24 Kasım 2010 Çarşamba

Extreme Anti-Americanism in Turkey

The anti-American feelings of the Turkish people seem to have reached its highest level in the whole Republican history[1] in recent years. The American share of this trend can be claimed to be caused from “moderate Islam”[2] and “Free Kurdistan”[3] discourses emanating from Washington.[4] Obviously, these terms and discourses do not fit with Turkey’s official ideology and state principles and create a kind of insecurity towards USA, which fuels third-world tendencies and isolationism. The Turkish share of extreme anti-Americanism in Turkey on the other hand, can be claimed to be caused from rising political Islamist trend in Turkey in the last two decades and the weakening of the ideal of Turkey’s European Union (EU) membership. Naturally, the low possibility of Turkey’s full accession to EU brings up new visions and scenarios to Turkish intelligentsia and public opinion such as neo-Ottomanism and isolationism. In addition to these, increasing PKK terrorism after the American invasion of Iraq, provocative statements coming from northern Iraqi authorities[5] and the continuing anger between two sides (Turkish anger is mostly caused from the event known as the “sack incident” (çuval olayı)[6] whereas American anger is related to the Turkey’s Grand National Assembly’s rejection of the bill to allow American military force deployment in Turkey on 1 March 2003) complete the picture and strengthen the fears and prejudices against globalization and the Western world. Although the election of new American President Barrack Hussein Obama and his visit to Turkey could mark a new beginning in Turkish-American relations[7], the problematic aspects between two countries’ relations still persist.[8] In addition, the decision of a U.S. congressional panel, approving a resolution on Armenian allegations regarding the incidents of 1915 and calling the events as genocide on 5 March 2010, would certainly lead to deterioration in relations between two countries.[9]

[1] In a survey that was made in 21 countries by British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), to the question of “Is the re-election of President George W. Bush affirmative for world peace and security?” the highest no replies came from Turkey with 82 %. See; Arnaud De Borchgrave. “Extreme Anti-Americanism in Turkey”, retrieved on 10.05.2008 from http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2005/3/11/182953.shtml.
[2] Following JDP’s landslide victory in 22 July 2007 general elections, American diplomat and former Secretary of the State Richard Holbrooke defined Turkey and Malaysia as two examples of “moderate Islam” countries. See; Mümtazer Türköne, "Malaysia or Egypt?", Today's Zaman, http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist-123367-malaysia-or-egypt.html.
[3] Term used in Ralph Peter’s controversial article and map. See; http://www.armedforcesjournal.com/2006/06/1833899.
[4] For a study on the reflections of anti-Americanism on Turkish popular culture, see; Ozan Örmeci. 2008. Popüler Kültür, Ankara: Elips Kitap.
[5] Massoud Barzani, the president of autonomous Kurdish government in northern Iraq in an interview with Al Arabiyah TV in April 2007, threatened Turkey not to interfere in Kirkuk and said that “There are 30 million Kurds in Turkey and we don't interfere there. If they [the Turks] interfere in Kirkuk over just thousands of Turkmen then we will take action for the 30 million Kurds in Turkey”. See; Kurd.net, retrieved on 24.1.2010 from http://www.ekurd.net/mismas/articles/misc2007/4/kirkukkurdistan240.htm. Recently Massoud Barzani once again stated that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is not a terrorist organization, although it has been recognized as such by a large majority of the international community. See; Kurd.net, retrieved on 24.11.2010 from http://www.ekurd.net/mismas/articles/misc2008/6/independentstate2261.htm.
[6] On 4 July 2003 U.S. troops and Kurdish militia attacked, took prisoner and hooded 11 Turkish military observers in the Northern Iraq town of Suleymaniye, an event referred to as the “Sack Incident”.
[7] On 6 April 2009, US President Barrack Hussein Obama in his speech in the Turkish Parliament praised Turkey’s history and the role it can play today as a democratic and secular country having a very high majority of Muslim population. “They see your country at the crossroads of continents and touched by the currents of history. They know that this has been a place where civilizations meet and different peoples mingle. And they wonder whether you will be pulled in one direction or another” U.S. President Obama told Turkish deputies in his half-hour speech. See; Turkish Daily News, retrieved on 07.04.2009 from http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/domestic/11378421.asp?gid=244. Political analyst Bülent Alirıza, who directs the Turkey Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C., claims that President Obama’s trip to Turkey could be the beginning of new “Model Partnership” between two countries which could create “a modern international community that is respectful, secure and prosperous”. See; Bülent Alirıza. “President Obama’s Visit to Turkey: Building a Model Partnership”, CSIS, 08.04.2009, retrieved on 12.04.2009 from http://www.csis.org/.
[8] According to a research made by Pew Research Center, Turkish people who look positive towards USA rose from 12 % to 14 % after President Obama’s election but anti-Americanism continued to exist strongly. See; Cumhuriyet Portal, retrieved on 27.07.2009 from http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/?im=yhs&hn=70870.
[9] After the decision, Turkey’s ambassador in Washington D.C. Namık Tan was recalled to Turkey for consultations. See; Hürriyet Daily News, retrieved on 08.03.2010 from http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=0306105111300-2010-03-06.

Ozan Örmeci

Hiç yorum yok: