Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

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Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Suppiah » 09 Feb 2010 17:35

Mods, we are ignoring this great country which is unique among Islamic nations.

Abdullah Gul, who used to be chief of AKP party is coming to India for SIX days. This party has now got itself well entrenched there, beating off consistent army led efforts to curb non-secular Islamic parties. But their bite has turned out to be much less potent than their bark...we need to cultivate them.

Internet and new sites are also going gaga over their smart FM who is a far thinking academic with interesting views on 'strategic depth' unlike our barbaric terrorist animal 'friends' to our left.

http://www.ptinews.com/news/507677_Indi ... -2020--Gul

Sadly Indian media also seems to ignore this visit. Other than some silly articles by MKB in Chindu we dont read much about them.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby harbans » 09 Feb 2010 17:38

Well lets start with this news from Turkey, the beacon of the Islamic world:

Turkish girl, 16, buried alive for talking to boys

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Suppiah » 09 Feb 2010 17:42

Bro, that was actually a kurdish village IIRC. Not Turkish. In any case such things happen in many places.

Recently there was a big row in Turkish Parliament about Erdogan (PM) being called '2nd prophet' by a party faithful and some sarcastic remarks by opposition etc. on that matter. Believe it or not the whole thing was done in a very decent way, without death treats, mass protests by bearded barbarians, mullahs screaming their heads off like Barkha Dutt and so on..amazing

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby harbans » 09 Feb 2010 17:47

^
The discovery will reopen the emotive debate in Turkey about "honour" killings, which are particularly prevalent in the impoverished south-east.

Official figures have indicated that more than 200 such killings take place each year, accounting for around half of all murders in Turkey.


It is a problem i see in Turkish society. Though i acknowledge it happens elsewhere too including in UK.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Suppiah » 09 Feb 2010 17:54

http://blastmagazine.com/the-news/world ... r-killing/

politically turkish, by tribe and region Kurdish who are very different.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby derkonig » 09 Feb 2010 22:59

IB4TL...AoA
West Asia thread should suffice...

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Manny » 09 Feb 2010 23:50

Turkey is an amazing country and I have lived there for over 3 years.

The Turks like Indians and they like Porkies too.

There are hardly any Indians living in Turkey. Turkey is a low hanging fruit for India to have good relations with and get them on board to our side on many issues.

Remember Turkey voted for recognizing Israel as a nation in the late 40s in the UN while India voted No. They do not vote yes all the time to Islamic issues.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby ramana » 10 Feb 2010 00:09

I'll watch for a day but I dont see why this thread cant be merged with the West Asia thread.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby krithivas » 10 Feb 2010 01:11

Triumph of the Turks
Turkey is the surprising beneficiary of U.S. misadventures in the Middle East
http://www.newsweek.com/id/224676
The world has changed radically since the fall of the Ottomans, and Turkey is unlikely ever to regain the imperial power it wielded for 350 years, from Algiers to Budapest and Mecca. But as the world tries to move, at last, beyond the 90-year-old peace that ended peace, no other country is better positioned to pick up the pieces.

This article is a good read on how Turkey is raising its profile in ME, though the Web article is missing a photograph of all Turkish PM shaking hands with leaders of Islamic countries including TSP.

R. Krithivas

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Masaru » 10 Feb 2010 01:54

Suppiah wrote:Mods, we are ignoring this great country which is unique among Islamic nations.


The India-Pakistan Air War of 1965

Indonesia promised MiG-19s and MiG-15s besides other equipment after Asghar Khan gave President Ayub's letter to Indonesian President saying that he expected Indonesia to help us in our "dire need." Help was also sought from Iran which provided sanctuaries for Pakistan Air Force aircraft, Iraq which actually supplied a dozen F-86s and spares, and from Turkey.


Pakistan, Turkey to cooperate in defence industry

Both leaders expressed identity of views on regional and global issues and Mr Erdogan called for early resolution of the Kashmir dispute. The two prime ministers said they discussed the entire gambit of bilateral relations and regional and international issues, including Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iran, the Middle East and the proposed UN reforms.

