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September 16, 2012, Sunday

Innocence of Turks, thanks to the Ergenekon investigation

The movie “Innocence of Muslims” has shown the depths of one man's incapacity to produce a movie of intellectual and artistic merit on any subject.

The way the script is written, and the way the actors act, has resulted in one of the most ridiculous productions of which mankind is capable, a piece of garbage not even worthy of being called a “movie.”

If I were an American I would be ashamed to share an identity with the producers of this rubbish, and I would openly come out and share my feelings about that “movie.” Given the fact that America is a country that prides itself on the intellectual, technological and artistic, home of the most advanced artistic, scientific and intellectual products, this piece of garbage not only downgrades America's innovative culture but its tolerance and respect of other cultures.

In addition, it risks the security of American interests and institutions, and American diplomats around the world.

However, this piece of garbage does not justify any violent action against any group or target, whether civilian or military. Thus, no one could excuse those who committed crimes against American diplomats in Libya, Egypt or other parts of the Muslim world.

Many Muslims in Turkey tend to believe that the movie itself and the way it is being publicized is a method of provocation, designed to denigrate Muslims and successful steps taken towards democracy, to put the Barack Obama administration in a difficult position and show Muslims as a barbaric and backward society. Perhaps it is true that there are influential networks around the world that do not want to see Muslims living under democratic governments because it is very difficult to manipulate democratic regimes, and it would be very difficult to convince democratic governments to help further the unjust interests of the West and Israel, in order to maintain their business as usual.

However, it is also true that Muslims around the world are usually ignorant about such plans and conspiracies, and are not wise enough to see when a group or network wants to provoke Muslims. They are not aware of what the purpose would be of producing pieces of garbage as “intellectual property” to touch the nerve centers of the Muslim world.

Yet there are hopeful signs that Muslims are learning how to act against these types of attempts at provocation. The best example of this is Turkey. A few years ago, Muslims in Turkey took to the streets in peaceful protest against the insulting production of cartoons from Europe.

For this “movie,” “Innocence of Muslims,” no one even bothered to go into the streets to demonstrate, perhaps because the aim, timing and method of the movie producers was such an obvious attempt to provoke Muslims around the world and to put the Obama administration and Muslims in a difficult position.

The question to answer now is, why didn't Turks bother to protest the “movie,” while Muslims around the world are organizing violent protests?

To answer this question, one needs to look at what Turks have gone through in the past 10 years. The past decade in Turkey has been a complete learning experience, especially for conservative segments of Turkish society, in discovering how conspiracies are organized, how people are provoked, how violence is used as a policy tool and how terrorism helps your enemy to advance their claim.

The cornerstone of this lesson for conservative Turks was the Ergenekon investigation. The information and leaked documents involved in that case have taught Turks that there is no simultaneous, unplanned public reaction in this part of the world; there are criminal networks, like Ergenekon, working behind the scene to create public reactions and to direct public anger toward certain political outcomes.

The killings of German missionaries in Malatya, the killing of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink and the organization of the Republican Rallies are just a few examples of things that have opened the eyes of Turks to conspiracies like this one.

In addition, Turkish Islamists over the last 10 years have learned that democracy is the best “revolution” and the best system for Muslims to live under to promote their ideas. A few days ago, a former Islamist told me that he had sold his old boots and thick coat, symbols of a revolution, at the Eminönü Bazaar, and left behind revolutionary ideas. When I asked why he had obtained the boots and coat in the first place, he said: “Until a few years ago we seriously believed in revolution, and if one day our elders told us to go into the street, we had to be prepared for that day. That is why we bought the boots, the coats and some forms of weaponry, for the Islamic revolution.”

However, he has now left this idea behind, sold his equipment for the “revolution” and become a businessman. Even selling them, rather than throwing them away or donating them, indicates that a liberal economy and democracy is the best system for Islamist networks to live under. That is the main reason why Turks did not even bother to act in protest of this stupid “movie” designed to provoke Muslims.

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