Brookings Institution Turkey Project Director Ömer Taspinar offers his thoughts on the recent wave of arrests of former and current military officials in Turkey.
Taspinar is among the most astute and objective analysts of Turkish politics in Washington and this quick snippet captures the essence of the political events unfolding there.
I helped organize a forum last week at which Taspinar spoke, and the most striking aspect of his presentation was his comment that many secular Turks from the bureaucracy and the military interpret the United States’ support for the moderately Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) – as well as Washington’s rhetoric that Turkey can serve as a “model” for other Muslim countries – as evidence that the United States is actively supporting Islamism in Turkey.
True or not, this perception contributes to the immense distrust of the United States that persists among broad swaths of the Turkish population.
– Ben Katcher