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EU warns Turkish army over vote


Devendra

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The European Union has warned Turkey's military not to interfere in politics, amid a row over the Islamist-rooted ruling party's candidate for president.

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

In a statement after a disputed vote by MPs on Friday, the army said it would defend Turkey's secular system.

In the first round of voting, the ruling AK party's candidate, Abdullah Gul, narrowly failed to win.

Mr Gul, who is also foreign minister, secured 357 votes - just 10 short of the 367, or two thirds of all deputies needed to win in the first round.

The main secular opposition party boycotted the vote and said it would challenge the election in court.

'Strange timing'

Mr Rehn was speaking after a meeting in Brussels on the EU's troubled relations with Turkey.

Turkey is an EU candidate but entry negotiations have been partially frozen because of a dispute over Cyprus. The EU is also concerned that Turkey's commitment to political reform is weakening.

The enlargement commissioner said it was important that the military left democracy to the democratically-elected government.

"This is a clear test case whether the Turkish armed forces respect democratic secularization and democratic values," he said.

"The timing is rather surprising and strange. It's important that the military respects also the rules of the democratic game and its own role in that democratic game," he said.

The army said it was following the election process with concern and would not shy away from defending secularism.

The BBC's Sarah Rainsford in Istanbul says the late-night army statement has caused a real stir in Turkey, as it is being seen as a direct warning to the government.

Many also believe that it is also a message to the judges in the constitutional court to declare the vote invalid and dissolve parliament, our correspondent says.

The army has carried out three coups in the last 50 years - in 1960, 1971 and 1980 - and in 1997 it intervened to force Turkey's first Islamist Prime Minister, Necmettin Erbakan, from power.

The AK (Justice and Development Party) is an offshoot of Erbakan's Welfare Party, which was banned in 1998.

The opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) boycotted Friday's vote because it was not consulted on Mr Gul's selection as the AK candidate.

The CHP says it will challenge the election in court because only 361 MPs were present at the vote, fewer than the 367 it says is required for a quorum. AK says only a third of MPs are required.

A second round of voting is due on Wednesday and the court has said it will try to rule on the appeal before the vote.

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I was like, wtf, what the hell is happening in Turkey, when first saw this.

This could be super bad if Islamic party wins.

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Gawd what a tangled web. Theocracy (rule by Religious Scripture) and Democracy are fundamentaly incompatable. Islam is a particular case in point, as its scripture combines politics, military imperialism and religion as one evangelical whole. (unlike any other religion). If the Muslims took control of Turkey, then - given time to establish their theocratic structures - they would probably do a very good job of running the country to the benefit of it's muslim citizens. (look at Iran: whillst it is derided in some quarters, it DOES do a good job of looking after it's muslim citizens ( at least, by regional standards), and even tolerates non-muslims as 'protected' second-class citizens. )

So Turkey might flourish under an Islamic government - especially a "moderate" one. However, it would NOT be a Democracy as we understand it , although it would have SOME democratic structures. (again, as in Iran). The critical point is that an Islamic government CANNOT be forced out of power - and allow a non-muslim government INTO power - as a result of a democratic vote. This would class as a form of Apostasy. (for which the punishment is death). Hence, transition from a Democratic government to an Islamic (Shia) government is a permanant step, which CANNOT be reversed short of civil war.

So pity Private Ahkbar (1st Army, Istanbul)

If, on the one hand, he is ordered to overthrow a newly-elected Islamist government, then he is trampling on the democraticaly elected government of Turkey, against the wishes of the majority of its citizens. Either a miliatry dictatorship would emerge (again), or there would be civil war. Either way, the chances are he will end up being ordered to shoot protesting citizens.

On the other hand, if he refuses to obey the order (or the generals decline to GIVE the order), then he sits back and watches democracy die. (and when democracies die, Private Akhbar and his colleagues usually end up shooting citizens anyway).

I would NOT like to be in Private Ahkbar's size 10 army boots right now. This is a horrible choice.

I would like to point out a typical piece of European Union hypocrisy, in passing....

Quoting from Devendra's original post....

"This is a clear test case whether the Turkish armed forces respect democratic secularization and democratic values," he said.

"The timing is rather surprising and strange. It's important that the military respects also the rules of the democratic game and its own role in that democratic game," he said.

The army said it was following the election process with concern and would not shy away from defending secularism.

Is this guy on drugs ? The word "secular" means (broadly) "non-religious". The army is stating that they will DEFEND a 'non-religoius" government, on the grounds that a Religious government is non-democratic. (you're not allowed to vote against God). The Islamists are fighting for the opposite.

The army is FOR a secular democracy, and the Islamists are against it. (on scriptural grounds). Once more, we see the brain-dead hand of the EU at work. Why didn't the media pick up on Olli Rhen's seemingly nonsensical and contradictory remarks ?

It is FAR too complicated for the Working Cat to comprehend.

Meow Purr.

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well well .

i was hoping for something like this, because turkey has over 80,000,000 people and they would also be the poorest member state too. there are already millions of turks in this country and ANYTHING that slows that process down is very very welcome indeedy :yes:

Edited by conspiracysrus
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True, the slower they get into the eu the better.

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I believe during the Nineties, aside from Israel and Egypt, Turky was the biggest recipient of US military aid........ Meanwhile Turkey was carrying out horrendous attrocities against the Kurds...........

==========

http://www.kurdistan.org/Speeches/warcrimes.html

Turkey and the Charge of Genocide -- Again

A Submission to the

Independent Commission for International War Crimes Tribunal Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, New York

By Kani Xulam

July 31, 1999

The ancient Greeks would define a man who immersed himself solely in his own private affairs as an idiot. At the International Action Center, I know, you have made it your vocation to go above and beyond the call of duty not only to concern yourselves with the welfare of disenfranchised Americans but also raise your voice for the silenced masses and nations around the world. I commend you for that and come to you as a representative of a silenced and abused nation, the Kurds.

I have been asked to tell you how we are faring in Turkey. I have also been asked if I could comment on the role of the United States in our predicament. The short answer to both questions is a disappointing one: the successive Turkish governments in Ankara have subjected us, in the words of an American writer on the sale of arms to Turkey, to a policy of slow motion genocide. Since the beginning and the end of Cold War, the United States government has basically aided and abetted the Turkish government to succeed in this unholy task.

One may ask, what is it that we Kurds have done to earn such an enmity from the Turkish ruling classes? Another one could ask, why is it that the United States is fully supporting Ankara's effort to wipe out the very existence of a people who have had no quarrels with neither Americans nor their representatives? Turkey's best selling Kurdish writer, Yasar Kemal, notes that greed and racism, the twin cancers of humanity he calls them, are the nemeses of the Kurds. I agree with him.

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in defense of the turks though they have to protect their borders. the pkk are pushing for an independent homeland and why should turkey hand it over?

the pkk have killed nearly 20,000 people in the terrorist campaign which is funded by the massive heroin trade the pkk networks control.

the bulk of this poison is destined for western europe and the no 1 destination is the uk.

the kurds are not the harmless little mountain goat herders people think they are, they control prostitution rings often using women they have hoodwinked into it. (sex slaves) in fact.

people who have suffered so much themselves deserve no mercy when they choose others suffering as their choice of self liberation.

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