Turkish striptease reveals nothing new
President Erdogan of Turkey tantalized the rest of the world by leaking bits and pieces about the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, but the finale of his slow striptease on Tuesday revealed little we didn’t already know.
Between Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan the world is left with the challenge of identifying which one of the two is the Doppelganger.
Turkey under Erdogan holds the distinction of being the world leader in arresting journalists. Turkey lecturing the Saudi regime is the pot calling the kettle black.
Jamal Khashoggi was a Saudi exile living as a resident in America, writing for the Washington Post. But what about Serena Shim, the Detroit-born American journalist who died a mysterious death in October 2014 under the watch of Erdogan?
It was supposed to be Serena Shim’s last assignment inside Turkey reporting on the smuggling of ISIS militants from Turkey into Syria, when, in the words of her mother Judy Poe, she was killed for “telling the truth.” The accident came just days after Shim said she had been threatened by Turkish intelligence services, who accused her of being a spy, according to her mother.
At the time, the U.S. State Department under President Obama said it does not conduct investigations into deaths overseas. It referred all questions to authorities in Turkey. Such was the grip of Turkish influence inside the United States.
Seems Erdogan is using the current crisis to regain Turkey’s lost status in NATO and the United States by blackmailing both Saudi Arabia and the White House.
On the weekend, I sat down with Turkish journalist Said Sefa who fled his country and has obtained refugee status in Canada. With the help of smugglers he walked across the Turkey-Greece border along with his family to find sanctuary in Christian Europe while escaping the tentacles of Islamist authoritarianism.
Sefa is the publisher and editor-in-chief of the popular online Turkish newspaper Haberdar.com that was launched in 2008. Based in Istanbul, it provided space for some of the country’s leading critics of the Erdogan dictatorship and the rapid transformation of Turkey from a secular state into a version of the Islamic Caliphate.
“I am from Urfa, a Turkish town on the Turkey-Syria border and came to know of Turkish support for Islamist jihadi fighters ranging from Al-Qaeda to Al-Nusra and of course ISIS,” he said. “When Haberdar.com reported this news in 2014, I was summoned by Turkish security agencies who asked me to hand over my passport.”
Of course he didn’t and told the secret police he had lost it. (It had a 10-year visitor’s Visa to the U.S. and Sefa knew that was his way out of hell).
The fact remains, the elites in the West are caught between twin evils who have manipulated them into believing that Iran is a threat to the West, even as both, Saudi Arabia and Turkey foster hatred for the ‘kuffar’ – the West and non-Muslims.
Prophet Muhammad commanded his people to “Speak the truth even if it is against yourself.” But there is not one leader in the Islamic world who follows that injunction. Not one.
From Pakistan to the Maldives, Somalia to Jordan, all have prostrated themselves in Saudi Arabia today to pay homage to murder and lies. What would Prophet Muhammad say to them?
Tarek Fatah, TORONTO SUN