Friday, June 11, 2010

Who lost Turkey?

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates apparently thinks that, had the EU been more welcoming to Turkey, Turkey would not now be so hostile to Western interests.

Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi has an alternative view (hardly surprising): he sees Turkey as the Trojan Horse of Islam. As he put it: "If Turkey joined the European Union ... the European continent [would] no longer [be] a crusade or a Christian as it was, but Islam has become a strong partner in the European continent..." Syntax aside, he sees Turkish membership in the EU as a great opportunity - to help make Europe Muslim.

Not only do I think Gates has the equation backward; I would feel better had there been any indication Gates was aware of the rising tide of anti-Americanism in Turkey. For the past several years, it's been reflected in numerous public opinion polls, in Turkish media, and in Turkish TV shows and movies. This problem has nothing but nothing to do with the EU - and our Secretary of Defense ought to know that.

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