Former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski has said that despite its religious diversity, Turkey is a part of the West.
“Turkey is a part of the West in contrast with its religious diversity. With its strategic position, great power and loyalty to NATO, Turkey is crucial for Europe's security," said Brzezinski on Thursday, talking at the 8th Sakıp Sabancı Lecture Series, hosted by Sabancı University and the Brookings Institution in Washington.
Mentioning his latest book, "Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power," Brzezinski stated that 90 years ago the transformation of Russia's tsardom into a strict communist regime and Turkey's empire into a republican regime were important social changes of the time. Brzezinski noted that Turkey's transition was much more successful than Russia's.
Turkey is an important actor in NATO and one of the most significant first four members of NATO, said Brzezinski, adding that Turkey was a "model country" for Iran's development in the coming period due to the two counties' socioeconomic resemblance.
“I appreciate the cooperation on security and political issues between the West and Turkey. This cooperation is beneficial for both sides; however, Turkey's EU membership is not mandatory for cooperation,” stated Brzezinski.
Responding to a question, Brzezinski said Turkey would be part of the EU in the long run.
Brzezinski also said Turkey and the US had an intimate relationship, so it was usual to have differences of opinion.
Brzezinski, a Polish-American political scientist, geostrategist and statesman, served as a national security advisor to former US President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981.