Cameron's Despicable Toadying to Turkey
Posted: 28 Jul 2010 11:21 PM PDT BY SULTAN
It is sadly unsurprising that Prime Minister Cameron's highly publicized trip to Turkey went with no mention of that country's continued denial of the Armenian Genocide, and its suppression of Kurdish and Armenian minorities. Indeed when Turkish leader Erdogan discussed his threats of ethnically cleansing Armenians in the UK, Gordon Brown made no more comment on the matter than if Erdogan had been discussing his favorite television programs.
It is in keeping with that conspiracy of silence, that Cameron made no mention of the thousands of political prisoners in Turkish jails, there often for merely expressing an opinion at odds with the state, for singing a folk song, or delivering an official speech in Kurdish. Naturally Cameron did not think to raise the issue of Leyla Zana, the first Kurdish woman elected to the Turkish parliament and a winner of the Sakharov Prize, who is still in jail today. Cameron could have at least raised the subject of Aysel Tuğluk, a member of the Turkish Human Rights Association, who was illegally stripped of her parliamentary immunity and sent to jail for handing out leaflets in the Kurdish language, and is now due to be sent to jail yet again.
But rather than standing up for human rights, Cameron instead pandered to the radical Islamists who were his hosts, by feeding their appetite for hate directed at Israel. And it did not begin or end with Israel.
Instead Cameron sold out the rest of Europe, declaring that he was "angry" at how long the negotiations to bring Turkey into the EU were taking, and declaring himself the "strongest possible advocate for EU membership". He slammed France and implicitly Germany, for refusing to rush forward to support bringing Turkey into the EU. Cameron sided with Turkey, over France and Germany, betraying allies for enemies. And worse was yet to come.
Not only did Cameron ignore Turkey's ongoing occupation of Cyprus, but he signed a strategic agreement with Turkey that calls for ending the "isolation" of the Turkish Cypriots by upholding their "right to representation" in the European Parliament, and promoting political and cultural contacts with the Turkish Cypriots. What that means is that Cameron committed himself to supporting Dervis Eroglu from the radical National Unity Party, which calls for Turkish annexation of occupied Cyprus. The strategic agreement signed by Cameron, moves the UK closer to recognizing the Turkish occupation of Cyprus, which currently only Turkey itself recognizes.
Again Cameron makes no criticism whatsoever of Turkey's illegal occupation of Cyprus. He does not mention the fact that he signed an agreement promoting the flow of goods from occupied Cyprus to the UK, while Turkey refuses to accept goods from Greek Cyprus. Of course not. No more than his predecessor was willing to.
Did Cameron do any of this out of principle? Nonsense. Cameron knows as well as anyone about Turkey's state of domestic terror, its persecution of the political opposition, and how unworkable Turkish membership in the EU would be. Instead like Brown before him, Cameron pandered to the Turkish thug-in-chief for a few pounds, hoping to boost British exports to Turkey. In the hope of a few million pounds, Cameron betrayed fellow European nations, signed off on Turkey's occupation of Cyprus, ignored the thousands of political prisoners in Turkish jails, and whitewashed Turkey's real record on Islamic terrorism. And while he and his businessmen friends beamed and shook hands with Turkey's chief terrorist-- others were left to stand up against the violence and brutality of the Turkish regime on their own.
In his rambling speech, Cameron praised Turkey for fighting against terrorism. The reality however is that the only "terrorism" that Turkey fights against, is Kurdish guerrillas, from its large Kurdish minority who want to have their own state, or at least some basic human rights. And when Cameron shook hands with Erdogan, he was shaking hands with a man whose patron, Yassin Qadi, funneled millions of dollars to Al Queda, and whose own advisor, Cuneyt Zapsu, donated 300,000 dollars to Al Queda. Al Queda operates its magazine freely in Istanbul, which is convenient because Erdogan claims there's no such thing as Islamic terrorism.
If Turkey, as Cameron says, is guarding the flank of Europe... then who in G-d's name is guarding Europe from Turkey? Certainly not Cameron.
