ISIL fans among the AK Party grassroots?
Yes, there are, for sure; but only as many as there can ever be in any broad formation. In other words, they are scarce.
The grassroots of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) more or less constitutes four layers, according to what it has evolved into today.
First, there are those who are happy with the course of events, those who say, “If others govern, will it be better than this?” Their numbers are quite high.
Second are the admirers of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. They are charmed by their leader. Their numbers are also very high and must not be underestimated.
Third are those who are close to the AK Party’s ideological framework. Their numbers are very low.
Fourth are those who directly or indirectly benefit from the AK Party government. Their numbers are high compared to those who benefit from other governments, but when viewed across the whole scale of Turkey they are not in significant numbers.
In all these social and political levels, the number of those who regard “with admiration” the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) - its ideology and its beheadings - is not even a drop in the bucket.
So, in this case, where do those Turkish volunteers to fight for ISIL come from? What is the source?
To be able to find the answer to this question, one should not look into the grassroots of AK Party but at other points and parameters.
Where should we look? Well, let the social and political scientists find that, right?
Is it right-wing to recite ‘bismillah’?
A story in a pro-government newspaper had this headline: “An opening from the CHP by reciting the bismillah.”
This is the subtitle of the story: “In the first meeting of the Party Assembly, member Sena Kaleli surprised everyone by saying, ‘In the presence of all of us, I am cutting the cake, saying ‘Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.’”
A sentence in the story read as follows: “The reciting of bismillah brought to mind the debate that the CHP [the main opposition Republican People’s Party] is shifting to the right.”
I oppose the language, ideology and approach of this story.
Here is what I need to say: Citing the bismillah can never be an indication of being right-wing. There is not even the smallest bit of an association with bismillah and the right-wing ideology. Even the staunchest atheists are “cultural Muslims” in this country and they are not appalled when they hear the bismillah cited, as if they have just heard a vampire prayer.
A Faruk Çelik story and its moral
Let’s first grasp the story.
Labor and Social Security Minister Faruk Çelik went to visit his uncle one day in the hospital where he was receiving treatment. During the visit, he saw a construction project ongoing outside the window.
At that moment, Çelik realized that the construction workers in that building’s scaffolding were working without proper precautions. He immediately took out his phone, called his inspectors, gave the address and asked them to do whatever was necessary. Inspectors immediately visited the construction site, locked it, and sealed off the work.
Now, the moral of this story is the following:
If Minister Faruk Çelik’s uncle had not fallen ill and was not treated in hospital; if Çelik had not visited his uncle in the hospital; if the minister’s eye did not look out of the window; if the construction in question was not located right across from the hospital; if Çelik had not called the inspectors; then that construction would have continued. It would not have been locked up and sealed and – God forbid - perhaps there would have been some deaths in that site among the workers.
What can better explain the pathetic situation of worker safety at constructions in Turkey than this story?