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Turkey - Not an Easy One to Call

Reader comment on item: Is Turkey Leaving the West?

Submitted by M. Tovey (United States), Feb 7, 2013 at 18:15

Modern Turkey has been and continues to be an enigma to the western sensibilities for one very astute reason: they have been and continually remain committed to the residual and remnant values of the ancient sort; that even as they were subjected to secularization since the 1920's after the World War 1 defeat of the Ottoman's, they have always been oriented to the ideology that swept the region from the days of being Anatolia and its overtures to the west are not due to its desires to be western, but to influence the west as they once influenced the majority of an ancient empire. In many respects, one cannot deny the uniqueness of Turkey; nor would it be prudent to attempt to cajole the Turkish administration into a faux relationship with thoughts of peaceful intentions. Former Sec. of State Clinton can attest to that.

As much as Turkey seems to be courting the eastern block, this has less of an appearance of wanting to ally themselves with the eastern Asian countries and more to the observance of wanting the backing of Russian influences that seem to date back to the times of tensions with the former Soviet Union. Being a former pin cushion between the west and the former Soviet cold war issues (like the American retraction of missile systems during the Cuban Missile crisis), much of Turkey's stigma during the debacle of siding with the Kaiser in the First World War remained as it looked as being the doormat between the east and west for the life of the Soviet Union. Once that shadow lifted, Turkey's demeanor seemed to shift again and looking to have friendly relations with Russia does not seem all that bad.

Ultimately, this does have implications that if all out war breaks out in the region, it is not hard to see who's side Turkey will take…..and it will not be the United States.

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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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