Erdogan's islamist AKP government having put the US' nose out of joint when it wished to invade Iraq from bases in Turkey in 2003 recently tried to stymie attempts to have Iran condemned for refusing to ship its uranium fuel to neutral third countries such as France and Russia by teaming up with Brazil to offer their own plan. Iran of course does not want its uranium enriched abroad to 20% as this would only be sufficient for peaceful uses.
Erdogan's government knows all this, so why is it supporting Iran in its pursuit of nuclear weapons? For that matter why is Turkey supporting the extreme islamic movements of Hezbollah in lebanon and Hamas in Gaza? Why did Erdogan's government organise the islamist flotilla in 2010 ostensibly to break the israeli blockade of Gaza (Israel is under daily bombardment by Grad, katyusha and Qassam missiles from there and argues it must inspect ships before their cargoes are delivered)?
There are many questions that could be asked of the Turkish government, not least as to why it is supporting islamist and rejectionist governments throughout the world, not least that of Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir President Omar al-Bashir responsible for the genocide in Darfur.
Whatever the AKP is doing abroad, its changing of the constitution, lauded by the EU means that it can appoint judges, surely a dangerous thing even in a western democratic country where it the separation of powers, of the legislative, the executive and the judiciary are seen as essential to a true democracy.
This article was published before the new constitution was adopted.In it Ilke Akdeniz warns about the AKP's increasing hold over the judiciary.
"Of the proposed amendments to 26 of the articles, the most controversial point of debate lies in the change to the law of who controls the Judges and Prosecutors; a change which would significantly change the balance of power in Turkey. Under the 1982 constitution, Judges and Prosecutors are free from the control of the government, as one would expect it to be in any democracy, as it eliminates the possibility of punishment being used as a political tool. However, under the proposed changes, members of parliament will get to choose the majority of the members of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), which in effect puts the HSYK under the control of the ruling party. Brings to mind a dictatorship, does it not?"The bastion of secular authority, the army is also being emasculated. Today 162 army officerswere imprisoned along with the 400 other academics, journalists, politicians and soldiers already imprisoned by this islamist regime that is intent on crushing democracy in Turkey.
From today's Huriyet,
"More than 400 people — including academics, journalists, politicians and soldiers — also are on trial on separate charges of plotting to bring down the government. That case is based on a conspiracy by an alleged gang of secular nationalists called Ergenekon.
Critics say the Sledgehammer and Ergenekon cases are built on flimsy evidence and designed to silence Erdoğan's pro-secular opponents. The government denies the cases are politically motivated and says it is just trying to work to improve democracy."It is time for the west to realise what is happening in Turkey, to downgrade its membership of NATO and to put on hold any further trade concessions by the EU. The US should bring its political influence to bear but there is no chance of that happening whilst Obama is still in power. The US is in decline, and the islamists not least in Turkey are filling the vacuum.