EU Asserts Democracy at Turkey's Peril

Looking at it without context, the current crisis in Turkey seems clear cut. One political party is appealing to a "Constitutional Court" to have another major party shut down and the president and prime minister barred from political life for 5 years.

The EU, who is in the mix because Turkey is applying for membership, sees this and responds angrily, scolding Turkey and calling it "antidemocratic." Sounds reasonable, right?


Turkey -- the only Middle Eastern country that has been trying to modernize and Westernize -- is in a battle for its life, trying to derail the movement away from secularism toward Islamism and Sharia law. I agree that on the face of it, it seems strange, if not wrong, to have one party petition the courts for the dissolution of another party. But in Turkey's case, those who want Turkey to remain a secular state and stay true to the complete separation of church and state, are trying to fight off rampaging Islamism from the AKP (Justice and Development Party). This is a good thing, in the context of Turkey's history and the battle it is waging to keep Sharia law from dragging the country into hell.
"The AKP ... uses democracy to reach its goal, which is installing sharia [Islamic law] in Turkey," the indictment says. "There is an attempt to expunge the secular principles of the Constitution."
But the EU doesn't see it that way. Just like George Bush, they seem to value democracy as an end in itself, regardless of what ideas are being voted on. If the Turks or the Iraqis vote for an Islamic dictatorship, who are we to question that? They voted for it.

The Turks, at least those still wanting to Westernize, are hoping to gain entry to the EU. Assuming that the EU is also working towards this, we can only conclude that it would rather have a democratically elected, anti-Western Islamic dictatorship as a member, than a secular nation fighting Islamism and trying to modernize.

Well, if the Islamists succeed in Turkey and the EU wants them to join, the EU will eventually come to realize what the proper, reasoned response to the current crisis would have been. Namely, to support and assist Turkey in resisting Islamism in the name of pro-Western ideas, to make sure the prospective member state would share similar values.

More likely, the EU will decide to deny membership to a new "Islamic Peoples State of Turkey" or whatever it becomes. If they do, they will have to fabricate grounds to do so, because the real reason -- that free states cannot deal freely with dictatorial regimes hellbent on their destruction -- would directly contradict their view of the primacy of democracy. After all, the Turks would have voted for their dictators.

(Note: See Powell History Recommends for a much more detailed examination of Turkey's history of Westernization and the threat it currently faces.)

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