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Very Interesting Article On Turkey

Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:47 pm

I found this article from the Asia Times.

Don't get carried away by the title and read the whole thing. I found it to be an interesting analysis of the cultural blending of Ataturk's legacy, islamic fundementalism throughout the middle east, and the western habit of calling Turkey a "model, moderate Islamic state"

Thoughts? Comments?

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IJ23Ak01.html
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RE: Very Interesting Article On Turkey

Tue Oct 23, 2007 2:36 pm

Interesting article indeed, and IMO relatively accurate.

One think I would object to though, is the title, and the repeated use of the word "hate". That the US is polling at a historic low in just about every nation on Earth is understandable. What I consider alarmist nonsense is the paranoid attitude that "they all HATE us". As if the polls indicated any such furious resentment. When asked, most people anywhere will probably say they dislike America, thinking of GWB's brutal legacy and the chaos he's responsible for. After which, they'll drive home in their Ford and watch "The Sopranos", eating popcorn and drinking Coke.

Confusing "dislike of American politics" and "dislike of American culture and values" is unfortunately common in the US, and Dubya and his cronies love to fuel that misconception. Fortunately, many Americans don't buy that bullshit. They travel to Cuba and to Iran and to Syria and I've yet to hear stories of rage against American citizens in those supposedly enemy countries. As for Turkey, I saw masses of American tourists in Istanbul, and they were treated with the same respect as everyone else and had a blast. People who actually believe they'll be confronted with hatred abroad for being American either drink way too much Kool-Aid, or don't travel.

The same goes for the Turks' supposed record dislike of Christians. Of course, the poll doesn't mention Turkey's long-standing enmity with the Greeks and Armenians (who were by far the largest group of Christians Turkey ever had to deal with), and that there are thousands of Christian churches open in Turkey.

But the basic tenet of the article, i.e., that Turks resent to be portrayed as a moderately Muslim country, is IMO quite plausible.

edit: typos

[Edited 2007-10-23 07:41:10]

[Edited 2007-10-23 07:47:48]
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