Nightclub Massacre in Istanbul Exposes Turkey’s Deepening Fault Lines

David Silenus
January 2 at 1:12am

Recep Tayyip Erdogan — who the NYTimes calls “Turkey’s authoritarian president” — now faces major and violent conflicts with three basically internal opponents:

1) ISIS and other Islamist terror groups — despite the fact Erdogan himself has imposed a political Islamist rhetoric and action program on the Turkish state …

2) The self-exiled-to-the-US Sunni cleric Fetullah Gulen — whose proclaimed commitment to non-violence seems at odds with the violent actions Erdogan consistently attributes to his large and dynamic movement followers throughout Turkey’s legal / military / political structure … and …

3) The terrorist wing of the Kurdish autonomy movement in Turkey — a faction that had stopped violence for several years … but resumed once Erdogan made clear at Kobani in 2014 he was MUCH more interested in defeating Kurdish political and military aspirations than he was in stopping ISIS …

Despite that, ISIS and other Islamist terror forces seem the most likely perpetrators of the murders at Reina —

“perhaps Istanbul’s most famous nightclub, symbolizing one of Turkish society’s deepest divides, between the secular and the pious —

a fissure that has grown deeper under Erdogan, an Islamist who has expanded religious schooling and sought to restrict alcohol sales.

Some on social media were quick to point out the rhetoric against New Year’s celebrations that had come from Islamist corners of Turkey.

A recent Friday sermon prepared by the government’s religious authority said New Year’s revelry belonged to “other cultures and other worlds … never suitable for a believer to exhibit illicit manners and behaviors that don’t comply with our values” …

In the aftermath of the attack, an expert on Turkey at St. Lawrence University wrote on Twitter:

“Disturbing + not very difficult line to draw between official Turkish anti New Years campaign + tonight’s violence. Rhetoric has consequences”” —

something Americans too are going to find out for themselves very soon —

altho it should have been clear here a long time ago as well …

The attack on Sunday, which killed at least 39 people, targeted a symbol of a cosmopolitan Istanbul that is increasingly under threat.

Source: Nightclub Massacre in Istanbul Exposes Turkey’s Deepening Fault Lines – The New York Times