Spanish Pundit (II)

abril 30, 2007

Steyn on Turkey

Filed under: Islamismo,reflexiones,Turquía — Nora @ 9:12 pm
One of the most lucid and to-the-point writers is Mark Steyn. He has a web page called Steyn-on-Line where all of his articles can be read. This is what he writes about Turkey:

For a year or more now, there’s been a steady drip of “Who lost Turkey?” stories. The modern secular Muslim state – a country that gave women the vote before Britain did and was Israel’s best friend in an otherwise hostile region – certainly, that Turkey seems to be being de-boned by the hour: it now has an Islamist government whose Prime Minister has canceled trade deals with Israel, denounced the Iraqi elections, and frosted out the US Ambassador because he was Jewish; a new edition of Mein Kampf is prominently displayed at the airport bookstore. In other words, the Zionist Entity’s best pal is starting to look like just another cookie-cutter death-to-the-Great-Satan stan-of-the-month.
But among all the lamentations only Michel Gurfinkiel’s recent analysis in commentary got to the underlying reality: Since the collapse of the Ottoman
Empire, there have been two Turkeys: the Turks of Rumelia, or European Turkey,
and the Turks of Anatolia, or Asia Minor. Kemal Ataturk was from Rumelia and so
were most of his supporters, and they imposed the modern Turkish Republic on a
somewhat relunctant Anatolia, where Ataturk’s distinction between the state and
Islam was never accepted. In its 80-year history, the population has increased from 14 million in 1923 to 70 million today, but the vast bulk of that population growth has come from Anatolia, whose population has migrated from the rural hinterland to overwhelm the once solidly Kemalist cities. Ataturk’s modern secular Turkey has simply been outbred by fiercely Islamic Turkey. That’s a lesson in demography from an all-Muslim sample: no pasty white blokes were involved. So the fact that Muslim fertility is declining in Tunisia is no consolation: all that will do, as in Turkey, is remove moderate Muslims from the equation too early in the game.

Brief and to the point…
Related posts: Turkey’s fight against Islamism.

China: not progressing on Human Rights

[Traducido al final]
According to the new report from Amnesty International, China has not fulfilled its promise to protect Human Rights for the Olympics Game of 2008:

The report catalogs a wide range of persistent abuses, from extensive use of detention without trial to the persecution of civil rights activists and new methods to rein in the domestic media and censor the Internet.
The London-based group welcomed the new rules for foreign journalists and the referral of all death sentences to China’s Supreme Court since the start of the year. “Disappointingly, they have been matched by moves to expand detention without trial and house arrest of activists, and by a tightening of controls over domestic media and the Internet,” Catherine Baber, deputy Asia-Pacific director of Amnesty International, said in a statement.
China’s Foreign Ministry in a statement Monday rejected the report, saying the government was improving its legal system and promoting democracy. “We are conscientiously fulfilling our promise for the Olympics. … The progress China has achieved in human rights cannot be slandered by a report from an individual organization with political prejudice,” the statement said.

What is more AI denounces China is using the Olympics to increase its pressure on dissidents:

A report by the group welcomed some reforms, but criticised China’s detentions without trial and tightened control of the media and the internet.

Precisely the limits imposed on freedom of speech are one of the more worrying. And internet is precisely one of the places were it is more limites. MySpace is already on in Chinese internet… with some restrictions:

Attempts to post on topics that are deemed inappropriate by the Chinese Government will result in the message: “Sorry, the article you want to publish may contain inappropriate content. Please delete the unsuitable content, and then try reposting it. Thank you.” Even searching for blacklisted keywords results in the same warning.

Anyway, Chinese evident lack of progress on Human Rights has had some benefits: Chinese Censorship Chief receives French Highest Honor.

