Turkey Crisis Over, For Now

Interviewee:   
Steven A. Cook, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies
Interviewer:   
Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor

July 30, 2008

 On July 30, Turkey's Constitutional Court decided not to ban the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Critics of the party had claimed that a move to abolish a ban on headscarves at Turkish universities violated the country's secularist constitution. Steven A. Cook, CFR's leading expert on Turkey, says that the narrow decision marks a reprieve for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government. Cook adds, however, that the case sends a clear warning to the party. If the party regards the Court's decision as a victory, Cook says, Turkey may find itself "back in the same place sometime in the not so distant future."

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was under threat of being banned for anti-secular activities, but the Constitutional Court has just ruled narrowly not to ban the party, but only to deprive it of state financing. Can you explain what happened?

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AKP survives as high court splits

The ruling AKP government survives in a cliffhanger the threat to its existence after only six instead of seven top judges rule in favor of closure. The court decides to impose a fine amounting to half of the AKP's Treasury grants this year. Only a year after it won a parliamentary majority in the national elections, the government is allowed to carry on

ANKARA – Turkish Daily News

  Turkey's top court yesterday issued its verdict over the fate of the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, and dismissed the chief prosecutor's demand to disband it with six to five votes on the third day of deliberations. The party closure requires at least seven votes in favor.

  The court also decided, however, to cut in half last year's Treasury aid to the AKP, as six votes demanded closure while four sought financial punishment and one, court President Haşim Kılıç, voted against the closure. The court's verdict is seen as a “warning” to the AKP regarding alleged moves to undermine the country's secularism principle.

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Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide: Bin Laden is a Jihad Fighter

On May 22, 2008, the reformist Arab website www.elaph.com posted a comprehensive interview with Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammad Mahdi 'Akef. [1] In the interview, 'Akef discussed the Egyptian domestic scene, and presented the Brotherhood's position on democracy and on the status of the Copts and women in Egypt. He expressed support for the resistance in Iraq and Palestine, and for the activities of Al-Qaeda. [2]

'Akef's statements evoked harsh criticism among clerics and politicians both inside and outside Egypt, who perceived them as praise for bin Laden and his terrorist activities. [3] Faced with such critical reactions, 'Akef attempted to qualify his position with respect to bin Laden, explaining that bin Laden's ideology was based on violence and that the Muslim Brotherhood movement opposed all violence, except when directed against occupation. He also denied any connection between his movement and Al-Qaeda, which he called "a figment of Americans' imagination." [4]

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Turkish Radio and TV Council Issues Warning to Turkish Radio Stations for Broadcasting Islamist Messages and Calling for Jihad

Turkey's Radio-Television Supreme Council (RTUK) has determined that some Istanbul and Ankara radio stations have been broadcasting programs with Islamist content, and has issued warnings to three of them. The broadcasts stated that the burqa is the most suitable garb for women, stated that men upset with their wives should do more than just say three times "I divorce you," encouraged and invited listeners to wage jihad, and suggested that there is no other religion but Islam.

The following are excerpts from a report on the matter by the secular Turkish daily Sabah: [1]

"The Burqa is the Most Suitable Outfit"; "Do Something Different" to Punish Your Wife

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Court convenes on AKP ban case

  
The court can bar Erdogan and other AKP members from politics for five years [AFP]

Turkey's highest court has convened to decide whether the country's ruling party should be banned on charges that it is steering the secular nation towards Islamic rule.

The constitutional court began deliberating on Monday on charges facing the Justice and Development Party (AKP) for violating the principle of secularism enshrined in the country's constitution.

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Türkische Cafés

Sex für fünf Euro

Viele türkische Männercafés haben sich einer Studie zufolge zu Brutstätten der Kriminalität entwickelt. Hinter der Fassade florieren illegales Glücksspiel, Drogenhandel, Hehlerei und Zwangsprostitution.
Von FOCUS-Online-Redakteur Fabian Löhe

Als Rauf Ceylan an jenem Tag das türkische Männercafé in Duisburg betritt, setzt ihn der Besitzer entgegen der üblichen Gepflogenheiten ruck-zuck wieder vor die Tür. Auf dem Tisch liegt eine Menge Geld, schnell ist Ceylan die Situation klar. Die Café-Besucher zocken: illegales Glücksspiel. Doch weil der Sozialwissenschaftler noch am Anfang seiner Untersuchung über türkische Männercafés steht, geht er noch ziemlich unbedarft vor. Offen fragt er den Besitzer: „Würden Sie mir ein Interview geben?“ Sekunden später steht er wieder vor der Tür.

