Caliphs and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first p...

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey with Abdullah I of Jordan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The great statesman Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, renown as the founder of the Republic of Turkey, had a struggle to liberate the people from the chains of in-doctrinal repression. Greeks had been driven away with their Greek culture of many gods as well. Offices of sultan and caliph were separated in November 1922 by the Grand National Assembly.

Turkey did not need a Caliph or person acting in Muhammad‘s place after his death.

Until 1924 there have been several Caliphs, but all of these have had only limited influence, they have represented no continuation of the Caliphs of Baghdad, and in more than one case, these caliphhoods have been motivated by political motives, and few or none religious. The Muslim world have never agreed upon uniting behind anyone of these. {All about Turkey on Caliphs}

The Caliphate, 622–750 Brown: Expansion under Muhammad, 622–632 Orange: Expansion during the Rashidun Caliphs, 632–661 Yellow: Expansion during the Umayyad Caliphate, 661–750

For years, the aim was to create “Kemalist/nationalist generations,” holding the sake of the state above everything else. In Turkey they managed what even the democratic countries France or Belgium did not seem to be able to do, keeping religion separated from the political evolution of the country. Over there Catholicism was very much grounded in the culture and governing power. With Kemalism it was thought that it is only the republican regime which can best represent the wishes of the people, who should be able to have their free choice of religion and of political thinking. The Kemalist reforms represented a political revolution; a change from the multinational Ottoman Empire, where generally religious groups were allowed  to continue to practice their own faiths within the conquered territories, to the establishment of the nation state of Turkey and the realization of national identity of modern Turkey.

Turkey wanted in the past to keep religion and state separate. In recent years we shamefully saw a different trend coming over the people of that big nation. Having a large Sunni majority it seems that lots of people got sucked into the fever of religious zeal engulfing Muslim communities. Even Iran and its Shiite Islamic regime might not at the end of the day prove immune to the deleterious effects of the jihad Tehran itself whipped in Syria. The ayatollahs would find that religious hatred is an epidemic more easily started than contained.

Brother Arthur Wright wrote in one of his letters, dated June 06, 2013:

The violent Sunni-Shiite schism of the seventh century offers a case in point. In the overcharged contemporary climate, with its high stakes and geopolitical rivalries, a fresh outbreak of Shiite-Sunni strife could become “the mother of religious wars.”
Non-Muslim outsiders likely to be caught up in this clash, like the US and Israel, are unfortunately unprepared and ill-equipped for coming to grips with this menace on their doorstep.

He also wrote about the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East:

Most Bible margins give “Sanctify war” for “Prepare war” making this a war based on religious contentions. The present conflicts in Syria and Iraq are being promoted by Islamic leaders with divergent beliefs. Such a war was fought centuries earlier but reappears in a much more deadly form.

For years lots of citizens of Turkey looked down at the Kurds and of ten had difficulties with their call for their own and previous old Kurdistan (Extensive mountainous and plateau region in sw Asia, inhabited by the Kurds and including parts of e Turkey, ne Iran, n Iraq, ne Syria, s Armenia and e Azerbaijan). the last few years the Turkish government did everything to silence the Kurdish voices and the voices of those who saw that their country was going back to the middle-ages. At the same time hunger strikes and solidarity demonstrations from Kurdish people were taking place in Belgium, the United Kingdom and beyond. Anti-war groups organised an entirely separate and potentially conflicting protest.

It can well be that now several Turks do not like the attitude of the West, willing to help the Kurds and fighting against the people who would love to see an Islamic State in those regions.

The consulates of Canada, Belgium, Germany, France and the United States in Istanbul were sent envelopes containing suspicious yellow power on Friday October 24, 2014. Authorities said the Hungarian Consulate in Istanbul received a similar package on Monday.
Some of the consulates were evacuated, and Turkish authorities said 25 people were hospitalized as a precaution. All of them were released on Monday, the Health Ministry said in a separate statement.

Kurds attempting to cross the border to help stop a massacre as a IS flag waves in the background are hindered by Turkish soldiers and some even think that some NATO country took action against the Kurds and against the BBC whose crew’s van was put on fire by shooting tear gas through the window from close distance.

