Rice once again demonstrates her astounding myopia. She wants to protect democracy above all things, and may end up with yet another Islamic state for her pains.
“Turkey warned to keep army out of political dispute,” by Christopher Torchia for Associated Press, with thanks to the Witch-King of Angmar:
ISTANBUL, Turkey — The United States and European Union on Wednesday warned Turkey, a NATO member and close ally, to prevent its military from defying civilian leaders in a conflict between the Islamic-rooted government and the secular establishment.
Fears of a coup have ebbed with the prospect of early general elections, but the military’s threat to intervene in the showdown and stamp out any sign of political Islam has confirmed its traditional role as a key player in Turkish politics.
Many Turks had believed that the military, which seized power from civilian governments three times in past decades, was withdrawing from the political arena as Turkey pursued EU-backed reforms and its economy accelerated after a financial crisis.
But Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to back the candidacy of one of his closest allies as president underestimated the backlash.
At the heart of the conflict was a fear that the ruling party would use control of Parliament and the presidency to chip away at the separation of state and religion, and curb secular freedoms such as women’s rights.
Erdogan’s party called for new elections Wednesday after the secular opposition last week boycotted a parliamentary vote on Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s candidacy and was backed by the Constitutional Court.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joined the EU in warning the Turkish military.
Asked whether the U.S. agreed with Europe’s call for the military to stay out of the dispute, Rice said: “The answer is yes, the U.S. would be in a similar position.”