“We believe that all approaches made by Pakistan for peaceful resolution of Kashmir are very positive and we appreciated them,” the Turkish prime minister said.

“Turkey fully supports Pakistan on Kashmir. This problem should be tackled as soon as possible.


Time and again Turks have sided with the Pakis and helped them out in times of need. This 'great nation' also has a brilliant history of denial when it comes to owning up to its violent past. Ref: Armenian genocide. No wonder why Pakis seek to claim ancestry from Turks, and get inspired to repeat the same in 1971.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Carl_T » 10 Feb 2010 05:51

Not going to argue that, but it should be pointed out that their denial is not in the same vein as holocaust denial-rather they say that killings while real, happened on both sides.

Suppiah wrote:Mods, we are ignoring this great country which is unique among Islamic nations...we need to cultivate them.

If Turkey is a strategic rival to Russia and a backer of Pak, what manner of long term strategic relations can we expect with them?


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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby pgbhat » 10 Feb 2010 06:43

Mofos express "regret" before India trip. :roll:

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Suppiah » 10 Feb 2010 07:35

Guys, I do understand Turkey's track record wrt India-Pak issues has not been perfect. But we cannot treat them all as the same. Turkey is NOT a typical ME country (which is why I feel a separate thread is required for it, not the WA thread, anyway it is for mods to decide)

As to Armenia and so on..let us not waste time, every country has ghosts of the past they try to bury under carpet. It should not concern us except in moralistic/academic discussions.

We can classify the entire area west of us right upto Europe into two or three categories - one category is where countries may sometimes be against us, but have a good chance of being with us 90% of the time, and can be our voice in forums like OIC. I think Turkey, Iran, future Afghan (if not under TSP rule), Iraq (under secular rule like in Saddam days), Egypt, Jordan (again under relatively westernised king rule), Oman etc., fall in this category. You cannot expect them to be 100% pro-Indian given their Islamic knee-jerk instinct, but we can make the best out of the situation. Turning them 90% hostile instead of 20% hostile as it is now, makes absolutely no sense.

Then there are the ones we can never hope to be friends with and have to treat with utmost caution and when we are powerful and dont need them, contempt and disdain - Saudi and a few other states are in that category. TSP is obviously one. Even here keeping them barking and not biting is the goal of our diplomacy or should be.

Then there is a category which should be our strategic friends, with whom we have 0% hostility and 100% friendship. Israel is in this category. Turkey is a candidate, so is non-talib Afghanistan and with reduced % of possibility Iran ones they get rid of mullacracy.
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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Suppiah » 10 Feb 2010 07:38

Manny wrote:Turkey is an amazing country and I have lived there for over 3 years.



Interesting...Never heard of one, your concise observations on India-Turkey matters would be of interest..

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby SSridhar » 10 Feb 2010 09:35

Turkey agrees to work closely with India on global terrorism
India and Turkey on Tuesday unveiled a joint declaration on terrorism which New Delhi considers a breakthrough because in it, Ankara has agreed to “recognise the need” for the conclusion of the India-initiated Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT).

“Turkey is a significant actor on the world stage and a leading member of the OIC. Therefore, Turkey’s commitment to the convention is of significance. Here is a prominent member of the OIC stating that they would work with us [on the convention],” added the sources.

“There was a time when the foreign policy orientation of both countries was divergent. Now, there is a commitment and determination to give an impetus to the bilateral relations in all its contours. Consequently, there have been a number of high-level visits to focus on different aspects of the political, economic and commercial, diplomatic and cultural aspects,” the sources said.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Prem » 10 Feb 2010 09:58

We must remember that it was Turkish dilopmatic cover which helped Paki buy Nuke tech in the WEST. They facilitated quite a bit deals for AQ Khan network. Thier alliance with Paki runs deep.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby SSridhar » 10 Feb 2010 10:03

The Islamabad-Istanbul relationship has not been all hunky-dory. The India-Turkey relationship has not been all that bad either.

