How Erdogan’s Victory Might Be Europe’s Defeat

How Erdogan’s Victory Might Be Europe’s Defeat, by Abigail Esman.

The outcome of Sunday’s referendum showed a Turkey split almost exactly in half, with 51 percent “yes” and just under 49 percent voting “no.”

Or did it?

It is too soon to make a full analysis of the vote results — which some rights groups have already contested — but one thing was immediately made clear: the vast majority of Turks living throughout Europe voted in support of Erdogan’s rule, even as the majority of those living in major Turkish cities — Izmir, Ankara and Istanbul — voted against it. …

In the Netherlands, for instance, a whopping 71 percent of Dutch-Turks who participated in the vote chose “yes.” As the results of the referendum became known, thousands descended on the Turkish Consulate in Rotterdam, waving Turkish flags and celebrating the victory of an Islamist leader who had pledged to “raise a new, religious generation,” end secular education, and who has imprisoned countless journalists, writers, artists, and others who have dared to criticize him.

It was not only in Holland. According to the Daily Sabah, 75 percent of Belgian Turks who voted opted for “yes,” as did 73 percent in Austria, 65 percent in France, and 63 percent in Germany. Only Switzerland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom showed majorities with “no” votes. And of these three, Sweden is effectively the only member of the EU. …

European Turks who were voting to change the Turkish Constitution, who were effectively choosing to establish a more fundamentalist, Islamist Turkey in place of the secular, Western democracy that has been in place since 1923, have no interest in the “freedoms” that she spoke of. That they have them in Europe is meaningless: they don’t want them. They don’t want them in Turkey, where they come from; and they don’t want them in Europe, where they now live. Not for themselves. And not for anybody else.

Indeed, as the IPT noted after the November 2015 elections, of the 4.6 million Turks living in Europe, a majority seems to prefer to live in an Islamic state, and not a secular one.

This is the frightening lesson that Europe must learn from the results of the April 16 referendum. While its leaders now confer about the “proper” response to Erdogan in his new role and what they expect of him as the leader of a clearly-divided country, they might also consider their response to his supporters who are not just Turkish citizens, but Europe’s own.

Islamic culture is not compatible with Western culture. That’s why countries and borders are a good idea, so that we can all live with a minimum of friction. If both cultures are in one country, there is conflict.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific