CNN Contributor: Secularism in Turkey is dead

Walid was roundly ignored when he warned about what was happening in Turkey several years ago. In 2006, during an appearance on Glenn Beck’s Headline News program, Walid warned that Islam was on the rise in Turkey and that secularism was in danger of being thrown into the dust bin.

Now that it’s already happened, CNN doesn’t seem to have a problem reporting it. Soner Cagaptay writes, in part, about Atif Hoca, one of the most strident anti-Kemalists in the 1920’s, when Kemal Ataturk insisted on a secularist Turkey.

Via CNN:

Recently though, Atif Hoca’s legacy has been reversed in the public eye. In February 2012, the government decided to name a public hospital in Iskilip – Atif Hoca’s hometown – after him. This dedication carries remarkable symbolic significance, as it is tantamount to honoring one of the best known anti-Kemalists to date, as well as signaling Turkey’s move to a post-Kemalist era.

Kemalism appears to have lost its influence, not just symbolically but also politically. In the past decade, Turkey has undergone a complete transformation. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has won three consecutive elections since 2002, with increasing majorities. The AKP, representing a brand of Islam-based social conservatism, has since replaced Turkey’s former Kemalist ideology and secular elites. Turkey seems to be moving to a post-Kemalist era.

Cagaptay then turns to Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an Islamist who continues to deceive the West:

A second aspect of Ataturk’s legacy that remains alive in post-Kemalist Turkey is top-down social engineering. In the same way that Ataturk wanted to shape modern Turkey in his own image, his successors will now want to do the same, imposing their own worldview on Turkish society.

In this regard, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a case-in-point. Like Ataturk, Erdogan seems willing to use the weight of his personality to remake Turkish society to match his worldview. Erdogan has already ruled Turkey longer than any other democratically-elected prime minister, and he might replace Ataturk as the country’s longest-reigning leader if he is elected as the president of Turkey in 2014. Like Ataturk, Erdogan seems willing to use his personal charisma to remake Turkish society to match his vision.

Ataturk often said “he wanted to raise contemporary European generations” among Turks. Recently, Erdogan said “he would like to raise religious generations” among the Turks. Kemalism may be dead, but Ataturk’s way of doing business appears to be alive and kicking in Turkey.

Here is Walid’s 2006 interview with Glenn Beck. Contrast Cagaptay’s 2012 piece with Walid’s 2006 words. Perhaps upon doing so, people might stop questioning Walid’s loyalty to the United States and start questioning CNN’s.

It’s mildly interesting to note that CNN goes out of its way to make it clear that Cagaptay’s views are his own and do not necessarily represent the views of CNN. Perhaps, if they’re truly an unbiased news organization (cough, cough), they’d consider giving Walid equal time.

If they’re willing to feature one perspective while distancing themselves from it, not featuring an opposite perspective only draws them closer to Cagaptay’s views.

h/t Jihad Watch

Ben Barrack is a talk show host and author of the upcoming book, Unsung Davids


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