Cameron's despicable toadying to Turkey's Thug-in-Chief was one long collection of lies. In his speech, he claimed that "Europe will draw fresh vigour and purpose from a Turkey that embraces human rights and democracy". Turkey's democracy is such that its opposition is routinely jailed. Its human rights has sent 12 year olds to prison for singing folk songs. It has no concept of democracy or human rights. Its 10,000 political prisoners could testify to that. Almost a 1000 of them opposition politicians.
The sham continued as Cameron congratulated Turkey on "its efforts to achieve the ambition of zero problems with all its neighbours, including Iraq". This after Turkish troops repeatedly invaded Iraq just just last month, murdering a 15 year old girl, among others. The Iraqi government protested, to no effect. Cameron, who is supposed to be committed to guaranteeing Iraq's security, instead shamelessly praises the invaders. The only casualties he mentions are those of the Turkish invading forces, not their victims. Never their victims.
And so it goes. Cameron babbles on about Turkey's religious tolerance, while the level of hateful incitement spirals out of control. He talks about the true tolerant Islam, to a man who was at one point imprisoned for his own Islamic radicalism. He takes up arms against all those damned obstructionists who are preventing a lovely regime like Erdogan's Turkey from joining the EU. He vows to fight them everywhere, like a latter day Churchill, proclaiming not, "There will always be an England", but rather, "There will always be a Turkey in the EU".
If there was any Turk in that room who had the slightest respect for England before Cameron began to speak, it was sure to have vanished in a whiff of contempt. Cameron's speech reminds one of English socialists visiting the Soviet Union and heaping praise on Stalin and the wonderful revolution, before going off to collect their blood money. And now Cameron has done them one better, demanding that a radical Islamist regime share open borders with the EU.
In a speech given while Erdogan prepares to round up political opponents before the election on fraudulent charges of "inciting" Kurdish riots-- Cameron made only one criticism of human rights. Not of Turkey of course. Or of Erdogan, who has jailed about as many of his opponents as Saddam Hussein. No, Cameron courageously blasted Israel, for standing up to Erdogan's IHH thugs, after they beat and stabbed Israeli soldiers inspecting their flotilla carrying aid to Hamas run Gaza.
Cameron blasted the response of Israeli soldiers who fired back after they Turkish Islamist thugs tried to murder them, as "completely unacceptable" and called Gaza, a "prison camp". He demanded a "swift, transparent and rigorous" inquiry. No such demand was of course issued to his hosts for their 10,000 political prisoners, their illegal invasion of Iraq and murder of civilians-- or that Armenian genocide matter. Of course no inquiries are demanded there.
Let us be clear what Cameron has done. He has sold out Europe and the free world by signing on the dotted of an agreement which explicitly trades English support for EU membership for increased exports. This is about money, pure and simple. There are no principles of any kind here. And what does Europe get out of all this? Here is a brief preview of coming attractions;*
Anti-Kurdish Protests in Turkey
'Allah Wants This War'
By Maximilian Popp in Istanbul
The mood in Turkey is becoming increasingly jingoistic as thousands take to the streets, calling for war against the Kurdish rebel organization PKK and an invasion of northern Iraq. But Baghdad has promised to curb the Kurds.
Anger drives them on to the streets, anger provoked by the images of dead soldiers shown on Turkish television. Thousands of demonstrators walk along Istiklal Caddesi, or Independence Avenue, Istanbul's longest shopping street. They are calling for war: War against the Kurds, against the PKK, against Iraq. "We have waited long enough," reads one poster. "Allah wants this war," is the message on another.
Thousands across Turkey want their government to take action against the PKK.
Thousands across Turkey want their government to take action against the PKK.
People have been protesting throughout the country since Sunday evening, after it was revealed that rebels from the Kurdish separatist organization the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) had killed 12 Turkish soldiers in eastern Turkey. It is mainly young people who take to the streets, with Turkish flags in their hands, whistles in their mouths and hatred in their eyes.
