Less than a month ago and ahead of the international meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a news outlet considered to be a mouthpiece for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist AK party published an article titled, “What if an Army of Islam was Formed Against Israel?”
The article called for the 57 member states of the OIC to come together and form a joint army to simultaneously attack Israel from every direction and finish off the Jewish state once and for all.
The authors supported their proposal with impressive statistics as well as an interactive map of how this military force would proceed:
“If the member states of the OIC unite militarily, they will form the world’s largest and most comprehensive army. The number of active soldiers would be at least 5,206,100, while the defense budget would reach approximately $175 billion.”
The article continued with details: “It is expected that 250,000 soldiers will participate in the first of a possible operation. Land, air and naval bases of member states located in the most critical regions will be used. Joint bases will be constructed in a short period of time…It is possible for 500 tanks and armored vehicles, 100 planes and 500 attack helicopters and 50 ships to mobilize quickly.”
The source of the article, published in the Yeni Safak daily and on its website, was reported to be the Turkish international defense and consulting company SADAT.
SADAT was founded by Erdogan’s senior advisor on military affairs, retired general Adnan Tanriverdi, who was fired from the army in 1996 for his Islamist leanings, according to research provided by MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute).
(Israeli sources say SADAT also funds Hamas and provides this designated terrorist organization with military equipment.)
Yet not a word from Erdogan denouncing the plan. There has been no coverage from the mainstream media on the outrageous suggestion. Taken together, we can assume that Erdogan was using the article as a trial balloon, waiting to see if this plan, a fulfillment of his deepest yearnings, garnered protests from the powers that be (much less notice from them).
Consider the following:
- In the past month, Erdogan has made an incursion into Syria, slaughtering his other nemesis, the Kurds, while taking over the strategic city of Afrin.
- He threatened to invade the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, which he considers Turkish territory (as Turkey did in Cyprus, which they invaded in 1974 and have occupied ever since).
- He spoke of Turkey’s “historic” claims to Mosul, Iraq (where he maintains a military base close by).
- He lamented the change in the Turkish language, decrying the replacement of the Ottoman Turkish alphabet with its Latin counterpart and pushing for schools to once again teach the former. “The bond between our nation and its old civilization was [intentionally] weakened,” he says.
- During the early years of the takeover by ISIS of large swaths Syria and oil-rich Iraq, Turkey was the buyer of ISIS’ renegade oil through Turkey’s porous borders with Syria. Through those borders also flowed jihadi fighters and arms with impunity.
- Turkey’s arms transfers to al-Qaeda-linked jihadis in Syria have also been long-documented (but largely ignored by the Western media). Similarly, the fact the Turkey has been the top financial sponsor of Hamas since 2012, with Erdogan arranging for the transfer of $250-300 million to the terrorist group annually, is another oft-ignored fact.
- A major raid by the U.S. on an Islamic State safe house in Syria in the summer of 2015 gleaned large amounts of intelligence linking Turkey to the Islamic State. In the words of one senior Western official, the connection between the two was “undeniable.”
- Under Erdogan’s decade-and-a-half reign, Turkey has devolved into an aspiring Islamist theocracy complete with totalitarian arrests of tens of thousands of academics, journalists, judges, police, military officers and the like deemed “dangerous” to the state.
“News” is a tricky business. Some stories don’t make the cut because they aren’t really interesting to the public. Of the ones that do get coverage, many are fake news, downright false or simply so distorted that they bear little resemblance to reality.
Yet, there is another form of effective media distortion. Decisions by news outlets to ignore a story because it doesn’t fit into their political agenda.
Most of the mainstream media is still treating Turkey and its ruler as an aspiring EU hopeful, Western oriented and a dutiful NATO member instead of the terrorist-supporting, expansionist Islamist state that it has become.
Yet reality sides with the later description.
It is time the Western media exposes Erdogan and his agenda for what it is and that the U.S. government uses whatever means it has left to pressure Erdogan to stand down from his aspirations to be the next sultan of a neo-Ottoman empire.