Islamic apologists have long flaunted Turkey as a shining example of Islam's compatibility with secularism and democracy, but the current pro-Islam regime is slowly turning the country toward Islamic theocracy, which now stands at a point of no return...
With the arrest on February 22, 2010 of dozens of former high level Turkish military officers, it is now seemingly certain that there will be no stopping the eventual re- Islamization of Turkey and the adverse consequences cannot be overestimated. Turkey's Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his AK Party are now virtually assured that Turkey?s military will no longer be able to interfere with the Islamic dream of bringing Turkey completely back into the Islamic fold. We have already seen Turkey cancel cooperative training relations with Israel?s military and such slights are merely the tip of the iceberg. Turkey has been considered to be a stable regional power and a bulwark against Islamist advances in the Near East, but that perception is becoming increasingly antiquated. Rest assured that any further advances in cultural modernity are unlikely and, even worse, Turkey is an increasingly prime candidate for eventual leadership of the Islamic world. It will not be the type of largely secular or at least moderate Islamic leadership hoped for in the past. Turkish leadership may have ounce been welcomed as evidence that Islam was losing its grip on Islamic Civilization, but now it is best seen as just the opposite -- eventually cementing fundamentalist Islam's grip on the entire region.
I believe that February 22, 2010 is a day that should be marked as a watershed event for it is the day that I believe that Turkey reached its tipping point or perhaps it could be better phrased as the point of no return. According to Malcolm Gladwell?s book published in 2000 titled 'The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference,' tipping points are "the levels at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable." To me, that is just another way of stating that a point of no return has been reached. Now that Turkey's military is secured by a leash held by the AK Party, Turkey has reached its tipping point.
The inevitable and eventual return of Turkey to its Islamic roots will be a major achievement for Islamists. Turkey is a NATO member that has sought EU membership. But that may all be coming to an end. Turkey is clearly in the midst of a political power struggle between the Islamist AK Party and western oriented, nationalist secularists who have, since the reforms implemented by Kemal Ataturk, controlled the military and judiciary. The arrests of military leaders is a sharp reversal of fortune from the days when the military ousted four governments since 1960 (1960, 1971, 1980, and 1997) and kept Islamists at bay.
Sadly, this tipping point has come about due to so-called democratic reforms implemented to try and secure EU membership and the AK party?s rise to power in 2002 ending the secularists' influence and control originally obtained through the cachet and prestige of Kemal Ataturk. The military's oversight of the political process in Turkey has been undermined during AK Party rule and pressure from the European Union, which has, as a requirement of admission into the EU, demanded that the Turkish military be subordinate to civilian leaders. Here again, western ignorance is playing into the hands of Islamists in a manner that will eventually come back to haunt western civilization.
It is amazing that Kemal Ataturk?s reforms survived so long after his passing. It is a tribute to the special place he continues to hold in Turkish history. However, the force of Islamist influence throughout the Islamic world is so strong and getting stronger that it is no surprise that Turkey is regressing. The influence of Islam seems so strong that it is making direct headway in western culture as well. It stands to reason that in any country wherein most of the population has been led to believe that Muhammad was Allah's Prophet and Messenger and that he must be obeyed and his life held out as a beautiful pattern of conduct for anyone that keeping Islam at bay is an inherently difficult task. Attempts to implement democracy will only hasten Islam's advance. Nevertheless, a New York Times editorial from March 7, 2010 proudly proclaimed that the arrests 'could help strengthen Turkish democracy - provided the government and the judiciary scrupulously apply the rule of law.' The profound ignorance in such an assertion astounds me. It is the same ignorant foolishness that allowed the Ayatollah Khomeini to convince gullible westerners that he would support democracy.
Most of the Islamic World is not ready for democracy and the call for and push for democracy or increased popular control over governments via the election process will further destabilize many countries, including Turkey, that are already at risk of being lost to Islamists. It is pointless to free people to elect their leaders when they remain enslaved in their minds to an ideology and belief system that will simply mean that instead of Islamists gaining control through subversive means, they will simply gain control via elections. Turkey's military and its ability to rescue the country from Islamist threats has helped preserve what democracy exists in Turkey and terminating that ?check and balance? of power means that while the veneer of democracy will falsely appear to be advanced, in reality it means the eventual end of any real democracy in Turkey. Democracy and elections will no more bring improved conditions to most of the Islamic world and peace than it did to the Gaza Strip where Hamas, a violent terrorist group, won elections in 2006 and then proceeded to shell Israel with hundreds of rockets.
It is unrealistic to expect democracy to bring any better results in those parts of the Islamic World wherein either autocratic governments or, in Turkey's case, the military maintain some control over well established and deeply entrenched Islamist groups. Unchecked democracy without oversight by the Turkish military will no more bring peace and social justice to Turkey than it would to a maximum security prison.
There is a strong belief in western democracies that the principle of "one person one vote" should control the selection of governments. However, in Turkey that principle will eventually be meaningless because once the AK Party, an Islamist party, gains sufficient control, any further elections will occur solely to give a veneer of legitimacy to Islamist control and, thereafter, the election process will have no real chance of removing Islamists from power. Consequently, without the check and balance provided by the Turkish military, all Turkey will eventually hold are relatively meaningless elections of the type seen in Iran.
Before democracy can be successfully fully implemented in places like Turkey, the influence of Islam on the people must be considerably diminished and firmly held in check. That will only occur by complete domination and control of the society and the slow dampening and reduction of the influence of Islam over time. That process would require control of the media, entertainment industry, education system, and Mosques until decades of education eliminated pervasive Islamic control over the beliefs and cultural values of the people. Only Turkey's military provided any hope of exerting that type of control and now that it has been broken, Turkey is doomed to slide backwards into the grip of Islamic fundamentalism.
