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Subject: Militant Islam vs. Turkey
ilpars    6/22/2004 10:38:51 AM
This is a very good symposium telling why Turkey is the greatest enemy of fundementalism. I also like to know your opinions about the subject. (Especially from AK and Elbandeedo.) Symposium: Militant Islam vs. Turkey By Jamie Glazov | December 29, 2003 Why has Turkey become a target of Islamists' Holy Jihad? Joining Frontpage Symposium to discuss this issue with us today, we are joined by: Ersel Aydinli, an assistant professor of international relations at Bilkent University in Ankara and a former counter-terrorism officer with the Turkish National Police. He has a forthcoming book edited with James Rosenau, Paradigms in Transition: Globalization, Security and the Nation State (SUNY Press, 2004); Ali Koknar, the owner of AMK Risk Management, a private security consultancy with offices in Washington, DC and Turkey, specializing in counter-terrorism and international organized crime, and providing risk assessment and security services for business involved in the Middle East, Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Ali contributed to the Turkish portion of Combating Terrorism: Strategies of Ten Countries, a book edited by Prof. Yonah Alexander Director of the Counterterrorism Center at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC, with an introduction by former DCI, Jim Woolsey, and published by the University of Michigan Press; Gerald Robbins, an Associate Scholar with the Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute. He just returned from a visit to Turkey; and Walid Phares, a Professor of Middle East Studies and Religious Conflict and a Terrorism expert with MSNBC. FrontPage: Welcome to Frontpage Symposium gentlemen. Why are Islamic militants targeting Turkey in their latest terrorist attacks? Koknar: Let us clarify our terms of reference before we address that question: Terrorists who profess to be Muslim, but are declared otherwise by mainstream Muslim theologians, on account of their acts which violate the fundamental tenets of Islam, are attacking Turkey. Those terrorists are attacking Turkey for a number of reasons some of which have not changed in the last two decades. First and foremost, Turkey, as the ONLY functioning multiparty parliamentary democracy under constitutionally protected secularism in a majority Muslim country, is a manifest denial of the perverted version of Islam which these terrorists are advocating. They need to make sure that the Turkish way of peaceful coexistence and tolerance of other religions, particularly of Judaism, which has been practiced for the last 500 years, ends. The terrorists are attempting to drive a wedge between the Turkish people and their legitimately elected government which maintains the Turkish national policy of strategic partnership with the United States and strategic alliance with Israel. They are trying to make this policy as costly for Turkey as possible. It should also be emphasized that, while Turkey disallowed the transiting of the 4th Infantry Division via its territory in order to open the Northern Front in Iraq, it engaged in a number of activities, such as allowing the use of its airspace by Coalition aircraft and guided missiles, access via Turkey into Northern Iraq for US Special Forces and intelligence operatives, the logistic supply and medial/casualty evacuation of the aforementioned--which resulted in at least 1 US Special Forces NCO's life being saved after WIA in N.Iraq. Turkey also hosted Coalition aircraft making emergency landings at not only the joint US-Turkish Incirlik AFB, but at Turkish airbases close to Iraq, which evidence Turkey's collaboration with the US against Saddam's regime. Robbins: There are varying theories.I believe that the most plausible one regards what Turkey represents to the Muslim world – a successful experiment in democratic secularism. This is anathema to Islamic fundamentalism's agenda, in which religious tolerance (the synagogue bombings) and Westernization (targeting Britain's diplomatic and commercial interests, namely due to London active role in Iraq and overall battle against Islamic extremism) are fair game. Such blasphemy trumped Turkey's non-committal stance towards Operation Iraqi Freedom. Aydinli: I agree with the assertion that the biggest reason for Turkey being targeted has a lot to do with what Turkey presents as a political, sociological and cultural entity in this part of the world. As we all know, one of the largest goals of terrorism is to magnify the natural differences among the societies and groups so that the majority moderates who are generally builders and legitimizers of peace and stability would be forced to take a side along the lines of the radicals and radical ideas. From this perspective then, the bridging, uniting, and stabilizing image and mission of Turkey, which has even been multiplied by the existe
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TriggaFingaz    New front may open...   6/22/2004 5:31:10 PM
Man this is long. Sooner or later Malaysia, Singapore and Indonedia will have to face off JI even though they're licking their wounds after losing Hambali.
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dudley    RE:Militant Islam vs. Turkey    6/22/2004 5:55:50 PM
Yep they stole my words.I was gonna write the same damn thing b4 my next beer,now that I read all that I need a beer.One thing they missed is Turkeys long history of dealing with kurdish terrorism[in Turkeys view],they know what terrorism is all about being islamic or whatever.It isnt the right thing to support.
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American Kafir    RE:Militant Islam vs. Turkey    6/22/2004 5:59:53 PM
Excellent find, Ilpars. I have a lot of respect for the views of Walid Phares. It all comes down to what Turkey wants. Does it want to be a partner with America to spread democracy through the Middle East and Central Asia and meet the danger of fundamentalism and militant Islam head on, or does it want to continue to try to please both sides? Turkey recognizes the threat. Whether or not it fully recognizes America as its friend and ally against that threat remains unclear. With or without Turkey, America will fight on.
