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About Turkey



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These remarks by Turkey’s new prime minister, Abdullah Gul (quoted on Reuters), say it all: “Turkey defended the whole of Europe during the Cold War period. It was a shield for Europe. So there is no doubt that NATO must do what falls to it.” Gul’s roots – and the core of his support – can be found in Turkey’s ‘religious’ parties. He has been arguing that government by a moderate Islamic party is compatible with Turkey’s secular (if flawed) democracy. If that proves to be true, the implications for elsewhere in the Middle East could be very positive. Unfortunately, the position now being taken by France, Germany and Belgium over those countries’ NATO obligations to Turkey (coming so soon after the recent rebuff to Turkey’s attempts to join the queue for admission to the EU) will do nothing to reassure Mr. Gul that he has reliable friends in the West.



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