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-Congress Asks Obama to Challenge Turkey over New Ties with Iran and Hamas

by Dr. D ~ June 16th, 2010

Map of Turkey (2007)
(Turkey via Wikipedia)

Members of Congress recently sent a bipartisan letter to President Obama concerning Turkey’s new ties and support of Iran and Hamas.

Turkey has been a major ally of the US and Israel and a part of NATO since the end of WWII. Congress is calling on the President and his administration to confront Turkey over some of their recent actions.

Now the formerly secular government seems to be drifting towards radical Islam under PM Erdogan and recently completed treaties with Iran and Syria. Now Turkey is turning away from Israel and offering open support for Hamas.

Turkey recently showed their real colors by opposing sanctions for Iran and by their recent involvement and support of Palestinian flotillas trying to break the Israel weapons blockade of Gaza. In the midst of that confrontation they recalled their ambassador from Israel and sent Israeli ambassador packing.

Leaders in Congress are wondering if the US should continue to give Turkey military support and weapons in light of this new alignment. They are asking the President and his administration to address and confront Turkey over some of these issues.

Rep. Mike Pence observed:

“The complicity of Turkey in launching a flotilla to challenge the blockade in Gaza, the ensuing violence that occurred, the grievous loss of life is deeply troubling to those of us who have supported the U.S. Turkish alliance in the past. Turkey needs to decide whether its present course is in its long-term interest.”

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates responded to Congressional concerns:

“I’ll be honest, I was disappointed in Turkey’s decision on the Iranian sanctions. That said, Turkey is a decades-long ally of the United States and other members of NATO. Turkey continues to play a critical part in the alliance. We have a strong military-to-military relationship with Turkey. We obviously have facilities in Turkey. So allies don’t always agree on things.”

Response: Turkey seems to be in the midst of going through a major metamorphosis from a Western oriented secular nation to radical Islamist. It has been a major ally of the US since WWII and the only ally of Israel in the Middle East, now everything seems to be changing and they are looking more like an enemy than a friend. Meanwhile, they have the second largest army in NATO and we continue to have bases in their territory.

For years they have reached out to the European community and sought to be part of the EU. Now they are completing treaties with Iran and Syria and seem to have turned toward the Muslim East. Not only that, but are now supporting Hamas and Iran in their flotilla strategy to break the Israeli weapons blockade of Gaza.

Last week I heard one anecdotal account of a recent tourist to Istanbul which had long been a very cosmopolitan European style capitol. The visitors were shocked to see how much it had changed since they had been there just 5 years ago. Now women all over the place were wearing burkas and head coverings which was not the case in their previous visit. Turkey has always been a Muslim nation but now it seems to be becoming more radical.

Also I have read many different accounts of persecution of the Christian community in Turkey in the last several years. It had once been a far more tolerant place for minority religions but that also unfortunately seems to be changing.            *Top of the Blog

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