Anatoly's Two Cents on Anatolia
Reader comment on item: Who Lost Turkey?
Submitted by Anatoly Tsaliovich (United States), Jun 10, 2010 at 19:56
For starters, let me add to the three alternative "Turkey loss" explanations quoted in Dr. Pipes' article: Blame the European Union, Blame Islam, Blame the accidents of history.
The additional explanation hits closer to home (at least, geographically): it is the perception that the USA is being weakened and is losing interest in playing the leading role in the Middle East. Whether true or not, this perception inevitably leads to the competition between the local powers to be for the leading role in the area. With regard to Turkey, this came at especially opportune time to announce their stepping in into the arena:
· Erdogan has almost finished the Islamization of the country.
· He soon faces new elections where he might have a good chance to solidify his power.
· By now, the Turkish army is weakened enough for him not to be afraid of internal resistance to further offensive on secular freedoms.
· The "regional powers" have successfully out-foxed the Western Europe and the USA by arranging an axis with Iran, Syria, and, at least partially, Russia.
· Now, the question for Erdogan is to ensure the support of the regional Muslim powers. And to do this, what could be better than a call to destroy the common "Zionist enemy"?
· On the other hand, the Western Europe and the USA are preoccupied with their own economical problems, the Islamization of their own countries, and the fierce internal political, financial, and social struggles. Hopefully for Erdogan, their reaction will be mute and at the worse, dprived of any teeth (think the latest "sanctions" on Iran that actually protects the country from military strike, while giving the cover of active fighters with Iranian nukes to the Western governments).
Put yourself in the Erdogan's shoes and say that you wouldn't be tempted to use this very promising planet alignment to achieve the resounding success with all his aspirations?
So, which "explanation" above is right or wrong? Sorry, but I cannot but to quote an old joke about a rabbi ( pastor, minister, etc. — insert whatever is closer to your religious beliefs) who had agreed with each of the two warring parties that each of them were right in the dispute; but when his wife indicated that there is a controversy in his judgment, he did acknowledge that she was also right! Applying this story to our case in point, each of the " lost Turkey" explanations is probably correct — but only to a degree.
The practical moral of course is that a solution to our dilemma, if any, will probably need to address all these "truths". Then, it can be hardly expected that one remedy will cure all the sources of this malaise and all the symptoms. And, also, don't forget the possible "side effects".
Lots of work ahead, but the stakes certainly warrant it.
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