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Was Turkey ever part of the West, Daniel?

Reader comment on item: Is Turkey Leaving the West?

Submitted by Nikephoros (United States), Feb 20, 2013 at 01:02

There is an interesting talk by the Greek Turkologist, Neoklis Sarris online. In it, he explains that the Turkish modernization/Westernization was spurred because Turks perceived that the revolting Greeks beat them because they were considered European and thus garnered the support of Western powers. So the Turks according to him made what shallow efforts at modernization they have made so far, only to appear European. One example: Ataturk decreed the hat as the official headdress, but did not change the menality of the head underneath. Even that little they did to obtain the benefit of Western support, and not because they wanted "the thing in itself" which is to be European.

Now it is no different. I used to remember Turkey being the most or one of the most pro-American nations in the world. Yet now it is the most anti-American. Why? Because Turks cannot perceive that Kurds or should we say "Turks of Kurdish origin" don't like the way they are treated under the racist Turkish regime and want to transform totally Turkish state from its ultra-nationalist mold or even cede from it. The Turkish concept of devlet, which we translate as a state is something most Westerners cannot fathom. Sarris pointed in one of his Tomes programs that the Turkish state dictates opinions for the populace to adopt and that even Turkish civil society is totally dominated by the state. Even abroad in Europe, most Turkish colonist's lives are controlled by Diyanet mosques, Turkey based cultural organizations, etc. So now that it appears like to most Turks that they will eventually lose a part of "their country" to Kurdish aspirations, the party is over in regards to their Western orientation. They cannot perceive why wronged Kurds would revolt in a liberation struggle, instead using their devlet concept they can only understand that some imperial power is trying to split "buyuk Turkiye", since they cannot account in their mental model that Turkish Kurds could be independent, stateless actors. In the Turkish mind, "Turks of Kurdish origin" can only support the Turkish state or be genocided by it. Lately they have been very suspicious of the USA and Israel, since they cannot take any self blame or understand why despite American support, Kurds still want to revolt from their heavy handed rule.

In a 2006 interview, former CIA deputy chief in Turkey from 1986-89, Philip Giraldi stated:

Turks were very aggressive in a counter-intelligence sense.... Embassy officers who were known or suspected to be CIA were surveilled whenever they went out, had their phones tapped, and their apartments were bugged.My apartment had microphones in the table lamps, for example, and everything I said on the phone was taped and analyzed. I was routinely surveilled when I went out to lunch, sometimes by teams of as many as one dozen surveillants using cars and radios. ... I certainly know that the [American-Turkish] relationship is regarded as cool and that the Turks are extremely mistrustful of the United States, primarily due to our failure to suppress PKK activity in northern Iraq. ... You must be aware of the fact that the so-called "friendly" relationship between the two countries[Israel and Turkey] is very narrowly focused. It is largely the Turkish Army's General Staff that keeps the relationship going, because it provides access to US military assistance and weapons that would otherwise be embargoed.
The Turkish public and the government, on the other hand, are rather ambivalent, if not hostile, to the relationship.

The hagiography of Turkey as a staunch Western ally and good Cold Warrior is something that the Turkish side insisted on, since the Turkish devlet is used to dictating how history is interpreted and researched to the Turkish public and civic society, so they expected the same deferment from the Occident. However, now that Turkey is a frenemy transitioning to an enemy, it behooves us to abandon this and critically examine what Turkey was and what it will continue to be, a bandit state.

