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No Subject
by B. Y.
15 May 2002 09:20 UTC
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Turkey, Another Israel in the Middle East


For the last few weeks, we are following Sharon’s massacre policies reached to the level of ethnic cleansing. His claim is very familiar to the policies expressed by the USA in the name of “War Against Terrorism” and supported by nearly all of the US allies, directly or after some adaptation.  There is not a legality problem for the policies that the USA is using against the Afghan captives before sight of all the world, and the policies that Israel is running in Cenin.


Turkey has a very important position in the region because of its “closeness” to Israel. The  probability of an operation to Iraq and the reality of the USA using the military bases in Turkey in case of such an operation, moreover the probability of Turkey taking direct action increases this importance.


If we take a look at the current situation in Turkey, what we see is an economic crises which completely effects everything inside the Turkish borders.  The roots of this economic crises extends to the short term history of the country. The most important reason of the current situation is the war that had continued for years in the South-Eastern Anatolia against the Kurdish population. Between 1984 and 1999, Turkey had been accused of committing human rights abuses more than any other country at the European Human Rights Court, and the situation has not changed since. Extensive arming purchases to continue the genocide policies against the Kurds was the obvious reason of the bankruptcy of the economy.


Turkey was buying weapons from the USA and Israel in this civil war period. During Cold War period, Turkey was a good alley of the USA in the Middle East with its powerful army. However, when the danger of communism in the region ended this policy was required a revision. Also, Turkish army failure (there was never a real victory obtained) against the Kurdish guerillas which in turn affected its power negatively, and the worsening economy, increased necessity of this change.  


Then, the USA and Israeli secret services arrested Abdullah Öcalan – guerilla leader, secretary general of the PKK - and delivered him to Turkey.  This action was a sign of the newcoming requests of the USA: They requested some revisions and reforms in the country for the sake of the future of the Israel – USA – Turkey alliance. First of these requirements was to become a democratic country, since there was not any solid reason for war policies after the arrestment of the guerilla leader.


On the other hand the request of becoming a democratic country coincided with the criteria of the EU that desired the achievement of the same reform to make Turkey a candidate for the EU membership. According to the EU solution, democracy would directly relate with the ongoing economic crises of Turkey: any shortage in the army expenses would give a momentum to the economy in the positive direction.


This request of the USA was aiming to have an ally in the EU which would talk in terms of the USA. Also, any improvement in the economy would increase the stability and reliability of Turkey in the region and also in the trio.



But that did not go on as planned. First of all, Turkish army did not want to give up its power held for years.


So, relationships left from Clinton reshaping with Bush in the agenda of September 11.




Up to S11, especially during and after the suspicious election period of the USA, it can be said that Turkish – American relations were kept on a steady state. Also, during the election campaigns, as a lot of commentator pointed out, the candidates did not focus on foreign affairs issues at all. American voters requested from the candidates to deal with internal problems in this slowdown time.


S11 sharpened  the lines which shape the world geopolitics. “War Against Terrorism” of the USA brought along irrational policies going on at a grotesque level. Moreover, it is expected speeding up of these policies with a probable Iraq operation.


USA’s wartime policies for the Middle East – “that will bring an acceleration to its fall whether it wins or losses” says Immanuel Wallerstein – require a refreshing of the relationships with the old allies. At this point, to develop relations with Turkey, the USA made its best: IMF started to flow new loans into the country.  Subsequently, while its economic signs were behind Argentina, Turkey was rescued from a great collapse, just for now of course.


What will happen?


The new politic position of the USA after S11 transformed its relationships with Europe to a different format. In this manner, entrance of Turkey to the EU and the required criterias for this membership is  packed and shelved for a while.


The most critical point of the membership criterias for Turkey is democratization, which requires the Turkish army to leave its powerful position, and the army resist against such kind of a policy.


Global militarization started with S11, served to the wishes of the Turkish army. However, the USA always preferred to contact marshals instead of politicians in Turkey, even before S11 anyway.


Briefings of the Turkish army one after the other emphasizing, “we do not want EU membership” supports the claims that the American and Turkish army are getting closer and improving bounds.


To sum up; in the short term, it seems that there will not be anything positive for the peoples of Turkey. Turkey will keep on becoming the second Israel of the region.


Also it looks like, how long this situation continues will not be determined by Turkey itself.


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