A reader sent a link to a news story that quotes a member of parliament, from Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP], as saying that the Paris attacks were "staged."
The MP was implying a "false flag" operation carried out by non-Muslims and aimed at defaming Muslims. The reader sent an accompanying note:
"He is right. I staged the Paris attack. I killed the miners in Turkey. I stopped Muslim scientists from receiving Nobel prizes. I created ISIL and now I'm undermining the government in Turkey to stop it from becoming a superpower. It's been a very busy year. It's amazing what one semi-retired, 57-year-old Jew from northern Queensland [Australia] can do."
When that reader sent the message, the Turkish absurdity over the Paris massacres was relatively "shy." After he confessed to his evil plans, Turkey's Islamists turned more creative.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who had earlier claimed that "Islam was the fundamental element in the European continent," geared up to claim that "Islam is Europe's fundamental religion." At the current pace of Turkish Sunni supremacism, Davutoglu -- a professor of political science by profession, mind you -- can soon claim Islam is Japan's and America's fundamental religion too.
Apparently, for Davutoglu, the real problem of violence in Europe is not Islamist terror but Islamophobia. Davutoglu said that he would like to see a rally, like Sunday's solidarity march in Paris, to be organized against Islamophobia. He should not worry. If a bunch of fanatic Europeans murdered Muslim cartoonists because they had drawn blasphemous caricatures ridiculing Christianity or Judaism (or atheism), Europeans will exhibit the same solidarity and defend free speech.
Bur Davutoglu's self-ridicule was dwarfed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's "not-even-sky-is-the-limit" absurdity. He condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for "daring" to attend the Paris march, and accused him of leading "state terrorism" against the Palestinians.
According to the Turkish president, Netanyahu "had no right to be there after the deaths of 2,500 Palestinians in Israel's onslaught on Gaza this summer."
Erdogan's Islamist thinking and the way he expresses it is more problematic than Davutoglu's. Erdogan bluntly blames the West for the Paris massacre. "The West's hypocrisy is obvious. As Muslims, we've never taken part in terrorist massacres. Behind these lie racism, hate speech and Islamophobia," he said. Then he, once again, reverted to his usual "my-tribe-is-perfect-and-only-yours-is-bad" rhetoric, but this time in an even cheaper way: "French citizens carry out such a massacre and Muslims pay the price." Erdogan notoriously has the habit of labeling people at his convenience. The Muslim French citizens who carried out the Paris attacks are simply "French citizens." No doubt, if they were notable scientists creating inventions for humanity, Erdogan would call them "noble Muslim men."
Erdogan is trying to sell a product that only finds buyers in his own country and in a few Middle Eastern capitals: self-delusion around the theme of Sunni Islam's "perfection." Elsewhere, in more decent parts of the world, his rhetoric, reminiscent of that of Goebbels, does not sell any more. Commenting in Time Magazine, Karl Vick wrote:
"the Turkish presence was incredibly awkward. Though the Paris march honored journalists killed in the attack on the monthly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Turkey currently has more reporters in jail, 40, than any other country, even Iran and China. And the country's increasingly autocratic president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has a particular problem with editorial cartoons: He's repeatedly sued Turkish cartoonists, claiming damages for being portrayed variously as a giraffe, a monkey, and an elephant. In 2011 the German ambassador to the country was summoned to the Foreign Ministry after a Berlin newspaper printed a panel showing Erdogan's name on a doghouse."
In Turkey, though, Erdogan, Davutoglu & Co. do more damage through their political associates and the Islamic clergy. The AKP mayor of Ankara, Melih Gokcek, theorized the Paris attacks as resulting from a recent vote at the lower house of French parliament for the recognition of a Palestinian state, and France's vote in favor of a UN Security Council resolution calling for the same recognition. Gokcek said:
"Israel certainly doesn't want this sentiment to expand in Europe. That's why it is certain that Mossad is behind these kinds of incidents. Mossad enflames Islamophobia by causing such incidents."
Smart Muslims don't get fooled by Israel's intelligence apparatus!
The Turkish clergy is no exception. Days after the Paris massacre, Turkey's top cleric, Professor (another professor!) Mehmet Gormez commented: "The humanity that remains silent over the murders of 12 million people in the Islamic geography now rises against the murder of 12 people ... we are watching that warily."
There is no way to know how Professor Gormez reached that number -- 12 million. Where, when and which 12 million Muslims were killed. But, supposing the number is correct, it is not difficult to guess who killed those 12 million Muslims.
Burak Bekdil, based in Ankara, is a Turkish columnist for the Hürriyet Daily and a Fellow at the Middle East Forum.