Turkey at crossroads

7 April 2010

It’s probably true to say that Turkey has been at the crossroads for a long time, perhaps throughout its history. Turkey is a country that seems to be both an insider and an outsider from the ‘western’ perspective. A NATO member and an aspiring EU-entrant, but viewed – mostly unjustly – with suspicion from predominently Christian Europe.

Turkey is a country with many different strands and currents. Turkish society has gone through some degree of desecularization in recent years. Is this an expression of the confidence of the Turkish state, politics and society, which no longer requires rigorous secularization, or a shift in people’s self-identification? I’m no expert, and I wouln’t like to hazard a guess.

In any case, for so many years, it seems Turkey has been taken for granted by the west, including Israel. Turkey is an important state, relatively stable, dependable and democractic, in a region beset with instability. Without Turkey, the whole Middle East would be far messier.

Will this situation change? The news article below may be an indication.