Coping with Turkey's Islamist Lurch

As Congress wakes up to Turkey's terrorist alliances, Britain's new Prime Minister made a fool of himself in Ankara. David Cameron, on his maiden official visit to the Middle East last week, proved himself to be a brazen liar or a clueless fool -- or both. His gaffes were all the more stunning because they were uttered just as our Congress began waking up to the menace of Turkey's embrace of terrorist forces.

Cameron's servile flattery in Ankara was inept because it ignored the reality of Turkish conduct, subverts NATO and EU unity, and encourages Turkey's alliance with Iran and Hamas. Cameron gushed:

"Turkey is a great NATO ally. And Turkey shares our determination to fight terrorism in all its forms."

Really? Turkey unequivocally backs the terrorist forces of Hamas and is now allied with terrorist-supporting Iran and Syria. Turkey -- joined by Brazil, its new-found hate-America confederate -- provided the sole votes against Iran sanctions in the U.N. Security Council. Turkey was a great NATO ally during the Cold War when it anchored the southeast flank against Soviet aggression. More recently, Turkey's Islamist government refused America 's request to give U.S. forces access to enter Iraq, costing our country dearly in blood and treasure as our troops bobbed around at sea while Turkey's ruling AK Party prolonged deceitful machinations. Turkey, fielding the second largest army in NATO, refuses to join combat operations in Afghanistan.

European Citizens Understand the Dangers

Cameron, terming a Brit strategic relationship with Turkey "vital for our country," failed to point out why it might be important for Turkey. Even the Turkish press wondered aloud about Cameron's amateurness in foreign affairs. Cameron blamed the EU's refusal to admit Turkey on Islamophobia, i.e., "those who willfully misunderstand Islam." But the people of Europe and their governments are coming to understand that the brand of Islam represented by Turkey's present government is anti-Western, pro-Iranian and hostile to western values. Secular lawyers, journalists, educators and army officers in Turkey are under siege in a vast Stalinist-style frame-up called "Ergenekon." Turkish media, encouraged by AKP, feature relentless xenophobic vilification of the West. Several Christian clergymen and a prominent Turkish Armenian journalist have been murdered in attacks usually blamed on errant teen-agers. The Turks who bound, tortured and slit the throats of Protestants in Malatya in southeast Turkey in 2007 were found with the bloody knives in their hands and shouted "Allahu Akhbar" when arrested. But their trial has dragged on for over three years while the government tries to pin the blame on the Turkish military.

EU politicians mishandled Turkey's early quest for EU accession. But European citizenry -- particularly in France, Britain, Germany and the Netherlands -- realized sooner than their politicians that Turkey, notwithstanding its considerable charms and accomplishments, is not a European country. Anyone who has traveled in rural Anatolia and rural Europe with eyes open recognizes this. Europeans perceived the radical changes inherent in admitting 77 million Turks as citizens of Europe, as well as the danger of extending Europe's borders to the suburbs of theocratic Iran and totalitarian Syria. Britain's EU partners must have shuddered at Cameron's fecklessness. Foreign correspondent Barry Shaw, in the Canada Free Press, called Cameron's speech "incredibly stupid and dangerous." Professor Barry Rubin, an acute observer of Turkey, wrote in Europe News, the gist of Cameron's blatherings is that:

"Turkey is 100 per cent right, I have no criticism of Hamas, we should accept a permanent revolutionary Islamist terrorist, genocidal statelet on the Mediterranean. And we can ignore Turkey's pro-Hamas policy and provocative behavior because without abandoning that approach Turkey can still play a productive role. This is the diplomatic equivalent of insane behavior on Cameron's part (Italics added)."

Congress Wakes Up

While Cameron acted as if he were in advanced dementia, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee held unprecedented hearings to consider whether accelerating changes in Turkish foreign policy endanger American interests. Chairman Howard Berman (D-Ca) opened by noting that this was the first time during his tenure that Turkish actions were "worrisome" enough to warrant exclusive scrutiny at a hearing. Berman pointedly questioned "Turkey's orientation to and its ongoing commitment to strategic partnership with the United States." The bi-partisan depth of concern about Turkey's shift was echoed in remarks of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lentinen (R-Fla), ranking Republican member, who said Turkey's actions "may mark a turning point." Ros-Lentinen, who will become chair if Republicans control the House, criticized Turkey's government for targeting "bastions of secularism," e.g., the judiciary and military.

Turkey's respected Hurriyet newspaper, headlining that the hearings revealed "Anti-Turkey climate in US Congress," concluded that there could be "a serious crisis" with the U.S. if the AKP government does not "recalibrate" its policies. This is not likely to happen soon. AKP's alliance with Iran, Syria and Hamas suits both its Islamist ideology and its electoral calculations. Whatever dementia may rule in London, it is a good first step that the U.S. Congress is waking up to the paradigm shift reflected in Turkey's alliance with terrorists.  The next step should be for the Obama Administration to explicitly recognize that Turkey is no longer a reliable ally of the U.S. 
As Congress wakes up to Turkey's terrorist alliances, Britain's new Prime Minister made a fool of himself in Ankara. David Cameron, on his maiden official visit to the Middle East last week, proved himself to be a brazen liar or a clueless fool -- or both. His gaffes were all the more stunning because they were uttered just as our Congress began waking up to the menace of Turkey's embrace of terrorist forces.

