This thread has been renamed from 'WTF News Network : Turkish Senior Ranks' mass resignation/retirement' to 'Turkey: politicians and generals - what is going on?'
A thread 2008-2009 called 'Secularism and Foreign Policy in Turkey', which contains background to the latest issues has now been merged into this thread.
WINEP Policy Focus
, Apr 07:
Secularism and Foreign Policy in Turkey: New Elections, Troubling Trends
Turkey is often said to offer a counter-example to every cliché regarding Muslim majority countries and the Middle East. For starters, the country has been westernizing since the days of the Ottoman Empire. Second, Turkey has been staunchly secular since the interwar-era reforms initiated by its founding president, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Third, Turkey has been a multiparty democracy since 1950. And last but not least, Turkey has maintained a pro-Western political orientation since the end of the World War II...
...The United States should be concerned about the AKP domination of Turkish politics because the AKP’s erosion of the secular Turkish weltanschauung is weakening the country’s pro-Western foreign policy orientation. Is the Turkish democracy strong enough to face the AKP beyond 2007? Will Turkey’s secularism and Western orientation prove resilient under this party’s leadership? What are the AKP’s stakes in the 2007 elections, and who are likely challengers to the party? Last but not least, what are the implications of this fateful period for U.S. policy, and what should the United States do to maintain Turkey’s pro-Western foreign policy orientation?....