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Summing up: Islamists in Turkey are genetically bred to constantly gnaw and chew at the pillars and foundation of the secular Republic of Turkey

Reader comment on item: Crisis in Turkey

Submitted by Lazman (United States), Apr 26, 2010 at 10:05

One of the main pillars is the Turkish military, the guardian of secularism, which is clearly a target by the Islamists with a simple premise that the weaker the military, the faster the Islamization of the country.

In Turkey, coups were conducted to protect the public and peace, not to push an agenda. The Islamists would like to project the image of Turkish Military as the "brutal junta". This kind of brainwashing works well with the ignorant Islamist masses or may work for those who are ill informed of what happened during this period.

A little background on what led to the first coup in 1960. Then PM Menderes, in fact, used religion as a tool and campaigned on the platform of legalizing the Arabic language as call to prayer, which had been banned, was in Turkish. Although he is quoted as saying "Governments that do their work well should have no reason to be afraid of freedom of the press" prior to elections, when the economic programs began to fail, his anger turned towards those who criticized him. Many journalists were jailed and he outlawed political meetings and even passed a bill that allowed police to shoot into the crowd of unauthorized meetings. Basically he became a tyrant. Following the coup, the 1961 constitution ended up being one of the most liberal. It brought the independent judiciary, the constitutional court, the right to strike, etc.

The 1980 coup was a direct consequence of incompetent and dangerous politicians following the chaos of 1970s. During 1970s and at the height of the cold war, there was armed conflict between the leftists and nationalists in Turkey that resulted in dozens of people being killed every day in 1979-1980. The politicians could not elect a president for months, inflation was in 3-digits, the country was bankrupt, daily assassinations and killings of 30-40 people were becoming the norm. The public was afraid to go outside, worried for their safety. Turkish people were in fact looking to the military to solve the unbearable crisis or the civil war in their country. The government was even warned of an upcoming coup months in advance. Further, the US government not only supported the military coup, which turned out to be a major mistake, but many believe they were also informed of the exact date in advance.

This coup resulted in the more authoritarian constitution of 1982. Unfortunately, the ugly byproduct of the 1980 coup aftermath was the total suppression of the socialist/leftist and nationalist movements and the bold rise of Islamism in Turkey. Maybe the current Islamist AKP government wishes they could use the military as the guardians of an Islamic Republic as in next door in Iran.

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