These changes are rooted in the transformation of Turkish views of the world and the accompanying transformation of Turkish foreign policy: the Turks' view of the world is changing, with the Turks taking a negative view of the West: today, few in Turkey care for the West, most people oppose EU accession, many Turks hate America, and almost no one likes Israel. At the same time,
Why are the Turks turning anti-Western? Why are Turks viewing themselves in contrast to the West -- meaning the
In the 1960s and afterwards, various Arab regimes initiated policies that turned the Israeli-Palestinian dispute into a domestic issue. In this regard, the Arab regimes invited radical Palestinian groups to visit their capitals, and provided them publicity and the ability to build networks, allowing the radical Palestinian rhetoric and agenda to penetrate the minds of common Arabs, where it stays. Now,
Consequently, pro-Hamas websites are proliferating in
For a long time, the primary goal of the attacks of Sept. 11 appeared to be that al-Qaeda wanted to hurt
The attacks, of course, did not create the idea of Muslims; nor did they create the "Muslim world." There is a pre-existing cultural view among the world's Muslims, as in all religions, that believers are unified. The attacks have not created this view; rather they have introduced a Manichean political layer to it, calling on all Muslims to join the new and politically-charged "Muslim world" that al-Qaeda defines having a violent confrontation with the West. This appears to be the primary goal of the Sept. 11 attacks. By creating and sustaining this view, al-Qaeda can hope to attack and hurt
Enter the AKP in
Indeed, on Oct. 11,
Turkey and Israel have a long history based on mutual respect and cooperation within the region and have viewed the relationship through the prism of Turks and Israelis; the AKP's behavior towards Israel and Sudan shows that the party views Israel through a new, Islamist prism: Muslims (who are always right even when they kill their own kind) vs. non-Muslims (who are always wrong when they confront Muslims even when acting in self-defense).
Soner Cagaptay is a senior fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute.
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