WASHINGTON D.C. - Rep. Eliot L. Engel, the Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, co-authored the following Letter to the Editor with Rep. William Keating, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, in this weeks The Economist in response to the article on Turkish politics, “Disillusioned and divided,” which ran in the May 24th edition.
Relations with Turkey
SIR – You were right to highlight concerns among Turkey’s friends in the West about its government’s use of propaganda (“Disillusioned and divided”, May 24th). Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister, has demonised and scapegoated Jews, Israel and foreigners, which has isolated Turkey diplomatically and caused American lawmakers to question the US-Turkey relationship. These feelings are compounded by what is seen as an erosion of Turkish democracy by the Erdogan government, increased polarisation and rampant government-fuelled corruption.
As a democracy, Turkey can bridge Eastern and Western values, culture and trade. Its importance as a NATO ally cannot be understated. But to be a full partner on the global stage and to fortify trust with its partners in the West, Turkey must scrap its troubling propaganda machine. Instead, it must bring the population together and address challenges surrounding the rule of law, accountability and transparency to its citizens.
Foreign Affairs Committee
US House of Representatives
Read the letter in The Economist here