Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Arrest Shows What's Really Going on in Turkey: An Increasingly Repressive Islamist Regime

By Barry Rubin

The Western media can talk all it wants to about the regime in Turkey as reformist and democratic. Didn't it just sponsor a referendum that increased freedoms? But this is for show. Here's an example of the reality.

A state prosecutor has just ordered the arrest of Hanefi Avcı, former police chief of Eskişehir. Why is he going to be arrested? What is he accused of? Talking on the telephone to a member of an extremist, violent revolutionary group. Not very credible, right?

So why was he really arrested?

Because he wrote a best-selling book revealing how Islamists have infiltrated and are indeed taking over the Turkish police force. It is well-known that the followers of Fethullah Gülen have been doing so. Gülen poses as a moderate Muslim but while somewhat less extreme than the regime, but he is also an Islamist. His movement is awash in money and has opened schools all over the world, including North America, and set up numerous front groups including inter-faith dialogues.

Incidentally, one of the claims made by Avcı in his book was that Gülen's people have tapped his telephone. Now we have solid proof he was right. If you speak out against the regime you face a high chance of losing your job--I know at least four journalists who have suffered this fate--or end up in prison.

The regime has arrested hundreds of people and intimidated millions, yet Western correspondents generally continue to provide up-beat coverage that ignores this fact or even praises the government for rounding up subversive elements.

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