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What do you mean 'is starting' ?

Reader comment on item: Is Turkey's Government Starting a Muslim Reformation?

Submitted by alex (Cyprus), Aug 6, 2008 at 09:00

Not 'starting' - 'has started'. As far as I can tell Ataturk only set up a 'secular' state because he reckoned he could control the army but not the imams. Turkey has always been an Islamic nation and anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves. It's just that now they have the confidence in an increasingly Islamicised world to come clean about it.

I live in Cyprus and it is true that , in the occupied north, Christian churches have been demolished and desecrated while, ironically, in Larnaca (in the legal republic) an ancient mosque in the Muslim quarter of the old town is being beautifully restored as part of Cyprus' history. It is also true that the invading Turkish army has painted an enormous Turkish flag on the side of a mountain overlooking the capital as a calculated insult.

However, I don't see how we can talk about Turkey's record of invasion and barbarity without mentioning the role of their NATO partners America and Britain. In 1974, at the time of the invasion of Cyprus (precipitated by a Greek-inspired coup against Makarios) these nations had advance intelligence on what was going to happen and did nothing. It seems that strategic value outranks international law and morality. Even if the Turks had had a legitimate reason to 'protect Turkish-Cypriots' the UN should have insisted on them leaving the country as soon as the emergency was over. But no.

I suspect the rationale was that it was better to let this powerful military ally do what it wanted - better to have them in our tent p***ing out than outside p***ing in. Since then the population of the occupied zone has been artificially increased by thousands upon thousands of settlers from Turkey (some unwilling) who have no claim to Cypriot ancestry whatsover. This is very subtle. In the event of a democratic solution the Turks would be able to exert control over this country by means of sheer weight of voting numbers.

The economy of the north is tied to that of Turkey so that a once-prosperous area is impoverished and conditions there are abysmal. But still the western powers close their eyes to the continuing invasion of a fellow member of the EU. Wonder if it would be the same story if this were France or somewhere else on their own doorstep?

I fear the same will happen with Turkish accession to the EU. Pressure will be brought to let them in on the spurious grounds that they are a secular nation and a bastion against the spread of Islam. What rot!. As far as I am concerned there is nothing, NOTHING, european about Turkey. Not geographically, socially, historically or culturally. They should be kept out at all costs until they do actually become more european and that means ditching state-abetted Islam for a start. It could be equally said that Cyprus is not geographically european either but in its case there is a common culture (through the Greeks, Franks, Venetians and British), a recognisably western legal system - based on English Common Law and a common Christian religion.

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