Brzezinski: Turkey to keep balance between East and West

Brzezinski: Turkey to keep balance between East and West

Zbigniew Brzezinski

May 18, 2012, Friday/ 16:19:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew brzezinski has said Turkey should be welcomed by Europe out of self-interest, allowing Eurasia, “as the central and most important continent in the world,” to maintain a balance between east and West.

“Eurasia -- as the central and most important continent in the world -- needs to have a fundamental internal balance between … a more vital West and a more energetic East. To accomplish that, both Russia and Turkey should, out of self-interest, become part of Europe and Europe … should welcome them out of its own self-interest,” Brzezinski said in an interview with Azerbaijan's Caucasus International academic journal released in late April.

Praising Turkey's role in the region, Brzezinski described the country as a “successfully modernizing democracy” and “successfully democratizing modern state.”

“Turkey has made some impressive and significant accomplishments in the process of self-democratization,” said Brzezinski, adding that the anti-Islamic tendency that developed in the United states after 9/11 was motivated by some officials and interested groups that actually “prefer that the United States does not have a constructive relationship with Turkey.”

Assessing the eurozone crisis and its influence on Turkey's EU bid, Brzezinski dismissed arguments that financial turmoil in the eurozone has worsened, saying, “Europe is grappling with it responsibly and seriously.” As for Turkey's EU bid, Brzezinski states, “The fact of the matter is Turkey can be an important European state and therefore indirectly play a kind of a global role which on its own it cannot pursue, except in its narrower regional setting.”

Commenting on US policies on Syria, Brzezinski commented, “American policy towards Syria ought to be essentially supportive of the policy that Turkey shapes in close collaboration with Saudi Arabia.” He went on to compare Turkey's role in the Middle East with that of the US, suggesting, “American influence in the Middle East is probably lower than at any point since 1950,” based on the decreasing role of the US in contributing to peace in the region.

“That is why today … it is more sensible for us to deal with the problem of Syria by supporting whatever policy Turkey and Saudi Arabia construct together, as opposed to taking the lead on strategy, which would have been possible even 20 years ago,” Brzezinski said.

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