'Tribune of Anatolia' Diplomatic Cables Reveal US Doubts about Turkey's Government
The leaked diplomatic cables reveal that US diplomats are skeptical about Turkey's dependability as a partner. The leadership in Ankara is depicted as divided and permeated by Islamists.
US diplomats have grave doubts about Turkey's dependability. Secret or confidential cables from the US Embassy in Ankara describe Islamist tendencies in the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The US diplomats' verdict on the NATO partner with the second biggest army in the alliance is devastating. The Turkish leadership is depicted as divided, and Erdogan's advisers, as well as Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, are portrayed as having little understanding of politics beyond Ankara.
The Americans are also worried about Davutoglu's alleged neo-Ottoman visions. US diplomats quote one high-ranking government adviser as saying that Davutoglu would use his Islamist influence on Erdogan, describing him as "exceptionally dangerous." According to the US document, another adviser to the ruling AKP party remarked, probably ironically, that Turkey wanted "to take back Andalusia and avenge the defeat at the siege of Vienna in 1683."
The US diplomats write that many leading figures in the AKP were members of a Muslim fraternity and that Erdogan had appointed Islamist bankers to influential positions. He gets his information almost exclusively from newspapers with close links to Islamists, they reported. The prime minister, the cables continue, has surrounded himself with an "iron ring of sycophantic (but contemptuous) advisors" and presents himself as the "Tribune of Anatolia."
Editor's note: DER SPIEGEL's full reporting on the WikiLeaks US diplomatic cables will be published first in the German-language edition of the magazine, which will be available on Monday to subscribers and at newsstands in Germany and Europe. SPIEGEL ONLINE International will publish extended excerpts of SPIEGEL's reporting in English in a series that will launch on Monday.