Op-ed: The Turkish president’s successful efforts to Islamize his country are responsible for the rise in terrorism, an obvious result; he has only himself to blame.

Up until the last decade, Turkey was the very model of a secular country, despite its absolute majority of Muslim citizens.

Since the revolution of Mustafa Atatürk, the father of Turkish secularism, it has been forbidden for women to wear headscarves, at least in the civil service. In 1997, that law was actually expanded, and a provision was added forbidding wearing a veil at universities. The High Court approved an administrative decision to prevent the promotion of an educator because she insisted on wearing a veil.

Before the 2007 elections, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan promised to revoke the law forbidding headscarves. Human rights organizations the world over had been pushing for this amendment for years. Secular Turks responded with a massive demonstration opposing the change.

In 2008, the parliament approved the amendment by a large majority, arguing that every woman had the fundamental right to decide on her manner of dress. The Constitutional Court struck down the decision—arguing that it was in opposition to the constitutional principles on which modern Turkey was established.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo: AP)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo: AP)


Striking down the law did not change the trend. Turkey, with the encouragement of Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party which he heads, has become more and more Muslim.

There is a rise in support for the implementation of sharia law, more men are bearded, many more women are wearing headscarves, and there is no enforcement of the law, which ostensibly remains in effect.

What is interesting is that not only did this radicalization not prevent terror, but to the contrary: the radicalization increased support of terrorism. In a poll published this year, 21 percent supported the claim that ISIS is the true representative of Islam. Twenty percent supported the attack against the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

The Islamist trend led by President Erdoğan has succeeded above and beyond. Maybe even a bit more than it appeared. The Turkish regime tried to claim that the Kurdish resistance (the PKK) was behind the terrorist attacks. The truth has been revealed. It was jihad. In fact, this isn’t surprising.

Because the states that tolerate terrorism the most are the states with the highest concentration of supporters of radical Islam, Wahhabism and Salafism. It’s happening in Pakistan, in Afghanistan, in Somalia, in Nigeria and in Libya. The fact that Muslim states and Muslims are the principle victims doesn’t deter terrorism’s supporters. They commit suicide inside of mosques in Nigeria just like in Pakistan. They’re not Sunnis against Shiites. They’re Sunnis against Sunnis.

One could argue that terrorism is a result of changes in alliances, and maybe even the cessation of Turkish support for ISIS. This is not exactly correct. Because terrorism flourishes wherever radicalization grows.

On Saturday, terrorism tried to wound Turkey and Turks. Israelis apparently were injured unintentionally. Erdoğan is leading Turkey to Islamization. Turkey is paying the price. There’s no paradox here. To the contrary: this is the obvious result. Almost predictable. So Erdoğan has only himself to blame.

As reported by Ynetnews