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ilpars    RE:Militant Islam vs. Turkey - AK   6/23/2004 1:27:34 AM
Turkey obviously wants spread of democracy through the MiddleEast and Central Asia. Turkey also chosed the fundementalism as enemy long before since 1793. The first Wahabi Jihad in the history was against Ottoman Empire started that year. Turkey had fought against this enemy long before USA involved. It is Turkey who will fight on whatever other countries do. But if we come to alliance with USA, you must understand that USA is a very hard country to be ally with. You can never know when US will make deals behind your back. Examples: Cuba missile crise: USA agreed to remove Jupiter Nuclear Missiles from Turkey without asking or even taking opinion of Turkey. GW2 : America made deals with North Iraq Kurds to extend of God knows what. More than that; now US soldiers are training them. This is not something I understand from an alliance. From the view from me, America is now fighting against Fundementalism but tomorrow you can not know if they will be allies. But if you have concerns over Erdogan government. You do not have to worry. Erdogan is an pro-American semi-puppet popularist. He will obediently follow US directives.
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American Kafir    RE:Militant Islam vs. Turkey - Ilpars   6/23/2004 3:53:22 PM
It's definitely going to be transformative for Turkey as well. If Turks and Kurds can set aside their mutual animosities and begin to work for and wish for the benefit of each other, it will make the road ahead smoother in rolling back fundamentalism. Turkey must accept that the Kurds do have legitimate grievances against them, and address them with justice and compassion. The Kurds must see that they have a voice in Turkish society without having to resort to terrorism. The Kurds outside the territory of Turkey (in Iraq and Iran) must know that Turkey does not claim their land and has no designs to take it from them for any reason. Establish trust and the friendship will follow.
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SGTObvious    RE:Militant Islam vs. Turkey - Ilpars   6/23/2004 4:33:00 PM
"Establish trust and the friendship will follow." Not the usual AK approach. Hmmm... I wonder if he was bitten by Al Gore...
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American Kafir    RE:Militant Islam vs. Turkey - Ilpars   6/23/2004 5:51:52 PM
"Establish trust and the friendship will follow." >>Not the usual AK approach. Hmmm... I wonder if he was bitten by Al Gore...<< Context, Sarge. Turkey accepting Kurdish cultural and political independence is a rather "radical" idea, even if they merely agree to stop shooting at each other. I would not apply this solution to cases where the use of terrorism has risen (devolved?) from initially illegitimate grievances, such as the Palestinian intifada, the September 11th attacks, etc. I am in no way justifying Kurdish terrorism. But as I understand it, the Kurds engaged in terrorism are motivated more by Marxism than Islam. Turkey's moderate approach to Islam coupled with an extension of inclusion for Kurds who for years have been regarded as second-class citizens might entice the dynamic of fundamentalism to seek other venues to fester in. If Kurds had no reason to hate or fear Turkey, imagine how hard it would be to find or create anti-Turkish Kurds? Besides, if Al Gore had bitten me, I'd be screaming about how there's a Jew behind every policy making leftists mad in America, except I'd somehow have to find a way to intone that I, like Gore, meant that was a bad thing.
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ilpars    RE:Militant Islam vs. Turkey - AK   6/24/2004 2:30:33 AM
Republic of Turkey had never had different classes of citizens. Turgut Ozal the ex-president of Turkey was a Kurd. We have 4 star Kurd Generals in the army. Hikmet Cetin reprsenetative of UN at Afganistan and himself ex-Foreign Affairs Minister is a Kurd. As you can see, Kurds are in every part of the administration. What kind of second class citizenship is this. You are very wrongly informed about the realities of Turkey. There are more than 20 ethnic groups in Turkey. All have their cultural idendity. All are using their own language whenever they want. Some of them had/have their own magazines and newspapers in their own language. For example Turkish Jews once had a magazine in Spanish (Jewish dialect). They later changed the language of the magazine to Turkish as younger generations do not understand the other language. One Turkish radio in Black Sea is online in the language of Laz. In Turkey there are more than 20 ethnic groups. Turkey never had any proplem with any other than PKK. Even in the highest tide of PKK, majority of the Kurds have supported Turkey. The village guards paramilitary organization is predominantly Kurd. I am 1/4 Kurd. I have many Kurd friends. The majority of Kurds never hated Turks. Ethnical fighting is/was never a Turkish way. PKK tried for a time to gain power by using the uniter nature of Turkish Republic against it. But now they have lost their chance. We even have a legitimate Kurdish party which had only 2% vote in the elections. Talabani and Barzani do not hate Turkey. They want power. They want to use the Kurds in Turkey to have a political influence in Turkey. One thing that Turkey will never let happen is to give influence to a foreign power over a part of its population. I hope, I could have informed you.
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American Kafir    RE:Militant Islam vs. Turkey - AK   6/24/2004 9:13:13 PM
thanks Ilpars. I'm getting a clearer picture of Turkish-Kurdish relations from you. But these developments in allowing Kurds more cultural freedom in Turkish society are NEW developments, enacted only within the last decade. There are still conflicts, some avoidable, some inevitable. Integrating people who don't want to be integrated is always going to be problematic, and always look bad from the outside. Don't get me wrong, there are certainly things in Kurdish tribal society that are incompatible with Turkish society - the family "honor killings" concept for example, but such things are covered by the rule of law, not men or their nationality. I'm certain no Kurd is saying "I am a Kurd because I can kill my sister for dishonoring the family, take this away from me and I won't be a Kurd." Kurdish identity is certainly more than that. Turkey is on the road - the right road - to becoming a model society in the region, more than "just better" than the rest. If it doesn't fall off the road.
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Thomas    RE:Militant Islam vs. Turkey - AK   6/30/2004 5:28:40 AM
I have written it before: The PKK uprising in eastern Turkey had in its basis nothing whatsoever to do with ethnic problems. The problem was the ancient problem, that comes when farmers go bankrupt and do not have alternative means of sustenance! The Nazies in Germany gained power in excatly the same way and on the same background. Turgut Özal made Chamberlains mistake and thought you could work with criminals. When will they ever learn???
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