Problems in Turkey

recep tayyip erdogan Pictures, Images and Photos
With all the U.S. debt talk in every newspaper, website and TV station, you probably did not hear about this important developing story. The top four generals in the Turkish military have all resigned amid friction between the Prime Minister and the military. Turkey has a history of being secular and democratic since the 1920′s. The military is the institution that is seen as the guardian of Turkey’s secularism and democratic ways. They have even staged coups in the past to ensure that this remains the case.

The current Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is not as secular as the military and official country position. He is more of an Islamist and has been changing various country policies to take away some of the political and governing powers of the secular military and increasing his on power instead. Since the Turkish military has this history of being the secular guardian of the country, this brings obvious disagreements.

Prime Minister Erdogan has already arrested dozens of military generals for allegedly trying to stage a coup. It is unclear whether this is true or not since none have been convicted yet. Regardless, in this situation Western countries are quietly rooting for the military. Although Turkey is an ally to the West and a strong part of NATO, among other groups, everyone sees Prime Minister Erdogan as less friendly than previous Turkish Prime Ministers. His relationship with Israel is the clearest example. Turkey and Israel have long had good relations. In fact, Turkey is the only major country in the region that Israel is generally able to call a friend. However, the current Turkish Prime Minister has begun to change that.

Last year’s Gaza flotilla incident where a ship coming from Turkey attempted to break Israel’s legal naval blockade of Gaza which resulted in violent and armed activists clashing with Israeli troops that boarded the ship shows how this Prime Minister is more in line with Islamist ideals than secular ones.

This story has just begun and it will probably not end anytime soon. It is very interesting and important so I will keep tabs on it as it progresses.