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While most of the article are just comments, the possibility of passing an Armenian genocide resolution is exactly the dynamics you wanted to discuss.
Sodomia delenda est

It seems like many people in the West are concerned about Turkey's shift toward the East.
Following in my opinion is a good editorial addressing this issue:
The West’s obsession with ‘losing’ Turkey
These days Turkey is stronger and more self-confident than ever before. Ankara’s new assertive foreign policy and where it is headed continues to be hotly debated. Conferences on this topic are springing up all over Europe, and yesterday I attended one such event which presented a new report by the Transatlantic Academy titled “Getting to Zero: Turkey, its Neighbors and the West.”

Turkey used to be what is described in the US as a “throwaway friend” -- a nation that could be relied on to almost always follow the West’s policy even if it was not always in its interest. While there were some differences and minor upsets over the decades, following the end of World War II, these were few and far between, and overall Turkey’s loyalty was without question. Nowadays Turkey has woken up from this “foreign policy slumber” and is no longer content to put all its eggs in one basket. This shake-up has caused waves, unsettling the trans-Atlantic community which, according to the report, has the potential to make Turkey either a valuable asset or an uncertain partner. Turkey’s increasingly tight ties with the Middle East and Muslim world -- where Turkey has taken advantage of a “gap in the market” as the US became increasingly discredited and the EU simply could never get its act together -- as well as the upgrading of relations with Russia seem to be of particular concern. There is fear that Turkey is drifting away from secularism and toward Islamism. Because the Justice and Development Party (AKP) is frequently still viewed as Islamist we are led to believe they wish to “Islamisize” Turkey by these increasingly close ties to the Muslim world and, as viewed by some, over-friendly relations with Iran. But while some eyebrows remain raised, Turkey has done well. The new strategic cooperation councils with countries such as Syria and Iraq have already put cash into Turkey’s coffers. The free visa regime with Syria has dramatically increased cross-border trade making it a win-win for both nations. Each country views the other with less suspicion, and this trend is set to increase. Turkey is probably carrying out the kind of neighborhood policy -- and reaping the results -- the EU would like to if it could actually work out what sort of relationship it wants to have with its neighbors. With Russia, too, the end of visa requirements should allow Turkey to increase its investments in Russia as well as receiving an increasingly high number of tourists. And other countries like Turkey’s style. Ukraine has been so impressed that an increasing number of officials from Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry are visiting Ankara to learn from Turkey on a whole range of different areas.
Yes, there are tragedies. The deterioration of Turkish relations with Israel is the most obvious. Earlier this week I met an official from Israel’s Foreign Ministry who expressed great sadness at Turkey’s apparent new policy towards his country, citing what he described as the openly biased behavior of some Turkish officials over the last few years. While Israel despises Turkey’s relations with Hamas and with Iran, the country nevertheless acknowledges the increasingly important role that Turkey is playing in this region, although Turkey needs to continue to be viewed as representing universal norms and principles and not something else. There are also regions where Turkey is not really moving. Central Asia for example. Something of a Russian “stronghold,” Turkey needs to watch its step with Moscow. Furthermore, the last time Turkey attempted to exert its influence here -- under President Turgut Özal -- it backfired. While they may be Turkic peoples historically, the influence of the Soviet Union is still a predominant force in most of these nations, which are frequently more comfortable speaking Russian than their own tongue and links with the Kremlin remain strong. And, of course, there is China, which is becoming an increasingly important player, although even the Chinese are cautious not to overstep the line with Russia. So while Turkey may still have a foothold in some areas -- construction -- it is highly unlikely that Turkey’s influence here will increase much.
Overall, concern is exaggerated. While Turkey’s foreign policy has undergone a dramatic transformation, this is principally due to the changing geopolitical and security situation in Turkey’s neighborhood as well as Turkey’s changing domestic situation. Indeed, Turkey’s new policy has become far more European: no more brinkmanship, threats and aggression. Rather Turkey has turned to the softly-softly approach pursuing strategic cooperation thereby creating trade and investment opportunities in its neighborhood and beyond, which in turn is leading to increasingly warm political ties.
While Turkey is an increasingly strong force in its neighborhood, it also needs to continue its domestic transformation -- and the best way to do this is by remaining strongly anchored to the EU. There is no other way. And if the West -- particularly the EU -- is so concerned about losing Turkey then they should do something about it rather than continue to send out negative vibes over Turkish membership. Turkey and the Ottoman Empire before it have always been Westward looking. There should be no fear of losing Turkey. Turkey is able to have good relations with the West and other important partners. To coin an American phrase, “Turkey can chew gum and walk at the same time!”
16 June 2010, Wednesday
mv Wrote:Disagree.

