mercredi 16 mai 2018

It is in Britain's national interest to welcome Turkey's president Erdogan

Il est dans l'intérêt national de la Grande-Bretagne d'accueillir le président Erdogan

You don't have to support Erdogan's policies to think he should be 

The visit to the UK of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been accompanied by the expected protests against his autocratic rule. There were the usual demands from the usual people for him to be barred from Britain. Indeed, if some on the Left got their way no one would be allowed to
come to this country on official trips, apart, perhaps, from the leaders of Hamas. It was noted during exchanges in the Commons yesterday that Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, made no mention of the complicity of Hamas in the dreadful events on the Gaza-Israel border on Monday.

President Erdogan is not an easy man to defend. He has locked up journalists who have criticised him and politicians who have opposed him. In recent years he has transformed the world’s most successful secular Muslim country, created by Ataturk, into something beginning to resemble an Islamic republic.

But it should not be necessary to defend these excesses in order to invite Mr Erdogan to Britain. He is the leader of a big and powerful country, which occupies a key strategic position in the world’s most volatile region. Although Turkey is a Nato member, it has made common cause with Russia after the two countries set aside decades of bitter enmity to broker a Syrian ceasefire.

The West needs to remain on good terms with Turkey, which has long been regarded by policymakers as essential to maintaining peace in Europe and guarding against any threats that might emerge from the Middle East and Russia. Protesters are free to have their say, unlike in Ankara, but it is in Britain’s national interest to welcome Mr Erdogan here. 

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