Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Turkey strides down the Arab street

Turkey is on a roll in the region, as many Arabs admire its political development – but now it will have to start taking sides

Brian Whitaker
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 13 September 2011

"...Turkey too, despite its good neighbours policy, has its own fish to fry. Like Syria, Iraq and Iran, it has issues regarding the Kurdish population. It is also firmly in the Sunni religious camp. This may explain why Turkey has given cautious support to the repressive (but Sunni) regime in Bahrain, even though it has backed popular uprisings elsewhere.

There is also the pull of Europe. Long term, Turkey still has aspirations to join the EU and at some point may have to decide whether to face mainly east or west. Close as it may get to the Arab countries, it will always, to some extent be an outsider – for the simple reason that Turks are not Arabs."

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