While most of the article are just comments, the possibility of passing an Armenian genocide resolution is exactly the dynamics you wanted to discuss.
The so called Armenian resolution issue is not a big deal for Turkey anymore. So far about 6 countries have passed this resolution, and since they are not binding they are forgotten already. If USA passes this resolution, Turkey will pass "Indian Genocide" resolution and soon both countries will forget it. As long as Armenia does not want to resolve this issue permanently in an International Court, these resolutions are meaningless.
This remains to be seen; I'm actually curious just what impact it will have. (I'm bringing this up not because of particular interest to the Armenian issue but rather because this is the only move the US may possibly make in the near future.)
Sodomia delenda est

mv Wrote:This remains to be seen; I'm actually curious just what impact it will have. (I'm bringing this up not because of particular interest to the Armenian issue but rather because this is the only move the US may possibly make in the near future.)

The so called Armenian Genocide Resolution issue comes up every year in the USA Congress. Turkey tries to stop it by sending some representatives and making some concessions to the USA. Turkish media reports that this year Turkey made a very weak effort to stop it, and are suggesting that next year no efforts should be made to stop it.
Kamil, if I was Turkey, I would simply tell the US Congress to fuck off. And I wouldn't blame them one bit for it; I would support such a move in fact.

It happened, it's over, move on, ass-holes. It's not even a real issue, but like a scarecrow reminiscent of abortion or gay marriage politics in the US while the real serious issues are ignored.

I am with jt. Rather than miss the trees for the forest, I would like to examine each tidbit. I rarely contribute, I mostly absorb on threads like these.
Kamil, I finds hilarious that some collumnist think that the West as a whole or the EU is afraid of losing Turkey.
She imagine that US wishes regarding Turkey are forcibly shared by the EU?!
For Europe, Turkey's membership was more an embarrassement than anything, nostly for cultural reasons. Nobody in Europe realy wanted to see Turkey in the EU but Turkey kept on applying and applying with good economic datas, sometimes as Kamil pointed out, better than some east european members.

With les burkas in an Istambul's supermarket than in a Bruxelles's bazaar, politicians were at odds finding a good reason to deny Turkey membership without hitting a politicaly correct cord. (except for notoriousely pro-fascist Berlusconi who said things outrights)
Now it's sort of a relief to see Turkey finaly doing a union with poeple like them and stop knocking at our door.
For us this is just normal. For american strategist at the Centcom it's a different story.

Our view over here was basically that Turkey in the EU would be more encouraged to stay along the lines of the post WWII paradigm they've followed,largely secular.

Now that they have been rejected,they appear to be re-examining their post WWII foreign posture and culture.

If they become more traditional Muslims as they were pre WWI,Europe will severely regret it.

They are a dynamic economy, strong military tradition,well educated and if they become pre WWI Islamist, inimical to the EU's paradigm.

We're getting ready to pass the baton of this global rule stuff I think,so you guys may regret not allowing them in around 10 years from now. Maybe not,maybe they'll not go too far towards pre WWI mentality.
Europeans spent a few hundred years warring to keep the Turks out.... so some reluctance is understandable. After all, even the most brainwashed collectivist knows deeply inside the difference between moderate and jihadist Muslims.

When Junior was calling for Turkey's admission to the EU, I always thought this was a nice polite diplomatic way of telling Old Europe: "Plague on your house". Wink1
Sodomia delenda est

They could always have removed them,so not allowing them in IMO is a catalyst for Turk nationalism/reaction to rule the day.

Especially since the Europeans promised to let them in if they did AB&C and they did.

It's nothing to me,I won't be fighting any European fight and no one in my family will be,I'm just thinking they really screwed up.
Should Turkey still be interested in joining EU, even though EU started to show early signs of pending collapse?
I don't know.
However, I think they should make individual trade deals with each European country, continue to improve their relations with all their neighbooring and nearby countries. Also Turkey and America should kiss and make up
The US and Turkey have many goals in common – and recent spats ought not to obscure that fact.
Uggh, Guardian is back to nonsense, the linked piece is seriously problematic. I would not go into every problem with it (way too many), but only notice an internal contradiction:

Quote:Erdogan bears some of the blame for last week's tragedy on the high seas. He abandoned his government's proclaimed policy of conciliation and chose confrontation instead.
Fearing the effect of violence and upheaval, Turkey seeks to resolve regional problems through diplomacy and compromise.

Well, both cannot be true. If the author is an idiot enough to think that policies are defined by behavior, he should at least decide if Turkey is confrontational or compromising.


Yes, I doubt Turkey cares about the EU at this time.
Sodomia delenda est

But thank you for linking this piece anyway. The comments from the readers are worthwhile reading. Here is a typical one:

Quote:I think Turkey and the US will continue to drift apart. Turkey isn't just drifting towards Iran and the Arab states, it's also aligning itself more closely with Russia and China. US imperialism is in decline and its hegemony is threatened for the first time since the Second World War. Turkey has chosen the right time to make its move

The guy is factually correct. The problem for the US is not the loss of Turkey... but loss of ALL its allies. Read the comments and smell the hate from our historic British allies. No more.