Cameron's servile flattery in Ankara was inept because it ignored the reality of Turkish conduct, subverts NATO and EU unity, and encourages Turkey's alliance with Iran and Hamas. Cameron gushed:

"Turkey is a great NATO ally. And Turkey shares our determination to fight terrorism in all its forms."

Really? Turkey unequivocally backs the terrorist forces of Hamas and is now allied with terrorist-supporting Iran and Syria. Turkey -- joined by Brazil, its new-found hate-America confederate -- provided the sole votes against Iran sanctions in the U.N. Security Council. Turkey was a great NATO ally during the Cold War when it anchored the southeast flank against Soviet aggression. More recently, Turkey's Islamist government refused America 's request to give U.S. forces access to enter Iraq, costing our country dearly in blood and treasure as our troops bobbed around at sea while Turkey's ruling AK Party prolonged deceitful machinations. Turkey, fielding the second largest army in NATO, refuses to join combat operations in Afghanistan.

European Citizens Understand the Dangers

Cameron, terming a Brit strategic relationship with Turkey "vital for our country," failed to point out why it might be important for Turkey. Even the Turkish press wondered aloud about Cameron's amateurness in foreign affairs. Cameron blamed the EU's refusal to admit Turkey on Islamophobia, i.e., "those who willfully misunderstand Islam." But the people of Europe and their governments are coming to understand that the brand of Islam represented by Turkey's present government is anti-Western, pro-Iranian and hostile to western values. Secular lawyers, journalists, educators and army officers in Turkey are under siege in a vast Stalinist-style frame-up called "Ergenekon." Turkish media, encouraged by AKP, feature relentless xenophobic vilification of the West. Several Christian clergymen and a prominent Turkish Armenian journalist have been murdered in attacks usually blamed on errant teen-agers. The Turks who bound, tortured and slit the throats of Protestants in Malatya in southeast Turkey in 2007 were found with the bloody knives in their hands and shouted "Allahu Akhbar" when arrested. But their trial has dragged on for over three years while the government tries to pin the blame on the Turkish military.

EU politicians mishandled Turkey's early quest for EU accession. But European citizenry -- particularly in France, Britain, Germany and the Netherlands -- realized sooner than their politicians that Turkey, notwithstanding its considerable charms and accomplishments, is not a European country. Anyone who has traveled in rural Anatolia and rural Europe with eyes open recognizes this. Europeans perceived the radical changes inherent in admitting 77 million Turks as citizens of Europe, as well as the danger of extending Europe's borders to the suburbs of theocratic Iran and totalitarian Syria. Britain's EU partners must have shuddered at Cameron's fecklessness. Foreign correspondent Barry Shaw, in the Canada Free Press, called Cameron's speech "incredibly stupid and dangerous." Professor Barry Rubin, an acute observer of Turkey, wrote in Europe News, the gist of Cameron's blatherings is that:

"Turkey is 100 per cent right, I have no criticism of Hamas, we should accept a permanent revolutionary Islamist terrorist, genocidal statelet on the Mediterranean. And we can ignore Turkey's pro-Hamas policy and provocative behavior because without abandoning that approach Turkey can still play a productive role. This is the diplomatic equivalent of insane behavior on Cameron's part (Italics added)."

Congress Wakes Up

While Cameron acted as if he were in advanced dementia, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee held unprecedented hearings to consider whether accelerating changes in Turkish foreign policy endanger American interests. Chairman Howard Berman (D-Ca) opened by noting that this was the first time during his tenure that Turkish actions were "worrisome" enough to warrant exclusive scrutiny at a hearing. Berman pointedly questioned "Turkey's orientation to and its ongoing commitment to strategic partnership with the United States." The bi-partisan depth of concern about Turkey's shift was echoed in remarks of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lentinen (R-Fla), ranking Republican member, who said Turkey's actions "may mark a turning point." Ros-Lentinen, who will become chair if Republicans control the House, criticized Turkey's government for targeting "bastions of secularism," e.g., the judiciary and military.

Turkey's respected Hurriyet newspaper, headlining that the hearings revealed "Anti-Turkey climate in US Congress," concluded that there could be "a serious crisis" with the U.S. if the AKP government does not "recalibrate" its policies. This is not likely to happen soon. AKP's alliance with Iran, Syria and Hamas suits both its Islamist ideology and its electoral calculations. Whatever dementia may rule in London, it is a good first step that the U.S. Congress is waking up to the paradigm shift reflected in Turkey's alliance with terrorists.  The next step should be for the Obama Administration to explicitly recognize that Turkey is no longer a reliable ally of the U.S.