Monday, April 6, 2009

Obama in Turkey II

"Aides said Obama's decision a month ago to add Turkey to his series of European summits was made for both strategic and symbolic reasons: As a bridge between East and West, Turkey has played a key role in many Middle East hot spots, including Iraq and Iran. Turkey had been facilitating talks between Israel and Syria until Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza interrupted progress; As a democracy and member of NATO, Turkey represents a unique Muslim-majority country — one that Obama said could play a critical role in restoring friendly relations between Muslim and Christian nations."

In fact, Turkish non sectarianism is enforced by its army, which has repeatedly intervened to overturn election results and ban fundamentalist parties and candidates. Turkey remains "democratic" and "non sectarian" only because the Turkish military says so. Ironically, the further Turkey moves towards unfettered "democracy", the more sectarian it becomes.

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