"We have waited long enough," says Erkan, a young car mechanic from Istanbul. "It's time to strike." His face is pale and his right hand is clenched in a fist. "We are all Turks, we are all soldiers!" he calls. Many of the demonstrators sympathize with the right-wing youth organization the Gray Wolves. Their message to the Kurds is clear: Admit you are Turkish, or die.
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The PKK, which has bases in the mountains of northern Iraq, has been fighting for decades for an independent Kurdistan. But the attacks of recent weeks were the heaviest in a long time. Last
Wednesday , the Turkish parliament approved -- by an overwhelming majority -- a measure which clears the way for a military incursion into northern Iraq.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is still hesitating, though, not least after the personal intervention of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. But Erdogan said Tuesday that Turkey couldn't wait indefinitely for the Iraqi government to act against the PKK. "We cannot wait forever," he said during a visit to the UK for talks with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. "We have to make our own decisions."
Brown said Britain was working with Turkey on "all efforts that are necessary so that terrorists cannot move from Iraq into Turkey." The UK, like the US, is keen to stop Turkey invading northern Iraq, fearing the destabilization of the region.
'Nobody Wants War. But --'
Diplomatic efforts continued elsewhere Tuesday as Turkish forces massed on the Iraqi border. Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan met with Turkish leaders in Baghdad to press them to crack down on the PKK. "We ... don't wish our historical and friendly ties with Iraq to be ruined because of a terrorist organization," he said at a news conference after meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.
Zebari, for his part, said Baghdad would "actively help Turkey to overcome this menace." But Babacan rejected any offer of a ceasefire by the PKK. A ceasefire is only "possible between states and regular forces," he said. "The problem here is that we're dealing with a terrorist organization."
Aside from international diplomacy, though, many demonstrators in the streets are calling for war -- now. Even among liberal Turks and university students, the mood is edgy. Many believe Turkey has allowed itself to be provoked by the PKK for long enough. "Erdogan shouldn't allow himself to be pressured any longer, we need to invade Iraq," says 23-year-old political studies student Ayla. "The Kurdish problem cannot be resolved through diplomacy alone."
In the cafeteria of Istanbul's Bilgi University, one of the country's most prestigious schools , students hand out Turkish flags and black ribbons. "We want to express our sympathy for the dead soldiers," says Gözde, one of the campaign's initiators, and hits the table with her fist. "I ask myself how many Turks still need to die before our government finally does something about it."
"Nobody wants war," adds fellow student Metin. "But if that's the price of security, we have no other choice."
There are still voices of reason warning against a military attack, however. The northern region of Iraq inhabited by Kurds is the only largely peaceful area in the war-torn country. "If the Turkish army crosses the border, northern Iraq will fall into a maelstrom of violence," says Dursun Tüyloglu, a lecturer in politics at Bilgi University.
According to Tüyloglu, over the last few years, the Turkish government has started to give extra support to the country's economically weak eastern part. As a result, during the most recent parliamentary elections, more than half of the Kurds there voted for Erdogan's ruling AKP party. "The PKK is losing its grassroots support in Turkey, and they know it," he says. "That's why they are bombing their way back into the spotlight."
In his opinion, every time a soldier is killed, the pressure on Erdogan's government increases.
'War Would Make Everything Worse"
Turkish actor Ozan Ayhan is sure of one thing: "A war in Iraq would only profit the PKK." The terrorists can't be beaten with weapons, he says. "We have to appeal to moderate Kurds."
The reverse is true for now -- the mood in Turkey is overheated. On Sunday evening the street demonstrators in Istanbul wanted to storm a Kurdish neighborhood called Talabasi. The police managed to hold them back.
Emrah, 26, grew up in Diyarbakir, a Kurdish stronghold in southern Anatolia. He studied economics in Mersin and wants to find work in Istanbul. "I'm afraid," he says. "I don't know what's going on in this country." Lately he's suffered more and more abuse: "People who were my friends just a few months ago won't talk to me anymore."
