The reason why NATO had closed its eyes for the flirting of Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Islamic terrorist friends may be questioned, but probably their eyes were more focused on Ukraine for having a buffer-zone and a close ear to Russia and perhaps they wanted to blame Turkey later to having have made the wrong choice so that they could not be said to have rejected Turkey for union with the European Union.
To take note:
- Turkey was always a rather unlikely member of “the West.” > very strangest of bedfellows.
- Turkish-Western partnership designed to counter a Soviet threat no longer exists
- Turkey has changed radically
- becoming simultaneously wealthier (on paper), more democratic, more religious, more self-confident, and more illiberal
- structural changes put into place by Erdogan helped stoke the country’s best-ever run of economic growth
- Turkey’s political system retains some genuine weak points
- more democratic in both form and practice than it was during the 1980’s and 1990’s,
- “double-standards” EU has already accepted Christian or post-Christian states located in continental Europe as full-fledged members countries, despite them having been substantially poorer than Turkey.
- Any reservations from Brussels about Turkey’s democratic credentials are of very recent vintage.
- it has also become much more openly Islamic = real reason for Turkey’s growing distance from the West is precisely this (genuinely popular!) religious awakening.
- As Turkey reformed + gradually removed the army’s veto => political system would become more Islamic.
- Erdogan + his social conservatism, a traditionalism increasingly at odds with an ever-more socially progressive EU.
- Turkey actually moved further away from European integration
- chief lesson: EU should never make rhetorical commitments that it has no intention of honoring.
- in current “war against terror” Turkey’s interests are simply not in alignment with those of its putative allies.
- Turkey decided fight against ISIS is inadvisable.
- openly warring with the Islamic State=> expose itself to a withering campaign of terrorism that would wreak havoc with its economy
- NATO alliance actually faces a far more significant threat from the potential departure of Turkey.
- Turkey expects fulfilment of promises made by EU – Erdogan (en.trend.az)
Turkey is expecting fulfilment of the promises made by the EU, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Oct. 31 at a joint briefing with French President Francois Hollande in Paris, the Turkish agency Anadolu reported.
Erdogan said given the trade turnover between Turkey and France, and the economic relations in general, Turkey believes that France will be its greatest friend in the EU.
Turkish president, speaking of stagnation in the talks on Turkey’s accession to the EU, said his country expects that the EU will fulfil its promises.
- Opinion – Turkish President Erdoğan complains of cacophony in US – POLITICS – Hurryet News – Turkey – John Gelmini (dralfoldman.com)
Washington would like to overthrow the regimes in Syria and Iran but knows that public opinion will not yet stand for another ground invasion after Afghanistan and Iraq.
ISIS and its financial backers want to build a global Caliphate but until they directly threaten American interests, Obama will do nothing, even though the Pentagon and the US military are ready for what comes next; they see the bigger danger and would act more robustly if they were allowed to do their job.
- Turkish Youths Put Hoods Over Heads of U.S. Soldiers During Assault in Istanbul (shoebat.com)
Shocking video has surfaced which shows Turkish youths assaulting U.S. soldiers in Istanbul. As one Turk demands U.S. soldiers get out of Turkey, others hurl objects at the soldier, another sprays what looks like paint, and still others momentarily cover the man’s head with a hood before he takes of running from what is clearly a mob:
- On the Ottoman Empire, Shariah Law and Turkey (uvm.edu)
The idea that Shariah is very strict, that it’s very severe, that it’s inflexible, is a mischaracterization. It’s a recent, Western mischaracterization. Literally, Shariah means “God’s plan of right existence.” There are as many Shariah interpretations as there are human beings, because your interpretations of God’s plan and my interpretation of God’s plan are going to be different. So Shariah is plural.
Secularization in Turkey, beginning with the Young Turks, was a top-down, authoritarian movement. There was always yearning for traditional conservative values among the people, especially in rural areas. But the military, which played a major role in Turkish politics, kept those ideas under control. In the late 1990s, when Turkey was negotiating to become part of the European Union, it was forced to adopt more democratic, more nonmilitary policies. Erdoğan and his allies saw an opening and, once elected, pushed the Army back to its barracks. With the army weakened, Islamist ideas, which had never disappeared, flowed back into public life.
