I know there are "issues" with Ataturk (disclaimer, I am a fan of KA), but they aren't important to his critical vision of a secular nation as the only way for the Turks to throw off the retrograde burden of official Islam and to join the modern world. In the IHT today there is an article that has lots of good info on the slipping support for NATO throughout the alliance (whoa there, you mean we might have to fight for something outside my borders? I don't get a pretty baby-blue beret? I thought that was what Americans are for....) except for in the USA.
What interests me though is it gives more evidence that Turkey is staying on its slide towards Islamisation - and if it keeps going this way - it is going to get real bloody internally and externally. Here are some of the pull quotes:
In Turkey, the survey found that on a 100-point "thermometer" scale, Turkish "warmth" toward the United States declined to 20 degrees from 28 degrees from 2004 to 2006, while Turkish warmth toward Iran increased to 43 degrees from 34 over the same period.Irony would be if in the near future (5 years) you had social disruptions in Turkey and Iran about the same time. Turkey turns Islamic - Iran turns secular.
Warmth toward the EU was 45 degrees, down from 52 two years ago. Warm feelings were far lower toward certain European countries, with 31 degrees for Spain, 30 for Italy, and 25 for Britain and France, apparently because they are perceived as anti-Turkish. Germany, with many residents of Turkish descent, registered 44 degrees.
Further, while a majority in Turkey continue to see EU membership as a good thing, positive feelings have plummeted, from 73 percent in 2004 to 54 percent this year.
The poll found that support for NATO, the U.S.-led military alliance that has been the linchpin of the trans- Atlantic relationship for more than half a century, has fallen in the European countries surveyed from 69 percent in 2002 to 55 percent in 2006.
In Turkey, which joined NATO in 1952, support (for NATO) declined from 53 percent in 2004 to 44 percent in 2006.
Yes, interesting times.