Wednesday, June 09, 2010

"Enjoy the 'Bridge'" - Turkish op-ed slams Erdogan's love of Hamas

From Burak Bekdil at Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper (English edition):
From the first day under the rule of an Islamist elite, Turkey was bound to be a “Muslim bridge between the East and East.” It is becoming one, if it was not already. Those Western diplomats who wholeheartedly believed in the bridge between the West and East tale… those who wholeheartedly believed in the “Turkey-is-an-honest-broker-between-Israel-and Hamas/Syria” tale deserve the finest of all decorations and promotions for their incredible prophesy and reason, including early retirement and postings to challenging capitals such as Bujumbura, Belmopan, Malabo, Suva, Melekeok, Sao Tome and Nuku’alofa (though they are lucky I am not anyone’s minister).

Forget the silly “bridge talk.” The inescapable truth is that Turkey as an honest broker between Israel and Hamas or between Israel and Syria is tantamount to Israel as an honest broker between Turkey and Israel.

A few days ago, the Washington Post reminded its readers that Hamas had killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings and other attacks, and that most Western countries considered it a terrorist organization. But what does the chief engineer of the bridge between the West and East think of Hamas?

At a public rally where anti-Israeli emotions were running high, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan shouted loud and clear that Hamas is not a terrorist organization. Its members are, Mr. Erdoğan argued at the weekend, resistance fighters. The prime minister’s justification is that Hamas cannot be a terrorist organization because it was democratically-elected.

That could be a dangerous precedent. I think the immediate and wisest thing for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, to do is to run for the next Turkish elections under the name PKK. Murat Karayılan and his comrades in arms will be recognized as democratically-elected politicians and not terrorists by Mr. Erdoğan when they comfortably win seats in Southeast Turkey.

What, then, makes the Israeli government a “terrorist state” in the eyes of Mr. Erdoğan? Did the Israeli government seize power by force? Was it not “democratically elected?”

In the meantime, what did the head of the “humanitarian aid organization” that spearheaded the Gaza flotilla tell a crowd that looked more like an army of jihadists than volunteers? Listen to Bülent Yıldırım, “the ace” humanitarian activist:

“Last night [the night of the Israeli raid on the flotilla] everything in the world changed, and everything is progressing toward Islam. Anyone who does not stand alongside Palestine – his throne will be toppled!

See, typical humanitarian aid activist language. I am sure the believers of the bridge tale will also believe Mr. Yıldırım is the Muslim reincarnation of Mother Teresa.
Read the whole thing.

(h/t DM)