I always wondered just how the victorious Delian League translated into the death warrant for the Athens.... I think we are seeing it now.
Sodomia delenda est

Well,when a nation's leader treats friends like crap and enemy like friends,this seems like a reasonable response to me.

Ain't helping us with the old enemy either.

Be bad for the US as an empire,might be the best thing ever happened to us as a normal state. Course we'd wallow around play acting for 10 years or so.

I've always felt it would take one damn big bloody nose to disabuse us of the " we're God's Nation" thinking we currently have.

I know better,I don't need any dead kids to wake me up. I fear 90% of us will.
Palladin, It's not the role of the EU to help muslim nations develop a sens of western culture or to maintain a semblance of western culture in these exotic countries.
Moreover we already played this game with Romania and Bulgaria: Two countries we took with us to encourage them, but we can't do it with the 80 million Turks. Too big a chunk to do that.

Secondly it has never been question to make Turkey an EU member, at least not before 20 years. (Later we can always change our minds).
I don't know who had the extravagant idea that a country where 98% of its territory is betweeen Syria and Iran could become a EU member. We never rejected Turkey and we always favored ouverture with them, simply this idea of EU membership was absurd. There never ever has been negociation on that. They could become richer than Germany, it won't change anything.
We never promised them such a thing. Only Dubbya did.

Thirdly it's completely false an analysis to say that Turkey is turning its back off the West and is going to be more islamist and friendlier with rogue states. This is the opposite: Turkey is showing that they are able to apply the same principles that allowed the creation of the EU. They are showing that they can act like a Western country and more importantly urged other countries in the region to do the same. But it's more logical that Turkey does so with its direct neighbors than with countries one thousand miles away. The economic trade has nothing to do with that. We have huge trade with China as well. The EU is geographicaly based and the point in free trade and free circulation zone is, for example, to allow trucks to drive non stop from place to another (among other things).

I don't see why we should ever regret that the Middle East became more europe-like. They won't be more islamist if they don't want to.

Fourthly we don't think in term of ennemy/ally. We are not at war with anyone. To us they are trade and tourism partners.
We are not interrested in military bases or stuff.
Historically, Turkey has been a playing piece in what the British call "The Great Game," where the major western powers of Europe fought wars to prevent the Russians from taking over the Crimea, which would give them a warm water port. While the Soviet Union did control the Crimea, it still did not have free access to the Mediterranean Sea and the rest of the world, since Turkey was a NATO ally.

It is to the West's continued advantage to have Turkey a NATO ally, since any Russian warships sailing from a Black Sea Port would have to pass through the Bosporous straights (19 miles long, about .5 to 2 1/2 miles wide) and then the Dardanelles straights (38 miles long, .75 to 4 miles wide), all surrounded by Turkey, with Turkish forts on either side.
Quote:The treaty of July 1841, confirmed by the Paris peace of 1856, prescribed that no foreign ship of war might enter the strait except by Turkish permission, and even merchant vessels are only allowed to pass the castle of ChanakKalehsi during the day.

[Image: map09ga.gif]

It's too early to be convinced how far to Islamist ideology Turkey would go. It's just a possibility. It could be they are going to be a regional power more assertive than we're used to is all.

Somewhat true, but several factual errors.

Crimea belonged to Russia long before "the Great Game"; the latter was about access to India and fought over mostly Central Asia with the secondary "front" being the straits (not Crimea).

It is not clear if the straits control is the same issue today as it were in the 19th century. In fact, the last time it surfaced was during the Junior's aggression against Ossetia; after Bushists were defeated Putin strategy was to assure that Turkey would not provide too much access to the US-allied forces to the Black Sea. (Putin succeeded with this). This was the reverse of the traditional straits issue.

Quote:It's too early to be convinced how far to Islamist ideology Turkey would go. It's just a possibility. It could be they are going to be a regional power more assertive than we're used to is all.

The thing is that US cannot afford independent regional powers in that part of the world, regardless of Islamism. US is not energy self-sufficient. Isolation and letting other regional players to compete is not a real option until the energy problem is solved.

In fact, I am beginning to think that the best strategy is to support Kurdish independence as to weaken both enemies.
Sodomia delenda est


I think that's a fair assessment if we're an empire. If we simply returned to being a nation,we could do w/o running the Gulf region and still buy their oil.

We were buying Saddam's the day we invaded,which made me think they have to sell it to the existing customers and we're one of them.
And before long a hostile power in the region will cut off the flow of oil, and bring the US down. Only question of time.
Sodomia delenda est


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