13 September, 2010


Turkey has had a referendum on its constitution which the governing party, led by Mr Erdogan, has won.

The changes will weaken the position of the army, and make it impossible to ban political parties, which seem to be good things. That’s not what it is really about, though.

The constitution which Ataturk instituted after the First World War provided for a secular state, and the army was sworn to uphold it. Mr Erdogan’s AK party has strong Muslim leanings, and the changes to the constitution will make it a lot easier for Turkey to become an Islamic state now, rather than a secular country with lots of Muslims in it..

So when the referendum result was welcomed by Britain and America, they weren’t really telling the unvarnished truth. This could turn out to be rather bad in the medium term.

I have said it before and it is worth repeating: in the end we shall greatly regret not welcoming Turkey into the EU.

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