The inhabitants of the Ganga-Yamuna belt who migrated to Pakistan and became mohajir there, looked up to Turkey as a role-model. Though Jinnah disliked the Caliphate, he was a great admirer of Mustapha Kemal Ataturk who succeeded the crumbling Empire and helped establish a modern Turkish nation state. However, that analogy does not bring much solace to troubled Pakistani minds though they are ignorant as to why so. The Turkish had called Turkey their homeland for many centuries even before the Ottomon Empire was established whereas, there was no such concept of a Pakistani state until c. 1947 and they were part and parcel of India and India alone.

In 1964, Pakistan created a grouping called Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD), with Iran and Turkey as its members, to get out of its claustrophobia with the Indian sub-continent. Pakistan believed that it had a common heritage of history and culture with Iran and Turkey and the grouping would therefore help enhance the socio-economic ties with those countries. An RCD cultural Institute was also setup in Islamabad to further these aims. RCD lasted until 1979 but was singularly unsuccessful.

Khaled Ahmed had said that though GoP rates its ties with secular Turkey as a solid pillar of its foreign relations, the average Pakistani is averse to the 'secular' tag of Turkey and wants its Constitution to be changed in favour of Islamists there. The Turks are worried about the Pakistani influence. Mullah Krekar (Faraj Ahmed Najmuddin), the Iraqi Kurd linked with Al-Qaeda was also Sheikh Abdullah Azzam’s student in Pakistan. Pakistan was sheltering him and even allowed to him to lecture at the Islamic University of Islamabad. Many followers of Mullah Krekar were arrested in c. 2004 planning to blow up NATO offices.

Of course, we know that Turkey helped Pakistan receive components for its nuclear programme clandestinely but the biggest offender, as we all know, is the US. The US was aware of the Turkish collaboration but either chose to remain silent or just issue half-hearted demarches.

Besides, Pakistan helped Communist China to establish diplomatic ties with Turkey in the period between 1963-1965, just as it did a few years later between the US and PRC. Turkey has revealed recently that it secretly arranged a meeting between foreign ministers of Pakistan and Israel in c. 2007 at Istanbul.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Carl_T » 10 Feb 2010 10:04

Suppiah wrote:Guys, I do understand Turkey's track record wrt India-Pak issues has not been perfect. But we cannot treat them all as the same. Turkey is NOT a typical ME country (which is why I feel a separate thread is required for it, not the WA thread, anyway it is for mods to decide)

Then there is a category which should be our strategic friends, with whom we have 0% hostility and 100% friendship. Israel is in this category. Turkey is a candidate, so is non-talib Afghanistan and with reduced % of possibility Iran ones they get rid of mullacracy.

The broader issue is - is Turkey looking for a long term strategic partnership? Furthermore, hasn't Iran been consistently pro-India even in a mullacracy?

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby vavinash » 10 Feb 2010 10:19

Turkey is a dhobi ka kutta desperately trying to make something of itself. They are a worthless islamic nation and paki ally. India needs allies like Israel and Russia not EDITED like turkey. They want Indian investment in turkey and FTA but will always support Porki muslim pigs. Make no mistake turkey must be shown its place as a mediocre islamic nation. India does not need turkey, turkey will come crawling to us. Just wait till then.
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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby somnath » 10 Feb 2010 11:30

vavinash wrote:Turkey is a dhobi ka kutta desperately trying to make something of itself. They are a worthless islamic nation and paki ally. India needs allies like Israel and Russia not EDITED like turkey. They want Indian investment in turkey and FTA but will always support Porki muslim pigs. Make no mistake turkey must be shown its place as a mediocre islamic nation. India does not need turkey, turkey will come crawling to us. Just wait till then.



Incredibly stupid assertions, IMO...

Turkey is the biggest strategic tilt power in the ME today, not just in terms of its economy and military, but also culturally..the only muslim country which is built around a (relatively) liberal secular basis, it offers the Western civilisation the best dialogue conduit to the Islamic world..Of course economically, it is already the most dynamic economy in Europe (it is a European country, even if Monsier Sarkozy doesnt agree) - 70 million population growing at 5% is impressive...

