On January 31, 2009, I wrote that Turkey Looking Like The Next Iran:
My prediction: Turkey is the next Iran, unless Obama stops blaming the U.S. for Islamist aggression and gives support to Turkey’s secular institutions, including the Turkish army. Jimmy Carter tried the blame America first tactic; it didn’t win us any friends and led to 30 years of tyranny and human rights abuses in Iran. Don’t repeat the same mistake in Turkey.
One commenter was indignant, insisting that the West risked pushing the Turks into Iranian arms:
Their societal structure is far from that of Iran but if we cave in to our primal instinct of bashing the Turks for their sympathy towards their Muslim brothers, we risk alienating them completely and throw them to extremism.
I noted at the time that all the warning signs of a creeping Islamist takeover were present, and that if nothing was done, Turkey would be the next Iran. Much like Hugo Chavez’s step-by-step denigration of opposition and freedom, the Islamists in Turkey were destroying the pro-Western secular foundation of the country.
The mistakes of the Bush administration were compounded by Barack Obama’s repeated apology tours and Cairo speech. While Obama thought he was putting forth a hand of friendship, the Islamists took it as a sign of weakness and an unwillingness of the U.S. to stand up for our pro-Western friends. In the last nine months, as Obama engaged in self-flagellating oratory, the Islamists in Turkey consolidated their control, leading in the past weeks to a rupture of Turkey’s longstanding friendship with Israel and the emergence of new strategic relations with Syria.
It has come true. Read Caroline Glick’s article today at Real Clear Politics, which lays out the events of the past months and the methods by which the Islamists have taken over Turkey. It is a paradigm of foolish political correctness on the part of American administrations and economic selfishness by the Europeans:
TURKEY’S BREAK with the West; its decisive rupture with Israel and its opposition to the US in Iraq and Iran was predictable. Militant Islam of the AKP variety has been enjoying growing popularity and support throughout Turkey for many years. The endemic corruption of Turkey’s traditional secular leaders increased the Islamists‘ popularity. Given this domestic Turkish reality, it is possible that Erdogan and his fellow Islamists‘ rise to power was simply a matter of time.
But even if the AKP’s rise to power was eminently predictable, its ability to consolidate its control over just about every organ of governance in Turkey as well as what was once a thriving free press, and change completely Turkey’s strategic posture in just seven years was far from inevitable. For these accomplishments the AKP owes a debt of gratitude to both the Bush and Obama administrations, as well as to the EU.
I’m sorry to say, I was right.