In the October 2014 issue of Jewish Standpoint magazine Israeli journalist and political analyst Inna Lazareva wrote:

The quick-moving sands of the Middle East have shifted once again. Now Turkey and Israel stand once again at odds with one another, the Iraqi government is an Iranian proxy, and the US and Iran appear to be edging closer to each other. Out of the rubbles of devastation in the region we may yet witness the birth of a Kurdish state, to which Israel has been a helpful, if self-interested, midwife.

In June 2014, former Zionist president and war-criminal Shimon Peres had already  informed US president Barack Obama:

“The Kurds have, de facto, created their own state, which is democratic. One of the signs of a democracy is equality to women.”

About this equality of women there might be a huge problem in the Middle East, and Israel is not escaping it either. women in Israel are also not permitted to come in certain places (only restricted to devout Jews) In august 2012 four women were arrested for praying in the women’s section of the Wailing Wall.

Israel Labour Party member and Member, Constitution, Law and Justice Committee Merav Michaeli’s who was a  journalist, TV anchor, radio broadcaster and activist commented on the news:

Understanding matters of security and life and death are also an asset and symbol of masculinity; and secular men, like religious men, do not allow women to step into their holy of holies“.

She had already argued in 2012 for society to “cancel marriage.”

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan an...

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou in Erzurum, Turkey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the 1920s onwards, secular governors tried to get an equal status for the women in Turkey with men. They wanted a moderate and adapted to modern life Islam. Many Turks valued the moral and spiritual bases of Islam, and revere it as a guide to right living and ethical conduct, but liked to be ruled by shari’a (Islamic religious law) and a body of medieval social custom for 500 years during the Ottoman Empire. A traditional Turkish man expects a woman to stay in a perfectly immaculate house looking after all their little babies.

Looking at statistics…. today, lots of Turkish women are in work places and traffic. But the present head of government with the conservative religious people do find that those women got to much a strong voice and the men got to Americanised. Both women and men in Turkey have a negative attitude toward women managers. Traditionally, men have been seen as better suited than women to hold executive positions. The qualities associated with being a successful manager have been associated with masculinity, such as ambition, objectivity and an authoritative manner.

Because of these negative beliefs, women make slow progress up the organizational hierarchy. In addition to these stereotypes, there are some other obstacles that prevent women reaching managerial suits such as low participation in male networks that limits their access to decision-making processes about promotion, negative discrimination against women in hiring and promoting policies, and the negative attitudes of employers and subordinates toward women managers. Aycan (2004) examined the factors that influence women’s career advancement in Turkey and showed that self-confidence and determination to achieve their career objectives are key success factors for women managers in Turkey. Similarly, support from family and organizations comes next and cultural norms toward gender roles to be found as the most significant barrier for attitudes toward women managers.

Some studies (Sakalli and Beydogan 2002; Aycan,2004) have pointed out that male exhibited less positive attitude toward women managers than did female and cultural norms toward gender roles were found as the most significant barrier for attitudes toward women managers. Contrary to findings in the literature, according to the study conducted by Semra Güney, Raheel Gohar, Sevcan Kılıç, Akıncı Mehmet and Mutlu Akınci in 2006 women’s attitudes toward women managers were more negative than that of men’s.

Coming closer to the 21st century it looked like certain men in Turkey, would find it normal to degrade the female being. Certain female tourists became projects of ‘free play toys’. From 2012 onwards several stories have gone outside Turkey of females been raped and severely wounded in front of everyone and no one tried to help.

The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research has surveyed attitudes in seven major Muslim-majority countries: Tunisia, Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan and Egypt.  It found that most women would prefer that a woman completely cover her hair in public, but not necessarily her face. Respondents were shown six cards with various types of head cover, ranging from the fully covering burka to none at all.

The most conservative responses were displayed in Saudi Arabia. Sixty two per cent of respondents there said that women should wear the niqab, the headdress that allows over a narrow slit over the eyes. In Iraq and Pakistan, 32 per cent and 31 per cent of respondents respectively judged the cloaklike hijab, which reveals the full face, to be most appropriate.

The most popular was the more designed hijab (4th from the left), which was approved by a majority in Tunisia and Egypt, and a large minority in Turkey and Iraq. The research did not reveal the gender of respondents.

