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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 26, 2010 / 15 Menachem-Av, 5770

Turkey Takes the Veil

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's not just women in the Islamic East who may be veiled. It can happen to whole countries. See what's happening in Turkey, the West's old ally and new adversary. The danger to freedom there becomes ever more clear and present every day. But the tragedy of it can scarcely be apprehended without an appreciation of the dark past out of which this current Turkey arose, and to which it is about to return.

The new, modern, secular Turkey emerged from the shadows of the crumbling old Ottoman Empire when the sultan found himself on the losing side of the Great War. Then a young, much decorated army officer who would be given the name Ataturk, Father of the Turks, set out to bring his country into the light.

Seldom has any one man since Washington put his stamp so clearly on a new republic and, indeed, a whole new society. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk revolutionized his whole country's culture, seizing power from the decrepit old regime and then fighting off the Allies to establish his country's independence from all comers -- Greek, Russian or British. No wonder his portraits remain ubiquitous in modern Turkey, for it was he who made it modern.

The changes Ataturk decreed were as comprehensive as they were revolutionary. There's a reason we still call ambitious reformers Young Turks. Choosing neither fashionable Wave of the Future at the time -- fascism or communism -- Turkey's new ruler didn't just move the country's capital from storied old Constantinople/Istanbul to Ankara, a little village on the Anatolian plain. He turned his back on a whole imperial past that a corrupt court had come to represent. The Ottoman Empire had finally collapsed, and in its place this young army officer was determined that a new Turkey would rise free of the enslaving past.

Ataturk proclaimed a republic in 1923 and established a constitutional government with all the modern fixtures, principally the separation of powers. Montesquieu and the writers of the Federalist Paper would have been proud of the result. Legislative and executive branches took form under Ataturk's tutelage, along with an independent judiciary. The rule of law would be given a chance to supplant the old authoritarianism.

One of the first changes Turkey's new ruler and his ruling party made was to abolish the medieval caliphate and the quasi-religious, quasi-state powers it had exercised under the sultans -- a decree that Osama bin Laden, the infamous leader of al-Qaida, still considers the original, unforgivable sin of modern Islamic societies. Ataturk proceeded to separate mosque and state, and remodel the rest of Turkish society, too.

The old religious schools (madrassas) were secularized, and a system of public schools were established as an alternative. Ataturk himself adopted Western dress, replacing the fez with Western headgear and discouraging the veil and turban. The Turkish republic, he insisted, could not be a country of sheikhs and dervishes but must become part of the secular West, of modernity.

This was perhaps the most important part of Ataturk's legacy: Foreseeing the violent reaction to his radical changes, he charged the military with preserving his new order in the face of what he knew would be fierce, fanatical and recurrent opposition.

From time to time after he was gone, the generals would fulfill that responsibility, seizing control whenever a government threatened to undo Ataturk's republican reforms and pull Turkey back into its long sleep. As the years passed, Turkey became increasingly Western in outlook, more European than Asian, a strong American ally, a member of the North Atlantic alliance, and a bulwark against Soviet expansionism.

But what a fanatical opposition could not achieve by an outright challenge to Ataturk's new Turkey, a stealth Islamist has now done step by step, all the while denying that he was undermining Ataturk's old dream and the country's secular constitution.

When the country's new prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, presented himself as a clean-government type, his Islamist rhetoric was dismissed by the usual sophisticates as just that -- only rhetoric. The way they once thought Nazi slogans were only slogans, or communist ideology only a cover for conventional realpolitik. They've always underestimated the power of ideas, our "realists," not understanding that an idea may be the most real thing in the world when it comes to shaping reality.

By now, thanks to Saudi money and Western gullibility, Turkey's dictator-in-the-making has reinstituted the old Muslim madrassas in place of secular education, subverted the country's once independent judiciary, and begun to remake Ataturk's secular democracy in his own image. Every day it becomes closer to becoming one more sordid Islamist police state.

If there was any one moment when Recep Erdogan showed his hand, it came in July of 2008, when his regime indicted pretty much the whole opposition on charges of conspiring against his regime -- 86 prominent figures in all, from military officers to journalists, trade unionists, professors, and even the candidate who once ran against him for mayor of Istanbul. Like a German dictator in the 1930s, there is no grudge he may leave unsettled. Another night of the long knives may be in the offing.

Now a court has indicted 196 more defendants, including four retired military commanders. The charge: plotting to overthrow his regime. More than 400 other leaders of secularist bent are already on trial, the evidence as ridiculous as the regime's wiretaps are comprehensive. The handwriting is on the wall for Ataturk's old dream of a modern, secular Turkey. It is turning into a place where anyone who takes an interest in politics knows he is being watched -- and listened to.

Yet there are still those who can't see that Turkey has changed from ally to adversary. Any more than they can grasp that Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could possibly believe the hateful things he says. If we just extended the hand of friendship to Iran's mullahs, we were assured at the beginning of this new and naive administration, all could be worked out. By now even the Obama administration begins to see how well that approach has worked -- that is, not at all.

As for the president's Cairo address, the quintessence of naivete at the time, it now seems even more so. Though delivered only a year ago, it now has the sound of an embarrassment from a distant past best forgotten. Realism has a way of proving unreal, and an American president seen as weak and indecisive, anxious to make his peace with totalitarianism, only invites the erosion of freedom worldwide, as in Turkey. Or Iran, where the green revolution fades.

Those who can see no real danger to freedom in this new Turkish regime are the diplomatic descendants of Neville Chamberlain, who couldn't believe that a petit-bourgeois agitator out of Austria could dominate a civilized nation like Germany. But now, step by step, a similar process is under way in Turkey as dissent is systematically suppressed, constitutional restraints overridden, and Ataturk's military heirs cowed. If the generals are guilty of anything, it is of not acting as Kemal Ataturk would have done in their place. Now it may be too late; they've missed their chance.

Ataturk's dream is dying, and with it, freedom as another nation falls under the spell of a resurgent Islamism. Ignoring the shift, or trying to pretend it isn't important, won't help the West cope with it. To fend off danger, one must first recognize it. And at this point, the Obama administration can't even bring itself to say Islamism out loud. Not for the first time, the defense of the West, and all it stands for, begins by calling things by their right names.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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