I attended an interesting talk by Ziya Meral on Turkey hosted by the Conservative Christian Fellowship and with colleagues from Conservative Friends of Turkey.
Ziya bey gave fascinating insights into the political situation in Turkey with the most recent events of the failed coup and how Turkey has evolved historically. Ziya bey’s analogy of a failed betrothal representing Turkey’s relationship with the EU was amusing. The wedding isn’t going to take place but they don’t want to give up on the engagement.
Points that I took away from the talk:
- The AK Party has provided freedoms to Christians living in Turkey
- The government has the support of the electorate with 45% of the vote and an 87% turnout at the last election
- Turkey has a thriving economy and is not reliant on the EU
- Turkey has opened 29 embassies in Africa and good trade
- Turkey has the third biggest army in the world and the second biggest in NATO
- The war against ISIS is being won
- Turkey is providing refuge to millions and the demographics of the population is changing
- 3 million Syrians live in Turkey
- The situation in Libya will be the next concern in the middle East
The event closed with prayer and a final message of how we can think more positively about Turkey.