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Widerstand gegen Moslemrassismus in Dänemark

Islamischer RassismusWer den Sommerurlaub dieses Jahr in Dänemark verbringt, kann entlang der Autobahnen immer wieder islamkritische Spruchbänder und “gehenkte” Mohammedpuppen sehen. Es handelt sich dabei um den Protest einer anonymen Aktionsgruppe, die mit der Aktion gegen die rassistische Vertreibung von Grönländern aus ihren gemeinsamen Wohnvierteln mit muslimischen Zuwanderern protestiert.

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Arabisches Qualitätssiegel für Israel

Leute in IsraelDass die Araber in Israel die freiesten Araber in Nahost sind, fällt den unermüdlichen Israelkritikern nicht auf. Laut einer Studie der Harvard Universität zieht sogar eine überwältigende Mehrheit der israelischen Araber (77%) das Leben in Israel dem Leben in jedem anderen Land auf der Welt vor. Da ja nicht sein kann, was nicht sein darf, werden die antiisraelischen Wirklichkeitsleugner auch diese Umfrage ignorieren, sowie auch dass es unter den 22 Mitgliedern der Arabischen Liga keine einzige Demokratie gibt.

(Von Daniel Katz, Middle-East-Info.org, Foto: Jerusalemtag in Israel)

US urged al-Qaeda to move on Kosovo, terrorist

July 19, 2008
SERBIANNA

A renown Jihad veteran currently fighting extradition from Bosnia where he has a citizenship, says that the United States was demanding in 1995 that his Bosnian Muslim El-Mujaheed unit move to Kosovo where US was expecting new Balkan fighting to be started soon.

"Believe me, it would never come to this circus if we in 1995 accepted American demands to move to Kosovo," says Al Husein Imad, known as Abu Hamza.

Abu Hamza says that the American demands to move to Kosovo did not come directly but rather through a Turkish source.

"Americans did not then directly negotiate," says Abu Hamza "they did that through the Turkish cultural attaché Muvekir. Muvekir in 1995 at a meeting in a restaurant in Zenica suggested that the entire brigade El-Mujaheed move to Kosovo because there will break out a war between Serbs and Albanians. We did not agree to that and we became the cannon meat."

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Salafism in the Netherlands

July 2008. In a report titled "Salafism in the Netherlands: A passing phenomenon or a persistent factor of significance?", the Dutch National Coordinator for Counterterrorism writes "the foundations of salafism are at odds with the basic principles of the Dutch constitutional state. Without a doubt, salafist forces in the Netherlands have in the past expressed views which, quite simply, clash with the Dutch democratic legal system." Moreover, "since 2002 the (a)political salafists have – at least in public - taken a moderate stance. The General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), however, regards this moderation as a political façade. According to the Service, the political salafists present themselves to the outside world as much more moderate than they are in reality."

The full report

Chief Prosecutor Accused AK Party For Trying To Establish Theocracy

Supreme Court Chief Prosecutor made his oral presentation on July 1 regarding the AKP closure case and claimed that the AKP was trying to establish an Islamic state. Chief Prosecutor Yalcınkaya said in his oral presentation that AKP’s goal was a system based on Shari’a law and that there was a clear and present danger in this respect.

In his one and a half hour presentation at the Constitutional Court, Yalcinkaya said that the Venice Criteria did not apply in this case and that the acquittal of Fethullah Gulen would not affect the outcome of this case, since this acquittal case did not change the fact that Gulen is an Islamist leader. Yalçınkaya also added that the annulment of the amendment about allowing the Islamic headscarf in the universities did not change the nature of the allegations, only strengthened them.

He also mentioned that the U.N. Security Council list of people who give financial support to terrorism included the Saudi businessman Yassin Al Qadı, who is associated with the PM and AKP circles.