It also asked if women should be allowed to choose their own clothing. In Tunisia and Turkey more than 50% said yes. Iraq, Pakistan and Egypt got less than 20%, with Egypt only 14%.

Today we can say Atatürk‘s reforms which hoped to blast these centuries-old traditions to smithereens, and to liberate women completely so they could participate in every aspect of society equally with men, have failed. a few years ago we could still say

without Atatürk, there would be no modern Turkish Republic, well ahead of its Islamic neighbors in democratic, social, cultural and commercial progress.

For years, the aim was to create “Kemalist/nationalist generations,” holding the sake of the state above everything else. Now, the government seeks to raise a non-questioning “pious generation,” as Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was prime minister at the time, said in 2012.

The present government has chosen to go a totally different way where one sort of religion has to be put before all the rest of religions, even when the books do not have to tell everything openly.

The government decided that not only female students as young as 10 years old will be allowed to wear headscarf at schools, it will be considered the preferred dress for a female to cover her head. From 12 years old most of the bare female body has to be covered and girls and boys shall have to follow the mandatory religious course in which the Islam is presented as the only right religion.

In the schoolbooks religions other than Islam are not very much worth mentioning.The children may have some information on other ways and sects but Sunni Islam is according the official books the true Islam that all should follow. Throughout the curriculum it is praised as “the religion of peace, love and tolerance,” with obviously no mention of the beheadings made in the name of Islam.
The subjects continue with “basmala,” “the reasons we should be grateful to Allah,” “the concepts of virtue and sin” and so on, all explained according to Sunni belief. Nine-year-old kids are constantly reminded that “Allah awaits your prayers.”

Students in Turkey are given mandatory religious classes for nine years, from the fourth grade to the 12th. The nine textbooks for the classes consist of 1,086 pages in total; Alevism – a liberal Islam-influenced belief that has millions of followers in Turkey and abroad – together with Bektashism only makes up 16 pages in the seventh grade and 12th grade books. Complaints from Alevis had led to the landmark recent ECHR ruling.

According to information gathered by Hürriyet, other sects within Islam, such as Shiite and Caferism, are briefly mentioned in the 11th grade. Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity are mentioned in a total of one-and-a-half pages in the eighth grade, while the rest of the curriculum is filled with the Sunni way of belief, prayer, morality and lifestyle.

Of course, the curriculum also includes atheism.

“Atheism, which is a reaction against faith in Allah, has been embraced by some Western philosophers, but has lost its intellectual basis and is weak nowadays,”

the official ninth-grade textbook reads. It also claims that atheists explain the world with “coincidences” and atheism may lead to

“degeneration of basic social and cultural values and alienate people from national and moral sentiments.”

The last few years it seems going into the minds of certain male citizens from Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Syria that women who do not wear a hijab are asking for it if, for example, they are raped. Many girls, especially in small towns and conservative neighbourhoods, will be forced to wear the headscarf in order not to be labelled as a “tramp.”

Today Turkey goes further and further form the idea of separation of state and religion and gets more and more in indoctrinating its future generation with a new sectarian belief, founded on mandatory religious courses based on a restricted Sunni view, shallow history classes, and poor mathematics and science lessons.
It shows clearly where AKP eagerly wants to get her ‘people’ with the production of  “pious generations” .

The next step in this struggle is gender segregated education, which does not seem like a distant possibility any-more.

The U.S. decision to air-drop weapons to Kurdish forces in Syria on the same day Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan dismissed them as terrorists is the latest false note in the increasingly discordant mood music coming out of Washington and Ankara. On the 24th of October Reuters had this to say about Turkey:

Turkey’s leaders have never been afraid of sticking to their guns in the face of international opinion. Both Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutolgu are driven by a vision of the Middle East united by a Turkish brand of political Islam. Both believe their foreign policy is supported by moral imperatives, and that they are on the right side of history.

Adding:

But unless Ankara aligns itself more closely with international opinion it will become ever more isolated, and its goals will remain out of reach, many experts believe.

