Tuesday, June 11, 2013

TURKEY: Battle between Erdogen's "Moderate Islam" and 90 years of Secular Turkey

As I write this, tear gas canisters are being thrown by a massive police force against secular protesters in Istanbul--a sign that freedom from religion is under attack in Turkey, the historic dividing line between Europe and Asia.

All this started because one man decided to destroy Istanbul's last green space and historic park and turn it into a shopping center -- no public input allowed. People flocked to the park to protect the trees and their one communal green spot.

For the past 90 years, Turkey has been a secular country, free of religious dominance. Young Muslims were free to dress modern, drink alcohol, and mingle freely with the opposite sex -- just like in America.

After being elected as Turkey's leader a few years ago, Mr. Erdogen has been more dictatorial as he has tried to move away from secularism to make Turkey a "moderate" Islamic country. That means no more alcohol sales; it means new dress codes for women. IT MEANS basically the end of a lifestyle that many Americans take for granted today (despite the press story of the day) that have been the norm in Turkey for almost a 100 years.

Before this started, I booked a trip with my partner that includes stops in Turkey in November - December of 2013. It reminds me of the time I went to Syria on a child kidnapping case, and we see what is now happening in Syria today. Turkey may be about to see its own Arab Spring.

Photos I took of old Syria are in my new eBook "Better Times Ahead April Fool"
Included are photos of Syria I saw in the late 90's under Assad's father vs Syria 2013. But its more than just Turkey and Syria. Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Egypt -- all are starting to get sucked into a religious ware between Muslims (Shia vs. Sunni), with Israel in the Middle. It is all starting to look very weird in the Middle East.

You will also find my own odd Middle East experiences in the book -- to give you a clue what we are facing....That would be pointless unless the book ends with SOLUTIONS, and it does in "Agenda for American Greatness" in the final chapter.
Better Times Ahead? Or April Fool? The choice is up to us, more than you know...

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