We are Witnessing the Muslim's Brotherhood Take on Turkish Foreign Policy
I am often asked these days why
The AKP was born out of the Welfare Party (RP), the motherboard of Turkish Islamists since the 1980s. Islamism in
When RP came to power in a coalition government in 1996 it attempted to implement this Turkish Muslim Brotherhood agenda, but was opposed by a secular, pro-western bloc, which included various media outlets, opposition parties, NGOs, businesses and the military. When massive
demonstrations and a well-coordinated public relations campaign brought the party down in 1997, the European Union and the
The Islamists drew a valuable lesson from this experience as they rebranded themselves, turning away from the six-pronged Muslim Brotherhood agenda to become more likeable and gain popular support. The AKP emerged out of this rebranding in 2001 as it declared that it had jettisoned the six elements of the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood ideology.
In 2002, when the AKP came to power, the world and Turks alike celebrated the victory as a first instance of the Islamists
Yet the AKP did not forget its roots: once in power, it followed a two-pronged strategy to eliminate the domestic and external pressures that drove the RP from power in 1997. The party promoted EU accession while simultaneously cracking down on internal checks and balances, and maintained good ties with the West while nurturing anti-Western sentiments at home.
In due course the party successfully neutered the domestic forces that had forced its predecessor to step down from power. It used legal loopholes to pass the media into the hands of its supporters, resulting in half of the Turkish media falling into the hands of pro-AKP businesses and the rest facing massive putative tax fines. Large, secular Turkish businesses fear the AKP
Just as it has nearly eliminated domestic checks, the AKP has also paralyzed external checks to its power. Although the party maintained amiable ties with
Fast forward to the Anatolian Eagle incident. After paralyzing domestic opposition and planting the seeds of anti-Western sentiments in Turkish society, the AKP now feels free from the checks and balances that have traditionally forced
We are witnessing the Muslim
This piece was also published in BitterLemons International.
Soner Cagaptay is a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the author of Islam, Secularism and Nationalism in Modern
This article was first published on October 22, 2009 in The Daily Star.
Comment on this item
by Samuel Westrop
In the West, the Arabization of Muslim communities has occurred with government assistance, which, through imposed policies of multiculturalism in the name of diversity, has effected the destruction of South Asian culture.
by Soeren Kern
The problem of Islam in public schools has been allowed to snowball to vast proportions... not hundreds but thousands of British schools have come under the influence of Muslim radicals.
Bains was also instructed to stop teaching citizenship classes because they were deemed to be "un-Islamic," and to introduce Islamic studies into the curriculum, even though Saltley is a non-faith school.
Schools should not be allowed to become "silos of segregation." — Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister
by Peter Martino
Europe's biggest failure vis-à-vis Turkey is another example of its unwillingness to face unwelcome truths: that whenever Islamists go into politics, they never turn out to be moderates.
EU leaders are now, belatedly, coming to realize that Erdogan is not their friend.
by Timon Dias
"Both materially, and in essence, sovereignty unconditionally and always belongs to Allah." — Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister, Turkey.
What is surprising is that so many Western politicians, including EU-minded ones, apparently still ignore what the consequences could be of such an ideology. Do they really assume it could never happen to them?
by Gordon G. Chang
The second thing we get wrong about China is that it is safe to ignore periodic Chinese threats to incinerate our cities and wage war on us. They employ salami-slicing tactics, as with Scarborough Shoal... so that they do not invite retaliation.
If we cannot say these things clearly and publicly, the Chinese will think we are afraid of them. If they think we are afraid of them, they will act accordingly.
Chinese leaders do not distrust us because they have insufficient contact with us. They distrust us because they see themselves as protectors of an ideology threatened by free societies.
- US Government Promoting Islam in Czech Republic
by Soeren Kern
- Iran Plans to Hang Reyhaneh Jabbari Tuesday
by Shabnam Assadollahi
- China on the Edge
by Gordon G. Chang
- British Woman May Face Execution in Iran for Insulting Islam
by Shadi Paveh
- UK: Probe of Islamic Takeover Plot Widens
by Soeren Kern