Source: Bianet.org, Turkey, July 2, 2008

"Operations, Like Those In Hitler Era"

Legal professionals and law professors in Turkey are reacting to the manner in which the Ergenekon operation is being carried out. Professor Aydın Aybay criticized the raids carried out under the operation, saying, “These are the kind of operations seen in the Hitler and Stalin periods. Those responsible will pay for them one day.”

Referring to the fact that the indictment is said to be between 2,000 and 2,500 pages, Aybay said an indictment of 2,500 pages was unprecedented. He added, “An indictment only includes facts pertaining to the felony that is established through the investigation. A prosecutor that does such a thing is an inexperienced prosecutor. He does not know what being a prosecutor is.” Aybay also said that an indictment should not be kept waiting for 13 months in order to ensure justice. He said, “The fact that an indictment could not have been prepared in such a long time is not a good sign. This is a form of abusing rights.” He added that the raids carried out under the operation are also against the law.

Professor Burhan Senatalar, spokesperson for the December 10 Movement reminded that the closure case against the AKP and the Ergenekon probe coincided with one another. He said, “The AKP is trying to solidify its rule under the pretext of fighting for democracy”.

Source: Cumhuriyet, Turkey, July 7, 2008

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Founder of AKP, Former Deputy PM Resigned His Party

Former deputy PM Abdullatif Sener officially resigned from AKP today, during the party’s central executive board meeting. Sener, a former member of the banned Islamist Welfare Party [RP] of Necmettin Erbakan was one of the four founders of AKP along with PM Erdogan, President Gul, and former parliamentary speaker Bulent Arinc, all of whom belonged to the Islamist Milli Gorus movement.

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U.N. scheme to make Christians criminals

Sharia-following Islamic nations demanding anti-'defamation' law

Posted: July 10, 2008
12:00 am Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2008 WorldNetDaily


Dozens of nations dominated by Islam are pressing the United Nations to adopt an anti-"defamation" plan that would make Christians criminals under international law, according to a United States organization that has launched a campaign to defend freedom of religion worldwide.

"Around the world, Christians are being increasingly targeted, and even persecuted, for their religious beliefs. Now, one of the largest organizations in the United Nations is pushing to make a bad situation even worse by promoting anti-Christian bigotry," the American Center for Law & Justice said yesterday in announcing its petition drive.

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Muslims in Australia: Mohammad's Harem

Polygamist Muslim in Australia gets upset when a Aus news team start counting his wives & government dole checks.
(duration 9:15)

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Diskriminierung braucht keine Opfer

10. Juli 2008 Wer als Unternehmer in der Öffentlichkeit erklärt, keine Ausländer einstellen zu wollen, riskiert eine Haftung wegen Diskriminierung. Das gilt auch, wenn es kein erkennbares Opfer der Diskriminierung gibt, etwa einen ausländischen Bewerber. Schon mit der Aussage, man wolle einen bestimmten Personenkreis wegen seiner ethnischen Herkunft nicht einstellen, begehe der Arbeitgeber eine unmittelbare Diskriminierung im Sinne der einschlägigen EU-Richtlinie 2000/43.

Das hat der Europäische Gerichtshof in Luxemburg am Donnerstag entschieden und entsprechende Sanktionen gegen die Arbeitgeber gefordert. Anlass für das Urteil war die Klage einer belgischen Antidiskriminierungsstelle, die ein belgisches Gericht dem EuGH vorgelegt hatte.

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Muslime gegen Dänisierung der Schweiz

Der Imam von Genf (Foto) befürchtet die Ausbreitung dänischer (islamkritischer) Sitten in der Schweiz. Um “dänische Zustände” zu verhindern, lässt er durch Anwälte überprüfen, ob die aus muslimischer Sicht “beleidigende” und “demütigende” Anti-Minarett-Initiative angefochten werden kann - notfalls (aber wirklich nur notfalls!) mit internationaler Hilfe.

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Frankreichs ehrgeizige Mittelmeerträume

Schon Napoleon hat es einst nach Ägypten gezogen, Mitterand war als die Sphinx bekannt, weil er die Pharaonen so sehr verehrte und auch Nicolas Sarkozy beschwingen orientalische Großmachts- visionen von einem Imperium rund ums Mittelmeer: Nach monatelangem Tauziehen sind in Paris 43 Länder aus Europa (die ganze EU), Afrika und der Nahost-Region heute zur Gründung der Mittelmeerunion zusammengekommen. “Ein Traum wird wahr” (Bernard Kouchner).

