Sunday, April 29, 2012

The War on Turkish Women

Since taking office Barack Obama has had a difficult and contentious relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

At the same time, he has forged a warm and loving relationship with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Ayyip Erdogan.

Last month Barry Rubin described it:

President Barack Obama is continuing his love affair with Turkish Islamist leader Recep Erdogan. As Erdogan continues to undermine Turkish democracy, throw hundreds of moderates into jail, destroy the nation’s institutions, help Iran, throw hysterical tantrums about how much he hates Israel, promote Islamism in the region, and is fresh from still another meeting with Hamas leaders, Obama continues to use Erdogan as his guru.

When the two men met at the Seoul, South Korea, Nuclear Security Summit on March 25, Obama practically slobbered over the anti-American ruler, calling Erdogan his “friend and colleague….We find ourselves in frequent agreement upon a wide range of issues.”

When Erdogan goes to elections or is criticized by the opposition he uses statements like this to “prove” that his policies aren’t radical or anti-Western at all. Here’s a man whose regime can help terrorist groups organize a violent confrontation with Israel, preside over a virulently anti-American media, insist Iran isn’t seeking nuclear weapons and has a wonderful government, and then be lionized by the president of the United States.

In Obama’s words:

“I think it’s fair to say that over the last several years, the relationship between Turkey and the United States has continued to grow across every dimension.  And I find Prime Minister Erdogan to be an outstanding partner and an outstanding friend on a wide range of issues.”

Obama added:

“And I also appreciate the advice he gives me, because he has two daughters that are a little older than mine — they’ve turned out very well, so I’m always interested in his perspective on raising girls.”

Rubin adds that it is strange to hear an American president taking advice from an Islamist leader about how to raise girls.

But, then again, Barack Obama is the first American president to feel a strong affinity for radical Islam.

Let’s stipulate that Barack Obama is not a Muslim himself. Yet, his warm effusions about of an Islamist Prime Minister, pronounced in his presence, go well beyond diplomacy.

They demonstrate Obama’s love of radical Islam and his radical refusal to see what is happening in Turkey. Beyond that, they show his unwillingness to acknowledge the current Islamist war on Turkish women.

Let’s look at the record, from the mainstream and liberal media.

Last year the ChristianScience Monitor reported a massive increase in honor killings in Turkey.

Government figures released in February suggest murders of women increased 14-fold in seven years, from 66 in 2002, to 953 in the first seven months of 2009. In the past seven months, one rights organization has compiled more than 264 cases – nearly one per day – reported in the press in which a woman was killed by a family member, husband, ex-husband, or partner.

It is fair to say that the government is concerned. It is fair to say that the Erdogan government has paid lip service to the need to address the problem. Yet, the spike in honor killings has occurred on its watch.

The New York Times has also taken notice. Today, it reports:

The culture wars over women’s role in Turkish society also reflect tensions in a majority Muslim country where the state’s official secularism is clashing with an ascendant class of religious conservatives. With their rise, rights groups say, men appear to be increasingly acting with impunity against women.

Last year there were 207,253 cases of deliberate injuries to women across the country, compared with 189,377 in 2010, according to official data collected by the National Police Headquarters in the capital, Ankara, and provided to Vildan Yirmibesoglu, the general secretary of Kader, a leading rights group.

Since these statistics were gathered by government officials, one may fairly assume that there is more, not less, violence against women in Turkey.

Now, what was it that Barack Obama felt that he could learn about bringing up girls from the Islamist Prime Minister of Turkey?

War on women, anyone?

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