In the days to come, Turkey is going to be the most important power in the ME, more than Saudi Arabia, more than Iran..It has leverage over the Islamic world, as also over Israel - the only power besides the US to have that..

For India, Turkey would be an indispensable asset on a range of issues - Afghanistan, the broader Islamic world, but more importantly on economic domain..

the Pak-Turkish relationship has been traditionally close, but it has started getting cooler since the days of Bulent Ecevit (the ex-President of Turkey who translated Tagore in Turkish)...And as economic ties grow, Turkey will find even lesser things in common with Pakistan..

The broader issue is - is Turkey looking for a long term strategic partnership? Furthermore, hasn't Iran been consistently pro-India even in a mullacracy?


Iran pro India? Well, not in the OIC...It has always acted in its own self interest, just like anybody else...India needs liek minded allies in the ME, and Turkey is the closest we would have as a "natural ally"..
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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Suppiah » 10 Feb 2010 11:34

Vavinash, watch your words!

Carl_T, Turkey may not be looking for partnership, but is worth courting. A key goal of our diplomacy is to restrict Pakbarian ability to rally other countries in the name of religion.

Re Islamism, a lot of noise is being made about where Gul/Erdogan/AKP is taking Turkey but people miss one simple fact - the direction of movement matters only after you consider where a country was before such movement was made. For instance, if a party takes power in TSP which is Islamic and wants to correct course, that can only mean fanatic barbarianism of the worst kind because you are talking about a fanatic barbarian terrorist state already. If the same thing happens in Indonesia, say, it means Indonesia will become a TSP as it is today.

In the case of Turkey, their form of secularism was extreme, even worse (or better, if you prefer that term) than India's - it was aggressively anti-mullah, and anti-religion, not just agnostic. Such as ban on head scarves etc. To this day military top brass do not shake hands with PM's wife because she wears one and they organise two formal receptions one with wife and one without, just to appease the powerful generals.

So what Gul & Co is doing is to make it somewhat neutral. When they swing further right into actively pro-mullah territory (which they have NOT), then time to get worried, but that worry is Europe's not ours. They are too far away.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Suppiah » 10 Feb 2010 11:39

Somnathji, good post..

Turkey wants to be (yet another) champion of moderate Islamic world. Compared to the track record of nations that have run for that post such as Malaysia and TSp, they are angels from heaven.

By working thru Turkey, we can neutralise much of Arab hostility to India that is purely religion driven. And reduce room for TSPs maneuvers.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Suppiah » 10 Feb 2010 11:42

Iran has been pro-India to the extent that she is worried about Sunni extremism which often ends up with Shia's getting persecuted. In Arab nations, in Bahrain, in TSP, Iraq, Afghan and so on...that's why they opposed Taliban and worked with India on supporting NA leadership.

But at end of day they are also Islamic, and under mullacracy, virulently so. That limits scope of partnership..

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Carl_T » 10 Feb 2010 11:47

Even if they are Islamic, I think we share the same strategic interests wrt to the western front. That and who else can they really count on?


I think given Turkey's interests in Central Asia, they would be a good partner to gain a foothold in the region, however, I don't think Russia looks on that too favourably, IMO limiting the scope of the partnership.

I think their form of Islamism is a healthy democratic reaction to years of imposed secularism, and it shows them maturing. They should stop begging in front of Europe and assert their identity, and are now looking East. Erdogan is like ABV and LKA rolled into one.

They actually have a realistic chance of being the Islamic world's "core state" to use Huntington's words unlike TSP KSA or Iran.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Rony » 10 Feb 2010 11:49

I sincerely beleive that Turkey does not need a seperate thread.topics related to that country can be covered in middle east.If Turkey deserves a seperate thread, we also need to open a seperate thread for Indonesia, which is even more important for India than Turkey can ever will be. Unfortunately, both in Turkey and Indonesia, Islamism is slowely replacing Secularism and having interacted with both Turks and Indonesians in recent years, an increasing number of Turks and Indonesians are looking at India through Muslim/Kafir angle.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Pranav » 10 Feb 2010 11:53

The most important aspect of modern Turkish politics is the military-civilian divide. The military is fiercely secular, close to Israel, and somewhat anti-democratic. The civilians are closer to Islam, but they are generally not fundamentalists.