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UN in Kosovo covered up human organ trafficking, claims

July 10, 2008
SERBIANNA

UN investigation in the Albanian trafficking in organs of deliberately murdered Serbs was doomed to failure because members of the UN mission in Kosovo themselves were implicated in it claims Serbian daily Vecernje Novosti citing an unnamed source who was a former member of the UN mission in Kosovo known as UNMIK.

Vecernje Novosti says that the UNMIK Head of the Office for Missing Persons and Forensics Jose Pablo Barajbar was personally involved in the organ trafficking.

Vecernje Novosti says that Barajbar, presently in Argentina, knew what happened in Albania but stopped the investigation. 

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Saudi Arabia's Waning Influence On the Oil Market

By: Dr. Nimrod Raphaeli *

Introduction

In the 1970s, particularly during the oil embargo of 1973, the oil market was almost single-handedly dominated by then-Saudi Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Zaki Yamani. "For more than two decades," writes Pamela Sherrid, "Ahmed Zaki Al-Yamani's commands boosted or battered personal pockets books and national economies around the world." [1] Today, when Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi talks, the market yawns, and when his king announces in an international conference that Saudi Arabia will increase crude production, the price of oil goes up.

Overview of Oil Pricing and Supply

The price of crude oil has skyrocketed in recent months, inching toward $150 a barrel, with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries president Chekib Khelil warning that the price could rise to $150-$170 a barrel in the summer. Opinions vary on the reason for the mounting price. Producers argue that supply and demand are in equilibrium and the chaotic oil market is a result of high-powered speculators who seek to make a quick profit by generating artificially high demand and hence higher prices. The rapid depreciation of the U.S. dollar against other major currencies is another reason for higher oil prices. By contrast, oil companies maintain that the failure of supply to match rising demand is the reason for the high prices. Oil companies have long complained that resource nationalism is preventing them from exploring new oil fields in oil-rich countries such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, and elsewhere.

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Jihad Networks in Pakistan and Their Inflluence in Europe

Evan F.. Kohllmann

Presentation before the III International Course on "Jihad Terrorism: Contingency Plans and Response" organized by Pablo Olavide University and the Granada University; July 10, 2008

INTRODUCTION

Since the very early days of the Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980s, Pakistani territory has unquestionably served as a major base for fundamentalist Islamic clerics, schools, and militant training camps, including for Al-Qaida. In 1988, one such facility inside Pakistan, known as "Al-Sadda", was described in the founding documents of Al-Qaida as an "open camp" from which the best "brothers" would be selected to join the new terrorist organization.1 With the emergence of the Taliban movement in the late 1990s along the Pakistani-Afghan border, increasingly larger swaths of northwestern Pakistan have become dominated by forces sympathetic to Al-Qaida and willing to host terrorist guesthouses and training camps.

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A Mediterranean Rendezvous

July 11, 2008
Author:

 

(AP/Burhan Ozbilici)

Nicolas Sarkozy is nothing if not ambitious. The French president wants to overhaul his country's economic and military policies, redefine how Europe thinks about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and collective defense, and set things right in several former French colonies in North Africa and the Middle East. Sarkozy's latest project melds some of these objectives. Having recently assumed the presidency of the European Union, Sarkozy is pushing through an idea he first broached the night he was elected—a Union for the Mediterranean (EurActiv), which will formally come into existence July 13.

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Frankreichs Schulniveau sinkt ins Bodenlose

In Frankreich hatte man eine schöne Multikulti-Idee: Die Einheitsschule. Sie sollte die “Integration der Einwandererkinder” verbessern. Doch der schöne Plan hatte verheerende Folgen: Das Gesamtniveau der Schüler ist dramatisch gesunken, die Chancen der Migranten sind aber nicht gestiegen.

