Islamophobes Coordinate Campaign To Paint ‘Islamist’ Turkey As U.S.’s ‘Enemy Camp’

U.S. Secretary of State Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoğlu

With deteriorating relations between Turkey and Israel, some of Israel’s staunchest backers in the U.S. have seized on the diplomatic crisis to push for the U.S. to abandon its partnership with Turkey — including kicking the strategically-located Eurasian country out of the NATO alliance. The campaign, spearheaded by neoconservatives, ramped up this week with attacks demonizing Turkey from several Islamophobic commentators. Over the past few weeks, these Islamophobes have been accusing Turkey of trying to create an Islamist empire, one that would put Turkey at odds with the West and make it an enemy of the U.S.

On Tuesday, Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum wrote that he “see(s) a rogue Turkey as the region’s greatest threat”:

A second republic headed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Islamist colleagues of the AK Party (AKP) began that day. The military safely under their control, AKP ideologues now enjoy can pursue their ambitions to create an Islamic order.

Investigative Project chief Steven Emerson wrote yesterday:

The struggle against Israel is one facet of the Muslim nation’s new Islamist foreign policy under the leadership of Erdoğan and his AKP party. Turkey has distanced itself from membership in the European Union, a former goal of the nation, in order to pursue better ties with terror-supporting nations like Syria and Iran.

Also Thursday, Atlas Shrugs blogger Pam Geller wrote:

Turkey has reverted (no pun intended), and dreams Ottoman domination and Islamic imperialism.

On Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch blog, Joseph Zaalishvili wrote Wednesday:

After Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan openly began the Islamization of Turkey, the jihadists found fertile ground there. Turkey appeared ambitious to become the leader of Islam in the region.

Earlier this month, Center for Security Policy (CSP) head Frank Gaffney wrote about the “increasingly overtly hostile posture towards Israel being taken by Turkey under its Islamist prime minister, Recep Erdogan.” His colleague at CSP, Caroline Glick, wrote in the Jerusalem Post:

[W]e need to recognize that what we are experiencing now is the beginning, not the end, of Turkey’s slide into the enemy camp. Erdogan is openly taking steps to transform Turkey into an Islamic state along the lines of Iran.

Erdoğan is not actually an Islamist, as demonstrated by his call last week for Egypt to become a secular state, drawing warnings from Egypt’s actual Islamists, the Muslim Brotherhood, for Erdoğan to butt out.

And while Turkey has indeed tried to end regional strife and avoid conflagration through diplomacy, its partnership with the U.S. and NATO are clearly valuable to Erdoğan’s government. Just this month, Turkey agreed to host a NATO radar system, part of a missile defense system designed to guard against Iranian weapons advances (the move drew criticism from Iran).

That this network of Islamophobes are all taking the same line should come as no surprise. As detailed in CAP’s “Fear, Inc.” report about America’s Islamophobia industry, they come from a small cadre of so-called “experts” and “scholars” who form organizations that fuel Islamophobia in the U.S.