Israeli former IDF Commander General Askhenazi commented on the Turkish Courts issuing charges Monday against four former commanders of IDF branches that, “cooler heads and logic would prevail.” General Askhenazi, while being overly kind in his references to Turkey, further explained, “Turkey is an important country and both Israel and Turkey have an interest in stabilizing the Middle East. I am sure that at the end of the day, logic will prevail on this matter. From the beginning, I chose to appear in all forums, often by myself, in order to defend the IDF soldiers who did their work in the field for the nation of Israel. If the price of standing up for those soldiers is that I will not be able to visit Turkey, I am prepared to pay that price.” Should the insanity prevail in Turkey, may the direct affect be barring the travel by these respected Israeli military leaders solely from Turkey and not all of Europe, NATO member countries, anywhere under Interpol jurisdiction, or any country which would be willing, or even eager, to carry out requests for extradition to Turkey for these men to serve prison terms after convictions.
Where General Askhenazi feels confident in granting Turkey the benefit of the doubt, in our assessment of the path Turkey has taken over the last decade under Prime Minister Erdogan’s guidance, Mr. Erdogan has taken a predominantly modern progressively sectarian country and turned it onto a path that is taking Turkey towards yet another Islamic influenced state or possibly even to a theocratic country where Sharia serves as the law of the land. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has neutralized the Turkish Military starting back in the early parts of 2004 with the assistance of the leaders of the European Union, several leaders of many European governments, and President George W. Bush whose intervention in Turkish internal politics prevented Turkey’s Military Leadership fulfilling their Constitutional responsibility. This prevented their removing Prime Minister Erdogan and his AKP ruling coalition in order to hold new elections to return Turkey to sectarian governance as they are tasked to do should the government bend towards Islamist predominance and governance as proscribed by the Turkish Constitution. This betrayal of the procedures and safeguards put in place by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the father of the modern State of Turkey, has allowed Turkey to slip so far towards Islamism as to no longer have any possibility of returning to the path laid out in their Constitution and the guidance of Ataturk. This has all come to a distinct turning point with the top military commanders resigning en masse on Friday, July 29, 2011. Prime minister Erdogan simply continued as if this was a nonevent and quietly appointed new military commanders who would be more agreeable with the direction he was steering the country. Now the Parliament of Turkey has started writing a new constitution which will drastically limit the powers assigned the military placing them under civilian control while granting Prime Minister Erdogan near absolute power. And these are the situations and people who General Askhenazi feels confident will act in a manner that he would equate with sanity. Why do I still doubt that?
Sometimes I really wish I could see the same beautiful flowers and sunshine and lollipops that so many others appear to see. I look at the same painting and see nothing but storm clouds and swirling winds reaching groundward. With Turkey sometimes seeming to stand beside Iran and supporting their views for a new alignment of the world and other times standing slightly askew viewing the new Caliphate as does Iran with the slight adjustment placing Turkey once again at the head of the Muslim World reestablishing the Ottoman Empire, the time has likely long past for reassessing Turkey’s place in world politics and thus a reassessment of their membership in NATO might prove wise before they drag all of NATO into an undesirable position. I am not really sure that there is sufficient difference between the two views though I might prefer Turkey as when comparing Turkey to Iran, I just might agree with General Askhenazi and his view of Turkey as acting sanely. Otherwise, I fear Turkey has turned a corner from which she may never return. Sanity, as we define it in my little corner of the world, is not something we would attribute to many of the countries in the Muslim World. But then again, my little corner of the world probably would be found to be lacking when judged by most of the Muslim World. WOW! Who would have thought that?
Beyond the Cusp