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Turkey's culture gap, or much worse

According to a report by the conservative Clarion Project, Turkey’s Deputy PM, Bülent Arınç condemns women who laugh in public as it makes them appear immodest. Let’s get right to the core of it. He is a man born in 1948 like me, and he should know better. But, he is not only a misogynist, he is a Sunni Muslim.

Turkey’s Deputy PM, Bülent Arınç condemns women who laugh in public
Adem Altan/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images

Are all Sunni Muslim men misogynistic? The answer is most likely, and that is a big problem Islam. At the heart of that “religion” are all sorts of value judgments that result in discrimination and intolerance that is in opposition to free world values and beliefs.

As for his boss, the President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, well he is an antisemite among other things. So, how does Turkey end up being an American ally when its leadership and government are so out of alignment with the U.S.?

Start with Turkey’s foreign policy

“ANKARA — Turkish foreign policy is having a serious identity crisis.
The Turkey that had largely achieved an equilibrium in its relations with the West and the East, a shining star in the international arena between 2003 and 2010, unfortunately no longer exists. The high morale and sense of moral superiority of being a country with a developing democracy and growing economy is nowhere to be found.

Let us not be too gentle with ourselves. Today, we are a country with weaker ties to the West, conflicts with neighbors, limited vision due to a religious sectarian mentality and the inability to effectively react to developments. Even ordinary citizens are aware that there is a great difference between the country's current capacity and its past ambitions of exerting influential foreign policy.

From Syria to Egypt, Iraq to Gaza, the contrast between what we say and what happens on the field is striking. Even the traditional consumers of domestic policy rhetorics such as “Erdogan: a world leader” or “Turkey: a global power” are unhappy. Because they also know that we have said that “our patience should not be tested” several times and now we no longer possess neither deterrence nor plausibility.

Turkish citizens also see the destructiveness of the emerging terrorist organization called ISIS, which has taken our diplomats, their families and special forces members hostage in Mosul — just 100 kilometers away from our border. They also see that although we have set ourselves on a path for “zero problems with neighbors,” we are now without ambassadors in some of the most important capitals of the Middle East.

In addition to these foreign factors, there are also the reverberations at home. Even as the Foreign Ministry's stature diminishes, there is a new vanity that considers everything before the AKP era as “elitist” — while we should see it as only natural to benefit from previous experience.”

Read the full article: Turkey's Foreign Policy, And A Crisis Of Identity"

With ISIS on the prowl in the neighborhood and with Turkey being 99% Sunni Muslim, that makes it a vulnerable target.

Turkey is a turncoat, and the Obama administration has failed to react. While the women in Turkey are putting up resistance to Islamic fundamentalism, the U.S. State Department should be reaching out to moderates. Anticipating an invasion by ISIS is late in coming. Turley is proving that there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim. Islam needs a fundamental revision just as all religions do to be relevant in the modern world.

“Until recently Turkey, a NATO member that is in membership talks with the EU, was hailed as a shining example of a Muslim country where Islam and democracy can coexist. But a mix of hubris, pro-Sunni sectarianism and bad judgment on the part of the Islam-inspired Justice and Development (AK) party, has drained the country of its soft power.

The first signs of trouble came with its break with Israel over the killing in 2010 of eight Turks and one Turkish-American aboard the Mavi Marmara, a ship bound for Gaza. There followed a row with Egypt’s generals over the embrace by the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, of the Muslim Brotherhood. But Syria dealt the biggest blow.

Mr Erdogan believed that Syria’s president, Bashar Assad, could be toppled in six months; even less, Mr Davutoglu claimed. Turkey allowed the free flow of arms and rebels, jihadists included, to Syria. (Many of IS’s foreign fighters are believed to have crossed into Syria via Turkey.) IS controls two border crossings with Turkey and has its eyes on another manned by the Syrian Kurds. The Kurds insist that Turkey lets IS fighters use its territory as a back base in their battle against them.

Turkey denies these claims. But they are being examined in Washington, where Turkey’s alleged dealings with jihadists are causing worry. “There is a deep distrust of Erdogan,” says one American official. The prime minister’s most recent diatribes against Israel, comparing Israelis with Hitler, haven’t helped. But America’s leverage is fading. “Unless it came from Obama himself, any criticism will hardly be noticed by Erdogan,” says Henri Barkey of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.”

“The Deputy PM of Turkey Bülent Arınç said today that women should refrain from laughing in public, because it’s immodest. In response to Arınç’s remarks, hundreds of Turkish women posted pictures of themselves laughing on social media platforms.

Arınç, who spoke at an Eid el-Fitr gathering yesterday said, “[The woman] will know what is [forbidden] and not haram. She will not laugh in public. She will not be inviting in her attitudes and will protect her chasteness.”

Following Arınç’s remarks, hundreds of women protested by posting pictures of themselves laughing on Twitter and other social media sites like Instagram.”

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