Barack Obama’s support of Islamist takeovers of Middle East countries has been a bulwark for the Islamist leader of Turkey, Recep Erdogan. Erdogan’s Justice and Development party (AKP), has inspired the Islamist parties that rose to leadership in Tunisia and Egypt. Erdogan is affecting the areas around him profoundly; he has squashed the idea of an autonomous Kurdish region within a federal Syria because he fears that such a move would inspire the 20 million Turkish Kurds to seek autonomy as well.
We’re looking for Turkish leadership in the rest of that entire region. It’s a model as to how you can have an Islamic population, an Islamic state and a democracy, something the rest of the region is groping to figure out how to do.
Really? Erdogan has cracked down on dissidents and fomented conflict with Greece and Israel. Human Rights Watch, a leftist organization, asserted that Erdogan’s government:
has restricted freedom of expression, association, and assembly with laws that allow authorities to jail its critics for many months or years while they stand trial for alleged terrorism offenses on the basis of flimsy evidence …violence in the home is endemic, and police and courts regularly fail to protect women who have applied for protection orders under the Family Protection Law [and] reports of spouses and family members killing women rose in 2011 … :
So much for the Obama Administration’s part in the War on Women.
The government has not prioritized human rights reforms since 2005, and freedom of expression and association have both been damaged by the ongoing prosecution and incarceration of journalists, writers, and hundreds of Kurdish political activists, particularly through the misuse of overly broad terrorism laws. Violence against women in Turkey remains endemic. Police continue to use excessive force, particularly against demonstrators, and are rarely held accountable for such violence.
Last month, Obama lauded Turkey this way:
Nations in every part of the world have traveled this hard path. Europe – the bloodiest battlefield of the 20th century – is united, free and at peace. From Brazil to South Africa; from Turkey to South Korea; from India to Indonesia; people of different races, religions, and traditions have lifted millions out of poverty, while respecting the rights of their citizens and meeting their responsibilities as nations.
Erdogan sponsored the terrorist Gaza flotilla which threatened Israel. Turkey cooperates with Iran. Trade between Iran and Turkey, which had been just $5 billion before the ascension of Erdogan, rose to $15 billion in 2010 and will reach $30 billion by 2015. In October 2009, Erdogan denounced Western sanctions against Iran as “arrogant.” He stated that anyone who criticizes Iran’s nukes should first give up their own, saying, “We shared this opinion with our Iranian friends, our brothers.”
Interviewed by Charlie Rose in May 2011, Erdogan said: “I don’t see Hamas as a terror organization. Hamas is a political party. And it is an organization. It is a resistance movement trying to protect its country under occupation.” Turkey said it would give Hamas $300 million in aid.
This is the country Obama thinks meets its responsibility as a nation. From Obama’s point of view, he’s correct.The government of Turkey helps support Islamist takeovers, so to Obama that’s as responsible as it gets.