Hurriyet op-ed: The ‘conquest-over-occupation’ season opens, or why it is fine to celebrate imperialism if you are not part of the West

2011: Turks celebrate the 558th anniversary of the conquest of Constantinople

It’s May. It’s the month when Islamist Turks observe the tradition that explains why “conquest” is good but “occupation” is bad.

For instance, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu thinks that “those who do not understand the importance of Jerusalem and Palestinian rights are attacking the conscience of humanity.”
Mr. Davutoğlu thinks Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa Mosque (where he has said he wants to pray after Jerusalem has become the capital of the Palestinian state) have been under occupation since 1948 – when the state of Israel was founded, which is wrong. Last week, he said that “under the term[s] of international law, Jerusalem is under [Israeli] occupation.” Then he asked: “If U.N. decisions [resolutions] are not being implemented then why are they taken in the first place?”

Another photo from the celebration

If Mr. Davutoğlu was attending chess classes at the age of 11 he would probably be kindly requested to quit immediately. How can a foreign minister cite U.N. resolutions about “Jerusalem’s occupation” when several other U.N. resolutions have described his own country as the occupier of Cyprus over the last four decades?
In about a week from today, millions of Turks will take to the streets, with colorful fanfare and fireworks, to celebrate the 561th anniversary of the conquest of Constantinople from Byzantium – the same Turks who are angry that Jerusalem is under occupation. When the same cheerful Turks celebrate the conquest, do they not know that conquest means taking another nation’s/tribe’s land by force?  They certainly do.  And they are proud of it.  Celebrating “the Conquest” is acknowledgement of an undisputed historical fact, that Istanbul belonged to another nation before “the conquest.”  Right?  Right.

Then why do Mr. Davutoğlu and the conquest-fetish Turks mourn over “the occupation of Jerusalem?”

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Yet, so idiotic are the people who run the European Union they still have not ruled out Turkey joining. Death wish?  Suicidal?  I am simply baffled.  Hatred of both Christianity and Judaism is closest reasonable explanation I can come up with.

The writers at the liberal Hurriyet give you at least the reassurance that the entire nation is not crazy. Maybe once Erdoğan wins the presidency, the liberal voices will be shut up for good.