More and more countries tend to become democratic and to enter the United Nations. And Turkey is no exception, despite the country is Muslim and its territory can be hardly argued to be in Europe. In the article “NATO’s Islamists: Hegemony and Americanization in Turkey” Cihan Tu?al discusses current hegemony in Turkey arguing that Erdo?an’s AKP party has contributed to classic passive revolution. Interestingly, the author defines Turkey as ‘Americanization with Muslim characteristics’. Thus, the key challenge is whether Turkey is democratic as Muslim world and democracy are hardly imaginable. Even Muslims in Turkey, despite its democratic tendencies, have values, beliefs and customs that are different from those in America and Europe. Therefore, Tu?al suggests that changes in Turkey are paradoxical. Democratic world is challenged by the Middle East, especially by offensive Islamic resistance, demographic upheaval and economic turbulence.
I agree with author that even Americanization would hardly be effective in fighting Islamic oppression and resistance. Turkey seems to be perplexed as, on the one hand, the country has proclaimed solidarity with the Muslim world, but, on the other hand, it promotes democratic values and beliefs. Moreover, the Kurdish conflict prevents Turkish development. Turkish opposition calls for tougher position against the Kurdish, more cautious relations with Western countries and more control on markets. As a result of Kurdish conflict, several racist and ethnic segregationist groups were established in the last years. Today Turkey does it best to change the attitude of the world towards country’s political and cultural development. Democratic processes in the country will improve country’s relationships with foreign partners, and will attract more foreign investments. From the other side, national independency is associated with fear, arrogance and mistrust. After reading the article, important question raises: How can Turkey be democratic with Islam religion that doesn’t promote equality?
Tu?al, Cihan. (2007 March). NATO’s Islamists: Hegemony and Americanization in Turkey. New Left Review, 44, pp. 5-34.