Emrah had a job interview at a bank last week. When he said he came from Diyarbakir and was Kurdish, he received a withering look. "I work hard, but no one is giving me a chance," he says.
He lights a cigarette and pulls on it in hurried drags. "War would just make everything worse."
With material from the Associated Press and Reuters.*
It is mainly young people who take to the streets, with Turkish flags in their hands, whistles in their mouths and hatred in their eyes.
"We have waited long enough," reads one poster. "Allah wants this war," is the message on another.
**European tolerance Islamized Turkey. The pandering of unprincipled leaders like Cameron will take it to the brink and beyond.
How European Tolerance Islamized Turkey
There was a time when Turkey was a modern example to the rest of the Muslim world. And there was one fundamental reason for that. It was because Turkey realized that it could either be a backward Muslim colony of Europe, or it could put Islam in its place, and reform in order to try to keep up with Europe. And there is also a fundamental reason why that brand of reform has not come to the rest of the Muslim world. It is because they never had to learn that same lesson.
While the Ottoman Empire had once threatened Europe when both were getting by on the remnants of skills and knowledge from the Roman days, but as Europe progressed, the conquerors of Byzantium could not keep up. And so the Ottoman Empire became the Sick Man of Europe, and the nations of Europe fought major wars over who would have first dibs on carving up its territory. The last of those conflicts was World War I. And so Turkey was faced with a decision. To try and compete with Europe by becoming like the Europeans, or becoming just another colony.
But while Turkey modernized, the Muslim nations of the Middle East instead followed a completely different paradigm. And they succeeded for two reasons. Oil. And the willingness of First and Second World powers to pander to them. Where Turkey had to learn to do things the hard way, to separate mosque from state and try to build modern institutions, a bunch of backward desert sheiks were lucky enough to take control of barren regions where infidel geologists found oil. Those sheiks were also lucky enough to stumble into a perfect era of infidel infighting that allowed them to play Americans against the Europeans against the Russians. Not long after the sheiks had more money than they could count, which meant that they didn't need to modernize, instead they could buy all the American and European technology they wanted, and even import actual Americans and Europeans to do the work for them.
Of course the Saudi, Emirati or Kuwaiti way was none too feasible for Muslim countries without a whole lot of oil under their feet-- but that didn't matter. Because money bought them a whole lot of cultural warfare. While US troops guarded the fat sheiks from any neighbors who were investing their money into building a military-- the Saudis spent their money on foreign investments and on building up the Islamic takeover of Europe and America. Where post-war terrorism by Muslims had begun as Soviet proxy attacks on Britain, America and Israel-- it discarded its red Marxist outer shell to reveal its green Islamist interior. Not long after the the USSR fell, Middle Eastern terrorism was swiftly taking on a wholly Islamist coloration. A coloration heavily funded by oil money.
The Saudi model showed that modernization did not require modern thinking. It showed that Muslim countries could still be Islamist, and still have all the benefits of modern living. All it took was money. While Turkey was busy being Europe's backward cousin, the Saudis were gorging themselves on Western delicacies, importing foreign architects and landscape planners, models, entertainers and huge numbers of slaves from Southeast Asia. In doing so they made their larger point, which is that Western civilization was a commodity that could be bought, and that it was possible to have it all, the raw meat of Islam and the fruits of the West on one plate. Western civilization was for sale.
Turkey had reformed because civilization had proven to be the strong horse, and Islam the weak horse. When the balance shifted, civilization was revealed as the weak force, and Islam as the strong force. And not only did we not try to turn the tide, our governments affirmed this with everything they did, both in their domestic policies toward Muslim immigrants, and their foreign policy toward Muslim nations. Call it appeasement or dhimmism, what they did not only devalued them individually and nationally, it devalued the very idea that civilization was superior to medieval barbarism, and destroyed the very forces that might have modernized the Muslim world.