- Muslims found Americas, says Erdogan (thepuffington.com)
- Turkey: Public ‘Dislike Israel More than Isis, Hezbollah and Hamas’ (ibtimes.co.uk)
The Turkish public have a more unfavourable view of Israel than that of terror groups Islamic State (Isis), Hezbollah and Hamas, according to a Pew Research Center poll.
Of those surveyed, 86% held an unfavourable view of Israel and only 2% had a favourable view of the country. In comparison, 85% had an unfavourable view of extremist groups IS and Hezbollah, while 80% had an unfavourable view of Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.
- Christopher Columbus Did Not Discover America Says Turkish President (guardianlv.com)
In a speech on Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Christopher Columbus did not discover America. In fact, according to Erdogan, it was discovered by Muslims almost 300 years before Columbus ever landed. Erdogan went on to say that Columbus mentioned a hill on the coast of Cuba that has a mosque standing on top of it. He said that a mosque should be built by Turkey on top of the hill that Columbus spoke of. He said he would like to speak to his “Cuban brothers” about it.
These comments were made in an address at a conference of Latin American Muslim scholars in Istanbul. According to Erdogan, Islam was prominent before Columbus arrived in the 15th century. He said that Muslim sailors landed in 1178 on the coasts of America and that contact between Islam and Latin America goes back as far as the 12th century.
- Russia, Turkey Inch Toward Improved Relations (usnews.com)
Russia and Turkey established the High Level Cooperation Council in 2010, which has met four times and may convene its fifth session in Turkey before the end of the year. Russian and Turkish officials appear to consult regularly on significant regional issues. In October, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called President Vladimir Putin to discuss the Islamic State. Although Moscow and Ankara do not always agree on how to proceed on issues, their communications appear to be far more regular and substantive than Putin’s exchanges with any other NATO member, especially after the alliance shut down the NATO-Russia Council earlier this year. After an inquiry by Al-Monitor, the Moscow Times debunked media reports circulating in social media citing the paper as the source of a story about a contentious conversation between Putin and Erdogan that ended in mutual threats.
Perhaps most remarkable is that while Erdogan continues to press Putin about the Crimean Tatars and their priorities, Turkey has abstained from Western efforts to punish Moscow over Ukraine, maintaining a rather moderate tone. This stands in stark contrast to the other governments most directly affected — namely, the Central European NATO members — which have tried to push NATO and the United States into doing more and which in many cases are seeking US and NATO troop deployments on their territory.
- Muslims discovered America, says Turkish president (theguardian.com)
“It is alleged that the American continent was discovered by Columbus in 1492,” Erdogan said. “In fact, Muslim sailors reached the American continent 314 years before Columbus, in 1178.”
“In his memoirs, Christopher Columbus mentions the existence of a mosque atop a hill on the coast of Cuba,” Erdogan said, adding that he’d like to see a mosque built on the hilltop today.
Scholars have disputed the claim in Columbus’s writings, saying there is no archaeological evidence of Muslims having lived in the Americas before Columbus, an Italian, made his expedition in 1492 on behalf of the Spanish crown.
- Mikdad: Turkish, French attempts to implement schemes against Syria is doomed to failure (sana.sy)
Syrians who are united against terrorism would not forget that the Turkish regime has supported, financed, armed and harbored the terrorists in Syria and it was involved, with the American and Israeli intelligence, in manufacturing the so-called the” Arab Spring’ to pave the way for the establishment of the Erdogan Ottoman caliphate .
The Deputy Foreign Minister lashed at Erdogan and Hollande hysteria as their terrorists were approaching to collapse in Aleppo, adding that their role in supporting the terrorists’ crimes in Aleppo was uncovered.
Mikdad said that those who want the continued presence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorists in Aleppo are standing by terrorism and the killers.
Since the news seems to be a bit slow today, I’ve taken the time to focus on the situation in Turkey, and this article seems to give us some perspective. Turkey’s role in the developing situation in the Middle East is not to be taken lightly. ~J
Ever since the electoral triumph of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist Justice and Development party, Turkey has changed radically, becoming simultaneously wealthier, more democratic, more religious, more self-confident, and more illiberal.
© REUTERS/ Umit Bektas
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