The lede in this Wall Street Journaleditorial about Turkey’s tumultuous elections – and the threat of yet another military coup (1960, 1971, 1980, 1997) – absurdly describes the EU-wanna be this way: ”The Muslim world’s liveliest democracy has long been a work in progress, but the stakes just got a lot higher … Turkey’s future as a pluralistic, free society is on the line.” Since Turkey is as democratic, pluralistic and free as any Muslim country can ever be (which is to say, not very) let’s deconstruct this nonsense:
† Democracy: Democracies do not have to worry about military coups. ‘Nuff said.
† Free society: The Turkish parliament is moving to block Web sites that insult Kemal Ataturk (for instance, by suggesting he is homosexual). … More than 60 fiction and nonfiction writers have been prosecuted for “insulting Turkishness” (typically by acknowledging the Armenian Genocide as settled history) under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code. … Just as in any totalitarian regime, all Turkish schoolchildren – including those of Armenian descent whose ancestors were murdered by Ottoman Turks – are required to recite “The Turkish Oath” in school swearing allegiance to the cult of Ataturk, and proclaiming their happiness at being Turks. … Nationalists have infiltrated all levels of government – the police, the judiciary, municipal governments – and enabled the high-profile assassination of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink (second item, The Daily Blade, February 5, 2007).… Turkish operatives have carried out an international campaign of intimidation and harassment against a Turkish historian who has written several books about the Armenian Genocide (third item, The Daily Blade, March 7, 2007).
Turkey’s tiny Christian population is not living in a democratic, pluralistic and free society. These Turkish citizens are living in fear of their lives. But don’t expect to read about any of this in The Wall Street Journal, which must use Armenian Genocide denial as a litmus test when hiring editorial and opinion writers (third item, The Daily Blade, March 2, 2007).
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