Dichotomy will prove costly to turkey
The decision by a Turkish court not to pursue an investigation into charges that former Prime Minister Tansu Ciller accepted money from abroad to work against the national interest comes as a mild relief to observers of Turkish domestic politics.
Ciller was the subject of intense investigations instigated by anti-Islamic generals who were upset at her alliance with the Welfare Party. Ciller herself criticized the army for its blatant interference in Turkish political affair. The army, emboldened by the likes of Medeleine Albright, the US secretary of state and William Cohen, the US defense secretary, was reaffirmed strong American support to keep Turkey "secular."
In fact, Ciller had feared an army coup and warned that a military takeover will prove costly. Many ask why is the army acting like this? The answer is very simple. Find out the background of the Turkish generals, the area where they come from and where have their social values sprung from. It will, then, not surprise anyone to note the almost pathological dislike of any thing that smacks of Islam.
The generals, who are playing with fire by their blatant interference in Turkey's politics and using questionable methods to stamp any Muslim cultural conduct, had earlier been irked by former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan's alleged "Islamization" program.
But what did these programs contain? An effort to put down corruption, stop shops selling liquor, ban prostitution and build mosques.
Their partners, the Cohens and Albrights, also were upset at Erbakan not only for his "religious activities" but for trying to build bridges with those states which are on America's blacklist - like Libya, Sudan and Iran. The combined act of these two and the utterances of Albright bring one important question to the fore: Do Muslim countries need US permission to practice Islam at state level?
The Turkish army revealed its designs by pressuring Erbakan for the closure of Islamic schools and to ban head scarves. The elimination of Islamic education from hundreds of secondary schools having Islamic education in their program has become a battle cry for the secularists whose political agenda appears to be the integration of Turkey to Europe. Erbakan has called the recent education bill "an example of pro-secular fascism." According to Erbakan: "Let the Turkish people decide whether they want to learn their religion in schools or not."
It is really funny and pathetic that the very countries these generals are trying to imitate have guaranteed constitutional rights where even minorities like Muslims can wear their scarves.
The army, by its actions, has created a big rift not only with the politicians but also with the ordinary people. It has stopped buying supplies from traders it perceives are "Islamic" or "sympathetic" to Welfare Party.
Goaded by vested interest, the Turkish generals pushed for a Turkish-Israeli strategic military alliance. It pursued its opponents right into Iraq. In fact, its rogue operations go on.
Now Turkey has some serious problems that need immediate solutions. For example, the Turkish rebellion that has been putting a heavy burden on its natural resources. Also, on the issue of Turkey's involvement in Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriot government is recognized only by Turkey while the Greek part is internationally recognized. Again the issue of Islam seems to be the deciding factor for the lack of recognition for the Muslim Cypriot government.
In the name of secularism, the Turkish army has pushed the Welfare Party out of office. Instead of trying to protect the integrity of Turkey, it is dwindling its energies and resources by involving itself in party politics.
Instead of being neutral, the army is brazenly supporting its preferred forces. These fascist actions will, God forbid, create a wide divisions in Turkish society and engulf the country in flames.
It seems that the generals want to appease the West. They came to power on a platform that promised to put Turkey back on a "Western track." They want to be Europeans.
The Europeans don't want them although half of Turkey lies in Europe. It is now doubtful that Europe would change the way it has been dealing with Turkey. This has given them a serious case of inferiority complex. The generals believe by stamping out whatever vestiges of Islamic culture they can obtain a nodding approval from the United States.
Well-wishers of Turkey are alarmed at what might happen. The political dichotomy will result in the emergence of hostile for us who will, through their shortsightedness, achieve the political and military objectives of Turkey's enemies.
The Turkish generals should not be shortsighted. They should stop playing with fire.
Topics: Government And Politics, Necmettin Erbakan, Turkiye