Turkish Gov't Persecuting Artists & Journalists

Radical Islam 28 January 2013
By Abigail R. Esman

Islamofascism: A controversial buzzword among the pundits and commentators since the attacks of 9/11. The term poses any number of questions, particularly for governments of Muslim countries: Is Political Islam a fascist ideology? Can Islam coexist with democracy? What is the difference between Nationalism and Islamism in an Islamic state?

These are precisely the issues that now rear their heads in the face of a series of arrests, lawsuits, and most recently, allegations of a state-sponsored assassination in Turkey over the past several months, and which have captured the attentions not only of the international media, but of human rights organizations worldwide.

Moves that elicit accusations of Islamism and fascist dictatorships are not new to the governing style of Turkey's current government, led by the Islamist AKP, or Freedom and Development party. Ongoing imprisonment of journalists, coupled with the arrest of world renowned pianist/composer Fazil Say last April on charges of insulting Islam, as well as the filing of charges earlier this month against the Turkish chapter of the human rights organization PEN for their defense of Mr. Say and "denigration of the state,” have particularly alarmed human rights activists abroad and pro democracy advocates at home. (continue reading...)