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Turkey as a threat to democracy

Reader comment on item: Does Turkey Still Belong in NATO?

Submitted by Daniella Csizmadia (Denmark), Apr 6, 2009 at 12:51

As Mr. Pipes points out in the above article, NATO member Turkey's recent anti-democratic tendencies that seem to intensify, are turning the organization "incapable of standing up to the main strategic threat (Islamism) for fear of offending a member government". That clearly raises the question of Turkey's legitimacy as a member.

Furthermore, Turkey goes against the basic principles of the organization, that is the defence of democracy, individual freedom and the rule of law. Although these principles were phrased in the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949, in the context of the emerging Cold War, the defence of these values was not questioned, but rather reconfirmed by the Washington Treaty, NATO's new strategic concept of 1999, and again following the 2001 terrorist attacks, by the Prague Summit Declaration, as well as in 2004 by the Istanbul Declaration.

Moreover, when Turkey demands the Danish prime minister to go against his own act of defending freedom of speech and freedom of press during the Mohamed cartoon crisis (that actually made him the most suitable candidate for NATO's secretary general post), it is more than obvious what principles Turkey is committed to, or standing against.

Taking these and Turkey's obvious anti-democratic behaviour into account, it should be seriously considered whether this country should still have the right to remain in the organisation, unless NATO defines a new goal, namely promoting Islamism. It is deeply regrettable that the president of the United States not only blinks this fact, but supports the acceleration of the NATO's moral and thereby structural disintegration.

As a European, I must also add that Turkey's full membership in the European Union would more than likely show similar patterns, as it can already be observed, keeping an eye on the manners of the accession talks. Turkey's membership would largely paralyze the EU's ability to act as a united political and economic power, as its frames assured by guiding principles of democracy, freedom and the rule of law would no longer be able to stand.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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