US academics urge the west not to make mistake of seeing Turkey as "lost"
It would be a fatal mistake for Europe and the US to conclude that Turkey has been "lost" and is set to become a theocracy, wrote Daniel Kliman of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and Joshua Walker of the Transatlantic Academy in a guest op-ed this week for the Christian Science Monitor. In their piece "The West must engage, not demonize, Turkey," Kliman and Walker wrote, "A hundred years ago, debate raged in Europe over how to exploit the Ottoman Empire's decline. Today, the Turkish question is turned on its head: How can the West manage an ascendant Turkey?" Stating that the West can start to answer this question by understanding Turkey's international position, they continued, "Turkey is a member of a select geopolitical club: rising democracies. This club encompasses not only Turkey, but also India, Brazil, Indonesia, and South Africa. Their emergence is a crucial – but untold – development of the 21st century." Stating that in the Middle East, the other regional heavyweights are either authoritarian allies (Egypt and Saudi Arabia), authoritarian and antagonistic toward the United States (Iran), or democratic but besieged on all sides (Israel), Kliman and Walker wrote, "No other state can substitute for Turkey as a pillar of stability and democratic values." Urging European and US leaders not to be seduced by the idea that Turkey is already "lost" and is inevitably fated to become a rising theocracy that will work against rather than for international order, they warned that such a conclusion would be a grave mistake.