In an agitated press conference yesterday that raised quite some eyebrows, the Turkish Prime Minister said that, after all, “mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets,” and, particularly, that “the minarets” are “our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers.” Besides, it should be taken into account that to Islamists like him and his openly antisemitic and fascist mentor, former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, “democracy is like a streetcar. When you come to your stop, you get off.” Thus, he continued, the Swiss vote, though legally irksome, was actually an expression of sound and justified concern. “Please understand,” he said, that “I will sock it to these racists, fascists, and Islamophobes” anyway.
- Quoted in „Turkey’s charismatic pro-Islamic leader“, BBC News, 2001/11/04. „Mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers.“ Erdogan was 47 years old and youthfully exuberant when he recited these lines by Turkish nationalism’s preeminent poet Ziya Gökalp; a radical phase he has overcome since. „If you aren’t Turkofascist Islamist when young,“ he said, „you’ve got not heart–if you still are when grown up, you’ve lost your mind. I’m known to be quite clever, hehe.“
- Quoted in „The Erdogan Experiment“, New York Times, 2003/05/11. „He never clearly allayed secular concerns, keeping them alive instead with comments like: ‚Democracy is like a streetcar. When you come to your stop, you get off.'“
- Quoted in „Turkey’s Erdogan Says Minaret Ban is Sign of Fascism“, Der Spiegel, 12/01/2009. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Switzerland’s vote to ban the construction of minarets was a „sign of an increasing racist and fascist stance in Europe,“ and Islamophobia was a „crime against humanity,“ just like anti-Semitism.
- Somewhat related: two impressive arguments for peace and interfaith dialogue.
- Picture: Wikipedia