Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Turkey's Slow Turn....Away from the West and Toward the East

For those of you who keep your eyes open to the changing current of events tied to Ezekiel's Gog/Magog war, this should make your ears perk up too. In chapters 38 & 39, Ezekiel mention
Gomer and Beth-Togarmah as members of the coalition that will descend to the mountains of Israel in order to snuff out the Jews, once and for all. Those ancient tribes can be traced directly to modern day Turkey. It is not a stretch to see God telling Ezekiel that He will put a hook in Magog's mouth and draw him down from the north will all his allies.

For thirty years, Turkey has tied itself to the coat tails of western Europe, and most lately, with the United States. Because it is a member of NATO, it has been practically inconceivable to the west that Turkey might eventually "walk away" from the alliance in favor of joining its radical Islamic cousins. Well, God has other thoughts. He shuffles the pawns to bring about the fulfillment of his promises, and that is exactly what appears to be taking place. Another important puzzle piece is coming together.

Now, before you read this piece from, I want you to keep your eyes on the countries of the Balkans, especially beleaguered Georgia. It appears Russia's foray into that little country last year was a test to see Turkey's resilience. Turkey proved wishy-washy. This time, Russia will go in and clean house of democracy. The threat to Turkey's independence will be pronounced, and Turkey will cave in to Russia's over lordship. How soon it will happen is any one's guess, but it WILL happen. I think it will be sooner than later. Go ahead and read this article and let me know what you think.
Jimmy Root Jr
ISTANBUL - Turkey’s allies are confused by the shift in its foreign policy and its pronounced Eurasian and/or Middle Eastern bent, an independent Finnish research agency finds. Although some believe the country is turning its back on the West; others say Ankara’s foreign policy is well balanced in all directions, while yet others find Turkey’s conduct to be essentially ‘directionless’.
Turkey’s recent flurry of diplomatic activity has been confusing to the country’s partners and neighbors despite projecting the image of a dynamic and assertive international actor, according to a report by an independent Finnish research institute.

The perceptions of Turkey’s international behavior range from the country turning its back on the West; to Ankara’s foreign policy being well balanced in all directions; to Turkey’s conduct being essentially "directionless," according to a report published by the Institute of International Affairs, or UPI. The UPI is an independent research institute that produces topical information on international relations and the European Union.

"For quite some time, the Turkish top leadership has been tirelessly crisscrossing the globe," read the report. "Everywhere they go the Turks tend to air new diplomatic initiatives, offer mediation, advance blueprints for new regional security regimes and, last but not least, seek to boost trade ties."

According to the report, one feature of recent Turkish policy that catches the eye is that almost all of Turkey’s foreign policy moves have a pronounced Eurasian and/or Middle Eastern bent. "The key questions that trouble Western analysts would appear to be: To what extent will Turkey’s new assertiveness and ambitions remain compatible with the West’s strategic objectives? How independent is Ankara prepared to be in crafting good neighborly relations with the countries that the West regards as ‘problematic?’" asked the report. One concern among some of Turkey’s Western allies is that Turkey is increasingly moving away from its pro-Western orientation and Euro-Atlantic institutions. "Instead, this outlook holds, Turkish foreign policy’s center of gravity is shifting towards other regions, mostly the Muslim Middle East," read the report. Yet some believe Turkey’s new foreign policy and Ankara’s aspirations to play a more assertive role in its immediate geopolitical neighborhood should be seen as complementary, rather than contradictory, to its more traditional Western strategic alignments. According to this train of thought, Ankara’s enhanced regional profile can be regarded as an asset that potentially increases Turkey’s strategic attractiveness for its Western partners, read the report.

Citing European and U.S. goals for a more peaceful region in the neighborhood, the report added: "Turkey is well able to contribute to reaching these goals while pursuing its regional agenda – provided it reinvigorates efforts to realize its European bid."

Yet another view is that the Turkish government is pursuing a highly contradictory foreign policy devoid of any clear-cut conceptual or strategic basis. "For these critics, the [Justice and Development Party] AKP’s foreign policy outlook is at heart a highly unprincipled one, being influenced mainly by populist considerations, naked opportunism and the desire of the AKP elite to retain political power," read the report. It added that the result was chaotic policies and a "directionless Turkey."

New strategic identity taking shapeThe report found that Turkish behavior is shaped by both domestic and external factors. It is being influenced by the shifts in the country’s international identity and the changes in Turkey’s vision of its new geopolitical role. These, in turn, are the result of powerful processes that are reshaping the socio-political life of the country. These processes are the economic development in the Anatolian hinterland, the broadening of the elite through the emergence of the new ambitious provincial social actors, who are economically dynamic and culturally conservative, and the increasing role of elected officials and thus a stronger government. "These changes generate important shifts in national identity, leading (among other things) to the rise of religious sentiment, which paves the way for identification and affinity with Turkey’s Muslim neighborhood," read the report.The report found that the trend toward greater strategic independence became more apparent with new Foreign Minister Ahmet Davuto─člu. Instead of being perceived as a perennially peripheral country that sits on the outer margins of the European Union, NATO or Asia, Turkey, according to Davuto─člu’s strategic vision, should be seen as being located in the very heart of Eurasia.

Ankara’s new, and seemingly more ambitious, international outlook appears to be driven by three main factors: the shifts in Turkey’s own international identity, new threat perceptions, and an acute awareness of the intimate interconnectedness between external and domestic developments. Turkey’s growing strategic interest in and involvement with the troubled region of the Middle East is a perfect illustration of those important factors at work. The report cites a Western commentator on Ankara’s new strategic vision: "[It] is at once independent, nationalistic, Islamic, pan-Turkist, global, and Western." However, the true challenge, the commentary continues, "is to integrate and reconcile these various interests with specific policies."

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