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The 4 Pillars of Turkey's Islamization (1990-2010)

Reader comment on item: Erdoğan's Turkish Delight

Submitted by G Marcus (United States), Nov 27, 2019 at 00:41


Prior to the more recent reorientation of Saudi foreign policies, Wahhabi ideology and tens of billions of Saudi green capital stood at the foundation of political Islam's emergence in Turkey. President Gul himself spent 8 years at the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah planning for the initiative, and was sent back in 1991 to Turkey with an open checkbook to launch the political Islam movement in the country under the leadership of Necmettin Erbakan. AKP later emerged as the "pragmatist" wing of Erbakan's movement.


Starting with the 1990s, influential "Arabist" circles within US intelligence and foreign policy communities pushed for the so-called "Moderate" Islam (or "Democratic" Islam) model in Turkey, in alliance with the Islamist Gulen movement whose supreme leader they helped harbor in the US. Considered the brains behind creation of Jihadist militias that defeated the Soviets in Afghanistan - forces that later morphed into the Taliban and El-Qaeda - former CIA Kabul chief Graham Fuller's work as head of RAND Corporation's Middle East Department, spearheaded this effort. Here are a few quotes from Fuller's extensive 2004 article that can be considered an Islamist manifesto for Turkey:

The prospect of Turkey developing further in the direction it is currently headed — politically, with its neighbors, in managing a democratic form of political Islam — is more likely to contribute to a stable region in the long term than a Turkey that conducts its foreign policy as a U.S. proxy as it has largely done in the past. An independent-minded Turkey will encounter periodic friction with the United States, but this need not be damaging.
[AKP rule is] the product of an evolving Turkish Islamist tradition that has grown ever more moderate as it has moved closer to the realities of politics and the requirements of pragmatism, especially under the watchful eye of the militant secularism of the army and old elite structure.
Similarly, the largest popular movement in Turkey, the Nur movement (and its largest and most prominent branch, the movement of Fethullah Gulen), springs out of the same traditional Anatolian heartland and propounds an apolitical, highly tolerant, and open regeneration of Islam focused on education, democracy, tolerance, and the formation of civil society based on the moral principles of Islam.


A close Cold War accessory to covert US operations toward Islamic subversion within Turkic populations of the Soviet Union, and currently based in a secluded Pennsylvania estate, Fethullah Gulen and his movement, have been operating under virtual US protection and cooperation for years. Under US political and intelligence support and prior to the purges by Erdogan, Gulen's adherents had achieved unprecedented Islamist prominance within Turkey's police and internal security apparatus, media, business, education, and government circles, thus laying the ground for the emergence of AKP's virtual stranglehold over the country.


Driven by the above US Arabist camp that pushed for Turkey's "Moderate" Islam agenda, and supported by the EU's pro-Arab and multiculturalist political left, this process was instrumental in introducing governmental reforms that served to handcuff the military for a critical period of 10-15 years. AKP never intended to use the process for any true accession to the EU. The deception was solely geared to generate a moratorium on military intervention while forces of Islamization could take root. In an Orwellian twist, we can safely say that Turkey's Europeanization process in actual fact represents the country's "Islamization" process!


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