The 21st Century Phenomenon



Turkey has postponed, on Saturday 10/10/2009, a joint air force drill, scheduled to begin today, Monday 10/12/2009, after opposing Israel’s participation, the Israeli army said. The regular exercise to improve international aerial cooperation was to involve several NATO air forces. Israel’s exclusion led to the United States and Italy to refuse to take part in the exercise either.

The event is yet another indication that Turkey, one of the most strategic countries in the world, is drifting away from West to East and from an European orientation toward a pan Islamic orientation.

Turkey, a central NATO member because of its military might and its location between Russia, Iran and the Middle East, is run by an Islamic party since 2002, which tightened its grip on the political power in Turkey in the 2006 elections and election of the Islamist Abdullah Gull as the Turkish president in 2007. Slowly Turkey is distancing itself from the secular heritage of the founder of Modern Turkey – Kemal Ataturk, who completely separated religion and state, toward a growing integration of Muslim values in the Turkish statehood.

In the last decade Turkey did an effort to join, as a full member, the European Union and official negotiation began in 2006. Most of the European countries rejected the Idea because of the following reasons:


  1. Turkey does not match the standard of a democratic European state by neglecting and abusing the rights of the Kurdish minority to self determination; by its constitution, which institutes the Turkish army to protect the Turkish constitution; by having still a death penalty in its judicial system. Turkey did, indeed, few steps toward Europe on those issues.
  2. Turkey, as part of the European Union, will stretch the borders of the Union to the most flammable and volatile regions of the World – The Caucasus, the Middle East and Iran. Europe is surrounded from three directions by sea and has a common border with countries of the former Soviet Union. It is much more convenient to lecture the Middle East how to behave from Brussels then to have, actually, a border with Syria, Iran and Iraq.
  3. Europe is terrified from the Islamization of Europe and the impact of the Islamization on the basic values of Europe. According to the opponents adding 70 millions Muslims, about 20% of nowadays Europe population, to the European Union can but destabilized the social texture of Europe.


Those who support the joining of Turkey to the European Union argued that:


  1. Turkey is an ideal bridge between East and West and can promote a constructive dialog between Islam and Europe.
  2. If Turkey will be refused, they will change direction toward a pan Muslim orientation, which will harden the prospect of reconciliation between Europe and the Muslim world and the stabilization of the situation in the Middle East as well as the Caucasus.
  3. Turkey can also help to ensure and secure oil supply from the Caucasus and Central Asia to the European markets and to bypass the dependence of Europe on Russian energy.
  4. Turkey is a great economic market with a potential of fast growth.

Nevertheless, nowadays, after the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as the president of France and the reelection of Angela Markel as the German Chancellor, both firm opponents of the integration of Turkey in the European Union, the option is no longer a real option.


Indeed Turkey is drifting away from Europe and the West toward a leadership in the Islamic world and toward a pan-Islamic orientation. The postponement of the joint air force drill is just yet another symptom.
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