To all those who were sympathetic to the protests in Turkey, it can sometimes feel like you're living in a different world from your opponents. After all, the media portrays you as artistic freedom loving environmentalist freedom fighters. They tell you time and time again that this is the Turkish spring and that you are the voice of the new young and free Turks leading your country back from the abyss of an autocratic and out of touch dictator. So why don't the others see this? How could they possibly support Erdogan? Well, here are a few reasons (in no particular order) that I hope might help you understand why the majority of the Muslim world support Erdogan and not your protests.

1. Because the support of Islamophobes troubles us

To even the most jaded Muslim, it is disconcerting to see the whole-hearted support that the protesters have received from the who's who of the neo-conservative and Islamophobic worlds. Most of these people have never once expressed an interest in Turkey except to decry any attempts for the nation to get more in touch with Islam. The fact that Robert Spencer (compared Muslims to Nazis), Pamella Geller (says Mecca and Madinah can be bombed), the Greek government (won't allow the building of mosques) and Israel (no introduction needed) think that the protests are a good idea should make you reflect on exactly what they hope the protests will achieve.

2. Because the bias shown by the Western media is suspicious

Point 2 - because the bias shown by the Western media The protesters were understandably upset when their actions didn't make it on to all the Turkish TV stations. In fact, one of the abiding themes of the protest has been centered around the farce of one station showing a documentary on penguins instead of the protests. However, exactly the opposite situation took hold outside of Turkey with most Western media outlets giving non-stop rolling coverage of the protests and hastily dubbing it the “Turkish spring.” The bias was so stark that there was hardly any attempt at finding the opinion of the pro-Erdogan public. Add to this the complete lack of coverage of similar protests in Bangladesh (this time the protesters were Islamic orientated and thousands were actually killed during a media blackout) and you get more than a whiff of hypocrisy at play.

3. Because of the breath-taking hypocrisy of others

point 3 - beacause of breathtaking hypocrisy

The European Union and others have quickly stood up to berate Turkey and Erdogan for the way they have handled the protests. It is true that the death of protesters (and a policeman) is unjustifiable and tragic. But Europe and America have had their fair share of protests in the past few years and they have dealt with them in a remarkably similar manner. Whether it is the anti-austerity riots in Athens, the Occupy protest on Wall Street or the student riots in London, the playbook has been exactly the same. So why have Turkey and Erdogan being singled out for criticism? Can it be that there is another agenda at play here? Many of us fear this is the case.

4. Because Erdogan made Turkey a force once more

For those with short memories, it was not long ago that Turkey was a backwater of Europe. It was the country of doner kebabs, belly dancers, military coups and spiralling inflation. It was a nation that was rejected by the West despite desperately trying to be part of it and rejecting the East because of its reminder of an Empire long gone. But in the last ten years, Erdogan has managed to pull off a remarkable transformation of the reputation of Turkey and the Turks both in the East and the West. It is now well respected as much for its economic development as the moral leadership it provides in the Islamic world. Today, Turkey sits near the top of the world stage as a voice to be reckoned with, a force in the world rather than a page in the history books. Trying to turn back the clock seems, at best, myopic.

5. Because some things can't be measured

Point 5 Because some things cannot be measured

Even his most ardent critics have to admit that Erdogan and his colleagues have transformed Turkey from an economic laughing stock to one of the most powerful economies in the world. The stats are impressive: Reducing inflation from 65% to 6%, increasing the education budget 5 fold, repaying the IMF debt and making Turkey into one of the worlds leading tourist destinations are just some of the many achievements that would have been a dream a little more than 10 years ago. This is not just idle boasting. These results are concrete proof of a lack of corruption, enviable business acumen and true loyalty to the nation. The financial success is hard to overstate with many Turks (especially the rural majority) having adequate education, healthcare and social mobility within reach for the first time in generations. The only people who can so easily discount and trivialise this achievement are the upper classes who are comically displaying how out of touch they are with the previous suffering of the masses.

6. Because Hundreds of Millions across the world admire him

Point 6 Because hundreds of millions admire him

For more than 400 years, Turkey was the leader of the Muslim world. For reasons that are beyond the scope of this article, that relationship broke down spectacularly. In the last ten years, this has changed. When Muslims feel themselves abandoned in a tough situation, one of the few Muslim leaders who can be relied on to give moral support is Erdogan. Ask the Bangladeshi scholars who are on death row on politically motivated charges. Ask the Rohingya refugees who were visited by the Turkish Foreign Minister and Erdogan's wife. Ask the Palestinians who he has pledged to support when others shun them. Ask the Egyptians, Tunisians and Libyans who Erdogan was one of the first Muslim leaders to speak up for. Ask the Syrian refugees who find safe haven in Turkey thanks to Erdogan taking a brave and quick stand against his former strategic ally. Erdogan has won the admiration and the love of Muslims across the world. When we see the protesters saying that this man is a fascist, it is a description that we not only do not recognise, but find deeply offensive.

