Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald predicts that Turkey will not make it into the E.U., and recommends that efforts be made to keep this rejection from strengthening Erdogan's Sharia aspirations:
Now that the Soviet Union does not constitute a threat, and now that Erdogan is hellbent on dismembering Kemalism (using the very application to the EU as justification, and excuse, for depriving the army of some of its powers), Turkey can be seen more clearly.
Kemalism turns out not a permanent feature, but requires permanent support by the vigilant, both in and out of Turkey. Unfortunately, that stratum of Turkish society -- possibly 1/4 to 1/2 of the population -- that has benefited from the past 80 years of Kemalism seems to take its freedoms for granted. It needs to be reminded that, but for Mustafa Kemal, the Islamic Republic of Iran, or Iraq, or Syria, or Egypt, or Saudi Arabia, or Algeria, are the likely models for what Turkey could have been, and may yet be. The failure of some scholars of Turkey in the West, much lionized in Turkey, to emphasize both the benefits and the fragility of Kemalism, has not helped Turkish secularists. Instead of soberly recognizing the alternative, these too-complacent observers of "modern Turkey" have minimized what Kemalism achieved and underestimated also what the real situation was, for example, of non-Muslims in Ottoman Turkey. And their refusal to call the Jihad against the Armenians a "genocide" did not do Turkey any favors, even if it helped them retain old friends.
Turkey will not be admitted to the E.U. It will not be admitted because, at this point, given the behavior mainly of Arab Muslims (for does anyone doubt that it was the Arab influence that caused some Chechens to embrace not only the idea of Jihad, but all of the current methods being used to further it), Europeans have lost their stomach for parroting phrases about the religion of "peace" and "tolerance." They do not want to admit a country of 70 million Muslims, who would then move freely about Europe. They do not want Turkey admitted because it will be an easy conduit for non-Turkish Muslims to enter Europe, posing as Turks. They do not want Turkey admitted because many of the new member states of the EU will join Greece in opposition. In Bulgaria, if not elsewhere, the Bulgarian Massacres, and centuries of Ottoman rule, are remembered. And in Rumania. And in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, and so on.
Now it is up to the clear-sighted in the Western world, and the most clear-sighted secularists within Turkey as well, to prepare adequately for this rejection. This rejection will wound Turksih secularists. That is too bad. Something more important than their desires needs to be taken into account -- the needs of the Infidel lands and peoples. From the viewpoint of Infidels in Europe, such rejection is essential. For the argument that only by being admitted to the European Union can Turkey retain its "secular" cast, and if it is kept out it will promptly turn to Saudi Arabia, is hollow blackmail. Turkey needs Western tourists, it needs Western markets, it needs Western military aid. It has been pushing its luck with the United States. Those who make policy are beginning to realize that "Kemalism" is not a given, and therefore Turkey, as an ally, is not a given -- on either side.
What would such a preparation consist of? It would consist of an effort, starting now, to indicate that the Turks, in looking for those to blame, should blame the Arabs and other Muslims who have "blackened the reputation of all Muslims." Turks of the Kemalist school should even now start to worry aloud, in print and on television, about how the behavior of Muslims has led to second thoughts in Europe -- and why shouldn't it? In other words, the explanation for the rejection should put the blame squarely on those who have acted in the name of, and according to the tenets of, Islam.
The rejection should be used to further ends quite different from those that the party of Erdogan has in mind. If Turkey were to be admitted to the E.U., or if the process were in place that seemed to be leading to such admission, the forces pushing Islam within Turkey would use that to strengthen the anti-Kemalist forces in Turkey. Erdogan, for example, has cleverly used the "requirements" imposed by the E.U. to weaken the army's hold, and the army, everyone understands, is the final guarantor of Kemalism. Instead, the E.U. should use every conceivable condition, crafted carefully, to weaken Islam in Turkey further, and to encourage those secularists, who may make up one-quarter of the Turkish population, to rededicate themselves to secularism -- aware that they did not over the past half century do enough to extend Kemalism and their own numbers.
In this respect, they are akin to those Iranian leftists who misperceived the permanent threat and power of Islam, the ones who thought they could remove the Shah and then deal with Khomeini afterwards. They were wrong. They learned too late that there is no "dealing with Khomeini" or anyone else who can manipulate the power of Islam in a Muslim state; they would have done better to save the Shah's regime and to make all efforts to have reformed it from within. Instead, they have had 25 years of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Surely those Turks who are now Western in outlook, even if they continue to call themselves "Muslim," realize that Erdogan is up to something, and that something is obvious, and that something needs to be opposed through the presentation of coherent argument.
Above all, any joining in his campaign to "blame the Christian West" for not permitting Turkey into the E.U. should be opposed. Blame Bin Laden, blame 9/11, Madrid, Beslan, blame the maghrebins who rioted in France, blame a thousand other attacks and ten thousand would-be attacks all over the world, blame the behavior of the Finsbury Mosque imam, blame the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia, blame the content of the khutbas in Riyadh, Jiddah, and elsewhere that are now known throughout the Western world, blame the actual content of Qur'an and Hadith and Sira -- but whatever is done, make sure that secularism in Turkey does not suffer as Erdogan intends for it to suffer. In other words, make sure the blame falls squarely on Muslims who have been "too Muslim." In other words, blame Islam.