European ignorance of Islam
Statements made by Western officials in defense of PM Erdogan and the AKP, and against Turkey’s judiciary that allegedly stem from their concern for “democracy” are being reported daily in the front pages of Turkey’s pro-AKP, Islamist dailies under thick headlines such as “EU lashes out at AK Party ban bid”.
Following are some of the statements that adorn the front pages of Islamist dailies such as Zaman, Yeni Safak, Vakit, Sabah, Star, Bugun:
Olli Rehn, EU Commissioner of Enlargement: "In a normal European democracy, political issues are debated in parliament and decided in the ballot box, not in the courtroom. It is difficult to see that this lawsuit respects the democratic principles of a normal European society."
Swedish FM Carl Bildt said that the AKP government was made up of "profound European reformers" and that the prosecutor's action "takes the concept of the bizarre application of laws to astronomical heights." He said, “We all know there are those who are trying to break things down and have extremely exaggerated, extremely inflated fears for the future of the secular character of Turkish society”. Bildt also said that in Europe there is respect for the religious.
Former German PM Schröder said, “This case is not only a coup intitative from above, but is also a dishonorable action against the will of the Turkish nation. Everyone should know that trying to turn democracy backwards will end in failure. The Turkish public elected Tayyip Erdogan's cabinet by majority. The president, who is highly esteemed in the international arena, was also elected in a democratic manner". He added, " The EU must realize that Erdogan should be supported now more than ever."
Mainstream Turkish daily Milliyet columnist Semih Idiz wrote that one of the factors weighing in on this way of thinking [in the West] is that “there's no problem of secularism in Western countries, unlike in Turkey. So it's hard for foreign observers to understand the conditions in Turkey”.
Source: Zaman, Yeni Safak, Sabah, Milliyet, March 16-18, 2008