There is plenty to say about Turkey these days, although not on Twitter or YouTube. Both are frequently blacked out in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey. Erdogan says he wants to “wipe out Twitter.” As a result, critically important voices regarding Turkey’s strategic importance and democratic evolution are harder to hear.
My voice, too, is often discounted. My Greek name usually prevents me from writing about Turkey because it is dismissed as biased.
Though I was born and reared in California, my ethnic origin labels me hostile to Turkey. The reason? Greece and Turkey have ongoing disputes regarding territorial waters, airspace, islands, the future exploitation of continental shelf hydrocarbons and the matter of Turkish troop-occupied Cyprus.
But here’s the reality: I know and love Turkey. I have traveled the country multiple times, learned a bit of the language and even got married there.
Looking at the geopolitics of that nation-state, all I see is a Western-aligned country unjustly denied European Union association years ago, back when Erdogan was still interested in Europe. What is never stated in the official EU affiliation postponements and negotiations, however, is what is heard in the German and French streets – Turkey will never be a European Union nation because Turkey is not a European nation; because it is Muslim. (read more)