By Heinz Kramer

Turkey is a longstanding best friend of the USA and Europe. After the dying of the Soviet empire, Turkey's strategic value has replaced yet no longer decreased. at the present time Turkey is dealing with a very diversified overseas and safeguard coverage atmosphere. notwithstanding, Turkey is additionally present process amazing inner switch. Many demonstrated political truths of the Republic's seventy-five-year-long culture are more and more wondered by means of a transforming into a part of its humans. especially, there's the increase of political Islam and the resultant conflict of ideologies among "secularists" and "Islamists" in addition to the controversy approximately Turkey's "Kurdish reality." Turkey's allies must reply to this improvement through adapting their regulations. not anything lower than a re-examination and, finally, a re-orientation in family members with either the USA and Europe is needed if Turkey is to stay anchored within the West. This booklet undertakes a accomplished evaluation and research of Turkey's inner and exterior adjustments and offers components of a brand new eu and American coverage towards a key strategic companion.

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More recently, associations that support an Islamic way of public life have also come under attack by state authorities. These barriers and restrictions notwithstanding, a civil society "culture" is about to develop in Turkey. Some areas and institutions stand out in this respect: human rights issues, environmental issues, business associations, and, most recently, Islamic civil movements. The large group of organizations for the support of Kemalism that have become more lively during the recent battle between secularists and Islamists are of a somewhat mixed character because many are sponsored by the state although formally they are civil associations.

This power has been proven often enough when the civilian side of government has tried to follow a course in domestic politics that ran counter to the military's agenda of defending secularist Kemalism. The political dilemma of this situation lies in the stabilizing presence of the military on the one hand and on the other the simultaneous preservation and defense of social ideas and constructs that no longer coincide with the social reality of the country. 2011 04:21:59 page_36 < previous page page_36 next page > Page 36 developed by Atatürk through the imposition of narrow limits on the democratic right of freedom of thought and expression, the military distances Turkey ever more from modern Western political systems.

This in turn has fostered the rise of more extreme political forces like the Nationalist Action Party under the late veteran ultranationalist Alparslan Turkes* or the now legally banned Islamist Welfare Party under its ''eternal" leader Necmettin Erbakan. 14 percent of the national vote. Contrary to the generals' expectations, less than a decade after the passing of the new constitution the old dynamics of party politics had taken over the system designed by the military leadership after the 1980 coup.

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