Thursday, 06 August 2015

Nişanyan: Pious Muslims Were Never Persecuted in Turkey

Sevan Nişanyan on the t24 news site notes that it is claimed that three groups have suffered systematic discrimination in Turkey: The pious, the Kurds and non-Muslims. This is a surprising claim. First of all, where are the leftists? Where not the leftists the ones who from the 1920s to the 1990s endured unrelenting police repression, who were censured, listed, who lost their jobs, who were deemed to be traitors to the motherland, who were arrested, tortured, hanged, and whose homes were raided by police that confiscated their “forbidden” books? The Alevis also deserve to be mentioned. And what about the opponents of religion, who the state hand in hand with “pious” society subjected to a rain of spit? Those who were discriminated were never the pious, but the Islamists. But even in spite of the threat that the latter posed, one has to concede that the stance of the state of the Turkish republic was always lenient and forgiving toward the Islamists. For instance, they never suffered massacres like the Kurds. They were not robbed of their belongings and driven away from their land like the non-Muslims were. They were not lynched like the Alevis, nor were their lives turned into a nightmare as has been the case for homosexuals.  There were moments when their organizations were dispersed, when their most militant spokesmen were incarcerated, when they lost their positions in the bureaucracy, when mainstream media used denigrating headlines about them – that’s all.  If that amounts to “systematic discrimination,” then we also need to accept for instance that the Turkic nationalists who were collectively arrested between 1944 and 1950, or the officers that were tried after 2007 were also victims of discrimination.

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The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.


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