7. Because the pious majority will not be oppressed any more

point7 Because the pious majority will not be oppressed anymore

The Turkish protesters may feel themselves to be the underdogs at the present time, but they should not forget that for more than 80 years it was they that held power in Turkey. During these 80 years, the treatment that the pious majority of Turks received can only be described as oppression. Turning mosques into museums, banning adhaans, banning the Fez, closing medressas – the scope of the oppression was wide ranging and all pervasive. To give you just one example – Erdogan's wife herself could not attend many functions in the early years of his rule simply because she wore a hijab. To give you another, the popular mayor of Istanbul (Erdogan) was jailed for simply reciting an Islamic poem. Where were the howls of protest then? Where was the indignation? In fact, we see the protesters engaged in glimpses of the same behaviour by the way they have vandalised and desecrated Mosques during their protests. The truth is that the majority of Turks are slowly turning back to a more natural and comfortable relationship with their faith and their fellow believers. They will not accept living in a state of fear and intimidation by the kemalists, communists or '-ists' of any kind.

Not everything Erdogan does is good or right. He is a politician and like other politicians, his calculations are not above criticism or censure. If those protesting in Turkey today want to save a few trees in Istanbul, then they will find that many will support them and be sympathetic towards their cause. They may even succeed. If, however, they want to bring down the most successful (by almost any measure) and popular democratically elected government that the Turkish people have had in more than a century, then they will fail. The message from the pious majority of Turks is clear. Your time is over. We are all Erdogan now.

66 Responses

  1. AyseBlogosphere

    Turkey loves Erdogan hes one of the best leaders of this century. The media is drawing an extremely false picture, for example they didnt show the support gathering for Erdogan yesterday with 2Mio. people (!!!!) . RTE <3

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  2. HRH (@ascrh)

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    • Ubaid Seth

      That’s not very nice. I’m sure you can word your arguments better than insulting. You may have some great points but your remarks devalued them. On a side note – Indian tandoorees sound really good about now. (lunchtime!)

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      • Dominick

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    • Ismail

      Your attempts at insulting the author backfired pretty badly. Everyone likes tandoori!

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  3. broAhmed

    I agree with many of the points you have listed and do think that many outside of Turkey would prefer to see Erdogan and the AKP party go away because of their work to bring Islam back into the public sphere. However, I’m not sure that excuses the government’s response to the Taksim protesters. Why not engage them in dialogue instead of tear gassing them?

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    • hammadbutt

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    • Dominick

      Basically, there would have been no purpose in dialoging with the protesters because it was already clear what he wanted to do, which was for the national government to build a big mosque which would celebrate the Ottoman period in the past. This is truly sad. For one, the vast majority of Turks are Muslim so there are plenty of mosques already. Why, possibly, would the government need to be involved? For another, the Ottoman Empire failed for good reason and Turkey is better to be a republic as well. In short, while respecting the efforts made by past generations as well as the good that it did, Turks should be glad the Empire is no more.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/24/world/europe/mosque-dream-seen-at-heart-of-turkey-protests.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

      Locally, there was no need or desire in the city to destroy a park, one of the city’s few, liked by people as a park as well as those who appreciate nature.

      Here, Turkey’s prime minister truly misread the ‘push-back’ that his unilateral decisions and actions would result in, which makes me doubt his abilities as a politician.

      Below you can read a post which excellent describes why it was that the ‘normal route’ of putting the issue before a court and/or before the public (local plebiscite) wasn’t an option at the time it was proposed. True, the prime minister reversed course — which should tell you something, right — but by the time police forces have KILLED unarmed protesters, it’s too late.

      I predict that:
      1) We are witnessing the beginning of the end of the prime minister’s political career; 2) the next prime minister, although referencing the Muslim tradition’s major role in Turkey’s life, will be less anxious use religion to make political decisions / will be more ‘open’ to the Turks who value Turkish secularism; 3) Turkey will be anxious to be more concerned with itself than its neighbors, and all of their difficulties, than at present; and that 4) the Turkish economy will remain strong, albeit with typical ups and downs.

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    • Meral

      There were many protestors with good will but the terrorists hijacked our protests. Sure Erdoğan is always open to dialogue and he invited many artists who were involved in the protests and he talked with them. He talked to many artists to promote the peace talks with terrorists also, he also used the artists to start a nation wide campaign for Somalia. He also had dialogue with our Alevi people even though he never gets votes from them but he did a lot for them for opening new religious houses as they need and now a new mosque and an Alevi house will operate side by side as a symbol of brotherhood. He invites the other parties to dialogue instead of pushing them. This protest has slipped out of the hands of common Turkish people and some political parties condemned it and called their voters not to support it. Some of the dead people in the protests were terror organisation members and they were attacking the police, it was recorded very clearly by the way. And yes as a part of this world, non -Türks have a say about what’s going on in our country cause we are brothers with everyone. I am sorry for the commentor who made nasty comments as if tandoorie eating is something backwards and by the way we also have ” Tandır ” in our culture probably connecting to yours. Selam to all

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  4. Layla Idman

    Masha’Allah, great article and very informative. I don’t agree with the way that Erdogan is handling the protests, but many people aren’t willing to dig beneath the surface and look at what he’s done to reform Turkey.