+

Want to know more about the magnificent country turkey?:  please do find Burak Sansal’s very informative site All About Turkey

Preceding articles:

Islamic State forcing the West to provide means for Kurdistan

+++

Additional reading:

  1. Peres: Israelis love Kurdistan
  2. Israel: ‘Be a woman and shut-up’
  3. It is time for a corporate time-out in Israel
  4. Opposition leader Tzipi Livni, could you still represent Israel to the world?
  5. Arm Kobane
  6. “listen to Kurdish voices”
  7. Journal of International Women’s Studies Volume 8 |Issue 1, Article 15 Nov-2006, Bridgewater University, Attitudes to ward Women Managers in Turkey and Pakistan
  8. Grand Bazaar – Go with a male friend
  9. ISIS, Mosul Dam and threatening lives of those who want to live in freedom
  10. Egypt in the picture
  11. Turkey’s U.S. relations show strain as Washington’s patience wears thin

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  • The Rift Between Antichrist Nation of Turkey And The West Is Beginning (shoebat.com)
    the media is beginning to see two issues: 1) The vision of Turkey’s imperial plans and “vision of the Middle East united by a Turkish brand of political Islam” and 2)  “But unless Ankara aligns itself more closely with international opinion it will become ever more isolated” from western powers.Its not us only who is concluding this, its Reuters and other major media.

    Everything is going according to God’s plan, to allow the formation of the threat spoken of by John. The West and the Muslim world are on a collision course to part ways.

  • ISIS Is The Ugly Underbelly of Islam Coming To The Surface (disquietreservations.blogspot.com)
    Saying ISIS is not Islamic is like saying George W. Bush is not America or that Benjamin Netanyahu is not a Zionist.
  • Understanding The Middle East Crisis: Rekindling Fundamentalist Islam Part 3 of a Series (freenorthcarolina.blogspot.com)
    Following the defeat of Muslim forces in Austria in 1683, Muslim power declined, and Islam became relatively quiescent. The Armenian genocide of 1894-96 carried out by the Ottoman Turks against Armenian and Greek Christians, however, reminded a horrified Western world that Islam had a cruel, intolerant, and violent side. More than 250,000 Christians were slaughtered or murdered by rampaging Muslim mobs and Turkish soldiers.
  • US Begs Turkey To Fight ISIS: Why Would Turkey Fight What It Feeds? (clashdaily.com)
    The Obama administration has been imploring Turkey to fight ISIS, which is now at the border of Turkey mercilessly butchering the Kurds of Kobane. A recent development of Turkey agreeing to allow US and allied forces to use their airbases to fight ISIS, may serve as a deception…but make no mistake: Turkey is funding and training ISIS.
    +
    This new Islamist majority ruling Turkey is not behaving itself at all…
    — as reported by Islam specialist Walid Shoebat, there are ISIS “training centers in Orfa, Ghazi Antab and Antakia (Antioch) set up by the Turkish government for more terrorists to be sent to Syria.”
    according to an Egyptian official, Turkey is providing direct intelligence and logistical support to the ISIS terrorist organization, which was further confirmed by VP Joe Biden (before he was reprimanded and reneged).
    Kurds on the ground, persecuted in Kobane by ISIS, KNOW Turkey supports ISIS.
    — Daniel Pipes writes:

    Ankara may deny helping ISIS, but the evidence for this is overwhelming. “As we have the longest border with Syria,” writes Orhan Kemal Cengiz, a Turkish newspaper columnist, “Turkey’s support was vital for the jihadists in getting in and out of the country.” Indeed, the ISIS strongholds not coincidentally cluster close to Turkey’s frontiers.

    It’s a well-established fact that the Turkish government is not best-buds with the Kurdish people, since the Kurds desire their own country.

