Feb 16, 2005 3:49 pm


Robert Pollack writes that Turkey is The Sick Man of Europe--Again because"Islamism and leftism add up to anti-American madness in Turkey." Apparently, Foggy Bottom is debating the question of"who lost Turkey?" That is the reason I like democracies. They always assume that the fault is in themselves while tyrannies always shift the blame to somebody else.

To answer the question it is important to understand the reason for the lose. Here is one supplied by Dr. Sedat Laçiner in a Turkish Weekly editorial entitled,"Turkey’s EU Membership and the US:"

The US has been one of the most supportive countries of Turkey’s EU membership. Especially during the 1990s, US presidents have argued that Turkey deserves a place in the EU while presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush actively lobbied for Turkey in EU circles. Even though these moves were met with reaction by some EU members, it is evident that the US’s main concern is to keep Turkey in the Western bloc and to maintain the Moslem-Democrat model in cooperation with the West. Furthermore, another reason is Turkey’s support for the US’s policies in the Middle East, Caucasus, and the Balkans. In this respect, it can be argued that Turkey’s membership would affect US_EU relations positively. The triumvirate currently that work within the NATO framework can be expected to strengthen even further with Turkey’s EU membership.

Consequently, the greatest worry on the part of the EU is the possibility that Turkey may act as a ‘Trojan horse’ within the EU. According to this view, the US will use Turkey, just as it does with the UK, to manipulate the EU, and therefore undermine the EU’s independence.

In other words, since US-Turkish interest converge, the US can be taken for granted. But old Europe must be appeased. How? By convincing them that Turkey can provide them with what they want most, enough strength to become a counter weight to the US.

In other words, EU Foreign Policy, without Turkey, is under the control of the US, or the latter causes divisions to form in EU Foreign Policy. Hence, Turkey’s membership can yield exactly the opposite result; that is, it can help the EU to have a more independent stance against the US and strengthen the EU. To exemplify the Iraq War once again, if Turkey was an EU member before the war, the US would have had to take Brussels more seriously. Moreover, through and EU-member Turkey, Brussels would have had the chance to transform to a much more potent and visionary actor in Middle East affairs. The power that the US has with its gigantic budget and hundreds and thousands of troops, the EU could have attained with Turkey. From this point of view, the EU’s dependence on the US in the Middle East and its vicinity can be decreased by having a member that is a military and financial power and an effective regional player. In this respect, it can be said that there is no other alternative than Turkey.

Add to this fear of a viable Kurdish autonomous region in Iraq. So, what do we get in addition to wild conspiracy theories Pollack describes - A wish to return to the good old days of Saddam, or at least a wish to see the emergence of a new Iraqi strong man, a kind of Ataturk.

Who said that only the US is trying to make the world over in its own image? Turkey is too:

Iraq needs a ‘constructive, national, peace in mind, realist, pragmatist, strategist, popular and charismatic leadership’, which has organization and representative abilities. In brief, Iraq needs a leader who can combine military and constitutional power in order to construct a free, united and a stable Iraq. Such a resistance leader will not only end the occupation and free Iraq but also will help the Americans. The US needs someone with whom it can make negotiations for Iraq’s future. A truly national, realistic and democratic Iraqi resistance can save Iraq and the US in the Middle East.

How pathetic, yet how dangerous. Read, Hizballah in Turkey Revives: AL Qaeda's Bridge Between Europe and Iraq?

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