-Akhlaq Ahmed Usmani*
Several years after the defeat of Nazi Germany, the fascism has once again started getting the fancy of today’s leaders. It has been rising across the world in waves of patriotism, which is how the Nazism rose in Germany and Hitler came to power. It is spreading all over Europe and other Asian countries. Fascism and Neo-Nazism growth has been ignored till now as the movement of a handful of misguided youth. However, things have changed in last couple of years as fascist leaders have started winning the hearts of people of ever rising wave of xenophobia and racism fuelled by fears of Wahhabi jihadists.
Fascism has been spreading like virus and one of the world’s leading fortress of Secularism, Turkey has slowly and firmly have converted to radical Islam under the leadership of Kurdophobic-Sufiphobic Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He has been changing Turkey step by step towards Fascism through censorship, Sufiphobia, iron grip over army suppression of Kurd minorities and Sufis. Turkey has changed since Erdogan took the reins of power. “Age of Erdogan” has turned it into a country which has adopted violence, threats and sponsorship of terrorism as tools of foreign policy. He has openly praised and supported Hitler after which he was trolled on social media. He even threatened to block twitter and other social media in the country.
Erdogan was a member of the fundamentalist extreme Wahhabi ideological “Welfare Party” which was declared unconstitutional in 1998 on the grounds of threatening the secularism of Turkey and was shut down by the Turkish constitutional court. He was imprisoned for reciting a poem with verses inciting jihadist violence. He later founded Muslim Brotherhood’s offshoot AKP (Justice and Development Party), which came to power in 2002. Since, he has focused to economic growth fuelled by Wahhabi funding from Qatar’s Royal Family for following Wahhabi agenda. Armed with growing economic prosperity, he has been slowly ushering in the agenda of promoting religious fanaticism and thereby damaging Turkey’s Constitutional structure of Secularism.
Under his leadership, Turkey has followed Pakistan on this route by openly using terrorists to further its foreign policy agenda. It is a well known fact that Turkish Army openly attacked Syria and Iraq hiding behind Islamic State (ISIS) and other so called moderate rebels (actually equal or worse than ISIS). It openly supported the policy of good and bad terrorists by labelling all fanatic organizations including offshoots of AlQaeda (AlNusra) as moderate rebels. It is another matter that like Pakistan the terrorists trained by Turkey returned home to do some domestic bombing and killed many people. Such attacks helped Erdogan in further strengthening of his stronghold over power in Turkey and curbing domestic freedom in the name of controlling terror.
Turkey has been slowly but firmly moving towards radicalism under the stewardship of its current president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It is a well known fact that Erdogan harbours caliphate revival dream close to his heart with himself as Caliph, that is actual idea of his political master Hassan Al Banna, the founder of Muslim Brotherhood. His pursuit of caliphate dreams is one of the major factors behind the rise of ISIS. Under his Presidentship the Turkish Army is blamed to train terrorist organisations abut also backed attacks on sovereign territories of Syrian and Iraqi nation. Turkish army has marched with terrorist organizations the way Pakistani army marched with terrorists in Kargil and Kashmir.
He has taken the lead over despots of Africa and North Korea in jailing journalists according to Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in 2012 and 2013. The cases of journalist imprison decreased since 2014 which is mostly due to journalists learning the lesson and avoiding direct allegations against government. Besides, government suppression machinery in Turkey has found new targets like Fethullah Gülen. Incidentally the ‘coup’ (?) helped Erdogan to increase his hold over power and neutralize the threat of real coup from Army. This one move helped him to attack renowned Sufi leader Fethullah Gülen and his chain of educational institutions. He has been demanding arrest and extradition of Gülen from USA. He can even blackmail US President Trump by threatening cutting off access to strategic air base at Incirlik, which will hurt American military interests in the region.
Erdogan has grow increasingly paranoid and authoritarian over years of rule. He has blamed Fethullah Gülen for last year’s botched coup attempt in Turkey and keeps harping about Gulen’s terrorist connections (ignoring his own extremist roots and Muslim Brotherhood’s deep Wahhabi connections). It is a known fact that Gülen is well known educationists and humanitarian activist, who runs a global chain of educational institutions with a message of inter faith harmony, which was once supported by Turkish Government (now subverted by its Wahhabi President). He is putting pressure on governments of countries where these Institutions operate to close Gülen linked Institutions despite their good track record on false charges of supporting terror.
The difference between Wahhabism and Sufism is that of hatred and love and world knows which one gives message of peace and which one supports organisations like ISIS as pillars of Wahhabism/Salafism. It is a well known fact that Erdogan family benefited from the rise of ISIS and bought oil at minimal price from ISIS for oil security. It even went to the extent of attacking a Russian fighter plane when Russia joined the battle against terrorism in support of Syria. Emerging fascism in Turkey threatens the world with emergence of another opportunist terrorism sponsor nation like Pakistan, which can be bigger threat to global peace by virtue of being gateway to Europe and Middle East on account of its strategic position. The world needs to rise from its slumber and join hands against the rise of fascism in Turkey.
Photo Caption: President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Sufi Preacher Fethullah Gulen
*Editor of DiplomacyToday.in