Long Xinmin, rewarded with the Légion d’Honneur at the French Embassy in Beijing, is a dignitary of the Chinese regime. He is the chief of the censorship administration, an administration that controls all newspapers, television and, of course, the Chinese Internet. It does not hesitate to send to prison those who do not respect the strict rules of the propaganda. Officially, Mr. Long has received the medal for being a francophile. But even inside the communist party, he’s considered as a hardliner, a conservative that has recently been harsher with Chinese bloggers.

Canada has been assured that China had not tortured Canadian citizen Huseyin Celil, a Canadian citzen accused by Chinese authorities of “separating China” and “organizing, leading and participating in terrorist groups, organizations“. I wonder if they would be soooo worried if this Canadian citizen was Christian, Jewish or Buddhist…

We will also see if Al Gore sells any of his videos to China, as the pollution there is growing rapidly: it will be this year the more important polluter:

Currently, 16 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are located in China, and it is the second largest emitter of energy-related carbon dioxide after the United States. China relies on coal for 70 percent of its energy needs, and discharges a large amount of pollutants into its rivers. The increase of the economy’s energy demands is also the cause of higher greenhouse gas levels, as many Chinese companies build coal-fired plants and operate them without the government’s consent.

In the same link there says that AlGore has spoken about Chinese environment… in USA. It would be very good to try to speak about this with Chinese authorities…

Other news:

Rich Chinese fancy expensive cars. The most exclusive car brands are among those experiencing the fastest growth. Jenny Zheng, Rolls-Royce’s general manager for greater China, says the company’s China sales jumped more than 60% last year from the year before. She says China overtook Japan for the first time in 2006, though she declined to cite actual figures. Globally, the brand has sold 805 cars, each one tailor-made to the owner’s demands, she says. Well, this is logical considering that China is communist… or not?
China moves to restrict lending.
Thousands of Chinese mines and cement workers are dying each year from breathing of coal and cement dust. “The lung disease known as “black lung” or pneumoconiosis accounts for three quarters of all occupational deaths, health officials said. China’s coal mines are the most deadly in the world. An average of 17 miners are killed in mining accidents each day, the official People’s Daily newspaper reports. Independent labour groups believe the death toll is much higher“. “Of 677,000 occupational disease cases reported in China since the 1950s, more than 90% were pneumoconiosis cases, health ministry spokesperson Su Zhi said. Last year alone, the black lung disease accounted for 76% of the 11,000 new occupational disease cases reported. 621 of the pneumoconiosis cases reported last year involved workers under the age of 18“.
___________________
Un informe de Amnistía Internacional vuelve a denunciar que China sigue sin respetar los derechos humanos, a pesar de haber prometido hacerlo para la inauguración de los Juegos Olímpicos. Entre otras cosas, el informe denuncia las detenciones sin juicio y las restricciones a la libertad de expresión, así como que parece que se está aprovchando precisamente los JJOO para incrementar la presión sobre los disidentes.
Por supuesto, China lo ha negado diciendo que “los evidentes procesos en materia de Derechos Humano van a ser dismiuidos en importancia por una organizacion con prejuicios políticos”.
Sin embargo,las restricciones en Internet continúan: ahora es MySpace la que tiene un filtro que impide postear material considerado “no apropiado“, de tal forma que si no lo quitas el post no puedes postearlo.
Eso sí, Francia ha concedido al censor mayor de … la Republica Popular China la legion de Honor, porque es “muy francófilo“. Y mientras Canadá está muy aliviada después de que las autoridades chinas hayan asegurado que no han torturado a un ciudadano canadiense, acusado de intentar separar China y de “pertenecer a organizaciones subversivas, terroristas o semejantes”. El ciudadano en cuestión es musulmán, y, considerando loable que defiendan a sus ciudadanos, habría que preguntrse si hubieran mantenido la misma postura, si Husiyen Celil hubiera pertenecido a otra religión.
Asimismo, China -al igual que EEUU, pero ya veremos quién es más criticado- consideran poco fiable un informe sobre la contaminación, al convertirse China este mismo año en el mayor contaminador del mundo. Ya de las 2o capitales más contaminadas, 16 están en China.
Y, para terminar, a los chinos ricos les molan los coches caros (la firma Rolls-Royce ha anunciado que este año han aumentado un 60% sus ventas) mientras las 3/4 partes de los mineros o trabajadores del cemento mueren anualmente de “pulmón blanco“. Sólo el año pasado, el 76% de los trabajadores con enfermedades han muerto por esta causa. 621 eran de menores de 18 años.

