I’ve spent a lot of time in Turkey. In fact, I’ve spent more time in Turkey than in any other country in the Middle East, outside of Israel.
I do not like Turkey.
True, they are people like anyone else, and yes they’ve made herculean efforts to westernize. They’ve lobbied to join the EU. They institutionalized the separation between mosque and state. They suppressed public expressions of religiosity. They overthrew governments that drifted towards theocracy.
They did everything humanly possible to become a modern, westernized state…
And, the reason why they failed is precisely the reason why I do not like the place – civilization was always the thinnest of veneers in Turkish society. Personal and institutional corruption was always high. Democratic institutions where always treated with contempt. Their workmanship was shoddy, and their sophistication was often feigned.
This isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy myself when I was there. It’s just that my time in Turkey always left a bad taste in my mouth – sometimes literally.
Well, to my mind Turkey has taken its final step in truly giving up on its western ideals and drifting away from modern civilization. What I’m talking about is its current decision to abrogate current agreements with Israel and downgrade diplomatic relations.
I’ve been concerned for a while about Turkey’s creeping Islamization. Islamists have been finding their way to the highest levels of government and the military, and now it appears that they are finally making their presence felt.
This is not a good thing. Not at all.
Here are a couple articles on the subject:
The interesting thing about this is a factoid from the Ynet article:
Jerusalem sources were unfazed by the move, saying that Israel’s military agreements with Turkey had previously been suspended – by Israel. “Military trade with Turkey was suspended a while ago… we didn’t want to risk any weapons made in Israel falling into the wrong hands,” a diplomatic source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
It appears that Israel has seen Turkey’s drift towards Islamisation and reacted accordingly.
This is not a good thing, but it was inevitable.
And no, I don’t think that I’m going back there.