Opinion: Erdogan has betrayed Turkey’s Muslims

Turkish riot police clash with demonstrators

The excessive force and sheer brutality with which the Turkish police and plain clothes thugs surrounded unarmed and peaceful protesters in Taksim Gezi park, Istanbul, blocked all exits and shamelessly attacked them with pepper and chemical sprays, as well as teargas, should be condemned in the strongest of terms, writes Aisha Mehmet.

Some reports indicate that Agent Orange, a defoliant created by Monsanto for the Vietnam War, was used to deter protestors. Nonetheless, despite constantly suffering for hours and hours, at no point did the demonstrators resort to immediate violence, or provoke the Turkish police-mob who approached them with riot vehicles.

Perhaps, Noam Chomsky said it best: “The past few days are reminiscent of some of the most shameful moments of Turkish history, which, it seemed, had been relegated to the past during the progress of the past years that has been welcomed and praised by all of us who wish the best for Turkey and its people.”

AKP Party

What initially began as a nonviolent sit-in protest to protect Istanbul’s last green public space from demolition by the ruling AKP for the construction of yet another shopping mall in the city has now transformed into a massive nationwide protest.

And let’s not be mistaken: this monumental movement that has taken a nation of nearly 80 million people by storm,  doesn’t just comprise lettuce-loving, tree hugging environmental activists, nor are these demonstrations simply showcasing those woozy, booze-drinking Mustafa Kemal loyalists who gleefully beat the drums of secular fundamentalism to supposedly stop the “de-Islamization” of Turkey.

The people of Turkey have come out in dissent to march from all sides of the political spectrum (leftist, rightist, even supporters of Erdoğan) because their patience has been severely tested; because they are angry, and because they have the right to protest if they disagree with the direction that their leaders are taking their country in.

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Many citizens have complained that the present regime of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his AK Party is becoming increasingly authoritarian. To his credit, Erdoğan has brought about significant economic progress to Turkey, strengthening its position as a regional power in the Middle-East.

However, since assuming office in 2003, minimal efforts have been made by the AK party (which has its roots in political Islam) to remove the still in-effect headscarf ban on Turkish women. Additionally, an overwhelming majority of Turks staunchly oppose Erdoğan’s foreign policy, which promotes the concept of Neo-Ottomanism, a doctrine that calls for Turkey to maintain and increase its presence in the lands formerly ruled by the Ottoman Empire.


Further, opinion polls reveal that more than 75 percent of Turks are against Erdoğan’s pro-NATO and hence pro-Zionist stance, which calls for a full-scale military intervention and invasion of neighboring Syria, including the AKP giving military assistance to foreign fighters inside of the country.

Which compels us to question: Is Turkey justified in invading Syria on behalf of NATO? As Muslims we must remember that The Qur’an was sent to explain all things and is for all times. Therefore, let us turn to none other than the Noble Qur’an itself for the answer, wherein Allah Most High says:

“Oh you who believe (in this Qur’an), do not take (such) Jews and Christians as friends and allies who themselves are friends and allies of each other. And whoever of you (Muslims) turn to them (with friendship and alliance) becomes, verily, one of them; behold, Allah does not guide such evildoers.”  (Qur’an, al-Maidah, 5:51)

At the time of the revelation of The Qur’an, Christians and Jews shared a deep mutual hatred for one another, so much so, that it was impossible to see a future where a Christian-Jewish friendship or mutual alliance might occur. However, this extraordinary verse from Surah Al-Maidah, projected that a time would come, when the world would witness an interesting reconciliation between these two rivals, and the emergence of a Judeo-Christian alliance would eventually happen.

The verse further goes on to warn about those Muslims who would maintain friendly ties with that Judeo-Christian alliance, that Allah Most High, would then recognize them to be members of that alliance (rather than part of the community of Muslims). Simply put, if you join forces with them says Allah, it would be the ultimate betrayal to Islam.


Today, that Judeo-Christian alliance is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), of which Turkey has been a member of since 1952. NATO in essence, is the international armed wing of Zionism in the world today, and Turkish Muslims should concentrate their efforts on freeing their nation from its toxic embrace. For that purpose, they should strive to make alliances with forces opposed to NATO.

And besides the Syrian conflict, Turkish Muslims are still infuriated with Erdoğan for accepting that farce of an “apology” from Israel (a country that never apologizes for its heinous crimes!) as if nothing occurred on the night of May 31, 2010 when nine Pro-Palestinian Turkish activists onboard the Mavi Marmara, a Gaza-bound flotilla carrying medical and humanitarian aid, were mercilessly attacked and killed on international waters by the Israeli Navy.

To normalize diplomatic ties and relations once again with the apartheid state of Israel, which is exactly what Erdoğan and the AKP did, without the consent or approval of the very people who entrusted this administration with their vote and elected them into power, not only tramples upon the pride of Turkish Muslims, but is also against the very nature of their moral principles.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the 5 Pillarz editorial board.

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