Skip to comments.Turkey opposition gains ground amid eastward drift
Posted on 06/21/2010 2:16:38 PM PDT by La Enchiladita
ANKARA, Turkey Turkey rallied behind Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his blistering condemnation of Israel after its commando raid on an aid ship to Gaza.
But as dust settles from the May 31 attack, Turkey's resurgent opposition seems to be gaining traction by articulating fears that Erdogan is steering NATO's only Muslim member away from the West, jeopardizing EU membership efforts, and even undermining a long-running battle against separatist Kurds.
The views of the Republican People's Party which considers itself a guarantor of secular values and enjoys a power base among Western-leaning urban elites are increasingly important.
The movement has a popular new leader following the resignation of its chairman over a sex scandal and many have high hopes that he can rejuvenate the party, presenting a viable alternative to Erdogan and anchoring Turkey firmly back in its Western orientation.
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The spirit of Ataturk lives after all.
What happened in Afghanistan and Pakistan will happen in Turkey if they keep pacifying and appeasing radical Islamic extremist Muslims.
Do Americans favor the ideological aims of Obama? Obama is the biological and ideological issue of 1960s Marxist-Alinsky campus/street revolutionary rabble.
He is our Erdogan.
Sharia (Islamic law) shall not rise to the Presidential Palace.
Hundreds of thousands were in the streets after the last election protesting the appointment of an Islamist (Gul) as president.
Erdogan is a little further along than Obama in suppressing opponents. Many have been arrested (press and military) and charged with attempting a "civilian coup."
They have just begun to fight the AKP Islamist oppressor.
It’s the US that has appeased extremist Muslims by giving Fethullah Gulen (religious sect leader of current Turkish government members - wants to resurrect the Ottoman empire and become Caliph) refuge in the US while he was wanted in Turkey. The long and short of it is that the US has supported islamism in Turkey scheming that a more islamic orientation in Turkey would bring the arabs around to democracy. That’s ok, we’ll deal with it, and what does not kill us makes us stronger, but the same can’t be said for your consequent standing in the area. Stop supporting this man by giving him quarter in your country.
Yes, with the election of the new Head of the opposition CHP (the party founded by Ataturk and which opposes Islamic elements within public spaces such as headscarves in schools, universities and official buildings) the AKP lost even more support as most of the anti-AKP block has started to unite under the CHP banner. The AKP was already struggling due to high unemployment, a deteriorating economic situation and heightened corruption. The AKP, which is an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, like Hamas, and which is sponsored by Saudi Arabia and the global wahhabists is trying to use the same strategy that Arab countries use to divert attention from internal problems to an eternal enemy responsible for every single problem. He is trying to make the Israeli-Arab conflict an integral part of Turkish politics and for that Turkey had to be directly pushed into the heart of the conflict, because for the Turkish electorate the situation of Gaza is just not important enough to sway votes as it is not a problem that directly involves Turkey. Erdogan is trying to change that so as to be able to use it as an internal political tool.
The AKP will probably lose votes, but they are not ready to give up their power as a single party government because there is still much work to do for the final Islamisation of Turkey and the creation of the Islamic Republic of Turkey, for this they will use foul play and it is my belief that they will rig the polls (just like in the recent Iranian elections), they have no moral objection to such a thing because they see themselves as working for the promotion of islam and thus for allah and for this they see themselves obliged to do anything possible even if it is dirty and immoral.
Turkey’s only chance is for the US and EU to look away while the Turkish secularist establishment headed by the army does a clean up, which includes the execution of all political islamists.
Question: Why couldn’t the last Bush administration make greater strides in bringing Turkey into the west, into the democratic column?
Both Turkey and Lebanon were once European-leaning allies and we seem to have lost ground with them.
I think the fundamental thing is Turkey no longer feels like it needs the West for protection. For centuries Turkey lost ground to Russia and its Balkan allies. Then the Soviet Union for a time looked even stronger than Russia. Now, the Sov's have been replaced with relatively weak successor states on Turkey's border. Bulgaria and Romania are no longer in a Warsaw Pact. So, NATO isn't as key as it was.
Plus, being a good NATO ally isn't translating into EU membership as Turkey hoped. France is adamantly opposed and is getting support for its opposition. The US has been supportive but has limited influence on the issue. So, they wonder, what has NATO done for me lately?
Third, Turkey's occupation of half of Cyprus has really created distance with Europe and has somewhat isolated it.
Fourth, the traditional secular parties lost a lot of credibility with how they were governing the country, leaving the military to step in once again. Then came the Islamists, who looked to the voters like viable reformers. Because of the history, the military has been very reluctant to step in again and remove them, although it is a possibility.
Initially, it appeared the Islamists were going to bring Turkey into the EU and firmly into Western style democracy. In other words, they would be market oriented reformers with only an Islamism light. Only relatively recently have they actively pursued ties with radical Islamic states and until recently had a fairly open alliance with Israel. As their popularity has waned they have played the Islamist, anti-Israel card hard to try to salvage themselves.
Finally, the invasion of Iraq was hard for the Turkish government because it was unpopular there for all the reasons it was unpopular in Europe and unpopular in the Muslim world. Turkey came close to allowing US access to transit but in the end said no, which strained relations with the Bush administration.
It seems to me the only way the Bush administration could have done a better job with Turkey is not to have invaded Iraq in the first place. I don't think it had anything to do with not playing the game well.
I was wondering about the impact of the invasion into Iraq and you answered that. Unfortunately, neo-conservatism works against its own best interests at times.
I think the failure to gain EU membership is a big disappointment also. Once again, France working against the best interests of the West.
The real cause, as I read it here, is the relentless march of islamism.
Ataturk has been revered as the man who saved Turkey after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. If his memory and philosophy can't stop radical Islam I don't know what can. I don't think the game is over in Turkey, however. Very powerful interests want to keep Turkey oriented to the West and out of the sinkhole of the Middle East.
All of colorado tanker's comments are pretty much what I recall. I followed the Turkish press at the time (English translations).
I recall numbers like 80 percent public opposition. Yet the new government (AKP) and Gul were inclined to approve our use of Turkey for the invasion.
They almost got the necessary stuff through the parliament.
Perhaps the main factor for the failure was the reported warning from France. If Turkey allowed the U.S. to use Turkey for the invasion they (France) would make sure that Turkey would never get into the E.U. Remember? Key French leaders had reasons for keeping Saddam in power.
Some of the public opposition dated back to the Gulf War and the reporting in the U.S. press about Turkish leaders "haggling" about an economic package -- a package I believe that was long-delayed from the time of the Gulf War. Turks believed that their economic problems stemmed from the problems caused Turkey by the Gulf War. As I recall, few if any European countries delivered on their Gulf War promises.
Thanks, W. The French were really, really not helpful.
I don't, either.
Very powerful interests want to keep Turkey oriented to the West and out of the sinkhole of the Middle East.
Good. That is better than wishful thinking on my part:-)
Kemal the pedophile Ataturk was responsible for the first genocide of NON Muslims the 20th century.
The only types who revere the pedophile are those weirdos who revere Hitler and Stalin.
The Turk should return to his lands in central Asia...where the Chinese can better take care of them.
If you lie down with dogs - the turk-, you will get up with fleas.
In fact Turkland is far more dangerous to the west than Iran.
There is not an ounce of difference between the military and the present parastate in Turkey. It is an artificially constructed state established genocidally...illegal in every way and dangerous as hell.