Turkey's last warning to the West before it's too late

Published 19.03.2017 23:42

Unless the Western leaders see the danger posed by their populist policies, which Turkey has already warned them about, the world will become an even more chaotic place

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday that the new ban on headscarves in the workplace by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) would commence a struggle between the cross and the crescent. "Shame on the EU. Down with your European principles, values and justice," he said and asked, "Where is the liberty of religion?" Further criticizing European governments for refusing to allow Turkish ministers to rally Turkish citizens living in Europe, Erdoğan said, "The spirit of fascism is roaming the streets of Europe," comparing the treatment of Muslims to the Nazi treatment of the Jews. "The fear of Turks is beginning to appear. The fear of Islam is beginning to appear. They are even afraid of migrants looking for asylum. They fear everything that originates elsewhere; they are hostile to everything that is not from there," he added.Also speaking on Thursday, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu predicted that holy wars would soon begin in Europe. Minister Çavuşoğlu said: "Now the election is over in the Netherlands. When you look at the many parties you see there is no difference between the social democrats and fascist [Geert] Wilders. All have the same mentality. Where will you go? Where are you taking Europe? You have begun to collapse Europe. You are dragging Europe into the abyss. Holy wars will soon begin in Europe."

Both Erdoğan and Çavuşoğlu made many points. To start with, Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu and Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya should not have been blocked by the Netherlands. Being senior figures, and just like all other foreign ministers and politicians, they should be treated with the respect they and Turkey deserve. The Dutch authorities defend their wrong policies by saying that they were going to Holland as party politicians, not government officials. So what? While they allow all opposition voices, what is the problem with being a party politician? Is favoring some voices above others the new essence of free speech in Europe? Wasn't the EU proud of allowing all people to be heard, giving them a platform? Is it okay to give a green light to others, including outlawed terror groups like the PKK or the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and to stop the governing AK Party politicians? Germany, Austria and Switzerland have also blocked Turkish ministers from rallies within their borders. Some European authorities, like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have said they will do all they can to prevent Turkey's domestic tensions spreading into their territories. If so, why are so many new campaigns coming out of Europe everyday about Turkey's upcoming constitutional referendum? European newspapers are saturated with headlines on Turkey; experts, politicians and even jurists are looking for a ‘No' vote. If the Europeans say they want to stay out of it, so they should stay out of it; but no, they cannot stop themselves campaigning against the Turkish government and of course Erdoğan. If Turkey had refused a European politician's entry to attend an organization in Turkey, what would the whole Western world be saying right now? After all, they had already started a verbal war with Turkey for less. The Turks are offended, and they have every right to question the real purpose behind the curtains, which gets thinner nowadays. Extremists, nationalists and separatists are on the rise in all Western countries, and the mainstream parties put the blame on them. But are the center parties really dedicated to their values that make them so proud? To defeat extremists in the elections, they come up with restrictions, bans, limiting liberties, anti-migrant policies and isolationism. The new ban of the European Union's top law court, for instance.

Employers are now entitled to ban their staff from wearing visible religious symbols. You may say that it is not just for Muslims, but it is certainly intolerable for them. It is a direct attack on Muslim women wearing hijabs at work. This is the court, which said many times until recently that banning the wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign would be direct discrimination. Can someone show me the difference between the ECJ's ban on headscarves and new U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban, please? Then, where are all the liberals and democrats who were on the streets for nights and days to be in solidarity with Muslims now? President Erdoğan is totally right to compare the situation to a struggle between the cross and the crescent. And so is Minister Çavuşoğlu arguing that holy wars will soon begin in Europe. The refusal by the West to accept the equality of Muslims and Muslim nations is the sign of a clash of civilizations. The new way of making politics in the West makes religious provocations soar to new highs. Militant secularism is taking the place of pluralism, liberties and rights. The way things are going, sadly, it will not be surprising to see more violence in Europe and all across the world as well.

If you have decided to clench your fists, you are getting ready for a fight; if you hit, you will be hit back. The next phase is guns and bombs. Extremists like Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen do not have to win the elections; their views are already the EU's new policies. President Erdoğan and other government officials are raising their voices since Western governments have aggrieved Turks and Muslims. But their words are not threats, just warnings. Erdoğan warned the U.S. and the EU many times about Syria, Iraq and the high possibility of rising terror, the risks of sectarian violence, the refugee influx and humanitarian disaster. Turkish authorities said hundreds of times that Western countries would be affected too if they underestimated the real situation in the Middle East. They ignored those warnings and chose to proceed with their mistaken policies. And here we are now. Turks are warning one last time. They are asking: "Are you aware that you are playing with fire? What on earth is going on? Are you insane?" The rest is up to the Western governments.

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