Note: Barry Rubin sat down with Shire Network News for an interview about the statement made by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his fellow 9/11 conspirators at Guantamo Bay taking credit for the atrocity, and why western politicians simply refuse to listen to the enemy when they announce their goals and motives clearly. When you are done with the Article below, I suggest you listen to the interview which you will find very interesting, I know I did. To make it easy, I embedded the player below (podcast # 157):
By Barry Rubin
Some time this year, President Barack Obama is going to visit Turkey and stand next to that country’s prime minister as he proclaims that country’s government a splendid example of a democratic Muslim-majority state. Unfortunately, the regime he will be praising is heading in the exact opposite direction: undoing Turkey’s long-established democracy and moving toward creating what will be at least a relatively milder version of an Islamist state.
As it does with so many stories, the mainstream media keeps interpreting the evidence for this as strictly in terms of Turkey-Israel relations. That link is, ironically, the least threatened aspect of the status quo. After all, if Israeli tourists want to go to Turkey and spend money—they might be scared away—the regime has no objection. If the Turkish military wants to maintain a relationship with Israel, that’s a small price to pay for keeping them happy. And if the two countries have a high level of trade, that money is also welcomed.
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What is really jeopardized is, first, Turkey’s reliability as a Western ally and, second, the level of freedom within the country. A Turkish government that feels more comfortable with Tehran than Washington is not something to be taken lightly.
Experts estimate that about half of the Turkish media is already under the control of the regime’s backers and journalists are feeling the intimidation. The government’s supporters, which means those who favor a more Islamic and Islamist society, are being put into the bureaucracy and the army.
Yet it is the symbolic developments that understandably get the attention. So here is one more of them. The journal Bilim ve Teknik, Science and Technology, planned a cover story on Charles Darwin’s theory as one of many international events marking the great naturalist’s birthday. The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey cancelled the article and fired the editor.
It should be noted that the Turkish republic has always been militantly secular, officially atheist. It has been proud of its openness to modern science and technology. Indeed, this is one of the factors that has brought it successful social and economic development. In contrast, countries heavily influenced by Islam which have restricted scientific inquiry have lagged behind the world.
Everyone in Turkey knows what this means: the tide of Islamization is rising and the margins of freedom are shrinking.
When Secretary of State Hilary Clinton praised the current regime on her visit to Turkey, and when Obama presumably does so, this will not be taken in Turkey as endorsement of their country’s democracy but of their government’s Islamist program. Source: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,613768,00.html#ref=nlint
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley). To read and subscribe to MERIA, GLORIA articles, or to order books, go to http://www.gloria-center.org