Losing Turkey?


Perhaps the West's most important ally in the battle against Islamist extremism is being lost. The latest Pew poll makes for distressing reading:

Of the 10 Muslim publics surveyed in the 2006 Pew Global Attitudes poll, for instance, the Turkish public showed the most negative views, on average, toward Westerners. The survey asked Muslims whether they associate people in Western countries such as the U.S. and European nations with a series of negative and positive characteristics, including "arrogant," "greedy," "immoral," "selfish," and "violent," as well as "generous" and "honest."

More here. Meanwhile, the knife-edge situation on the Iraqi border is beginning to mean a retrenchment from democratization in Turkey itself, and burgeoning ties between Iran and Turkey over their shared Kurdish minorities. Coming Anarchy worries:

The danger is that if the West continues to fail to provide Ankara with support and reassure it about future support, Turkey may start forging more serious diplomatic ties with less than savory neighbors like Syria and Iran, both of whom are hostile to European and American interests.