On 21 March 2016, MP Julian Lewis told David Cameron in the House of Commons about his:
concern at the steady Islamisation of Turkish society by its government
Let’s put to one side the fact that Turkey has always been a majority Muslim country, whether the official state doctrine has been secular or not. Let’s also ignore Lewis’s apparent assumption that any kind of “Islamisation” is a bad thing. Let’s just assume that by “Islamisation” he is referring to the divisive form of ethno-religious nationalism being pushed at the moment by the ruling AKP – which without a doubt is very dangerous and destructive.
The main focus of this post is Cameron’s response.
The Prime Minister said:
when it comes to this issue of wanting to return migrants to Turkey, it’s very important that Turkey is, and remains, a safe country, but that’s what it is today
There are two main points to make in response to this comment:
- Firstly, the word “return” seems to suggest that migrants and refugees somehow belong in Turkey. In reality, very few migrants actually enter Europe from Turkey itself. And while many people pass through the country, they often keep moving because they have such a bad experience there.
- Secondly, the fact that Cameron calls Turkey a “safe” country is simply laughable. What could possibly be safe about a country whose regime has supported Daesh (ISIS/ISIL), attacked anti-Daesh fighters, allowed civilians to be killed by easily-preventable terrorist attacks, and waged war against its own citizens?
This begs the question: Is Cameron clueless or just covering for his NATO allies?
Investigative journalist Dr Nafeez Ahmed thinks the answer is quite simple. He has spoken of the Turkish State as the “leading sponsor” of Daesh, and has criticised the West’s:
shameless affair with [President] Erdogan’s terror-regime, which funds and arms our very own enemy [Daesh].
This affair may well be why the British police cracked down on protesters in January rather than arresting the Turkish Prime Minister for his government’s war crimes. It may also explain why a London protest of over 10,000 people in early March was ignored by the majority of the mainstream media.
Considering all of this, it seems most likely that Cameron and Co. are consciously deceiving the British people – something which will surprise very few opponents of the current Conservative government.
The full parliamentary exchange can be seen here: