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Reader comment on item: On Second Thought … Maybe that Israeli Apology to Turkey was a Good Idea
in response to reader comment: Ottoman bollocks.

Submitted by Mozere (United Kingdom), Apr 5, 2013 at 10:24

As a person of Turkish heritage I agree with most of your insightful analysis,however I disagree with the following points and arrive at a different conclusion.

1.Eastern states,whatever that may mean,have not got the monopoly on delusions of grandeur,which was shown in ample quantities by the likes of Napoleon and Hitler

2.The Turks likewise have not got the monopoly of invading and massacring other peoples territories,Alexander the Great did it,Russians cleared the Crimea and Circessia of its Muslim inhabitants,the last Tasmanian was hunted down like an animal by the british settlers not very long ago.Maybe these do not count as they were not good christian Europeans.

3.Erdogan may have his dreams,we all do,but he is an astute and a realistic politician.He knows politics is the art of the possible.He knows he is the mouthpiece of the resurgent Anatolian bourgeoisie,he also made his peace with the older established Istanbul capitalists,if he starts acting like Ahmedinejad this capitalist class will lose its power over its employees,and its wealth due to a possible embargo.Sir, I can assure you that a vast majority of the Turkish people are more interested in the continuing prosperity of their family than holding an imperial sway over the unfortunate people of the ME with Erdogan as the Calif.Besides secular life has been a part of a big section of the society to be undone easily.

4.The"success" of Turkey is all the more visible because our neighbours are doing exceptionally badly . Despite the Kurdish problem Turkey is a relatively stable country due to centuries old institutions of state which goes back to Ottoman and by extension to Byzantine customs of statecraft.There is an inherent respect for the state among the Turkish people which you do not find in the ME and possibly in the Balkans too.

5.I agree with the demographic explosion of the Kurdish,but this will surely come to an end in 20 years.A lot of Kurds now live in W Turkey where they migrate ,these will in time mix with the local population rather like the Irish in Britain.A lot of Kurds do not want to cede due to obvious economic reasons,that is why there has not been a wholesale rebellion among the ordinary people.There is a possibility of Turkey evolving into a Turco-Kurdish state with the Kurdish grievances resolved rather than be partitioned like yugoslavia which did nobody any good.In that case Turkey will be much stronger,and Erdogan knows this.Hence his repeated attempts of solving this running wound.

6.The EU,whatever its merits,has condemned Greece and Bulgaria to be economic dead ends by severing their links to hinterlands of E Thrace and W Anatolia.E. g. Istanbul and its environments with its 20 million wealthy consumers are denied access to the delights of Thesaloniki and Kavalla which are only 5 hours drive away.

7.In conclusion I would say the relatively strong position of Turkey vis a vis its neighbours is in part due to inept governance,sectarianism,tribalism and lack of state traditions in the neighbouring countries.Due to these factors economic activity in these countries are curtailed leaving the countries penniless and their citizens frustrated.By contrast Turkey is a veritable economic powerhouse competing with the likes of China.The irony should not be lost on those who blame the Turkish "yoke" on their backwardness while they are looking across the borders and enviously seeing a prosperous and stable country.

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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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