  • Geopolitics of the war against Syria and against the Daesh , by Thierry Meyssan (voltairenet.org)
    We are witnessing the third crisis in the camp of the aggressors since the beginning of the war against Syria.
    +
    After Turkey and France tried to enrol the United States in a vast bombardment of Syria, by staging the chemical crisis of the summer of 2013, the White House and the Pentagon decided to regain control. In January 2014, they convened a secret meeting of Congress and made it pass a secret law approving a plan for dividing Iraq into three and secession of the Kurdish region of Syria. To do this, they decided to fund and arm a jihadist group able to achieve what international law prohibits to the US Army: ethnic cleansing.
  • Chuck Hagel: Turkey’s Friend in High Places (counterpunch.org)
    The Key Kurdish city of Kobani in Northern Syria has been under siege by the ISIS terrorists since September 16, 2014. A self-governing city for the last two years, Kobani is located in a strategic place near the border with Turkey. Since everybody has been predicting its fall and the massacre of its civilian population, especially the enslavement of the Kurdish women, the Kurds singlehandedly have been defending their rightful territory. On October 12, 2014, Terri Moon Cronk stated that Kobani could fall to ISIS. Mr. Hagel again echoed General Dempsey who said, “I am fearful that Kobani will fall.” The General spoke to his Turkish counterpart a couple of days ago about the conditions in Kobani. Nobody came forward to help the Kurds because the Turks believe the political party in control of Kobani is affiliated with the PKK, a Kurdish Pishmerga partisan and freedom fighter group.
  • Geopolitics of Da’ash and the Conflict in the Levant (syria360.wordpress.com)
    Thierry Meyssan exposes the geopolitical reasons for the failure of the war against Syria and the real objectives of the so-called war against Daesh. This is particularly important for understanding current international relations and the crystallization of conflict in the Levant (Iraq, Syria and Lebanon).
  • Impunity of the Erdogan Regime (venitism.blogspot.com)
    Turkey’s politicized and faction-riven judiciary has contributed greatly to the perpetuation of a culture of impunity for serious human rights violations by Erdogan, police, military, and state officials. As a result, the victims of these abuses face significant obstacles in securing justice. The Obama administration’s policy of cozying up to an increasingly absolutist and Islamist Turkey makes no sense.
    +
    Much of AKP narrative about the sacred march is propaganda that appeals to the sentiments of Turkey’s conservative voters, who, after decades of marginalization and humiliation by secularists, yearn for pride and glory. It is more sentiment than strategy. However, the very existence of this narrative influences the AKP’s current strategies, or at least its political behavior.
  • ISIS: Negotiation, Not Bombing (transcend.org)
    ISIS, Islamic State in Iraq-Syria, appeals to a Longing for the Caliphate” writes Farhang Johanpour in an IPS column.
    +
    The historical-cultural-political position of ISIS and its successors is strong; the West is weak, also economically. The West cannot offer withdrawal in return for anything as it has already officially withdrawn. The West, however, can offer reconciliation, both in the sense of clearing the past and opening the future. Known in USA as “apologism” a difficult policy to pursue. But the onus of Sykes-Picot is for once not on the USA, but on UK-France. Russia dropped out after the 1917 revolution, but revealed the plot.Bombing, an atrocity, will lead to more ISIS atrocities. A conciliatory West might change that. An international commission could work on Sykes-Picot and its aftermath, and open the book with compensation on it. As a principle; the West cannot pay anyhow.

    Above all, future cooperation. The West, and here USA enters, could make Israel return the West Bank, except for small cantons, the Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem as Palestinian capital–or else!–sparing the Arabs and the Israelis horrible long-lasting warfare.

    This would be decency, sanity, rationality; the question is whether the West possesses these qualities. The prognosis is dim.

  • Middle East Forum: How Turkey Went Bad By DANIEL PIPES (yonkerstribune.com)
    Only twelve years ago, the Republic of Turkey was correctly seen as a stalwart NATO ally, the model of a pro-Western Muslim state, and a bridge between Europe and the Middle East. A strong military bond with the Pentagon undergirded broader economic and cultural ties with Americans. For those of us who work on the Middle East, time in Istanbul, Ankara, and other Turkish cities was a refreshing oasis from the turmoil of the region.And then, starting with the still-astonishing election of 2002, the country dramatically changed course. Slowly at first and then with increasing velocity since mid-2011, the government began breaking its own laws, turned autocratic, and allied with the enemies of the United States. Even those most reluctant to recognize this shift have been forced to do so. If Barack Obama listed Turkey’s dominant political leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as one of his five best foreign friends in 2012, he showed a quite different attitude by having a mere chargé d’affaires represent him at Erdoğan’s presidential inauguration a few weeks ago – a public slap in the face.
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About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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5 Responses to Caliphs and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government

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