Turkey has moved from ally to enemy

Ralph Peters comments on the significance of the Islamist landslide victory in Turkey

[..] Instead of the dramatic Khomeinist revolution against the shah in Iran, the Turkish model is a slow-motion takeover by demagogues in business suits. So now we have a NATO member whose leaders have a soft spot for Sharia law – but who insist on their right to join the European Union.

[The 2007 Pew poll found US favorability in Turkey has plummeted to 9 percent. Even more remarkable, Turks now see the US as the single biggest threat to their nation’s security. This is the lowest % in the world]

The Turkish people will have to live with the consequences of their choice:

    * With Sunday’s vote, Turkey chose Asia over Europe. Ankara wants to belong to the Islamic Middle East on the social side, while exploiting Europe economically. But the EU isn’t obliged to subsidize Turkey’s return to the Middle Ages (albeit with cellphones). Talks will drag on for years, but Turkey’s hope of EU membership is dead.

    * The United States needs to recognize the reality that Turkey is not a dependable regional ally and won’t become one soon. Both the Turkish military and the AKP, for all their bitter differences, share a taste for blaming Washington for all their home-made ills – and both seek to frustrate our strategic policies.

    * The AKP will attempt to placate the military by giving the generals even more leeway to interfere in Iraq. A confrontation between the United States and Turkey is looming.

    * Turkey will become more Islamic, more radical and more vocally anti-Western every year. When Ankara realizes that the EU is going to shut it out, Turkey could become Venezuela with veils.

    * The current economic boom will prove structurally unsustainable, leading to more political radicalization.

    * A military coup remains a possibility – and would be disastrous. If it comes, it will strengthen the Islamists in the long term. The Kurds will be victims yet again.

Turkey has fallen in love with a sanitized dream of past glory and an airbrushed version of Islam. On Sunday, it voted for the headscarf and the veil. Polls show that most Turks don’t want Sharia law, but the balloting opened the barn door for the serpent.

July 24, 2007 | 2 Comments »

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