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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Reader comments (71) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Is Turkey Leaving the West? [77 words]tedApr 22, 2013 19:42205463
1Turkey will leave N.A.T.O. after Assad's government falls from power [29 words]DanielMay 3, 2013 17:46205463
China Is Hot [54 words]melvin polatnickMar 4, 2013 15:56204029
1post- imperial Erdogan [112 words]BenFeb 27, 2013 08:13203904
8Was Turkey ever part of the West, Daniel? [663 words]NikephorosFeb 20, 2013 01:02203676
1Hypocrisy [261 words]srhtApr 4, 2013 15:25203676
3Turkey as an EU paradox [254 words]mythFeb 18, 2013 10:31203608
5The morals of Turkey are not the values of the West [137 words]Phil GreendFeb 14, 2013 18:42203506
2Your entry says You dont know anything about Turkey [250 words]neosinanFeb 17, 2013 16:49203506
11Turks vs. logic [209 words]IanusFeb 18, 2013 00:25203506
2Shame on anyone who denies the Armenian Genocide [560 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 19, 2013 07:18203506
1So tell us what are the values of the west ? [80 words]Triple CrescentFeb 20, 2013 13:47203506
2Turkey Should Not Be in NATO [86 words]DaveFeb 12, 2013 22:02203433
Turkey Should Not Be in NATO [133 words]moFeb 17, 2013 13:19203433
i really dont think Turkey is still part of NATO [243 words]neosinanFeb 17, 2013 14:25203433
5Turkey should dump NATO [47 words]AhmetFeb 9, 2013 13:15203362
3Dear Mr. Ahmet [228 words]Debanjan BanerjeeFeb 13, 2013 21:56203362
8Debanjan does not have intellectual gravitas for critical examination of issues. [298 words]PrashantFeb 15, 2013 16:46203362
12Islam is the grave-digger of the West. [201 words]IanusFeb 15, 2013 18:02203362
6Islam and India [197 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 16, 2013 06:56203362
5Lots of questions for our dear Deb al-tablighee [434 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 16, 2013 09:57203362
6Islamic plagiarism [118 words]IanusFeb 16, 2013 14:42203362
2More hypocrisy [113 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 16, 2013 17:10203362
4facade of an islamic society [122 words]mythFeb 18, 2013 09:27203362
DIMMI NO MORE Pakistan is One of best States in the World....! [182 words]BilawalApr 25, 2013 06:03203362
3Pakistan is a failed state thanks to Islam [31 words]dhimmi no moreApr 26, 2013 07:03203362
dhimmi no more....Wkipedia is not a reliable source [42 words]BilawalApr 27, 2013 04:07203362
3Our dear Bilawal did you check the references in the wikipedia article? let me guess you did not right? [258 words]dhimmi no moreApr 28, 2013 07:29203362
4Our dear Bilawal tells us kuffar that wikepdia is not a good source nontheless he is using it as a source to prove his point and I wonder why [203 words]dhimmi no moreApr 28, 2013 09:56203362
Dimii [44 words]Dimmi No MoreApr 30, 2013 04:25203362
5The failed state of Pakistan and wannabe Arabs! [339 words]dhimmi no moreMay 1, 2013 15:47203362
1Come on dhimmi [20 words]Bary SoetoroMay 8, 2013 18:20203362
1The Qur'an says that islam is the religion of the arabs only [303 words]dhimmi no moreMay 9, 2013 06:04203362
Moslem immigrants [11 words]TomMay 11, 2013 00:38203362
Jesus for Jews, Muhammad for all of mankind [37 words]Bary SoetoroMay 11, 2013 20:36203362
2Spot the mistake in the book of Allah! This time surat al-Nur 27 [162 words]dhimmi no moreMay 12, 2013 11:17203362
1The Qur'an says that islam is the religion of the arabs only and our dear Bary is editing the Qur'an! Where are the riots? [657 words]dhimmi no moreMay 13, 2013 07:32203362
1The Qur'an says that islam is the religion of the arabs only and al-Ahmadiyya [163 words]dhimmi no moreMay 13, 2013 09:47203362
2Bary Soetoro is corrupting the Qur'an! Where are the riots [278 words]dhimmi no moreMay 13, 2013 15:15203362
Turkey - Not an Easy One to Call [319 words]M. ToveyFeb 7, 2013 18:15203299
1Dear Mr. Tovey [397 words]Debanjan BanerjeeFeb 13, 2013 22:07203299
4Islamic hypocrisy has no limits [172 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 14, 2013 19:52203299
4It seems that our dear Deb who is a Shia is not Muslim! [107 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 16, 2013 07:59203299
2Interesting Mention Linking Turkey and Iran [913 words]M. ToveyFeb 21, 2013 18:58203299
4betrayal [180 words]mythFeb 7, 2013 16:12203297
1The democratic road for Turkey [245 words]DemsciFeb 10, 2013 11:03203297
You were right ? [159 words]neosinanFeb 17, 2013 15:55203297
2grandchildren returning to Turkey [166 words]mythFeb 18, 2013 09:48203297
1Turkey and Erdogan [73 words]Michael LermanFeb 7, 2013 10:08203284
Turkey is leaving the west [84 words]C PageFeb 7, 2013 09:08203282
1Turkey will stay in NATO [114 words]Nazim CairoFeb 7, 2013 05:58203276
3Another proof? [115 words]AlexandrosFeb 7, 2013 19:34203276
1Correction [47 words]Nazim CairoFeb 9, 2013 15:53203276
8What is Turkey trying to do [572 words]AlexandrosFeb 7, 2013 04:51203274
1i am not gonna talk about all your nonsonse but i have a question [98 words]neosinanFeb 17, 2013 17:21203274
What? [106 words]AlexandrosFeb 18, 2013 05:04203274
1Turkey vs Greek [179 words]AYdinFeb 21, 2013 12:16203274
2I do not understand where is the hate [537 words]AlexandrosFeb 22, 2013 05:40203274
Seeking new allies? [85 words]Gurkan GurkasFeb 7, 2013 03:43203271
1Turkey does not fit into the European Union [50 words]Lars nielsenFeb 7, 2013 03:26203270
1In the end Turkey is Islamic country [240 words]Amit SrivastavaFeb 6, 2013 21:07203260
6Erdogan Was Using EU [55 words]Sol ShalitFeb 6, 2013 18:00203251
5A Muslim... [55 words]ZeldaFeb 6, 2013 17:35203250
1Turkey Joining SCO [37 words]RichFromTampaFeb 6, 2013 17:33203249
8Turkey never was part of the West; it cannot not and does not know how [61 words]NuritGFeb 6, 2013 17:18203248
6Is Turkey Leaving the West? [238 words]JudithFeb 6, 2013 16:16203245
1NATO should dump Turkeys [98 words]lippyFeb 7, 2013 10:38203245
2Is Turkey Leaving the West? [51 words]JudithFeb 8, 2013 12:06203245
1You obviosly have no knowlodge about Turkey So This is some Facts about Turkey [194 words]SinanFeb 17, 2013 15:14203245
2Reality: Sinan, Turks marry just to migrate to poor rural Russia [246 words]NikephorosFeb 20, 2013 01:42203245
3Turkey leaving the West? [103 words]Nenette GrunbergFeb 6, 2013 15:53203244

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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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