In his July 8, 2010 column titled "Would Mr. Erdogan Kindly Care For This Muslim Woman?" in the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News, Burak Bekdil tackles the subject of a Turkish-speaking Azeri woman in Iran condemned to death for adultery by stoning, and muses on why Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who, he says, is known to have "a soft spot for Muslims being subjected to cruelty in all corners of the world," might not intervene with his good friend Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to save her. He also discusses "the dilemma of the pragmatic Islamist."
In recent columns, Bekdil has harshly criticized the Turkish leadership, writing of Erdogan's statement that "those who support terror are collaborators of terrorists'... of course, he was referring to the PKK"; skewering "Islamist propaganda machine" claims and noting "Of course, there is no connection between the [Gaza flotilla] 'activists' and the [Turkish] government – And yes, I am a ballerina"; and mocking Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu for calling the May 31, 2010 Gaza flotilla events "Turkey's 9/11." He added that "the Muslim-Turkish thinking... is programmed to turn the world upside down when Jews kill Muslims."
The following is his July 8 column, in the original English.
"There Is This Woman... Waiting For Her Execution" By Stoning; She Is "Iranian... Of Azeri Descent, and Speaks Only Turkish"
"There is this woman. She is waiting to die. Not quite a normal death. She is waiting for her execution. Not quite a 'normal execution.'
"She will be buried up to her chest. Her willing executioners will say 'Allah is the greatest,' and then will hurl stones at her. Not quite normal stones. They will be picked carefully. They won't be too small to give her too little pain, or too large to kill her immediately.
"Unsurprisingly, Sakineh Mohammedie Ashtiani is Iranian. But she is of Azeri descent and speaks only Turkish – the principal barrier that prevented her from fully comprehending Iran's Islamic court proceedings."
She Is "Convicted Of Adultery – The Same 'Impropriety'... Erdogan Had Tried Hard To Outlaw in Turkey"
"In 2006, Ms. Ashtiani was convicted of adultery, the same 'impropriety' Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had tried hard to outlaw in Turkey a few years earlier. Since his legislative attempt failed after too many 'shocked' Western faces popped up one after another, we do not know what proper penalty Mr. Erdogan had considered accurate for adultery – but it cannot be stoning.
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"Ms. Ashtiani was forced to confess after being subjected to 99 lashes, although she later retracted the confession. The legal proceedings were complex and straightforward. They were complex because two out of five judges were not convinced that Ms. Ashtiani was guilty. But they were straightforward 'numerically.'
"Article 74 of the Iranian penal code requires at least four witnesses for an adulterer to be stoned to death. Witnesses make the principal evidence. But four witnesses do not mean four 'persons.' Four witnesses, in Iranian law, mean four men or three men and two women (or two men and four women… Muslims choosing to betray their spouses should take care to have a maximum of seven women witness their act).
"By the time this article goes to print, Ms. Ashtiani may have been stoned to death. Unless of course the mullahs decide to give her a pardon not because they would think such a punishment would be too barbaric for the year 2010, but probably because they would think a pardon could spark an international feeling of gratefulness and well suit their political agenda."
"We Know... That Mr. Erdogan Has a Soft Spot For Muslims Being Subjected to Cruelty... [This Is Also] a Great Opportunity For [Him] to Show... [His] Understanding of Islam and Secularism"
"But someone else may come into the picture for a happy ending. We know by evidence that Mr. Erdogan has a soft spot for Muslims being subjected to cruelty in all corners of the world, and Ms. Ashtiani is a Muslim lady. Besides, Ms. Ashtiani speaks Turkish, not Farsi; and perhaps Mr. Erdogan would view her as kin? Above all, Mr. Erdogan has brotherly relations with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who can pardon her.
"That's a great opportunity for Mr. Erdogan to show everyone how much he cares about the plight of Muslims (and Turks) all around the world, that he can love Muslims other than Hamas-loving Palestinians too.
"It could also be a great opportunity for everyone willing to understand Mr. Erdogan's understanding of Islam and secularism. We learned before what he thinks about adultery (that it's a crime), and how the state should behave to adulterers (that it should punish them).
"But we don't know what kind of punishment he deems appropriate for adultery. We don't know what he thinks about 99 lashes, or about the two women=one man equation at the witness booth."
"These Are Taboo Subjects for Islamist Politicians Who Have a Desire to Look Nice to Non-Muslim Westerners"
"These are taboo subjects for Islamist politicians who have a desire to look nice to non-Muslim Westerners – that's the pragmatic Muslim in them. I can understand their trouble. If they stood against lashes and stoning and two women equal one man rules, they would be speaking against explicit Quranic commandments.
"(For the interested reader, allow me to remind you that Quranic commandments come in one flavor only. About do's and don'ts, the Quran is not discriminatory. 'Don't drink alcohol' is no different than 'Give him/her 99 lashes;' or 'Don't eat pork' is the same as 'Two women equal one man as witness.')"
"The Dilemma of the Pragmatic Islamists... Muteness Is The Best Solution"
"So, it would be interesting to learn what the devout mind with perpetual citings from the Quran would say about lashes and stoning and witnesses and what others must do if someone is to be stoned (in fact the Quran also commands that everyone who is aware of adultery in the neighborhood must go and witness the punishment).
"Going back to the dilemma of the pragmatic Islamists… If they stood against not-so-nice-looking practices like the fate awaiting Ms. Ashtiani, they would be challenging the Quran (their Islamism). On the other hand, if they affirmed such practices, they would fear distancing some of their Western allies.
"[Therefore], muteness is the best solution. Not for unimportant, sinning Muslims like Ms. Ashtiani, but definitely for the very important Muslims like Mr. Ahmadinejad's best friend in Turkey."
 See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 3058, "Turkish Columnist Ridicules Turkish PM Erdogan's Claim That There Is No Islamic Terror, Says 'There Is No Connection Between [Gaza Flotilla] Activists And [Turkish] Government – And Yes, I Am a Ballerina,' Asks 'Why Do The Turks Have the Palestine Fetish Even Though Most Of Them Can't Point the Palestinian Territories Out on a Map?'", June 27, 2010, Turkish Columnist Ridicules Turkish PM Erdogan's Claim That There Is No Islamic Terror, Says 'There Is No Connection Between [Gaza Flotilla] Activists And [Turkish] Government - And Yes, I Am a Ballerina,' Asks 'Why Do The Turks Have the Palestine Fetish Even Though Most Of Them Can't Point the Palestinian Territories Out on a Map?'