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  5. Mezba

    A great article. A good historical comparison is Ayub Khan’s Pakistan. Ayub Khan was leading Pakistan on a trend upwards, both economically, militarily and education-wise. Yet some corrupt players, coupled with petty domestic disputes and a ever conspiring military, derailed Pakistan so much that they broke up. The neocons want the same thing to happen to Turkey.

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    • Amin Kenji

      I just noticed the communist symbol sprayed on the wall of the Mosque in the middle picture..

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      • Michael Ellison

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  6. Omar

    Here’s another point which overlaps with a lot of what was written above but maybe deserves its own category:
    Muslims need leaders that will help us to harmonize our religious practice with the modern world we live in. Muslim people will never follow the Western path of discarding religion and therefore we need to find a new way forward and cannot just copy the West nor can we follow the example of other, failed Muslim countries. We need to enter into modernity and take our religion with us. Erdogan and Turkey in general are at the forefront of that push.

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    • Dominick

      I don’t know if there’s such a way given the particulars. You could try to have secularism as well as an ‘established religion’ in government, but it might not work out.

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    • Dominick

      The ‘West’, whatever that is, hasn’t discarded religion. The US, for instance, is FULL of religious people, of all religions. It’s a matter of personal, private choice. The government may not favor nor disfavor any particular religion. Socially, Americans will not tolerate another American or group of American imposing their religion on them or preventing them from practicing their own religion. Our system, which is rooted in individualism with extension into the protection of minority rights, has worked extremely well for over 200 years, so is worth a ‘look-see’ by other countries.

      ‘Modernity’ in Western Europe was not merely something related to technology or the economy. It involved, necessarily, some degree of ‘separation of church and state’, that is separation of religion from government. The first ‘move’ was when King Henry V decided to make himself head of the Catholics in England instead of waiting for a decision from the Pope, the Catholic equivalent, to some degree of the Caliph of Caliphates past. Things ‘devolved’ from then on, over time.

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  7. Hassan

    Just out of curiosity, do you have to explicitly state in article that this is your personal view only and not representative of muslimmatters, or is it implied by default?

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    • Michael Ellison

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  8. Mustafa Rumi

    I thank Muhammad Wajid Akhter for writing this truthful representation of what is happening in Turkey. If we are to overcome this obvious neo-colonial and international smear campaign against our prime minister Erdogan, against the voters of the Ak Party and the pious Muslims of Turkey, it is partly with the help of people like you who try to spread the truth and dispel the disinformation and the propaganda.

    The smear campaign, coupled with the often-violent protests, is a propaganda-war of attrition. It is aimed at overthrowing our government with a pre-Ak Party type of secularist oligarchy of most major tycoons, high level judges and army generals who will no doubt restart oppressing the Muslims of Turkey tremendously. Actually their oppression, especially that of the high level judges, has not been totally eradicated despite the best efforts of the Ak Party but many gains have been attained through the gradual efforts of the Ak Party and of our prime minister alhamdulillah. The protestors are especially angry with these gains made by Muslims who try to be pious. They want us to remain their underdogs and pariahs for all eternity.

    May Allah/God help you and us in all our affairs pertaining to the deen, the dunya and the akhirah.

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    • Michael Ellison

      I think it is the divisive nature of Erdogan’s discourse that is so difficult to swallow for the overwhelmingly peaceful protestors who are every day themselves the recipients of nasty verbal attacks by Erdogan he has yet to apologize for, even though they represent a good portion of the mainstream of Turkish society. This, in addition to massive violence inflicted by a police force that is never held to account for its massive abuses. It is very worrying for the future of Turkey that Erdogan of late *only* addresses those he sees as pious AKP followers in his speeches, marginalizing nearly everyone else–including those Muslims who are fed up with this needless polarization and violence.

      It is very well to debate this in terms of ideologies, but 5 dead, 10′s blinded, two teenagers in comas as of yesterday, and over 7800 wounded, with doctors, lawyers and academicians being manhandled and arrested would be enough to make just about anyone consider a change. The ‘smears’ have not been inflicted on Turkey by the protesters or the foreign press who merely report what they see, but by Erdogan’s bullying and the acts of the police themselves. The Prime Minister has no one but himself to blame.

