Nov 24 2017

Turkey not thanksgiving for state of bilateral relationship

Every now and again, some Turks on social media decide that the English-language name of their country needs to change, in order to stop the country’s association with the large North American bird.

Steven Cook’s Thanksgiving article this year may well contribute to reigniting that campaign. In reference to a warning from his local fire brigade not to try to deep fry Thanksgiving turkey, he argued that Turkey was already ‘deep-fried’.

“Through a toxic brew of conspiracy mongering, thuggery and rage—at Kurds, the European Union, the United States and others—Turkish political leaders have seemingly fried the brains of pro-government journalists, editors, academics, diplomats and average Turks, and crippled their capacity to reason.”

Cook said that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s regime was now acting as an “all-out reign of terror”.

“Erdogan has pursued a policy of polarization for the past decade, delegitimizing his critics, jailing journalists, packing the courts with supporters and reversing his promise to peacefully resolve the Kurdish question,” he said.

Even some Americans have been hit with false charges of terrorist activity, Cook said, and the poor bilateral relationship is “forcing Americans to find something other than leftover Turkey—fried or not—for sustenance”.

Cook also argues, Washington's Turkey experts firmly decided against Turkish policies, suggested that those who favor of Erdogan polices mostly getting paid by Ankara, "After all, with few exceptions—mostly those in Ankara’s pay—people in Washington who deal with Turkey regard it as a country whose elites have basically gone mad."

But it is hard to imagine Turks, many of whom already believe the U.S. is seeking to carve up their country, finding Cook’s metaphorical recipes very easy to digest.