Kamel Daoud: Open letter to Erdogan – You’re not welcome in Algeria


Date posted: March 6, 2018

Kamel Daoud

On behalf of those you killed, imprisoned, tortured, you are not welcome, Erdogan!

No, Erdogan, you’re not welcome in Algeria.

We are a country which has already paid its price of blood and tears to those who wanted to impose their caliphate on us, those who put their ideas before our bodies, those who took our children hostage and who attempted to kill our hopes for a better future. The notorious family that claims to act in the name of the God and religion—you’re a member of it—you fund it, you support it, you desire to become its international leader.

Islamism is your livelihood

Islamism, which is your livelihood, is our misfortune. We will not forget about it, and you are a reminder of it today. You offer your shadow and your wings to those who work to make our country kneel down before your “Sublime Door.” You embody and represent what we loathe. You hate freedom, the free spirit. But you love parades. You use religion for business. You dream of a caliphate and hope to return to our lands.

But you do it behind the closed doors, by supporting Islamist parties, by offering gifts through your companies, by infiltrating the life of the community, by controlling the mosques. These are the old methods of your “Muslim Brothers” in this country, who used to show us God’s Heaven with one hand while digging our graves with the other.

No, Mr. Erdogan, you are not a man of help; you do not fight for freedom or principles; you do not defend the right of peoples to self-determination. You know only how to subject the Kurds to the fires of death; you know only how to subject your opponents to your dictatorship.

You cry with the victims in the Middle East, yet sign contracts with their executioners. You do not dream of a dignified future for us, but of a caliphate for yourself. We are aware of your institutionalized persecution, your list of Turks to track down, your sinister prisons filled with the innocent, your dictatorial justice palaces, your insolence and boastful nature.

You do not dream of a humanity that shares common values and principles, but are interested only in the remaking of the Ottoman Empire and its bloodthirsty warlords. Islam, for you, is a footstool; God is a business sign; modernity is an enemy; Palestine is a showcase; and local Islamists are your stunned courtesans.

Humanity will not remember you with good deeds

Humanity will remember you for your machinations, your secret coups d’état, and your manhunts. History will remember you for your bombings, your vengeful wars, and your inability to engage in constructive dialogue with others. The UN vote for Al-Quds is only an instrument in your service. Let us laugh at this with the Palestinians. We know that the Palestinian issue is your political capital, as it is for many others. You know well how to make a political fortune by exploiting others’ emotions.

In Algeria, we suffered, and still suffer, from those who pretend to be God and act as takers and givers of life. They applaud your coming, but not us. You are the idol of Algerian Islamists and Populists, those who are unable to imagine a political structure beyond a caliphate for Muslim-majority societies.

We aspire to become a country of freedom and dignity. This is not your ambition, nor your virtue.

You are an illusion

You have made beautiful Turkey an open prison and a bazaar for your business and loved ones. I hope that this beautiful nation rises above your ambitions. I hope that justice will be restored and flourish there once again, at least for those who have been imprisoned, tortured, bombed, and killed. You are an illusion, Erdogan—you know it and we know it.

You play on the history of our humiliation, on our emotions, on our beliefs, and introduce yourself as a savior. However, you are a gravedigger, both for your own country and for your neighbors. Turkey is a political miracle, but it owes you nothing. The best thing you can do for your country is to free the women and men who have created this miracle, including many columnists and writers, like Ahmet Altan, whom you sentenced to life in prison.

Like other Islamists, you love stealing the victories of others, waiting for opportunities to ripen to take advantage of them. All of this is for what? Surely, it is to designate yourself as the caliph of the Muslim world. Your religious populism will only cause this beautiful country more loss. Your religious rhetoric will not make us forget your crimes. Our Islamists and Populists, who see you as their patron, are merely your ideological harem.

Humanity will remember the dead and imprisoned in Turkey. Humanity will remember how you attempted to put this beautiful country under a caliphate, persecuted millions of people, and deeply polarized Turkish society.

We need friends and allies whose hands have not been contaminated with blood

I feel responsible to tell you all of this, so that you do not come back with your neo-Ottomanist agenda. So that you do not dare to dream to conquer Northern Africa, as Barbarossa the liberator did. Let me tell you, we know the story of pirates who pretend to be our saviors.

We dream of a strong, free, and powerful nation that is pleased with its past and full of hope for its future. We dream of a country that does not discriminate on the basis of belief or disbelief. We dream of a country that sees religion as a personal choice. We dream of a country that sees plurality as a virtue. We dream of a country that sees the happiness of all of its citizens as its ultimate goal.

We need friends and allies whose hands have not been contaminated with blood. Your ambitions have no place in our country. Your agents have no tomorrow in our world.

Let me remind you, you’re not on a conquered land like your forefathers who colonized us. You cannot trace your historical roots to Algeria. You are only living in an illusion.


Original article in French may be reached at Huffington Post Algeria.

 


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