Some time ago I had an interesting exchange with the self-described “liberal Muslim” Mustafa Akyol, after he declared his support for the jihad flotilla that Turkey sent against Israel. The Turkish columnist Burak Bekdil has characterized the “liberal” Akyol as a pro-Sharia, pro-Erdogan Islamic supremacist. But undoubtedly a sly one. Bekdil says that Akyol is working to further “Islamists’ global ambition to play the modern day, Muslim Trojan Horse at the gates of western civilization.”
Consistent with that, Akyol here says that an Islamic Turkey is coming and that Turkish secularism cannot be salvaged, but that Israelis shouldn’t be concerned: as long as they stop defending themselves against the Gaza jihadists and jihad flotillas, all will be well.
It would be refreshing if the many, many Americans who were taken in a few years back by Akyol’s “moderate” act would reconsider now. But I am not holding my breath.
“Which Turks hate Israel most,” by Mustafa Akyol in HÃ¼rriyet Daily News, June 17 (thanks to Joshua):
[…] The Turkish picture about Israel, in other words, is not black-and-white. We are not divided between Israel-hating Islamics and Israel-loving seculars.
ErdoÄŸan’s party, for that matter, is somewhere between the Saadet and the GÃ¼len Movement, if we put these in a spectrum and closer to the latter rather than the former. Most Israelis, who really are not in a love affair with ErdoÄŸan, might find that hard to believe, but they should recall that the AKP leader had pretty good relations with the Jewish State until the end of 2008, when “Operation Cast Lead” began killing hundreds of innocents in Gaza. ErdoÄŸan and his team passionately care for their Muslim brethren in Palestine, just like many American Jews care for theirs in Israel. Besides, they can not just sleep over the killing of nine Turks in international waters by Israeli soldiers, which has become a matter of national pride. But they ultimately support a two-state solution, and can be quite helpful in building it.
So, here is a friendly advice to Israeli policy makers and their advisors: Stop dreaming about the days when Turkey will become hyper-secular again. Those days are gone and Turkey”s Muslim identity is here to stay. But it might not be as bad as you fear, especially if you try to build bridges and reconsider some of your hawkish and intimidating policies.
Shouldn’t the Palestinian jihadists try to build bridges and reconsider some of their hawkish and intimidating policies? For some reason, Akyol doesn’t get around to calling for that.