There is a danger, that as an effect of the military-civilian tensions, the civilians may get pushed into the Islamist camp.

However, the Turkish people are generally moderate (like other Central Asians), and there is no reason why India cannot have the same cordial relations with them that India enjoys with say Tajikistan or Turkmenistan.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Suppiah » 10 Feb 2010 12:01

Pranav wrote:There is a danger, that as an effect of the military-civilian tensions, the civilians may get pushed into the Islamist camp.


Military seems resigned to a somewhat diluted and Islamified secular agenda. AKP is in power not because it is Islamic, but because the secular parties failed in their economic management. AKP will only day lose power too for that reason...already they are down in surveys.

I have not worked with ordinary turks and I do not agree with the assertion that ordinary Indonesians are looking at India thru' green glasses. Turkey has 100% muslim population but only 20% are practicing muslims, it seems. I cant think of them being that way as well..

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby amit » 10 Feb 2010 12:17

Folks, I think it helps to remember that a US$1.3-US$1.4 trillion economy with a potential of growth in excess of 8 per cent + has a lot of magnetic power of attraction. And we need to harness that attraction.

Sure Turkey (and other countries like her) have sided with the Pakis before but will they do so openly in future? I doubt it.

We need to remember that if Turkey wants to improve ties with India and increase business contacts, it's not due to some change of heart, it's because they see the advantages of doing so. Let's use that to our advantage for some quid pro quo. That's how all nations in the world interact with each other. (May be I should add a caveat: all normal nations).

As Somnath correctly pointed out Turkey is important and so let's see if we can use our growing economic clout to bring the country around to our viewpoint.

IMHO there's no point in going out into the world with a chip on our shoulders about perceived wrongs inflicted on us in the past. Of course I'm not suggesting we forget about them - indeed they should be part of our calculus when we frame policy - but we should not let them hold hostage current interactions.

At the risk of repeating a cliche, let's remember that in geopolitics there's no permanent friends or foes - only permanent interests.

JMT

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby somnath » 10 Feb 2010 12:19

Suppiah wrote:I have not worked with ordinary turks and I do not agree with the assertion that ordinary Indonesians are looking at India thru' green glasses. Turkey has 100% muslim population but only 20% are practicing muslims, it seems. I cant think of them being that way as well..


Anyone who's been to Turkey can sense how very "European" they are..Even Dubai, the most cosmopolitan sity in the Arab world, looks medieval (in cultural terms) compared to Istanbul..The traditional Turkish elite have been brought up on a staple of Kemalist ideologies - they are fiercely secular, and fiercely European..the AK Party's emergence owes a lot of course to economic management..But also due to the emergence of a new middle class from Anatolya, they are more conservative than the Istanbul elite....

India and Turkey have huge economic potential in bilateral ties - the two economies are similar, have similar societal outlook, and therefore can trade a lot with one another..Thankfully, it does not have the "curse of oil" which tends to make a lot of trade relationships unidimensional...Turkey has a reaosnably well developed defence industry as well, and tons of experience in operating western systems...There is a lot to collaborate on..

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby somnath » 10 Feb 2010 12:27

amit wrote:Folks, I think it helps to remember that a US$1.3-US$1.4 trillion economy with a potential of growth in excess of 8 per cent + has a lot of magnetic power of attraction. And we need to harness that attraction.


Well, its not there yet - GDP is about 794 bill from my Bloomberg...But it had grown steadily @ 5-6% over the last 6-7 years before the financnial crisis hit us...the big joker is EU integration - Turkey will just explode if/when that happens..though it looks increasingly tough, and even otherwise, its geogrpahic location is just unbeatable..

And about people helping Pakis..Well, in that case we should start by cold shouldering the US..Then go on to UK, China, Brazil, Italy (everyone who has ever sold weapons to them or voted with them in the UN)...It doesnt work that way..

