Jun 6, 2015

It has been more than 3,000 years since the Greeks gave the world a new word: “Trojan Horse,” which has come to mean cagy deception.

That’s because the Greeks—after failing to defeat Troy during a ten-year siege—left a huge wooden horse, as if they were offering a grand tribute to the victorious Trojans.

But when the Trojans dragged the “gift” into their midst, Greek soldiers hidden in the belly of the horse scampered down and opened the gates of the city for the Greek army to finally conquer Troy.

A new Trojan Horse seems to be ominously looming in the upcoming Turkish election, but instead soldiers hiding in its belly, one sees the contours of a man who looks like the current president of Turkey.

The office of presidency in Turkey is supposed to be a ceremonial post, with its occupant staying “above the fray” in elections.

But Erdogan isn’t doing that.

He’s kicking and screaming for his party (Justice and Development Party)—fighting with the fury of Ottoman Turks conquering Constantinople in 1453.

He demands that Turkish fans give him 400 handpicked deputies—out of 550 that constitute the Turkish parliament—to make Turkey a principal power, the tenth largest economy in the world.

That’s just bogus window dressing. He’s really out to defraud the constitution so he can become a sultan, an absolute ruler!

A June 4 New York Times article called the election “a referendum on Erdogan,” and accused him of “spending more than a decade silencing dissent and amassing power.”

And as fate would have it only Kurds stand between him and his dictatorial power-grab.

So Erdogan has declared an all-out war on the Kurds—fiercely determined to block them from parliament.

The Kurds need to pass the 10 percent threshold to qualify for entry into the Turkish parliament.

If they don’t pass it, President Erdogan’s party stands to gain as many as 70 Kurdish seats due to the quirks of election laws.

To make sure he has those seats, he has upped the ante in Turkish Kurdistan and transformed the debate from dull to bizarre as Election Day nears.

The fiery fuse was lit last year when the barbarians of Islamic State began besieging the Kurdish city of Kobane, thinking they would grab it the way Mosul had fallen into their hands.

While Kurds were fighting tooth and nail, the Turkish president—as if cheering the Islamic fanatics—predicted the fall of city in a matter of days!

But heroic Kurdish resistance finally convinced an indifferent President Obama to rush in aid, and US airpower eventually tipped the scales in favor of Kurdish fighters.

The Kurds have not forgotten who jeered them in their hour of need—and who continues to mock them.

It is Mr. Erdogan again, waving a Quran in his hand this time, questioning the faith of his Kurdish opponents and slandering them as “nonbelievers.”

That signaled open season to smear Kurds!

Erdogan’s sidekick, Ahmet Davutoglu—like a robot receiving his master’s signal—declared he would stop calling his Kurdish opponent, Selahattin (Saladin) Demirtas, by his first name.

The phony reason given: the Kurdish leader is nothing like his namesake, Saladin, the Kurdish warrior who liberated Jerusalem.

Then the silly mushroomed into the ridiculous or some would say dangerous.

A few days ago, when the Turkish president was passing through the city of Igdir, a group of Kurdish women turned their backs to him, which he later claimed they had propositioned him!

Turning your back, of course, sounds more like they refused his proposal!

Last month, a pro-government newspaper, Aksam, ran a headline: Salehattin Demirtas eats pork while promising to ban the Department of Religious Affairs in Turkey.

It’s true that Mr. Demirtas wants to close down the Department of Religious Affairs, which has become a tool in the hands of Mr. Erdogan, but false that he eats pork.

Nevertheless, he and his left-leaning Peoples’ Democracy Party feel besieged and have gone into damage control.

He is now telling the voters he’s a Muslim—when ordinarily his religious identity was a private matter—and that his sister covers her head, again, implying that he comes from a pious family.

All this may not have meant much if next door to Turkey, a monstrosity called Islamic State were not also proclaiming religion front and center in its appeal.

It flies a black flag with Muslim profession of faith, Shahada.

On Tuesday, Newsweek reported that green banners with the same inscription have debuted in Turkish rallies.

The Kurds, the West and the Islamic State are all wondering what the Turks will do come this Sunday.

The Kurdish alternative is its youth with AK47s.

The West doesn’t have one.

The Islamic State may be the biggest winner of them all: a dictator who makes a mockery of democracy just as Islamic State does.

Kani Xulam @AKINinfo

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