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Immer wieder Vergewaltigungen in Belgien


In Belgien werden die Zustände immer haarsträubender: Erst vor ein paar Tagen wurde am “Gare du Midi” in Anderlecht eine junge Frau von zwei Männern vergewaltigt. Sie stieg aus dem Zug aus, wurde neben einem Bankomat gegen die Wand gedrückt und vor den Augen der Passanten ungestört missbraucht, obwohl man ihr beim Akt ein Messer an den Hals hielt.

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Rassismus gegen weiße Kinder

In britischen Schulen wütet blinder Rassismus: Allerdings nicht Rassismus gegen “Asiaten” oder Schwarze, sondern gegen weiße Kinder. Ein Stereotypenwechsel des klassischen Rassismus: Dieselbe Ausgrenzung und Diskriminierung unter umgekehrten Vorzeichen. Zwei Drittel aller weißen Schulkinder in Großbritannien klagen darüber, von ihren Mitschülern schikaniert zu werden.

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Vatican not to recognize Kosovo

June 27, 2008
SERBIANNA

Vatican will not recognize Kosovo as an independent state in any near future confirmed Cardinal Walter Casper during his official visit to Russia.

"At this moment, the Holy See has not recognized Kosovo as an independent state and does not plan to do so in the near future," Casper said.

Casper was also expressed concern for the destruction of Christian holy shrines that is done by the Muslim Albanian separatists in Kosovo.

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2nd Terror Suspect Released in Britain

By JOHN F. BURNS
Published: July 4, 2008

LONDON — A 45-year-old Algerian described by American prosecutors as the mastermind of an abortive plot to bomb Los Angeles International Airport during millennium celebrations in 1999 has been released on tight bail conditions after seven years in British jails, court officials said Thursday.

The release of the unnamed Algerian is the second time in a little more than two weeks that a suspect named by prosecutors as having close ties to Osama bin Laden, but not charged, has been let out on bail in Britain pending a final court ruling on government deportation proceedings.

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Sklavenhaltung in Europas Hauptstadt

Brüssel, die Stadt, welche unterstützt vom Europarat, eine Anti-Islam-Demonstration verbot und lieber die Islamisten tolerant aufmarschieren lässt, hat einen neuen Skandal. Eine arabische Scheichfamilie hielt in einem Luxushotel monatelang 17 Sklaven. Das fiel nicht weiter auf in einem Land und einer Zeit, wo jeder automatisch des Rassismus überführt ist, der bei islamischen Menschenrechtsverletzungen nicht schweigt.

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Grünes Licht für islamischen Staat Britannien

Der oberste Richter von England und Wales Lord Phillips (Foto) sieht keine Gründe, warum die Scharia in seinem Land nicht eingeführt werden sollte. Er erklärte, “es spreche nichts dagegen, das islamische Recht bei außergerichtlichen Einigungen anzuwenden. Dies sei bei vielen britischen Muslimen ohnehin bereits Praxis.” Diese erschreckende Kunde verbreiten heute die Welt und der Telegraph. Was alle tun, muss noch lange nichts Gutes sein.

 

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Mixa: Ohne Christentum kein Europa mehr


Deutliche Worte äußerte der Bischof von Augsburg, Walter Mixa, zur Eröffnung der diesjährigen Ulrichswoche im Gedenken an den Heiligen Bischof Ulrich, auf dessen Fürsprache die Katholische Kirche die Rettung des christlichen Abendlandes vor den heidnischen Reiterheeren im Jahre 955 bei der Schlacht auf dem Lechfeld zurückführt: “Europa wird auch in Zukunft christlich sein, oder es wird überhaupt nicht mehr Europa sein.”

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Food Prices

Author:
Lee Hudson Teslik, Associate Editor

June 30, 2008


Introduction

By just about any measure, global food prices rose significantly over the past two years. The consumer price index (CPI) measuring inflation for retail foodstuffs in the United States is expected to rise from 4.5 percent in 2007 to 5.5 percent in 2008. Those figures pale in comparison to the price increases faced by consumers in the developing world, who more often purchase non-packaged food directly (i.e. corn, not cornflakes) and thus are more exposed to the prices of individual food commodities. The prices of rice and wheat, for instance, have more than doubled in twelve months; for someone subsisting mainly on rice and purchasing it directly, that means food inflation of roughly 100 percent in a year. This jump in prices has led to riots in dozens of poorer countries.

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