[Shamim A Siddiqi, New York]


Turkey is a very important member of NATO from its very inception. Its strategic situation enabled it to play significant role throughout the cold war campaign against Russia. It is a country that is predominantly Asian but claims to be European too having an enclave in that continent. Though it’s a Muslim country but constitutionally, it is secular and its military hierarchy is protecting its secular character with religious fanaticism.  However, the secularism of Turkey is quite different from the prevalent secular culture of the West.


Secularism stands for: “the view that consideration of the present well-being of mankind should predominate over religious considerations in civil affairs or public education.” [American Heritage Dictionary]. It means the state will not interfere in the religious affairs of the people and they will be free to run it the way they like. But Kemal Ata Turk and his fellow generals who were mostly Freemasons established secularism in Turkey by abolishing the Ottoman Caliphate in May 1923. Their secularism was based on hate-campaign against Islam and Islamic traditions. They abolished the Arabic script, calling Azan from mosques, religious education from Madrassas, wearing headgear by Turkish women and what not? They tried their best to detach the Muslims of Turkey from their Islamic past and made every effort to cement the country with the modern Europe in all its forms, concept and secular life-pattern. Since this change was forced by the military dictatorship of the so-called “modern Turkey”, the generals, the military hierarchy, became the custodian of Turkish Constitution and of the system that was forcefully established by Ata Turk.


In its wake, the democratic rights of the people were usurped to enforce the pattern of their secularism. Right to speak existed only for the pro-secularist people. Criminal justice system was corrupted. The Governments of Adnan Mendres and that of Erbakan were forced to resign by the secular generals. Turkey became a closed country for its own democratic and Islam loving people.  As such, it is no match with the democratic Europe that has transformed itself into a Union of twenty-five countries of Europe where every member is committed to flourish democratic traditions and protect the human rights as their foremost ideal to promote.


Turkey from the very formation of the European Common Market was trying to be its member. The military hierarchy is extremely eager to join the European Union. But the EU has rightly deferred their request to consider its case for membership, by the end of 2004, provided by that time Turkey abolishes the capital punishment, establishes a just judicial system, restores the human rights to its people, resolves the Kurdish issue democratically and demonstrates the implementation process of these reforms in the body politic of the Turkish society.


The postponement of the consideration of Turkish membership by the European Unions in no way should be taken as a rebuff or “delaying tactics” but should be welcomed by Turkish leadership as a helping hand to bring its own house in order. It would be a boon for the Turkish people to go for the change as directed by the EU to open their country for a true democracy and administering human rights to its people suffering under the tutelage of its secular military junta and the so-called  “Constitutional Courts” that always deny the basic human rights to its own people. In fact, the postponement is a “womb” that carries the future expectations when Turkey will join the European Union as its full-fledged member with its 70 million Muslim population free to move all over the Europe as ambassadors of peace and justice.


It appears to be the arrangement of God in His infinite mercy to open the doors of the “Christian Club” of the European Union for the Turks to win over the hearts of the modern man by shear dint of the trustworthy character of a Muslim and play the role of moderation in the midst of liberal democracy. This gap of about two years is an ample time for the restoration of democracy and human rights in Turkey and getting rid of the often and on interference of the generals in the political process of the country. The present leadership of the ruling Justice and Development party with its almost two third majority in the Turkish Parliament is in a position to bring necessary changes in the Constitution to make it democratic and guarantee the human rights. During this period, they can amend the constitution with the tacit approval of the junta that appears to be more eager to join the European Union than anyone else.


So the stage is well set for Turkey to come out of its “dark ages” when it was exploited and plundered all around by the rising powers in Europe, demonstrate to the world that it has the vision, the ideology and the devoted team [manpower] to serve the ideology that they believe and practice with the wisdom of a Mumin and the zeal of a Da’ee. Ultimately, it may pave the way towards the restoration of Khilafah that it gave up due to short sightedness of its own secular-Zionist influence leadership and prepare herself to present Islam as the most enlightened Abrahamic faith to the Judeo-Christian-Muslim community of Europe and to the world at large.


It appears to be the will of God and the Muslim leadership of Turkey has to grab this occasion with a sense of gratitude to Him. This chance is like once in a blue moon and I am sure the leadership of J&R Party will grab it as a God-gifted boon. The recommendation by President Bush worked negatively to get this “rebuff” from the European leadership. Bush was playing his game to win over the Turkish consent for his forth coming offensive against Iraq. Bush’s request might have hardened their attitude and they bluntly told Turkey to wait till December 2004 when its membership will be considered. Meanwhile they all will keep observing as how Turkey comes up to their democratic and human expectations.


Turkey is standing at the threshold of Europe for over 80 years, waiting for this opportunity as its destiny. At this juncture, it must be clear to all of us that democratic process is the mother of any rightful system in which the people are directly involved at every stage and their consent decides the fate of the country. If democratic process is not revived in Turkey the will of the people who are predominantly Muslim will remain obscure. But if it flourishes, as ordained by the free will of the European union, Turkey will soon emerge as a modern democratic Muslim country in the midst of Secular Europe. All the champions of the Khilafah movement should help Turkey and its people to accelerate its pace towards the restoration of dignity, honor, and the position that it had lost at the hands of Ata Turk in 1923. In the history of nations, a century does not count much, if it resurrects its fate within hundred years or so.           




Shamim Siddiqi                                                                                    

December 16, 2002