The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Saturday, December 07, 2002
Turkey, the US, EU membership and the War - the pantomime continues
A key component of the (apparent) dialogue of the deaf currently being conducted between elements in the political classes of Europe and the US in and around the subject of the Iraq war is the frozen state of Turkey's application to join the EU.
Most recently, Paul Wolfowitz, on his trip last week to get the Turks onside with the War, was kind enough to include a harangue on the subject in a speech to the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.
That he should refer to
....Turkey's democratic character—a country that believes in freedom and that changes its leaders at the ballot box.is proof of his tenuous grasp of the subject (or else - as so often with Turkey since World War 2 - a case of turning a Nelson's eye, for expediency's sake).
After three coups, the Turkish military retain effective control over the country's affairs, through the means of the National Security Council. (A useful - if somewhat pro-military! - history of the essential role of the military in Turkish affairs since the Ottoman Empire of the 16th century here - it mentions a 2001 poll in which the military come out as the most trusted and effective state institution!)
(The most cogent reason, though, why Turkey ought not to become an EU member is the most obvious: as I discussed in an earlier piece, Turkey is not European! Not all the human rights - the liberal's proxy objection of choice - or civilian rule in the world can overcome that liminal objection.)
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