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Now, What Phobia Is This?

Now, What Phobia Is This?

Turkey’s leaders, most notably President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have the habit of loathing “Islamophobia in the West which they rightly do.

All the same, their condemnation of the bad is, as it almost always happens, incomplete and selective.

Ahmet Orken is one of Turkey’s best-known professional cyclists and the multiple Turkish time trial champion. In September he signed a two-year contract with Israel Cycling Academy. In the aftermath of the Turkish public outcry over U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Mr Orken, under pressure, had to quit his Israeli team and join a homegrown Turkish team. “It was a difficult period in the last two weeks,” he said, referring to pressure on himself and his family for having signed up with an Israeli sports team.

What phobia forced the cyclist to end his contract with a sports team? What phobia could have forced an athlete has to quit his team just because a foreign head of state recognized a city as the official capital of another foreign country? Islamophobia?

In November, during the Miss Universe Pageant contest in Las Vegas, Miss Iraq Sarah Idan and Miss Israel Adar Gandelsman uploaded images of themselves on their Instagram accounts, with the words “peace and love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel.” A month later the family of Miss Iraq was forced to flee the country. Miss Israel’s family still lives in Israel peacefully.

What phobia is it that forced an Iraqi family to flee their country just because their daughter posed with an Israeli contestant and posted the words “peace and love?” What phobia may have prompted threats of violence against the Iraqi family? What phobia so powerfully hates peace and love? Islamophobia?

Also read:  Russia’s Winning The War For Turkish Public’s Trust #TurkeyRussia

The UK branch of Amnesty International, the global defender of civil liberties, recently banned UN Watch from speaking in their headquarters joining politicians like Ahmadinjead, Assad, Qaddafi, Castro, Chavez who, over the years, have all tried to intimidate and silence UN Watch.

“In debates of the UN Human Rights Council, ambassadors from Iran, Syria, Cuba, and the PLO routinely interrupt testimony from victims we bring, and urge the Chairman to rule that I am out of order. I’m used to that by now. Yet never did I imagine that the world’s largest human rights organization would join their ranks,” said Hillel C. Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. “In a patent display of bigotry and intolerance, a human rights group that is supposed to defend freedom of speech and the right to argue is shutting down a debate in their offices.”

Why, really, would a human rights watchdog, ban another watchdog? Not too difficult to guess. On February 5th UN Watch released a 50-page report documenting ten years of UN indifference to combating antisemitism. Would Amnesty ban UN Watch if it documented UN indifference to combating Islamophobia? Again, not too difficult to guess.

Ah, yes the world would be a perfectly peaceful place to live in if Islamophobia did not exist…


About The Author

Burak Bekdil

Burak Bekdil is an Ankara-based Turkish political columnist who wrote for Hurriyet Daily News [formerly Turkish Daily News] for 29 years. He has covered Turkey for the U.S. weekly Defense News since 1997. Previously, Bekdil worked as Ankara Bureau Chief for Dow Jones Newswires and CNBC-e television. He contributes to annual national defense sector reviews for anti-corruption institutions like Transparency International and Global Integrity. Bekdil is a fellow at the Middle East Forum and regularly writes for the Gatestone Institute and Middle East Quarterly. He also contributes to Perspectives, a journal of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv. James Cuno, art historian and President of the J. Paul Getty Trust, describes Bekdil as "a frequent critic of Prime Minister [now president] Recep Tayyip Erdogan." In 2001, a Heavy Crimes Court in Ankara sentenced Bekdil to a suspended, 20-month prison sentence for his column in which he satirized corruption in the judiciary. Bekdil's comments, quotes and articles have been published in international media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, BBC, The Guardian, Reuters, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Los Angeles Times, The Commentator, New York Times, Kathimerini, National Review Online, Algemeiner, NPR, Washington Times, Die Presse, Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, Toronto Star, Financial Times, Al-Monitor, Le Figaro, ABC, El Pais, Stern, Al-Arabiya, Helsingin Sanomat, Racjonalista, Defence Greece, Moyen-Orient, Courier International, ISN Security Watch and Coloquio (of Congreso Judio Latinoamerico) and the Jewish Chronicle (London). (Born: Ankara, 1966; Undergraduate: Department of Economics, Middle East Technical University, Ankara; Post-graduate: Department of Economics, University of Surrey, United Kingdom)

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