Right-wing bloggers unable to cope with Turkish election results

From Steven Taylor:

I rarely go to Malkin’s blog, but I noted via Memeorandum that she was commenting on the Turkish elections, so I was curious. Her post was pretty much what I expected: Which way, Turkey?:

“Turkey is holding parliamentary elections today. The importance of the vote there can’t be emphasized enough. The choice in the minds of many Turks is this: sharia or secularism? East or West?”

I suspect that there is a great deal of the right-leaning Blogosphere that believes this to be the case. However, there is no indication that this is, in fact, the case. I am well aware that there are those in Turkey who are quite concerned about what the AKP’s reall agenda is (including at least one very bright former graduate student of mine). However, the notion that this should be painted as “secularism v. sharia” and “East or West” is simply incorrect. For example, it is the AKP that is the party that is most in favor of Turkey joining the EU (that would be a pro-Western stance, for those of you keeping score at home).

The funny thing is that the so-called “neo-con” faction of the GOP ought to be looking at Turkey as their best potential example of the notion that Muslim states can be democratic and the AKP may well be their best example of a moderate Muslim-based political party of any consequence in the entire world. If the AKP ends up governing in a way that does respect rights then it would seem to me to be of use to the neo-cons (to date the only issue that has been a serious contention in this area is that the AKP supports allowing the wearing of headscarves by Muslim women for those who choose to do so). However, it would seem that Islamophobia is more in operation here than anything else.

Also, Malkin’s focus on violence during the election is rather odd, as 17 injuries in a country the size of Turkey hardly seems noteworthy (let alone headline-worthy). Her use of scare quotes around “largely peaceful” are rather telling.


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