Turkey’s fight against Islamism

Some days ago 3 Christians were killed after being tortured in the central city of Malatya:

The three victims — a German and two Turkish citizens — were found with their hands and legs bound and their throats slit at the Zirve publishing house in the central city of Malatya.
Police detained four youths, aged 19-20, and also suspect a fifth, who underwent surgery for head injuries sustained apparently in trying to escape by jumping from a window at Zirve, authorities said.
The five suspects had each had been carrying copies of a letter that read “We five are brothers. “We are going to our deaths. We may not return,” according to the state-run Anatolia news agency.

[…] In February 2006, a Turkish teenager shot a Catholic priest dead as he prayed in his church, and two other Catholic priests were attacked later that year. A November visit by Pope Benedict XVI was greeted by several nonviolent protests. Earlier this year, a suspected nationalist killed Armenian Christian editor Hrant Dink.

[…] The manner in which the victims were bound suggested the attack could have been the work of a local Islamic militant group, commentators said, and CNN-Turk television reported that police were investigating the possible involvement of Turkish Hezbollah — a Kurdish Islamic organization that aims to form a Muslim state in Turkey’s Kurdish-dominated southeast.
Turkish Hezbollah — which has been known to “hog-tie” its victims while torturing them — takes its name from the Lebanon-based Hezbollah, but has no formal links to it. Turkish authorities recently said they were witnessing an increase in the group’s activities.

The Middle East Times [h/t The Belmont Club] reported about the torture inflicted on the victims:

“He had scores of knife cuts on his thighs, his testicles, his rectum, and his back,” Ugras said. “His fingers were sliced to the bone. “It is obvious that these wounds had been inflicted to torture him,” he said.

[…] The abuse lasted for three hours as the five men detained at the crime scene interrogated the three on their missionary activities, they said.

But there is another thing to worry about h/t NoisyRoom.Net:

Even though both Turks who died on Wednesday had abandoned Islam and converted to Christianity, Ugur Yuksel was buried as a Muslim.

More in Kattolikko Pensiero.

The Turkish PM Erdogan considered this “a brutality“. But the fact that he have elected his friend Abdullah Gül to substitute him (Erdogan is retiring from active politics) has caused a terrible political storm.

Gül is what MSM call a moderate Muslim. His wife wears the veil -she could not study at University because of that- and his daughter wears a wig instead of hijab, not to show her hair attending the Unversity classes. [In the Atatürk founded state, based on modern secularism, women who wear hijabs are forbidden to attend any official/public gathering/office.

Lots of Turks began demonstrating against the naming of Gül h/t C&R. The Jawa Report has a video in this post.

The Turkish Army, guardian of the secularism, spoke to warn against any movements that would make secularism disappear from Turkey. The Government told the Army that the military chief answers to the Prime Minister

And the EU “warned Turkish Army over vote“:

EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said the controversy was a test case for
the military to respect democracy.

So it is true that they are seeing it better an moderate Islamist Turkey than a military held secular Government. I wonder what they would say if any Catholic country would be in the same position…

At the same time,I think they are searching for a reason not to admit Turkey in EU. I mean, if Turkey would be a real stable secularist country with no kind of influence from Islamists, EU would have it really tough not to admit them. But as it is, there are great majorities both in Germany and France -here it would really depends on who wins the Presidential election, as Ségoléne has announced she would support Turkey’s admittance into the EU- that do not like Turks in the EU. If a coup happens or Islamist influence grows, it is going to be plainly difficult… to tell them EU admits them… [remember Gül was the one who said that, if Turkey wasn’t admitted, the EU would be considered as “a Christian club”?]