A generation later, the tide of Muslim immigrants to Europe learned the same lesson as well. After some initial fuss about integration, they could also combine Islamism and Western civilization. It was possible for them to be doctors, dentists, lords and engineers-- while at the same time believing they had a duty to force their new hosts to bow to the god of Islam, first seen by Mohammed on a three day bender in the desert. And if they had any qualms about it, their local petrodollar mosques were sure to fix that. And if not them, then their children.
Turkish guest workers saw this all firsthand. Which made the idea that Turkey had to be secular in order for Turks to benefit from the modern world seem all the more absurd. That sort of thinking might have made sense back in the day when Her Majesty's Armies were administering an empire, but not when Islamist preachers were hectoring the masses and jeering at returning soldiers in the heart of her kingdom.
Western civilization had not only shown itself to be for sale, but its secularism and modernity were instead revealed to be weaknesses. Any Muslim in Europe could not help but realize that it was the very lack of principles that made it so ripe for the plucking. The way of Ataturk had ceased to make sense. The way of the House of Saud on the other hand was looking pretty good. Or even the Way of Bin Laden.
European tolerance for Islam eliminated any real reason for Turkey not to become Islamist. As Erdogan has demonstrated, it is possible to run a country that continues to deny genocide, oppresses minorities and has jails filled with political prisoners. That openly supports terrorism and Islamism-- and yet is on track for membership in the European Union. Erdogan does not need to dig up Ataturk and turn him upside down-- the Great Tolerators of Europe were already doing it for him.
Where Ataturk knew that Turkey had to modernize, the Islamist believes that modernity is a sham. That Islamic science has already discovered everything worth discovering and that what the West calls modernity is nothing more than an excuse for wanton immorality and a lack of principles. The modern European Muslim is increasingly coming around to that way of thinking. And thought that way of thinking may be a sham, it is a reasonably successful one, because Europe itself is propping up its underlying assumptions.
Where the Sick Man of Europe had to choose between modernity and Islam-- the modern Muslim need make no such choices. He can listen to Islamist preachers ranting on YouTube, compel patients at his medical office to comply with Islamic laws and have his wife cover her face when she goes outside.
Progress comes from challenges. Challenges demand that you overcome the obstacles holding you back. The Muslim world no longer has challenges. Instead the door has been thrown open for them with no demands or expectations. Islam is not held accountable in the way that other religions are. Muslims are not held accountable for one of the world's largest and longest ongoing killing sprees. Muslim countries are not held accountable for everything from the genocide of millions to barbaric acts of torture and mutilation.
This is the soft bigotry of low expectations. Nothing is expected from Muslims, which only helps the Islamists make the case that Western civilization is hopelessly decadent and weak, and that imitation it would be a mistake. All the fawning praise directed at the "Religion of Peace" feeds that cycle, reaffirming the Islamists' arrogance and sense of destiny as those they think of as enemies foolishly give way to them. That is the attitude Hitler had as he realized that the nations that seemed overwhelmingly powerful were not going to stop him. It is the same attitude you can easily see among Islamists, whose sense of cultural invulnerability is running at an all time high.
Build a mosque near Ground Zero, and you prove that the West does not even value the graves of its martyred dead. Set off a bomb in a crowded cafe and snicker as the governments of the dead rush to assure you that they hold no ill will toward the same ideology responsible. Cover your wife from head to toe on pain of death and watch feminist organizations assure the public that it is the feminist thing to do. To Muslims, Western civilization has gone from a bogeyman to a pathetic joke. Which meant that the Islamization of Muslim countries that had made some concession to Western civilization was a foregone conclusion.
Paradoxically enough it was European tolerance that helped Islamize Turkey, as it has helped Islamize its own resident Muslims. Its tolerance has only fed intolerance. By acting like the conquered, they have only attracted conquerors. By failing to challenge Islam, they discredited their nations and their way of life in the eyes of men faced with a choice between honorable barbarism and dishonorable accommodation to civilization's burdens. And the children of those men are murdering them in the streets of their own cities today.**