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There’s Some Hope for Turkey

Posted on June 13 2010 3:00 pm
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As I wrote here, Turkey is now firmly in the Islamist camp. And since I wrote that article, new information has come out about the close ties between the IHH and Prime Minister Erdogan, and Turkey has invited Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, to visit the country and possibly take part in a meeting with Ahmadinejad. The invitation to Hezbollah was made at the request of Hamas and according to the Arab press, the Revolutionary Guards will provide Nasrallah with security. We can rule out winning over Erdogan.

However, there’s reason for hope. I was privately criticized by a colleague at another publication for saying that the U.S. should point out Erdogan’s trampling of democratic pillars, because even if the Turkish public is anti-American, they aren’t anti-democracy. I don’t think Erdogan would go so far as to rig elections, and so we can help make him pay a political price that results in AKP losing power or having their parliamentary majority trimmed.

Today, NewsReal Blog’s own Michael van der Galien sent me an article showing that the political backlash is already happening. The leader of the main opposition party, CHP, is slamming the AKP for their turn towards the Islamists, or as he called it, “the shift in our axis.”

“There is a crisis in trust with the West because of their politics and the AKP needs to repair it immediately. If they don’t, then we will see worse results in the next few,” he said.

“Turkey needs to launch a new independence war,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “The CHP is the candidate to rule the country. We will serve our country. The real face of the AKP has now been disclosed.”

As long as we can keep Turkey a democracy, there is a chance of the opposition uniting to oust the AKP, or at least trim their wings. One top Israeli expert says the AKP is losing support and if this trend holds, the next elections in July 2011 could bring a new Prime Minister to power.

Don’t give up yet. Democracy enabled the AKP to come to power, but democracy may also be what defeats them.

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