More about this at Town Commons who points out that ten years ago, the Army ousted Islamist premier Necmettin Erbakan’s government, in which Gul also served, with strong public backing and without tanks on the streets, something which forgets to tell the Economist when writing about Gül. He also comments about this:

I am unsure how to feel about the EU’s warning. On one hand, it is comic for being utterly meaningless. There is no military threat behind it, and it is pretty clear that the EU will not forgo a single euro in trade over it. On the other hand, it is rather ironic for being issued in protection of Islamists. If Gates of Vienna’s compelling arguments on Islamicization in Europe and its likely course are accurate, this continued EU willingness to do business with and support Islamists may be biting them sooner rather then later.

More about demonstrations against Islamism in Turkey from Gateway Pundit. Jim has posted a lot of photos, like the one on the right.

Newsbusters also wrote about this: How will media Report Massive Turkish Protests Against Islamic-Rooted Government? h/t Custos Fidei.

More about the demonstrations in NYT, Deutsche Welle.

It’s curious that International MSM pictures these huge demonstration (1 million according to Turkish TV) as “elite” demonstrations… and that the demonstrations are considering the Islamists as inferior human beings.

Turkish political tensions hit currency ahead of court ruling.

Tulay Tugcu, president of the Constitutional Court, said she hoped for a ruling on Friday’s contested first-round vote before the second round is held on Wednesday.
If the court’s 11 judges rule in favor of the plaintiff, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the election will be annulled and early elections will be called in 45 to 90 days.
The CHP based its complaint on a technicality, saying the 550-member parliament should have had a quorum of 367 to open the session for a presidential election — the number of votes required for a candidate to be elected in the first round.

Other news about Turkey:

  • Turkey warned Canada US against using term genocide regarding Armenians. Canadian Prime Minister Harper was warned through diplomatic channels last week that “repeating these claims annually will not help in normalizing Turkey-Armenia relations and will harm Turkish-Canadian bilateral relations as well.” “We hope that the Canadian PM will not repeat this year what he did last year,” a high-level Foreign Ministry official said, the Turkish Daily News reports. [To read more about Armenian genocide, go over to Fausta’s blog].
  • Turkish Islamists in Germany h/t Jihadi du Jour: Welt am Sonntag: What do you think about the influence of Islam on the western world? Notker Wolf: There are certainly some groups that have set the islamization of Europe as their goal. I think that in itself is a serious thing. In Germany the Turkish association Ditib recently demanded that the «Word on Friday» be broadcast on public television. I only wonder: How can it be that these people demand all rights in Germany for themselves, while at the same time Christians are seriously discriminated in Turkey? Why are we, Christians, not allowed a theological faculty in Turkey? Why are we not allowed to have any church property there? Meanwhile, the mayor of Munich even breaks building regulations to approve a mosque, just to win the votes of the Turks. That is unbelievable! Tolerance is good, but it doesn’t mean we should surrender.
  • Turkey’s stocks, currency tumble on election fears (also on BBC, BBC) : The ISE National 100 index dropped 5.7% to 44,208.58, with Turkcell losing 2%, Finansbank down 1.7% and Alcatel Teletas losing 5.8%. The dollar gained as much as 4%, and climbed 2.7% to 1.3640 lira in morning trading.
    The staunchly secular military, which has led three coups since 1960, is upset that the leading presidential candidate, Abdullah Gul, has an Islamist past. In a statement made Friday evening, the military said it would act to defend secularism.
    Serhan Cevik, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, called the military’s statement “harsh” and “unexpected.”
    “Even though reasons behind this blunt declaration are open to debate, there is no doubt that even ‘post-modern’ statements undermine institutional reforms to demilitarize the political landscape and thereby Turkey’s accession negotiations with the European Union,” Cevik said in a note to clients.

Others blogging about this: Desde el Exilio.

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