      The strong (and clever) reactions of the protesters come from a simple, very human place: this is not about ideology or religion, but about fundamental respect for human dignity and life, as well as the idea that ‘there is no compulsion in religion.’ A majority of the protesters are young and apolitical; they don’t want coups or a return to the old guard, either, and actually most would probably be happy to see Erdogan continue on his way if he were in any way ready to listen and at least attempt to represent all his people, rather than dividing them always into Muslim and secular, right and left, Sunni/Alevi and so on. It is tempting to simplify this into a picture of who is Muslim and who is not, as Erdogan would have it, but that only obscures the real issues. Turkey is a Muslim country in any case. A beautiful picture came out today showing one pious protestor, whose placard reads:

      “My head is covered, but not my eyes, Tayyip.”

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      • Abu Asiyah

        With all due respect, I’m finding the pro-opposition points hard to swallow. I’m trying to be neutral (being a non-Turk and having never been there, although I do have a lot of Turkish friends if that counts), but while I fully understand and sympathize with the pro-Erdogan side, I’m having difficulty understanding what the protests are even about.

        First they were over the park, but now even the opposition admits that it’s not about the park anymore. So now it’s about police brutality. Ok, fair enough, I’m not sure what Erdogan is gaining by cracking down so hard on the protesters. But if it’s about police brutality, then this becomes a chicken and egg problem – what were the huge protests all about before the police crackdown happened?

        I do hear the opposition claiming that Erdogan is Islamisizing the country, but with all due respect I haven’t heard how exactly. The anti-alcohol laws? Harsher ones exist in the US state I live in. Allowing headscarves in public places? Once again, a right that Muslim women have in all US universities. People mention his divisive speech, but that’s problematic in and of itself. The US politics are full of divisive speech (often based in religion) by the politicians up top. In fact, we have whole news channels devoted to dividing up the public opinion. While people generally dislike this, you don’t see mass protests over this issue here.

        And I still haven’t heard a proper opposition explanation of the defacement of mosques, of the whole beer-bottle barrier thing, etc. How is this stuff not divisive? How is this an acceptable form of protest? You do realize that defacing a house of worship is jail-worthy under US law, for example?

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      • Michael Ellison

        Good questions.

        Just to clarify: The original protests had 100 people in them. Only after the first disproportionate use of force against the original park sit-in did masses go out in the streets to support them. A much larger group was again being gassed (police aim directly at heads in Turkey, there is no comparison to the US and other ‘civilized countries’ in Turkey’s use of these ‘non-lethal technologies’) until the police (wisely) decided to pull out of Taksim. The vandalism occurred as a knee-jerk reaction to this. With two people already reported seriously wounded or dead, youth burned up police vehicles and dumpsters and built barricades all around to block police’s return. With this came the graffiti you see–there is nothing directed against mosques here, they just happen to be in the middle of a very dense urban area that had turned into a war zone!

        The Turkish media was so slow to report anything, that the way it appeared to anyone not actually there or following twitter, was that there had been vandalism first, and the police had come in to crack down on that. Nothing could be further from the truth. SInce those first days the movement has become much more mainstream, and forms of resistance more and more peaceful. Protesters are now being arrested for ‘resisting the police by standing silently’.

        About divisive speech: There is a big difference in the effects of divisive speech when it is immediately backed up by a police force like that. Add to that that they have no accountability. There is no comparison with the US in this respect. One doesn’t fear telling the truth in the US, writing an article, or going to a demonstration to voice your beliefs. The other grievances which made the park issue ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ are so numerous it would be impossible to list here. I’ll just provide one link as an example. The Guardian (UK) has a reasonably good selection of articles on Turkey in Engish, including a response from Erdogan’s AKP you can judge for yourself!

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2012/mar/13/turkey-enlightenment-journalists-prisons

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  9. dtruth

    For someone replying to an article that is basically asking people to be aware of a larger agenda and not to believe media propaganda you seem willing to swallow the propaganda when it suits you. There is not a western path or an eastern path but a one world path and far from countries in the western world discarding religion rather it has faced longer the media campaign to create and nourish this less than accurate picture. I am mostly surrounded by people of many faiths practicing them to varying degrees.

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  10. albania

    masonic orders and sionist’s are the one who want to step down erdogan brothers,,, they don’t like an strong islamic country ,,, but allah will punish them one day,,, all what we need to do is pray to allah for helping erdogan to clean up this stupid people who are making troubles in turkye

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  11. Abdullah

    http://thedefiance.co/what-is-happening-in-turkey/

    “Before I begin with what is actually happening in Turkey, there are some facts which need to be cleared first to gain an insight into the current political upheaval.
    Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the Prime Minister of Turkey since 2003. He was educated at Imam Hatip School, an institute that is still frowned upon by the elite and anti religion establishment of Turkey, as it was founded on a religious ideology. In 1999 he was imprisoned for reciting a poem in public in which he criticized Turkish government for its failures. After that he established the current ruling party i.e. AK Party, also known as ‘Justice and Development Party’.
    In his first term he won the election with a majority of 34 %, in his second term he won with a 47% majority and in the third term he won by 49.8%. For the first time in 52 years, a party in power had bagged more votes in its second term, let alone the third. It is clear that the majority of Turks have stood behind AK party.
    Profile of Opposition Parties
    The CHP party, the main opposition party, is an ultra liberal party, which does not shy away from showing its disgust over religion being part of politics. The BDP party is a socialist party working mainly for the rights of Kurds. It also hates AK party due to its religious ideology. The BDP and CHP have both taken abominable stances with regards to Syrian conflict and have been showing their sympathy and support for Bashar al Asad since day one. Next in line is TKP, a far-left communist party lead mainly by atheists and is bastion of anti religion forces. Again they have supported Asad whole heartedly and have sympathized with all communist regimes, regardless of their oppression.
    Then among the anti AK parties are those which are banned in Turkey due to their terrorist activities. For example the militant communist parties like Halk Cephesi and DHKP.
    Since the creation of Turkey there has been a minority that has ruled over the majority, taking in process the blood, sweat and tears of the Turkish masses. As a result of free and fair election the tables were turned and Erdogan came into power. One can write books upon books as to what Erdogan has achieved in his tenure. It is simple to say that the elites of Turkey, who ape west, can’t get over the fact that a religious – read ‘backward’- man has been ruling over them for some time now. Erdogan’s achievements obliterate their argument that religion equals backwardness, as Erdogan out ranks every single Turkish Prime Minister in history in terms of economic and social achievements.
    What has really happened?
    There is a park in Taksim in which there are about 12 or more trees standing and the government wants to cut them down it to make way for a museum and a shopping centre. As a result the tree huggers started a campaign. This park was formed in 1939 following governments order to demolish a remarkably designed Ottoman barrack. The current government wants to reconstruct the building and make it a museum, and for that 12 trees need to be chopped down.
    All this over trees?
    No! CHP, TKP, DHKP, BDP and all those opposing the current government used this as a disguise to stage anti government protests with the slogan: ‘we stand united against the authoritarian regime’. These leeches never stood for Syrians or any other humanitarian cause for that matter.
    When the universities didn’t allow female students with headscarf and deprived them their right for education, which one of them came out to protest? None! When they were forced to take off their scarves and wear wigs which of these parties wrote to Amnesty International, European Union, and the international media? None!
    This protest is not over bunch of trees but in fact it is an attempt to derail AK party, derail religious leadership and most importantly hide their hypocrisy. Yes in some areas the police did come down heavy on the protestors and to Erdogan credit he ordered a full investigation but I ask when was throwing Molotov Cocktails acceptable form of protesting? What were they expecting when they raised flags of a terrorist organization? When was it ok to spray ‘F** the police’ on shops?
    They never protested when Israel killed Turkish citizens on Mavi Marmara, and they sure as hell didn’t ask ‘Occupy Wall Street’ to aid them then. Now Occupy Wall Street, Bruce Willis, and the rest of the propaganda machinery are trying to stick their nose in Turkey’s politics. These people cannot fathom the reality that a graduate from a pariah religious school has become the Prime Minister of their country. They cannot fathom the idea that in the Turkish ‘white house’ there is a woman who wears headscarf and in the government meeting alcohol is not permitted. They can’t fathom the fact that women in scarves have access to higher education.
    Is Turkey experiencing its own Arab Spring?
    Arab Spring? You must be joking! Erdogan has freed Turkey from IMF loans, it has the 5th fastest growing economy in the world, and it has started to develop its own military equipment rather than being dependent. There is fair access to social services and he has given more rights to Kurds than any other Turkish regime. He was the first none African president to go to Somalia, he visited Gaza, he talked about Islamophobia on international forums, he criticized Israel and mobilized against her. He choked the dragon of inflation, gave a much more stable economy; aided Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq and Syria. Every province now has its own university, school books are handed out for free. He has increased female enrollment rates and doubled the number of universities in Turkey. The list goes on and on.
    May Allah subhaana wa ta’aala protect him.
    Author: Yigit Usenmez”

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  12. Lev

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    • ahsan arshad

      Hi Lev,
      I am a pakistani from the “ill reputed muslim world” and i am not aware of the “charms” of Erdogan. Yet I want to understand your position so please provide references to your claims-I want to look into it. However I must say Lev, that the pre Erdogans time in turkey was much worse than erdogans son breaking the red light and getting away with it. Also we pakistanis (like other nations) judge people on the good and the bad they have done to be fair.

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    • Mohan from India

      Absolutely, so many Muslims are fans of Erdogan’s government because it is an exception to all other places where political islam has taken root.

      We’ve seen the effects of Islam and sharia wherever it has been enforced by authority. Women forced into black tents and requiring permission from their slavemaster (‘male guardian’ aka Mahram) to study, work or even leave the house. Brutal, uncivilized punishments such as stoning and hand amputation. The examples are too numerous – saudi arabia, Afghanistan, iran and recently mali.

