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Hubris and revanchism is a poor basis for a foreign policy

Reader comment on item: Is Turkey Going Rogue?

Submitted by jon (France), Sep 28, 2011 at 07:21

Frequently in Turkey, I have noticed (and one can hardly ignore) a huge sentiment of having been badly treated by history. The revanchism is related to events going back to the Ottoman Empire, and particularly the western treatment of Turkey in the early years of the 20th century, when Turkey couldn't pay it's bills and debts to western countries. The forcible dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire is viewed in probably a similar mode to the rigours of what happened to Germany after WW1. This history is felt locally as a stain.

The recent boom time, in Turkey, with hi gdp growth, bought (again) with borrowed funds has just aded hubris to that explosive feeling. The AKP has exploited this to the hilt, and has clearly got carried away onto an imaginary "crusade" (which is probably not the right word ;)).

Like Mr; Pipes I feel that this is extremely dangerous, for once the Turkish public has "invested" in this narrative, well there are few ways back from the brink.

One cannot imagine Mr. Erdogan stepping back, it just isn't in character. Only tough talking from the US and Europe, including a rapid expulsion of Turkey from NATO might be a wake up call before very unfortunate events occur.

Submitting....

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