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Is Turkey Moving Away From The West?

911 words - 4 pages

With our continuing interest in the Middle East and Russia’s recent action in Crimea, Turkey has become one of the most important allies to the western world. However, their recent actions suggest that turkey is moving away from the west. Now that Turkey is starting to thrive independently, the west is no longer as appealing. Under the leadership of its current Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, it is clear that Turkey is focusing more on its self-interest in the Middle East. Erdogan is a devout Muslim with a fundamentalist past who, now that he is in power, has cemented his role by dismantling the checks and balances of the Turkish political system. With public backing and changing ...view middle of the document...

As founder of the Turkey we know today, Atatürk envisioned a secular country that would thrive with the western world. Turkey was so close to completing this vision in 2003 when the AKP took power. Pre-ascension talks for Turkey to join the European Union (E.U.) had begun and over 80% of the country was in favor of joining. However, only five years into Erdogan’s reign, only 33% were still in favor of joining. This sharp decline is due to Erdogan projecting his views onto the public. The advantages the west offered had lessened and Turkey’s self-interest changed. Because “the political culture of the population [is] imposed by the elite,” Erdogan and his fellow AKP members who make up the elite were able to impose their views onto the Turkish public. The advantage of not joining the E.U. is that Erdogan is able to hold onto more power. E.U. membership would have required judicial and military reform. Currently Erdogan is able to oust his critics in both the military and judicial branches of government and replace them with AKP supporters. This power has become abundantly clear by the forced resignations of the heads of the army, navy, and air force, as well as the Chief of General Staff. This was followed by the ousting of over 1,000 police officers and the chief prosecutor of the Investigations Unit of the Minister of the Treasury as a result of investigation corruption charges against high ranking members of the AKP. As long as Erdogan hangs onto power, the Turkish government will continue to drift farther away from E.U. accession and the west as a whole.
A major factor in the drastic departure from western ideals...

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