Turkey following in footsteps of Iran

Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.

Israel is in the position that Dr. Alan Grant found himself in Jurassic Park: surrounded by hungry raptors. Israel is enveloped on all sides by Islamic nations, some of which have attempted to invade the country within the last 50 years.

Governments of neighboring nations even call for the annihilation of the Jews.

Is it truly that grim for Israel? Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad publically calls for Israel to be “wiped off the map.” Centuries of prejudice may cause Iranians to passively accept their president’s rhetoric about Israel, but they challenge the authority of their president and leaders.

The same can be said of Syria. Israel and Syria cannot tolerate each other, but there is so much unrest in Syria that it poses no threat.

Though the nations surrounding Israel are weakened, it does not put the country in the clear. They face a new danger from a former ally.

The Turkish government  unexpectedly expelled the Israeli ambassador and officially severed any diplomatic and trade ties with the country.

What makes this so surprising is that Turkey and Israel have had a peaceful relationship for the past 60 years.

The two countries have frequently been trade partners, even going as far as signing a free-trade agreement.

Israel supplied Turkey with the majority of its arms, and Turkey allowed Israeli pilots to fly practice missions in Turkish airspace.

After an incident off the coast of Gaza in May 2010, relations between the two countries went cold. Turkish civilian activists attempted to break the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip.

Their ship was boarded by Israeli commandos, and nine Turks were killed. The Turkish government demanded an apology, reparations and prosecutions of those involved.

Israel refused to meet any of these demands, and it has caused relations between Turkey and Israel to sour Turkey’s political culture  is changing. Once a staunchy secular country which kept a strong separation between mosque and state, Turkey is embracing its Islamic roots. Some would go as far and say they are flirting with the idea of an Islamic theocracy.

Since its formation in 1923, Turkey has been a strongly nationalistic country. In spite of the intense pride, Turkey has maintained strong ties with the West.

The nationalism is slowly growing into an anti-western sentiment.

The fear of some Turks is that Turkey is headed down the same dreadful path that Iran traversed in 1979.

As the popularity of the Islamic AK party grows, more and more people jump on a conspiracy-theory bandwagon.

How much of this conspiracy theory is actually theory? Consider this: Turkey’s secular government has always been held in check by the military.

Now the party in power has Islamic leanings and has taken many steps to dissolve the power of the military.

This makes it at the least a healthy suspicion and not merely a conspiracy theory.

While many nations in the Middle East are experiencing a so-called Arab Spring and are making strides against totalitarian Islamic regimes, Turkey appears to be going the other direction.

In Yemen and Syria, citizens take to the streets and protest for more freedoms. It is not like this in Turkey. The average Turk does not publically call for the removal of the government.

The last thing Israel or the world needs is another Iran.

Author: Ethan Mitra

Bio info coming soon!

Share This Post On


Commenting Policy
We welcome your comments on news and opinions articles, provided that they allowed by our Commenting Policy.