Media Chutzpah and Propaganda

Jews Fear Islamic Republic

The article published by the Jewish Telegraph Agency was brazen in its headline: “Fears of an Islamic Turkey push Jews to vote for secularists.”1

Parliamentary elections are scheduled for 22 July in Turkey. The JTA writes of “no good options at the ballot box” because the incumbent “liberal-Islamic”2 Justice and Development Party (AKP) might form a second successive government. The JTA notes that the AKP has improved the economy and positioned Turkey for inclusion within the European Union, but the AKP is suspected of Islamic tendencies that, ostensibly, threaten Turkey’s state secularism.

The opposition right-wing Republican People’s Party (CHP), while secular, is portrayed by JTA as “increasingly hostile to the United States and the European Union” with “a poor track record on minority rights and economic liberalization.” Given the choices, many Jews, according to JTA, will opt for CHP on Election Day.

“I don’t like them, but I don’t have a choice,” Nisim Cohen, a textile manufacturer in Turkey, is quoted as saying. “The AKP shows a nice face, but in their hearts I fear they want to make this an Islamic country. They will not keep the republic as it is.”

Jews hope their vote will help create a stronger opposition to check the government’s powers.

Viktor Kuzu, an advertising executive, expressed a fear that an unbridled AKP could change Turkey in ways to “interrupt the way we live.” [italics added]

The Jewish stance toward the AKP must be regarded with much bemusement. By aligning themselves against the AKP, Jews are aligning themselves with the Kemalist military, which, although secularist, was behind the Armenian Holocaust.3 Since the World War 2 Holocaust is the focal point of Jewish historiography, any alignment with Kemalist forces is, on its face, deeply paradoxical.

JTA acknowledges that there is little substance to fears of Islamism springing from AKP, but at the same time it paints a dire picture of creeping Islamism.

Denis Ojalvo, an Istanbul businessman involved in Jewish communal affairs complained about small changes: “They [AKP] appoint people of the wrong ilk to key positions, and then one day you wake up and everything has changed.”

People of the wrong ilk!? One wonders how AKP politicians stack up against the ilk of Jewish Israeli politicians such as Avigdor Lieberman4 and Ariel Sharon5?

JTA creates a scenario whereby Jews in Turkey appear caught in the proverbial pinch between a rock and hard place: between Islamists and xenophobic secularists with their “anti-European, anti-American and, lately, anti-Israel” rhetoric. Nearly lost in all the JTA caterwauling is that the thrust of the article could easily be dismissed as anti-Islamic. Imagine Israel being criticized for becoming a Jewish republic where other ethnic minorities suffer second class status or worse — but, then, this is already a fact-of life in Israel.

“I want a strong opposition that will block the insertion of fundamentalist cadres into government,” said Ojalvo. “This would de facto change Turkey.”

The JTA finds:

Jews who support the secularist CHP find themselves at odds with Turkey’s two other visible religious minorities, the Greeks and the Armenians. They appear to be backing AKP, which portrays itself as the party of human rights and democracy.

This is mendacious. First, Greeks and Armenians are not a religious minority, but rather a national or ethnic minority. Second, JTA feigns concern for minority rights, but its coverage of human rights for national minorities morally fails when it comes to the indigenous Palestinians within Israel and elsewhere. Thus, the recalcitrance at acknowledging the nationals in Turkey mirrors that of denying the existence of Palestinian nationals.

  1. Yigal Schleifer, “Fears of an Islamic Turkey push Jews to vote for secularists,” JTA, 17 July 2007. []
  2. While the JTA sees the AKP as “liberal-Islamic,” Wikipedia describes it as a “right-wing, conservative Turkish political party,” often referred to as being “moderate”–a term preferred by the AKP. []
  3. The Armenian National Institute: dedicated to the study, research, and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide describes Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as the “consummator of the Armenian Genocide” committed by his forces. []
  4. Justin Raimondo, “A Jewish Hitler? The rise of Avigdor LiebermanAnti-war.com, 27 October 2006. []
  5. Return of the Terrorist: The Crimes of Ariel Sharon,” Counterpunch, 7 February 2001. []
Kim Petersen is a former co-editor of the Dissident Voice newsletter. He can be reached at: kimohp@gmail.com. Twitter: @kimpetersen. Read other articles by Kim.

3 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. CR said on July 20th, 2007 at 11:52am #

    Turkey jumped aboard ‘The Holocaust Industry’ bandwagon a long time ago:

    http://www.turks.us/article~story~20041026115755333.htm

  2. Michael Kenny said on July 20th, 2007 at 4:20pm #

    The odd thing is that they describe the CHP as “right-wing”. It is in fact a socialist party! I suppose that nowadays, socialism is a conservative ideology! There is a right-wing party in the running, but I can’t remember its name. It probably won’t get the 10% of the vote necessary to enter parliament.

  3. Hue Longer said on July 20th, 2007 at 6:50pm #

    hey Michael, I’ve forgotten what the letters in “nazi” meant…could you help me out?