Should Turkey be in NATO?
Reader comment on item: Does Turkey Still Belong in NATO?
Submitted by Tugba (Turkey), Apr 7, 2009 at 08:35
First of all Turkey is ally of Western world even during the Ottoman Era. Some of you have forgotten that when Spain executed those Jews because of their religion it was Turkey who welcomed them. Again some of you underestimate that Armenian people in Ottoman Empire came into very important offices, which was close to the emperor himself. But they betrayed the emperor in the end.
Armenian citizens of Turkey found new allies in the West with the promises of freedom after Greeks and Bulgarians. Russia in this case played major role along with England and France. After Russian Revolution, they were the same Western allies of Turkey who promised Ottomans to protect territorial integrity of the empire as well as dividing the Ottoman Empire by secret treaties. To whom Ottomans trust then? Of course Germany who has never betrayed Ottomans like the others did. Presence of these secret treaties subject to Ottoman Empire's division can be found every historic documentations. In the international relations this is called " balance of power" instead of treachery.
When it comes to so called Armenian genocide issue, it is not true. Have you ever heard of a village called Hocali in Van? This village once inhabited by the Muslim people of Ottoman Empire and destroyed totally by Armanian militia operated in the region during WW1. In war time Ottoman Empire have to make a decision to solve Armanian militia issue in the East of the empire. So they decided to deport Armanian citizens to other provinces of the empire in the south. Some of the people deported were children and elders and they died during the journey. Some of them died because of the attacks even though they were given protection by limited and bad equiped Ottoman soldiers.
In fact Turkey in 1915 didn't actually gathered the Armenian citizens of the empire and send them to labour camps or burned them in the gas chambers. I recomend you to check UN Charter genocide section and its description. In fact Armanians in Istanbul in 1915 continued their prosperious life without any interuption. In Istanbul Armanian citizens of the empire lived in palaces their own. In fact they still live as the richest families in Turkey, and practice their religions in their churces freely.
When we compared the position of Muslems in the West they are the freest people in the world. Nothing is one sided when you accuse someone of something, to be neutreal you must understand the other side as well. Please make some research before writing your accusations about so called Armenian genocide. All can be found in Ottoman Archieves as well as Russian Archieves. And please don't forget to check Armanian Archives too. I am telling this to the historians who wants to evoluate this neutreally. If it were true, none of the countries wouldn't hesitate to accept so called Armanian genocide for sure. President of the United States pushed the matter to Armania and Turkey instead of declaring the so called genocide.
Another point is Iraq issue. Turkey and Iraq are neighbour countries. And Turkey has some problems with Northern Iraq and PKK which is also one of the terrorist organizations in the list of the USA along with Hamas and Hezbollah. Lets focus on again untrustfulness of Turkey in NATO in the context of terrorist organizations. First of all Israel is negotiating with a terrorist organization called HAMAS today for truce. And also Israel didn't interfere elections in 2007 in Gaza when HAMAS won the elections.
The same Israel want Al- Fatah and HAMAS to come together and reach a concensus. In the Egyptian brokered truce there is a vital point that if HAMAS recognizes Israel, all is fine. Yet, HAMAS is a terrorist organization! Another important point is Hezbollah. Today England feel free to contact with Hezbollah' political wing. Isn't it interesting when some of you again accuse Turkey providing arms to Hezbollah? On the contrary I hope some of you could check some Turkish newspapers telling that in the operations dozens of Hezbollah militants arrested and sent to jail. In addition to this, please look a little bit south if you want to find out how Hezbollah gets Iranian arms: Syria.
Lets look at the map, Syria is neighbour of Lebanon. Lebanon stayed under occupation of Syria for 29 years until Cedar Revolution. Beqaa Valley is full of training camps for various terrorist organizations including PKK and Hezbollah. It is easier for Iran to use this route rather than Turkey I think. When we turn to Iraq, since 2003 lots of things has changed in this small country. Now in Baghdad we hear explotions everyday. In addition to this we witness walls separating Sunni and Shia people in Iraq.
