Burak Bekdil, Turkish journalist

Hurriyet Daily News writer Burak Bekdil is not shy about expressing his beliefs, despite the fact that he is living presently in Ankara, Turkey under AKP rule. At times, his outspokenness has gotten him into trouble, since he received an 18-month suspended sentence for insulting the Turkish judiciary in 2002. However, this has not deterred him. Bekdil is known as a frequent critique of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and despite it being unpopular in Turkey, has defended Israel on a number of occasions in his writings as well.

In one article titled “Nazi teen and the occupation of Jerusalem,” Bekdil went as far as arguing “a counter occupation is no occupation at all.” He claimed, “Now, dear Islamists, I have a “witness” whom I guess you could hardly refute. Forget my words and listen to what Turkey’s top Muslim cleric, Professor Mehmet Görmez, had to say: […] “After the Prophet Omar conquered al-Quds he was invited to pray at a church (since there were no mosques in Jerusalem). But he politely refused because he was worried that the (conquering) Muslims could turn the church into a mosque after he prayed there.””

Bekdil continued, “Now, read that line once again, or a thousand times if you wish to: “After the Prophet Omar conquered al-Quds…” And think about why there were no mosques in Jerusalem at the time of the conquest. Still no clue? Allow me to explain: Because Jerusalem was not a Muslim city. And now you claim it back because it is under “Jewish occupation!” The refusal to pray at the church was very noble of the Prophet Omar. I personally do not expect you, dear Islamists, to behave as virtuously and gallantly as the prophet, but at least you can do something easier: Stop fighting for a city that belonged to other faiths before your ancestors conquered it.”

In another article, titled “Is Hamas real or a bad joke,” Bekdil wrote, “I am not sure if Hamas is unhappy or happy with Israel’s use of “disproportional force” each time the jihadists escalate indiscriminate rocket attacks against Jewish targets. I am not sure if we poor souls can ever understand the jihadists when they say “they love death more than we love life.” Hamas’ rhetoric stinks of death, nothing but death – indiscriminate death. Be it “our” death or “the enemy’s.” And it never metamorphoses into something more humane, something less nihilist.”

Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir

Bekdil also wrote a three part series of articles speaking about why he believes that Golda Meir was correct in stating that there will not be peace between the Muslim world and Israelis until the Arabs learn to love their own children more than they hate the Jewish people. He asserted that one million Muslims were killed during the Iran-Iraq War, 300,000 Muslim minorities were killed by Sadamn Hussein, 80,000 Iranians perished during the Iranian Revolution, 25,000 Muslim Palestinians were killed by the Jordanian Monarchy during Black September, and 20,000 Islamists were killed by the elder Assad in Hama. In sum, Bekdil declared that over 11 million Muslims have been killed since 1948 and over 90 percent of them were killed by fellow Muslims.

Bekdil furthermore criticized Erdogan for falsely claiming that Israel knows how to kill, even though Arab deaths in the Israeli-Arab conflict since 1948 only make up 0.05 percent of all deaths in all conflicts or 0.4 percent of all Arab deaths by conflict generally since 1948. He also is disturbed that Erdogan ignores the fact that the majority of Muslims that have been killed since 1948 were killed by fellow Muslims. Bekdil wrote: “Someone else could have simply asked: I am addressing Turkey’s good Muslim rulers: I do not know if you are worthy of being called good Muslims. Have you said a single thing about what happened in Sudan? […] Which religion is the perpetrator of never-ending murders in the Middle East and North Africa (including Syria)? Why do Muslims kill other Muslims en masse, then turn around and tell the entire world that ‘Muslims don’t kill?’” He sarcastically asked, “Who really knows better how to kill?”

By Rachel Avraham