      Erdogan and the AKP gives hope to all these Muslims to acheive a model Islamic society that is progressive yet still Islamic. However, this has been possible in large part only due to secularism and the liberal form of Islam found among Turks (which is a far cry from Salafism or even Indian Islam).

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      • Mohan from India

        The ‘Turkish model’ could easily be undone when people are infected with Salafi ideology now that Erdogan is getting chummy with fanatics like Hamas and the Muslim brotherhood.

        Chechens were liberal sufi Muslims, but Salafism/Wahhabism has made massive inroads there in no time at all. It will be a very sad day when Turks (who are among the most progressive and modern Muslims in the world) fall to saudi arabia’s backward, misogynistic and violent ideology.

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      • ahsan arshad

        well mohan the issue here is not even of establishing islam or imposing the shariah.
        When hijab was banned in turkey and etc i dont know what to say about such a government or society who accepts this. If erdogan has removed such a law then well done. Such laws do not exist even in the EU or the west. I dont see how erdogan is “establishing” islam- stupid laws passed before should be revoked. This is not called the shariah.
        The issue right now is what are the protests about. Turkey is not egypt nor the oppressive regime of bashar al asad.
        Again if any turk believes that the law regarding alcohol passed is “wrong” then again I dont know what to say about that. As the author mentioned more strict ones are implemented in the west. Alcohol has not been prohibited in turkey so what the heck does this law have to do anything. No wonder no protestor in turkey or even the ones in the blogs do not express this idea becoz they know its baseless.

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    • ahsan arshad

      I read it nahraf. Thank you for your insight. A brief biography of the author would help the reader to assess the positions taken in the article

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  13. Emre

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      • Hyde

        You got that right. I am glad MM is allowing these sort of comments to highlight the debauched secularist train of thought. Even if I do not like Erdogan, I would do so just to prevent “great turks” like you.

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      • Vish

        Besides denouncing his/her views, I dont see any of you refuting them.

        These are widely held viewpoints not just among secular Turks and nationalists, but a great many non-Muslim cultures. Islam as Arab cultural supremacism and Imperialism. Islam as an inherently backward religion unfit for the modern world. Islam as an ideology that pushes Arabness at the expense of individual national identities.

        Is it so bad that he/she would want to pray in Turkish, read/recite the Qu’ran in Turkish, have Turkish calligraphy on their mosques? After all, Christians all around the world read the bible in their language, pray in their own language etc. Sounds very reasonable to me.

        Surely the Indian with the ‘Arab name’ would be best positioned to answer those claims.

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      • Muhammad Wajid Akhter

        From the Indian with the Arab Name,

        The Prophet (peace be upon Him) answered the borderline racist and xenophobic tendencies found amongst the secularist kemalists here when he said:

        “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety (taqwa) and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood.”

        More than 35 out of the 101 caliphs of Islam were non-Arabs.
        Many of the greatest scholars of Islam were non-Arabs.
        The Prophet (SAW) had many non-Arab companions
        The majority of Muslims are non-Arabs

        To mistake Islam for Arab supremacism is to be ignorant of Islam and Muslims altogether.

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      • Hyde

        @Vish, so if a person named John reads the Catholic mass in Kerla India, he is being untrue to himself ? What about Mexicans ?

        I am a muslim who honestly has little interest in arab or so called desi culture; in fact I am rather interested Islam in china and irish culture but God be Praised am and inshallah will always remain a muslim. What then ?

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      • Gokturk

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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      • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

        If you don’t like Erdogan then Turks can vote him out like Turks voted him in. The only reason for the protests is that people who hold similar views as you do are not the majority and so can’t remove him through democratic means.

        Personally, I do not agree to him using brutal force and believe it is wrong and unislamic (so your claims of his ” complete islamization” don’t hold).

        I read somewhere recently Turkey is to make their last IMF installment. If Erdogan is the cause of this momentous removal of IMF slavery then it really doesn’t matter what his religious views are. Right now he is a very important ruler for your “Turk” identity which has been subject to IMF slavery.

        Best Regards
        -Aly
        *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

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      • Fritz

        Hi there,
        Would you happen to have any reference tables to IMF/national debt payments so the critics can examine these directly?

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      • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

        Dear Fritz

        I will have to search for it. This was something that had showed up in my twitter timeline and I had RTed it and posted on Facebook. I will try looking inshaaAllah.

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      • ZAI

        “Oh no, we’re racist for wanting our religion to be fully Turkish and free from Arab cultural imperialism”

        Ethnicity and religion are two different things. By condemning a universal concept of morality, ethics and truth and demanding religion conform to ethnicity you are doing the SAME thing Muslims who insist on Arabization do.

        “That only states that an arab and non-arab are equal, nothing about how a non-arab could follow the religion fully within the framework of his own identity and culture free from arab cultural supremacism.”

        There are billions of Muslims who follow Islam fully within the framework of their own identity and culture, without recourse to Arab culture. No one is asking you to speak Arabic, say du’a in Arabic, wear Arab clothes or whatever else.