It is said that wars are, amongst many other observations and horrors, revolutions. World War I was such a revolution for Turkey, but the revolution appears to be ending. Turkey sided with the Germans with the result that the Ottoman Empire collapsed and lost control of vast areas of the Ottoman Empire. Can you imagine the power of the Turks had they continued to rule the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and Kuwait with all of that combined oil revenue? While it might seem farfetched, there is considerable evidence that the Islamic world could, either fully or partially, shed its national borders, which are inherently alien to Muslims anyway, and unite with fundamentalist Islam providing the glue to hold Muslims together -- at least long enough to cause devastation to the non-Islamic world.
The Arab states have been in discussions regarding an Arab Union modeled after the European Union for some time. The Arab states have exhibited a willingness to also associate with or even unite with Iran and Turkey. Iran has also exhibited some willingness to accept Turkish leadership. There is already considerable cooperative efforts in the Islamic world that could easily evolve into steady advances toward even greater Islamic unity. The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is an international organization with a permanent delegation to the United Nations. It is comprised of 57 member states whose goal is to combine their resources, activity, and efforts and to speak with a unified voice for Muslims. Turkey's turn toward Islam and eventual drift away from its secular, Kemalist reforms of the past will help obtain more Islamic unity.
Turkey's reversal of its modernist trend and its western orientation toward a greater identification with and cooperation with its fellow Islamic states is also major step toward a new Caliphate -- the long held dream and goal of fundamentalist Muslims everywhere. Having tried numerous western ideas and forms of government and still lagging far behind western nations in every conceivable measure of civilizational success, I believe that the Islamic world is ready to return to what it believes brought it success during the Middle Ages -- combined religious and temporal authority of the type wielded by Islam?s revered seventh century 'Prophet' and 'Messenger' -- Muhammad Ibn Abdullah.
Turkey's regression also signals an ominous omen of things to come. If Turkey -- a developed country with a decades old history of advancing modernity spearheaded by such a universally revered figure as Kemal Ataturk -- cannot stem the rising tide of Islamism then what hope is there for Pakistan, Lebanon, Egypt and other Islamic countries? Turkey's regression suggests that what many have predicted, including myself, that the Islamic world is sliding deeper and deeper into Islamic fundamentalism is in fact occurring. The result will have profound and deadly consequences given Pakistan's nuclear capabilities and Iran's seemingly eventual membership in the nuclear club.
Turkey also represents the danger presented by mixed Islamic/secular nations. A completely Islamic nation is actually less of a threat because Islam is such an inherent drag on the civilization that it cannot be expected to develop modern, advanced weaponry. But the mixed Islamic states like Iran, Turkey and Pakistan do present a grave danger as the secular elements of the culture, often educated in the United States, are capable of technological advancement that can be expected to eventually fall into the hands of Islamists. While a fanatical Muslim is unlikely to develop the skill to create a nuclear weapon, he can certainly fire one and absolutely has the temperament and religious zeal to do so. The old deterrent of mutually assured destruction will not prevent Islamists from using nuclear weapons. Consequently, our mistake of allowing Pakistan and soon Iran to develop nuclear weapons will eventually come to haunt us. Turkey's slow slide back to an Islamic state will also help undermine Pakistan. Pervez Musharraf spent years in Turkey, loved his time there and was greatly influenced by his Turkish years. In the future, an educational interlude in Turkey might not be such a positive development for future Pakistani leaders. Moreover, as more and more Islamic countries slide into Islamism, the pressure on other Islamic leaders to conform to Islamic ideals intensifies. The Iranian Revolution and the following seizure of the Mosque in Mecca plainly caused Saudi Arabia's leaders to give more freedom to the religious establishment and to permit them to advance fundamentalist Islam much more freely than what had been permitted in the past. From such an example we can clearly see that at some point no leader of an Islamic state will be able to resist the rising tide of fundamentalist Islam.
Despite the clear importance of the developments in Turkey, the news never received the degree of attention, consideration and analysis warranted. I fear that western leaders and governments have become desensitized to the threat of Islam and that not only will nothing be done to stop Islam's ominous advance, but it is not even perceived as the ominous threat that it poses. If the true nature of the threat posed by Islam remains unforeseen, then clearly nothing will be done to stop Islam's ominous advance. That events in Turkey have failed to raise any significant discussion of the full ramifications of what has happened reveals how misguided, mislead and deceived most westerners are on almost all issues related to Islam.
As I have previously argued, we must regain control of our educational system and make sure that Islam is accurately presented in all levels of our educational system. Presently, an extremely biased and false presentation of Islam is being inculcated in students throughout the American educational system and its effects are readily apparent. The deception has lulled western civilization into a gross misunderstanding of the nature of Islam, its impact on Islamic Civilization, the direction Islamic Civilization is headed in and our own fate if we do not reverse the gains made by fundamentalist Muslims. The clock is ticking. Every day we become closer to the point in time when Islamists cause a level of devastation that will make 9/11 seem trivial. I foresee fundamentalist Muslims destabilizing western nations from within and without. Islamic states will pose major external threats and internal Muslim populations will act as a Trojan Horse for fundamentalist Muslims that can wreak economic havoc from within by attacking the power grid and other spread-out and hard-to-defend infrastructure that will grossly reduce economic activity. Cell phone towers, water aqueducts, the power grid, and mass transit facilities and infrastructure are all extremely vulnerable. The toppling of the power grid alone would cause a level of devastation far beyond the comprehension of most people.
Events in Turkey are deserving of a far higher level of attention and analysis than has been previously afforded the issues. I encourage all Islamic critics to more closely analyze and evaluate events in Turkey.