Friday, January 26, 2007

Rising Islamists, Falling Turkey

Ralph Peters comments on the regression of Turkey from Ataturk's secular democracy to the rising Islamic state it is becoming.

A NATO member ideally positioned to serve as a bridge between the West and the Middle East, Turkey's secular constitution and economic progress should have made it an example for other regional states to emulate. Instead, Turkey has been aping the blighted regimes of the Arab world.

This has been an emerging trend in Turkey for decades. Turkey's military views itself as the guardian of Turkish secularism, and effected a coup d'etat in 1980 against rising Islamist sentiment and pressured Islamist PM Necmitten Erbakan to step down in 1997. Today, however, the military is less secular than in years past. And as a country, Turkey has rejected its former silent alliance with Israel (against Syria and Ba'athist Iraq) and has become anti-American.

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