Also territorial integrity of this country is under threat because of Kurdish separatists. Good ally of Turkey, the USA in NATO gave this oppurtunity to Kurdish people in Iraq, training PKK militia, furnishing them with American weapons. Again it is strange that in a country like Iraq where is under American occupation a terrorist organization in American list could still survive which gives such trouble an ally country like Turkey. In 4 of July, 2003, in Sulaymaniya, Iraq, how come soldiers of the USA could put bags on Turkish soldiers, ( ally country) and arrest them? This question I think explains alliance of the West properly. We have never heard of anything like this from Iran. On the contrary Iran implemented joint operations against terrorist PKK with Turkey.
Thirdly, Turkey and Israel relations cannot be decided by Davos. Turkey is the first and for a long time only country that recognized Israel after 15 May 1948. Between Turkey and Israel there are several cultural , economic and military agreements which can not be push aside because Mr. Erdogan, forgetting his title in Davos and replied to Mr. Peres emotionaly. You can find the same comments made by Israeli lecturers and politicians such as Bengi Ofra from Tel Aviv University. Turkey and Israeli relatios contunies without any halts.
Turkey and EU issue is a thorny one. Turkey - EU relations dates back to 1958 with EEC which Turkey became memeber of European Economic Cooperation in 1963 with Ankara Agreement. Since than Turkey is struggling to become a member of EU. Latest countries that accepted in EU were former Soviet countries where were not in a better condition economically than Turkey. But they could achieved membership. Again I want to remind some of you that the negotiations with EU and Turkey in the basis of full membership has begun during government of " radical islamist " government. Isn't it hypocracy that starting negotiations with a country for full membership, and declaring that Turkey could only be "privilaged ally" of EU as Mr. Sarkozy says.
I want to make another comment of this radical Islamist government in Turkey. In fact this government has nothing to do with radical Islam. You may call radical Islam of Iran but not Turkey. Concervative Christians in the West don't have such title like radical Christians. This is interesting. You call them concervative. The government in Turkey with the wprds of former president of the USA " moderate Islamist". This moderate Islamist government got great support from Bush administration in the past. Now some of you criticize Turkish government. It was the very same American policy to place Turkey as a moderate Islamist country in the Great Middle Eastern Project. It was Western newspapers that clapped Mr. Erdogan as a leader of majority when we republicans make demonstrations for drawing attention to the danger in Turkey. We still stand against this externally implemented moderate Islam, though Turkish people are not responsible for this AKP deasese spreading in our country.
If you advocate democracy then Mr. Erdogan came to power with the votes of Turkish people whether you like or not. It is the same NATO member, USA also welcoming Mr. Fetullah Gulen, who is master of Mr. Erdogan in the context of Islamic ideology, living happily in the USA. If he sets foot in Turkey will be arrested immeadiately. Also another radical Islamist as your notion Merve Kavakci lives in the USA with her family. Even they have citizenships from the USA. Good NATO ally USA.
All and all, Turkey under the flag of UN and NATO has thousands of military troops all around the world. You can find Turkish soldiers in Afghanistan with ally NATO countries. Also in the UNIFIL forces of Lebanon Turkish soldiers can be found protecting peace in the southern borders of Lebanon to Israel. Now any time President Obama could demand some more Turkish troops in Afghanistan to return American soldiers to their home. Turkey, as she did before, will do whatever is asked from her as a good ally in NATO.
If some countries consider Turkey out of NATO and distance Turkey from EU, this wouldn't bring any benefit to the West. This means West would lose a good friend and ally in the Middle East forever along with the American bases in Turkey. Also this means NATO and EU push Turkey to make new alliances with more friendly countries such as Russia and Iran. And lastly, if Turkey is excluded from both EU and NATO, it gives Turkey no option than to turn Islamism when West deserted Turkey and Western values were failed in Turkey. It is better to keep Turkey in NATO, don't you think?
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".
Reader comments (529) on this item
Comment on this item
Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes