguise. The truth was out there in plain sight for those not blinded by wishful thinking.
It is well known that during his time as mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998, Erdogan said that “Democracy is like a train: when you reach your destination, you get off.” What is markedly less known is that during the same period he repeatedly explained why his ideology is inherently tyrannical.
Erdogan is on video saying: “You cannot be both secular and a Muslim! You will either be a Muslim, or secular! When both are together, they create reverse magnetism [i.e.
they repel one another]. For them to exist together is not a possibility! Therefore, it is not possible for a person who says “I am a Muslim” to go on and say “I am secular, too.” And why is that? Because Allah, the creator of the Muslim, has absolute power and rule!” He went on to say, “When [does the sovereignty belong to the people]? It is only when they go to the polls [every five years] that sovereignty belongs to the people. But both materially, and in essence, sovereignty unconditionally and always belongs to Allah!” This might sound arbitrary and irrelevant …read more