We have come a long way under our "look East" policy, and are reaping the gains (three high level visits from East Asiaan countries in 1 month recently!)..Time for a "Look West" version - and the only "normal" nation one can see in our West besides Israel is Turkey!!

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Masaru » 10 Feb 2010 12:28

Suppiah wrote:In the case of Turkey, their form of secularism was extreme, even worse (or better, if you prefer that term) than India's - it was aggressively anti-mullah, and anti-religion, not just agnostic. Such as ban on head scarves etc. To this day military top brass do not shake hands with PM's wife because she wears one and they organise two formal receptions one with wife and one without, just to appease the powerful generals.


In a country where 98% of the populace belongs to one religion {of course how this was achieved in the orthodox Eastern Roman kingdom after 1453 is another story} and moreover more than 90% to one particular sect, talk of secularism is cheap and limited to symbolic useless gestures like wearing/not wearing a piece of cloth. What is peddled as secularism is more a strategy to keep the military at the center of power calculus, nothing to do with protecting/suppressing religious expression. Some recollections from the past : Hagia Sophia, granted all this was prior to the 'new' version of Turkey.

Hagia Sophia is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica and was the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years. In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Turks and Sultan Mehmed II ordered the building to be converted into a mosque.[3] The bells, altar, iconostasis, and sacrificial vessels were removed, and many of the mosaics were eventually plastered over. The Islamic features — such as the mihrab, the minbar, and the four minarets outside — were added over the course of its history under the Ottomans. For almost 500 years the principal mosque of Istanbul, Hagia Sophia served as a model for many of the Ottoman mosques.


There are quite a lot of similarities between modern Turkey and Pukistan which are/were both propped up economically and militarily as two flanks of the Nato/Cento grouping against the USSR for U2 flights, missile basing rights and what not. This holds out hope for Pakis that once they achieve the level of purity of their more illustrious ancestors they may also become 'uber secular' by banning head scarves in some not so distant future.

May be the Turkish model is the 'correct' way to achieve secularism, and it will be interesting if GoI secularists implement this 'strict' version of secularism by paring the minority population to 2% followed by lets say banning wearing saffron color in public by officers of army/bureaucracy. :)

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Rahul M » 10 Feb 2010 12:33

IMHO, the spoiler in Indo-turkish relations is not pakistan, but as is the case with many other countries these days, its relation with china. especially in the field of military technology, the countries have quite close connections. since china is under an arms embargo from the west, turkey (and israel in the past) served as sources of western military tech.
somewhat a miniature version of israel's, turkish MIC is quite developed, aided by the US and as of now, the lure of the competition-free chinese arms market will be irresistible to them.

there is also the considerable US influence on the country, while it won't be strong enough to influence their stance on issues closer to home, on a distant horizon like India, it is likely to be aligned very closely with the US one.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Masaru » 10 Feb 2010 12:34

Carl_T wrote: Erdogan is like ABV and LKA rolled into one.



May be this excellent demonstration of diplomatic rectitude by Erdogan will change your mind! IMVHO the more appropriate comparison is Qureshi + Gilani.

Davos
Last edited by Masaru on 10 Feb 2010 12:36, edited 2 times in total.

amit
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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby amit » 10 Feb 2010 12:35

About the Military-Mullah tensions in Turkey it is useful to remember that the country's membership of the EU is being processed. Turkey applied way back in 1987 and there have been huge opposition to its membership in Europe due to apprehensions of its Islamic credentials. Optimists hope that the membership will come through this decade. Others are looking at the next decade!

The Military fully backs Turkey's membership of EU and most of the middle class does so too. They see the country's future linked more with Europe and less with the Middle East. And interestingly Turkey is possibly the only Islamic country in that part of the world which has a substantial and educated middle class. This class is always a good catalyst to prevent a country from slipping into barbarism.

I think these dynamics within the country may result in Turkey realigning itself in the world. And I would think it would make great sense for it to forge closer ties with a rising India. From our perspective we need to take full advantage of this and make another beach head (the other IMO is Iran) in that troubled region.

