For Erdogan, The Silences Are Deafening


On December 12, 2017, just before a summit meeting of the O.I.C. (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) in Istanbul, an article was published in the Turkish daily Yeni Safak, a paper which has close ties to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, under the title "A Call For Action." Online, the article appeared under a more sinister title: "What If an Army of Islam Was Formed Against Israel?"

The article called on the 57 member states of the OIC to form a joint "Army of Islam" to besiege and attack the state of Israel. It noted that such a joint army would greatly exceed the Israeli army in manpower, equipment, and budget, and presented statistics to prove this:

If the OIC member states unite and form a joint military force, it will be the largest army in the world. These countries' total population is 1,674,526,931. The number of soldiers in active service in these countries is at least 5,206,100. Their [overall] military defense budget, of $174,728,420,000. is also worthy of emphasis.

As for Israel, it is significantly inferior. The population of this country, which attempted to occupy Jerusalem while surrounded by Muslim states, is 8,049,314. [the total Jewish population of Israelis 6.5 million] Note that the population of Istanbul alone exceeds 14 million. The number of soldiers in active service in the [Israeli] occupation forces is 160,000, and [Israel's] defense budget is approximately $15,600,000,000.

The statistics marshaled are indeed impressive: Israel's active duty soldiers are outnumbered by active duty soldiers in the O.I.C. 33 to 1 (5,206,1000 to 160,000); its military budget is only 1/12 that of the O.I.C.