        The only exception to this is the Qur’an, the Arabic of which is insisted upon to preserve it and ensure proper interpretation…and no other reasons. Please do some research on hermeneutics and exegesis, and why preservation of the linguistic attributes of religious texts is important. Jewish scholars also insist on this, as did the Catholic church for most of it’s existence. Infact, the Catholic church has RE-instituted Latin mass recently because it feels interpretation based on ignorance of scriptual language has gone too far.

        Even then, many scholars such as Abu Hanifah permitted non-Arabs to use languages other than Arabic even in prayer or reading if the Quran if it was easier for them.

        ” Its because of the arab cultural brainwashing of Islam that your name is Muhammad Wajid Akhter and not a Indian one, your people pray in arabic (despite many not even knowing what is being said) and try to incorporate arab customs and mannerisms as much as possible trying to fit in with arabs rather than your fellow Indian hindu or buddhist brethren. The ancestors of the people in modern Algeria and Egypt werent arabs. They were transformed into Arabs thanks to islam. We are lucky that we kept our Turkish identity unlike them.”

        Please buddy, spare me. South Asians use not only Arab names, but also Persian and Turkish ones because they LIKE them. There is no mandate requiring their use and Islam doesn’t recommend it.

        Further, I am not Arab NOR South Asian…I’m an Afghan and I can testify we use Arabic names as WELL as Persian and Pashto names, because we LIKE them. Names like Rustam, Shariyar, Zmarai, Azmaray, Sohrab, etc. are common in Afghanistan, Iran, and also Turkic speaking Central Asia. We also celebrate Nou Roz, dress in non-Arab clothes and speak various dialects of Persian, Pashto, Baluchi and Turkish. Spare me this nonsense about Arabization…if this was the goal the Arabs did a lousy job of it. The only countries that adopted Arabic were nations where related Hamo- semitic languages like Aramaic, Assyrian, Amharic, Coptic, etc. were already spoken and similar.

        This accusation is most hilarious coming from a supporter of ethnic fascism that resulted in Kurdish language, culture and even Kurds as an identity being suppressed in the glorious name of your nationalism. What did you use to call them, “Mountain Turks”? I love how you types always cry for “Freedom”, but it all goes out the door if it’s not what YOU want. Who are you to tell any Turk or anyone else what name to keep? You sure are a supporter of democracy!

        “When Erdogan visited Obama at the whitehouse, he presented him with a plaque with Obama’s name is Arabic. What is a suppposed “Turkish’ leader doing promoting Arab culture? Why didnt he give Obama a Turkish gift?”

        Yes, why not a plaque in the Latin alphabet Turkish is written in today? Please take Ataturk to court and sentence him to posthumous punishment for adopting a non-Turkish alphabet, then get back to me about the “purity” of Turkish culture. What ridiculous nonsense. You make the SAME close-minded, xenophobic arguments the religious fanatics do, just for a different variety of fanaticism.

        “Erdogan cries for Palestinians and Chechens, but attacks his own people ruthlessly, suppresses the media and puts patriots in jail. Along with Western liberalism, Islam is the biggest enemy of the Turkish nation. Erdogan is destroying Turkishness through two fronts, one throught the eu and one through islamism.”

        If you don’t like Erdogan then convince the 51%+ of your people that voted for him to withdraw their support and vote him out. How can you claim to stand for democracy and the Turkish nation, but have no respect for THEIR votes or the democratic process? You don’t like him…beat him in an election.

        The rest of the rant is all fascist nonsense. It is no better than the Fanatic Muslim fundamentalists who DO want to force Arab culture and rigid theocratic dictatorships on everyone. You are NO better than they are sir! You deserve eachother!

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      • ahsan arshad

        Where do the turks get this stuff from.
        They cant even tolerate immigrants which is good for their economy. Everyone around should be turkish????

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      • ZAI

        Br. Muhammad,
        You should be careful of painting all the protestors as such-and-such because one person or another made this type of comment. Many of the protestors have sincere concerns about things like public space, localized democracy( federalism and local municipalities deciding local issues), and also Erdogans reaction to the protests…which has been BAD and very much in the vein of the typical arrogant mid east dictator.

        Even if many of us disagree with the protestors on the issues, they’d STILL have a right to prostest. That’s what democracy is about. Please do not let rude comments bait you into sweeping generalizations.

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    • ZAI

      “You’re from India but Muhammad, Wajid and Akhter are all arab names. Need I say more about arab cultural imperialism called islam ?”

      Yes and Christians around the world are victims of Jewish imperialism since they keep names like Abraham, John, Joseph, etc…lol. I’m being sarcastic ofcourse…people have the right to keep WHATEVER name they want. Who are you people to demand this or that name, and can you explain to me that if you do, how are you ANY different from people that insist on Arabization?
      I swear you all deserve each other…

      “Sorry, my brethren are other turks – not arabs, pakis, chechens, persians or indonesians.”