Again JMT and other disclaimers.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Carl_T » 10 Feb 2010 12:35

Where did religious expression climb into the picture? Secularism was seen by Ataturk as a bulwark against the perceived backwardness that Islam would bring. Not too dissimilar from our own secularism.

I think strong relations with Turkey would be great, but I just don't see it succeeding. There's not a lot of cultural, historical, or strategic overlap IMO.

amit
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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby amit » 10 Feb 2010 12:38

somnath wrote:Well, its not there yet - GDP is about 794 bill from my Bloomberg...But it had grown steadily @ 5-6% over the last 6-7 years before the financnial crisis hit us...the big joker is EU integration - Turkey will just explode if/when that happens..though it looks increasingly tough, and even otherwise, its geogrpahic location is just unbeatable..


Hey Bro,

You misunderstood my post. :D

That I.3-1.4 trillion is India's GDP which Turkey, like many other countries are finding very alluring nowadays. Turkey's economy is much smaller, even though per capita terms they are a middle income country.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Carl_T » 10 Feb 2010 12:39

Masaru wrote:May be this excellent demonstration of diplomatic rectitude by Erdogan will change your mind! IMVHO the more appropriate comparison is Qureshi + Gilani.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRB1vQVqdQA[/youtube]


S**t he's a good speaker. I was comparing him to ABV/Advani through the prism of their reactions against a secularist status quo. I think the resemblance with Vajpayee is even more apt, they were both fiery orators.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby somnath » 10 Feb 2010 12:51

Masaru wrote:In a country where 98% of the populace belongs to one religion {of course how this was achieved in the orthodox Eastern Roman kingdom after 1453 is another story} and moreover more than 90% to one particular sect, talk of secularism is cheap and limited to symbolic useless gestures like wearing/not wearing a piece of cloth. What is peddled as secularism is more a strategy to keep the military at the center of power calculus, nothing to do with protecting/suppressing religious expression. Some recollections from the past : Hagia Sophia, granted all this was prior to the 'new' version of Turkey.


Well, post Kemalist Turkey is a very different animal to what it was for centuries before that..It was after all, the CAliphate of the Islamic world...The secularism is not symbolic at all..there have been military coups in the past when elections threw up Islamist parties as winners (the Army of course takes its job as the "defender of secularism" quite seriously)..Its not just about pieces of cloth..the current unease between the Istanbul elite and the Anatolyan middle class (represented by the AK party) is not fake - it is real, and gets played out over many small and big issues..

In any case, its not Turkey's secularism thats under discussion, but India's engagement with it..There, the opportunities are just huge..Indian software companies for example, can look t Turkey as their base for servicing European clients - Turkey's profile is very similar to urban India - educated (relatively) low cost workforce..

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Suppiah » 10 Feb 2010 14:06

Masaru, you are doing grave injustice to the secularist credentials of Turkey (post Kemal, pre-AKP and even post-AKP) by your statements...it is not in my capacity or duty but please read up more on them.

The ban on headscraf is but one small step in what was a giant leap for Turkey.

Remember, Turkey had caliphate, which meant leadership of Islamic world - they voluntarily gave it up by abolishing it to get away from what they perceived as backward Islamic practices. That's how KSA ended up with its current 'leadership' role exporting Wahabi terrorism and fanatism. Kemal even is held responsible for killing off several mullahs (including one incident of inviting them all to a meeting and then drowning them in sea, don't know if true) who were opposed to his reforms. That is unthinkable in any society, Islamic, Christian or Hindu...even commies did not go that far. They gave up Arabic alphabet for same reason - move away from backwardness. Forced them to take surnames which are non-religious, a practice that was never there before. you can go on and on..

Talking of Hagia Sophia, Kemal turned it into a museum where prayers were BANNED. Even today that is true. The grabbing of that structure and turning it into a mosque was done by earlier rulers, much like in India...only if we do that to some such structures, our fake secularists will scream to heaven.


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