Good news: Islamists win big in Turkey

posted at 3:45 pm on July 22, 2007 by Allahpundit

I won’t pretend to know the ins and outs of this. In a nutshell, they’ve been trending away from secularism and towards Islamism for years, especially since Erdogan’s party came to power. It came to a head in April when Abdullah Gul, Erdogan’s right-hand man and a devout Muslim, was nominated for president, prompting giant protests and a walkout by secularist MPs which denied Gul the two-thirds quorum and vote he needed in parliament to be elected. Hence the importance of today’s elections: would the ruling party, AKP, get the 367 of the 550 available seats it needed to install this fundie as guardian of Turkey’s secular state?

Results: probably. AKP actually ended up losing seats, picking up 332 this time compared to the 363 they started with, but their share of the vote increased from 34.3% in 2002 to somewhere between 45% and 48% today. (The quirk by which they lost seats is due, per Barry Rubin, to the fact that additional parties qualified for this election.) They need only 35 more MPs to push Gul through with the requisite two-thirds; given the fact that their support just increased by double digits, they should be able to pressure one of the minority parties into joining them. That’ll leave Gul’s fate in the hands of the Turkish military, which is charged constitutionally with protecting secularism. Will they stage a coup or back down in the face of a popular mandate?

The leader of the nationalist party, which took 85 seats, has already hinted that he’ll support Erdogan’s choice for president. Protests notwithstanding, Erdogan says he still favors Gul.

Update: They’re creeping up on 50%.

With 57 percent of the national vote counted, Mr. Erdogan’s Justice and Development party had taken more than 48 percent of the vote, far higher than the 18 percent garnered by the secular opposition Republican People’s Party and the 14 percent taken by the Nationalist Action Party.

The results, broadcast on Turkish television at 8 p.m. local time, represent a slap to the state establishment, whose secular and nationalist parties were predicting that voters would punish Mr. Erdogan’s party for trying to push what they said was an Islamic agenda.

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No secularism, no EU.

Entelechy on July 22, 2007 at 3:50 PM

actualy the AKP party have been the most reform minded govt in Turkish history since attaturk, and have been the ones reforming the institutions and laws to move inline with EU regulations. They have reformed barbaric laws for instance recognising rape in marriage.

zane on July 22, 2007 at 3:52 PM

i mean they now recognise rape in marriage

zane on July 22, 2007 at 3:53 PM

actualy the AKP party have been the most reform minded govt in Turkish history since attaturk

Better tell that to the 700,000 people who rallied for secularism a few months ago.

Allahpundit on July 22, 2007 at 3:54 PM

AP even they recognise the reforms, they worry that the AKP are gonna descularise the country, but they recognize that the AKP have moved them closer to acceptance to the EU. The large numbers rallying signify not only the opposition to the AKP but the cult of personality around attaturk, which is also the reasons nationalists do so well.

zane on July 22, 2007 at 3:58 PM

This is one of the reasons that I disagree with Spencer’s view that nuking Mecca as a response to a nuclear attack is pointless.

His main argument is that Islam has seen major worldview shifting events and weathered the storm.

His point is wrong, because they didn’t say that Islam was destroyed (as would be the case with the removal of Mecca and all mosques), but that they were not being pious enough, therefore Allah was punishing them. Their theories (supported and popularized by Islamic groups like MB) stated that if they returned to being faithful in Islam that the Caliphate would return.

It wasn’t so much as a destruction of Islam event, but a worldview shift calling for revival (of true Islamic doctrine).

There would be no changing of doctrine if it was made impossible for the Hajj to occur for 3 or 4 generations. With the coupling of the destruction of Mosques in these countries, slowly Islam would wither on the vine as the Dhimmi Tax made Christianity wither on the vine in territories conquered by Islam.

I know it is un-PC to say and this site would be worried about spouting this view due to the real possibility of losing advertising dollars, but presently the analogy is, “We are fighting Hitler, but not Germany.”

This is only the faithful of Islam saying, “We are returning to the faith and turning from Apostasy.” This means they believe that Allah is looking favorably upon them and that they are going to expand and accelerate the revival conquest.

Tim Burton on July 22, 2007 at 3:59 PM

Turkey……will it be Jekyll or Hyde? Never underestimate the Turkish military to weigh-in with their opinion. Profit or profit….that is the question.

Limerick on July 22, 2007 at 4:12 PM

Profit or profit….that is the question.

well the AKP are credited with saving the Turkish economy after their currency was devalued in 2002, by instituting the reccomended IMF plan. Since then Turkey has become a boom economy, and if you read some about the make up of the AKP electorate, you will see that it is made up of the business community and entreprenuers who have been able to prosper in the last 5 years.

zane on July 22, 2007 at 4:16 PM

AP, If the Islamists win control and Abdullah Gul maintains secular rule and denies Sharia law, that will be good news indeed. Any bets on the second part?

TunaTalon on July 22, 2007 at 4:18 PM

The Islamist dream is to re-establish the central Islamic Caliphate in Istanbul that was abolished by Attaturk in 1924. This is a step in that direction.

infidel4life on July 22, 2007 at 4:22 PM

And this is the model for the Muslim state? They won’t be getting into the EU anytime soon.

On a sidenote Turkey’s economic, politcal, and social developments makes for a quite interesting study on the macro level. The desire for EU membership is causing the push to assimilate Turkey’s entire culture, someone should write a book, I would read it.

Theworldisnotenough on July 22, 2007 at 4:38 PM

Another body blow for the Middle East. Imadinnerjacket said it was going to be a hot summer…

Zorro on July 22, 2007 at 4:39 PM

Maybe Turkey’s more ‘fanatical’ than ‘sick’. They sure the heck ain’t in Europe. No hope for France. But I digress.

I don’t care if voting is compulsory in Turkey. Can lucy do some splainin’ and tell me how a party can lose seats yet gain in percentage when the overall number available remains at 550?

Who invented this parliamentary stuff anyways?

locomotivebreath1901 on July 22, 2007 at 4:40 PM

Maybe they were scared to vote against the decapitators.

SouthernGent on July 22, 2007 at 5:39 PM

At least Jimmy Carter will have some new friends to talk to in the region.

andycanuck on July 22, 2007 at 5:49 PM

Lots of “No EU for Turkey” comments, but truth is, even if Jesus Christ himself returned to Earth and got himself elected as Turkish president, Turkey would still be denied entrance to the EU. Why? Because no one in Europe wants to open it’s borders to 70+ million muslim Turks. As simple as that.

madne0 on July 22, 2007 at 6:32 PM

Hey. Who do you think finances the Islamists in Turkey? If you said George Soros, you would be correct.

ahem on July 22, 2007 at 6:37 PM

Muslims and Christianity. The Religion of Hate takes up crucifying Christians.
http://babbazeesbrain.blogspot.com/

pat on July 22, 2007 at 6:58 PM

Just one more move toward the fulfillment of the prophecy of Ezekiel 38

in other news – President AhmaGenocide has pledged to help Syria conduct nuclear research

abinitioadinfinitum on July 22, 2007 at 7:39 PM

This is a complete catastophe. Looks like it’s up to the military now.

Zane,
Robert Spencer doesn’t seem to share any of your sentiments.

PRCalDude on July 22, 2007 at 8:30 PM

Isn’t the Turkish Army supposed to be protectors of the freedoms enshrined by Kemal Ataturk? Aren’t those guys sworn to rebel against any wacko Islamist as their figurehead?

ScottMcC on July 22, 2007 at 10:10 PM

Yeah, but I don’t know if the public has ever been this strongly in favor of wacko Islamism.

Allahpundit on July 22, 2007 at 10:12 PM

Man, this just keeps gettin’ better and better.

Why can’t these guys be in favor of more polar bear cubs?

ScottMcC on July 22, 2007 at 10:51 PM

This is why I said last week (or two) that we must NEVER sell them our F-35′s! They block us from invading Iraq, they vote for the freakin’ taliban, screw them!

Tony737 on July 22, 2007 at 11:04 PM

Who wants it more?

Those fighting for the freedoms they know?

Or those who wish to control and dominate them?

Being right means less than being determined.

Turkey is one more petri dish of competing strains of Islam.

May the closest to apostates win.

profitsbeard on July 22, 2007 at 11:12 PM

Just one more move toward the fulfillment of the prophecy of Ezekiel 38

abinitioadinfinitum on July 22, 2007 at 7:39 PM

Indeed. When Turkey does go Islamist, one look at the map shows tiny Israel surrounded by a huge horseshoe of hostile muslim lands.

infidel4life on July 22, 2007 at 11:22 PM

The Turkish military of the past was very reliable about taking over the government when things went out of whack. I think they had a ten year cycle going for about 50 years or so. They’ve not had one in recent memory, so it seems possible the guard has since changed in their military. Here’s hoping they still know what to do.

TexasDan on July 22, 2007 at 11:28 PM

Good news: Islamists win big in Turkey

I won’t pretend to know the ins and outs of this. In a nutshell, they’ve been trending away from secularism and towards Islamism for years,

This can’t be true… everyone knows that Islamists are a tiny minority, and most Muslims are peace loving normal people. Right?

RightWinged on July 23, 2007 at 12:42 AM

The original MEMRI report, showing evidence of Soros’ involvement, is no longer on line. I quote it in an old post over at PW:

The Turkish military is now the object of a concerted effort to discredit it and place it in the hands of civilian authorities who will ultimately consist of, if all goes as planned, nothing but Islamists. The intent, obviously, is to undermine it and crush it as an opposition force.

“The matter on which Büyükanıt did not pull any punches was the increasing level of criticism and pressure on the TSK’s social stature.

He accused the AKP of using the European Union and some nongovernmental organizations such as the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) to harm the military and support such dangerous initiatives.”

In June of 2006, TESEV released a controversial report ostensibly about “furthering the agenda of democratic and civilian oversight by the country’s security sector.” timed to embarrass the military before an EU progress report. Now, the really fascinating part about the TESEV report, a footnote at the very end:

“(11)TESEV, the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation, is a non-governmental organization sponsored by George Soros.”

ahem on July 23, 2007 at 8:29 AM

This can’t be true… everyone knows that Islamists are a tiny minority, and most Muslims are peace loving normal people. Right?

RightWinged on July 23, 2007 at 12:42 AM

Absolutely RW! I even had some Turks here a while back who scoffed at the idea that Islamists could ever govern their country. I figure there must be two Turkeys, one that’s modern and secular and has little to do with the other one that’s neither. Hence the ability for even secular Turks to live in denial.

Aylios on July 23, 2007 at 12:15 PM