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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Turkey is Lost to Islamists

On January 31, 2009, I wrote that Turkey Looking Like The Next Iran:
My prediction: Turkey is the next Iran, unless Obama stops blaming the U.S. for Islamist aggression and gives support to Turkey's secular institutions, including the Turkish army. Jimmy Carter tried the blame America first tactic; it didn't win us any friends and led to 30 years of tyranny and human rights abuses in Iran. Don't repeat the same mistake in Turkey.
One commenter was indignant, insisting that the West risked pushing the Turks into Iranian arms:
Their societal structure is far from that of Iran but if we cave in to our primal instinct of bashing the Turks for their sympathy towards their Muslim brothers, we risk alienating them completely and throw them to extremism.
I noted at the time that all the warning signs of a creeping Islamist takeover were present, and that if nothing was done, Turkey would be the next Iran. Much like Hugo Chavez's step-by-step denigration of opposition and freedom, the Islamists in Turkey were destroying the pro-Western secular foundation of the country.

The mistakes of the Bush administration were compounded by Barack Obama's repeated apology tours and Cairo speech. While Obama thought he was putting forth a hand of friendship, the Islamists took it as a sign of weakness and an unwillingness of the U.S. to stand up for our pro-Western friends. In the last nine months, as Obama engaged in self-flagellating oratory, the Islamists in Turkey consolidated their control, leading in the past weeks to a rupture of Turkey's longstanding friendship with Israel and the emergence of new strategic relations with Syria.

It has come true. Read Caroline Glick's article today at Real Clear Politics, which lays out the events of the past months and the methods by which the Islamists have taken over Turkey. It is a paradigm of foolish political correctness on the part of American administrations and economic selfishness by the Europeans:
TURKEY'S BREAK with the West; its decisive rupture with Israel and its opposition to the US in Iraq and Iran was predictable. Militant Islam of the AKP variety has been enjoying growing popularity and support throughout Turkey for many years. The endemic corruption of Turkey's traditional secular leaders increased the Islamists' popularity. Given this domestic Turkish reality, it is possible that Erdogan and his fellow Islamists' rise to power was simply a matter of time.

But even if the AKP's rise to power was eminently predictable, its ability to consolidate its control over just about every organ of governance in Turkey as well as what was once a thriving free press, and change completely Turkey's strategic posture in just seven years was far from inevitable. For these accomplishments the AKP owes a debt of gratitude to both the Bush and Obama administrations, as well as to the EU.
I'm sorry to say, I was right.

Related Posts:
Please Watch The Video -- Bush Didn't "Bow"
"Heads They Win, Tails We Lose" Diplomacy
He Who Cannot Stop Talking, Is Silent On Iran

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  1. Notice that -- in addition to holding President Obama to account for the loss of Turkey -- Ms. Glick gives equal credit to the clueless Former Presidnet Bush and his clown-staff for the same failures. Why do most conservative bloggers habitually (and correctly) assign blame to the Obama Administration, while essentially turning a blind eye to the failings of the Bush Administration. I think history will hold Bush accountable as the one who put all the runners on base for Obama's "grand-slam" against American supremacy.

  2. The fact that you would casually state that Jimmy Carter's foreign policy humility is what led to 30 years of totalitarianism in Iran just reveals what an ideological hack you really are. The origins of the Islamic revolution in Iran are complicated and complex. There are a lot of reasons why the Shah's government fell. A lot of them had to do with the United States - our support for him, our role in the overthrow of democracy in Iran, etc. But your explanation - it was because Jimmy Carter was too humble! - is utterly absurd. I suggest you do some real reading on the subject of the Iranian revolution, and I don't just mean looking up some Republican talking points on why Carter is bad, but an actual text on the events of that period that can provide meaningful context, like Robin Wright's book.

    It is equally absurd to say that Barack Obama is somehow responsible for the rising Islamism in Turkey. Well, actually, first of all I'm not at all convinced by Glick's evidence that Islamism is on the rise. It sounds more like Turkey is strategically aligning itself against Israel, which is a perfectly rational thing for Turkey to do given their strategic position and Israel's massive global unpopularity. One can understand that strategic interest without being an Islamist. In fact I suspect that pro-democracy reformers in Turkey (the ones Caroline Glick claims are "discouraged" by Obama's foreign policy) are no less pro-Palestinian than the Islamists. What she's really getting at is the suggestion that anyone anti-Israel is an Islamist. Which is certainly how Israel would like the world to view things.

  3. Erdogan's AKP followed the Salafi pattern of coalescing with other elements in the region.
    The preoccupation with the Turk's campaign of genocide, that when they were the good guys?
    probably has something to do with it. The Kurdish renaissance that also included the PRK
    also had some role.

  4. Turkey has been rejected by Europe and so will tend to look to the Middle East for friends. Israel makes itself unpopular, Obama doesn't have to do anything to help there.

  5. "Jimmy Carter's foreign policy humility" led to the US holding back and allowing the Islamist takeover of Iran.

    Yes the Shah was a tyrant, but what we ended up with was much worse. Not only have the Mullahs been worse domestic tyrants than the Shah, but they are prolific exporters of terrorism.

    Now Carter II (Obama) shuts down funding to pro-democracy efforts in Iran at a time when the Iranian people are demanding freedom.

    Self-loathing leftwing activism is madness.