Is Turkey Moving Away from the West?

758 Words3 Pages
With our continuing interest in the Middle East and Russia’s recent action in Crimea, Turkey has become one of the most important allies to the western world. However, their recent actions suggest that turkey is moving away from the west. Now that Turkey is starting to thrive independently, the west is no longer as appealing. Under the leadership of its current Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, it is clear that Turkey is focusing more on its self-interest in the Middle East. Erdogan is a devout Muslim with a fundamentalist past who, now that he is in power, has cemented his role by dismantling the checks and balances of the Turkish political system. With public backing and changing economic condition that favor Turkey, Erdogan has been able to steer Turkey away from its secularist roots and away from western influence. Erdogan’s past raises questions as to how interested he really is in a secular Turkey. Raised in prayer schools as a devout Muslim, his political career started as the protégé to Necmettin Erbakan, the leader of the radical Refah party who is famous for his approval of anti-Islamic restrictions that limited Islamic media, dress, and schools. Erdogan served as chairman of this Refah party until he became mayor of Istanbul in 1994. As mayor, he condemned contraceptives, ordered the renovations of mosques, and banned alcohol in public places. His fervor eventually got him in trouble when he was convicted of using religion to foment disorder and sentenced to

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