837)Le Figaro editors need to get a mirror and take a good hard look at themselves as Christians

Recent attacks in Turkey on Catholic priests were held up by the European press, such as French daily Le Figaro, as "an indicator of rising anti-Christian sentiment" in the country. Of course they have the right to see things from this perspective.

I, like most of the people living in this country, condemned the stabbing of the French priest in Samsun and the murder of the Italian Priest in Trabzon. Turkey, like every community, contains some radicals and psychopaths, and their crimes have never been supported by the public. For example, when Mehmet Ali Agca shot the pope back in 1981 we all had the same bitterness against radical assassins.

Murderers committed in a country should not be taken as an example of its people's attitudes. However, to a certain extent I also agree with Le Figaro that there is rising anti-Christian sentiment in Turkey, but not totally because of the growing strength of Islam. There are other reasons for this.

I ask that the editors of Le Figaro get a mirror and take a good hard look at themselves as Christians. Since 9/11 Islam and terror have been tossed into the same pot by Christians. The West started a sort of crusade against Islam. A stupid American even shot a Sikh who seemed Muslim to him. Turks, even though they hadn't even heard the name al-Qaeda, were discriminated against at passport control gates of Western countries, and this practice is still continuing. The Western press never mentions the religious origins of the Tamil Tiger guerillas, Basque separatist ETA attackers, the IRA or even the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), but always add "Islamic" or "Muslim" to al-Qaeda and similar groups. The Western press hasn't realized that terror is terror whatever the reasons behind it.

Turks have been treated as potential terrorists in Western countries. In Iraq, Americans have allowed PKK terrorists to get in and out of Turkey, and they also humiliated Turkish soldiers.

European Union decision-makers cheat Turkey all the time. They feel free to tell lies to the Turks in order to get what they want. For example they promised to lift the economic sanctions imposed on the Turkish Cypriots and then officially denied their pledges, claiming, "This represented personal views of the authorities and there is no responsibility for the European Union."

On the matter of Christianity, some leaders of Western countries have openly stated that the EU is a Christian club. The anger of cheated Turks has turned into a sort of antagonism against Christianity. Islamic fanaticism, grabbing opportunities to exploit events, is trying to create anti-Christian sentiment in Turkey with the assistance of Christian politicians and decision-makers outside the country.

I would also like to mention that this Islamic fanaticism is also a byproduct of a Christian policy, namely the "green belt theory."

So who should blame whom?

Recep Guvelioglu

10 July 2006


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