Turkey: Time for Reassessment

Morten Messerschmidt and Robert Ellis
Right Side News
26 June 2011

The remarkable thing about the Turkish election result is not that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party, or AKP, won but the unanimity in the international press that it would not be good for Turkish democracy if they gained 330 seats or more in the Turkish parliament. In the event, half the votes only resulted in 326 seats, falling short of the 330 seats needed to change the constitution with a referendum and the 367 seats which would have made it possible for the government to change the constitution alone.

The other common denominator was the fear that an overwhelming victory would reinforce what the Financial Times called the AKP’s “unsettling authoritarian tendencies”. This was demonstrated when The Economist recommended that Turks voted for the opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, to put a brake on Erdoğan’s autocratic style of government.

The reaction was not long coming. Erdoğan blasted The Economist for being part of “a global gang” which took its orders from Israel, and for good measure blasted the CHP’s leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for also being “a project of international gangs”. The Wall Street Journal in turn accused Erdoğan of “reviving the crackpot anti-Semitic media theories of former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad”.

In a report published five days before the election, the Pew Research Center confirmed the reasons for Erdoğan’s success. Some 49 percent of the Turks interviewed were upbeat about the economy as opposed to 14 percent in 2002 (when the AKP was first elected) and 46 percent in 2007 (the second election). In addition, 62 percent expressed confidence that Erdoğan would do the right thing in world affairs.

The article continues at Right Side News.

Also at Right Side News, Georgetown and the Islamist Money Changers:

John L. Esposito , professor of religion and international affairs and director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (CMCU) at Georgetown University, is the leading defender of radical Islam in U.S. higher education — if not in the entire Western academy. He and his enterprise have returned to the public eye with the exposure that, in 2006-07, they were offered $325,000 by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to hold a conference on Islamophobia at the university…

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