      Why don’t you start by seeing all HUMAN BEINGS, whatever their religion or ethnicity, as your brothers. That will be a good first step.

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  14. Abdul Haqq

    11. And when it is said to them: “Make not mischief on the earth,” they say: “We are only peacemakers.”

    12. Verily! They are the ones who make mischief, but they perceive not.

    13. And when it is said to them (hypocrites): “Believe as the people (followers of Muhammad Peace be upon him , Al-Ansar and Al-Muhajirun) have believed,” they say: “Shall we believe as the fools have believed?” Verily, they are the fools, but they know not.

    14. And when they meet those who believe, they say: “We believe,” but when they are alone with their Shayatin (devils – polytheists, hypocrites, etc.), they say: “Truly, we are with you; verily, we were but mocking.”

    15. Allah mocks at them and gives them increase in their wrong-doings to wander blindly.

    16. These are they who have purchased error for guidance, so their commerce was profitless. And they were not guided.

    17. Their likeness is as the likeness of one who kindled a fire; then, when it lighted all around him, Allah took away their light and left them in darkness. (So) they could not see.

    18. They are deaf, dumb, and blind, so they return not (to the Right Path).

    19. Or like a rainstorm from the sky, wherein is darkness, thunder, and lightning. They thrust their fingers in their ears to keep out the stunning thunderclap for fear of death. But Allah ever encompasses the disbelievers (i.e. Allah will gather them all together).

    20. The lightning almost snatches away their sight, whenever it flashes for them, they walk therein, and when darkness covers them, they stand still. And if Allah willed, He could have taken away their hearing and their sight. Certainly, Allah has power over all things.

    21. O mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah), Who created you and those who were before you so that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious – see V.2:2).

    22. Who has made the earth a resting place for you, and the sky as a canopy, and sent down water (rain) from the sky and brought forth therewith fruits as a provision for you. Then do not set up rivals unto Allah (in worship) while you know (that He Alone has the right to be worshipped).

    23. And if you are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down (i.e. the Qur’an) to Our slave (Muhammad Peace be upon him ), then produce a Surah (chapter) of the like thereof and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides Allah, if you are truthful.

    24. But if you do it not, and you can never do it, then fear the Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers.

    25. And give glad tidings to those who believe and do righteous good deeds, that for them will be Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise). Every time they will be provided with a fruit therefrom, they will say: “This is what we were provided with before,” and they will be given things in resemblance (i.e. in the same form but different in taste) and they shall have therein Azwajun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives), (having no menses, stools, urine, etc.) and they will abide therein forever.

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  15. Jake Sutcliffe the 54th

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  16. Ariahahn

    Only in Erdogan time The Turkey rise again as a power to be recognize. When Turkey has a voice again in international politics just like Ottoman time.

    Turkey has been shut off or the Ottoman has been put down to sleep for so long by Western power after Attaturk. They hate Ottoman.

    Turkey, rise again. Play your important role on Islam matters. Only Turkey/Ottoman can spearhead Islam. Israel hate it since Erdogan in power.

    Ottoman rise again!. The symbol of last Islam power to the west.

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  17. Zafar Iqbal

    western media is totally biased.The economist in its issue on sept 2007 was exposed much before regarding its agenda journalism while writing against Erdogan and AKP.

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  18. Rawiah

    I’ve read a book recently about the accomplishments of Erdogan. What an inspiring figure. Some people just want to protest for the sake of protest.

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    • George

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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      • brk

        George,
        Please “when talk people search every where and having a right knowledge then talk .Otherwise, YOU will write too funny.”

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  19. Danny

    Your arguments are clearly biased and as an objective reader I would like to rebuttal these biases.

    1) “With most Western media outlets giving non-stop rolling coverage of the protests and hastily dubbing it the “Turkish spring.”” This was one of the largest protests in Turkey’s history why would the Western Media be deprived of labelling it as the “Turkish Spring” and at least they showed some footage of the protests. Plus why wouldn’t they show non-stop coverage of one of the biggest protests in what was supposedly a democratic nation. They did the same coverage for Greece and Ukraine protests…..The protestors wouldn’t care less of the Western Media’s biases when their own nation’s media has extreme biases. And that’s what the protestors were against.

    2) You talk about the pious majority being oppressed and you give examples from ancient times such as banning the ‘fes’ and turning mosques to museums. Buddy these were in the 1930s. And the last time CHP was in power was in the 60s. I accept that the military were extreme secularists but the current government hasn’t learnt its lesson and is doing similar practices today. What about Fazil Say the famous musician who is being charged 10 months in jail for retweeting a supposedly blasphemous joke about Islam. Erdogan shouldn’t be charged and Fazil Say shouldn’t be charged. The government is doing oppressing the secular majority now. I want both the religious and secular to live in peace but when Erdogan uses offensive phrases such as calling leftists and atheists terrorists, I cannot see that happening.

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