Turkey no longer secular and should be eased out of NATO, says academic

Turkey is no longer a secular country as an “Islamic re-awakening” has permeated Turkish culture and it should be eased out of NATO, an academic said in the U.S. Spectator on Friday.

William S. Smith, a senior research fellow and managing director of the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at the Catholic University of America, said that Turkey had become the most uncomfortable member of NATO.

“Shouldn’t it be obvious that Turkey is angling for the leadership of Islamic civilisation and that NATO’s priorities are probably not that important to it? The age of a supposedly secular Turkey has ended, and that nation is now firmly Islamic in character and culture,” he said. 

“Given this development, we should tip our hats to the Turkish people, thank them for their support against Soviet communism during the Cold War, and start easing them out of NATO.”

Smith said that NATO should be a partnership in what he called “Western civilisation” in order to survive, by which he means values such as constitutional liberties and the rule of law.

He also said that Turkey’s recent decision to re-convert the Hagia Sophia into a mosque from a museum should dispel any lingering notions of Turkey as a Western, secular country. 

“Now that Hagia Sophia has been turned into a mosque, let’s not pretend that Turkey wants to be a Western nation with Western values,” he said. “Because of our past partnership, we should not eject Turkey with animus but with the genuine hope that their turn to Islam will benefit their nation.” 

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