One thing I've found amazing about Turkey is how quietly major shifts in its policy can occur. Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has demonstrated a certain determination to pull Turkey out of the US orbit that has been generally gradual, but in some senses, at some times, abrupt.
"If a country enriches uranium at low levels for peaceful purposes and not production of nuclear weapons, then this is its right … and this is what Iran is doing," Erdogan said in a meeting with the South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe in Ankara on Tuesday.If Turkey really acquires an enrichment capability we are seeing the beginning of what can only be described as a revolution in the Middle East.
"Now, Turkey has also signed a deal with Russia, according to which we will have launched our nuclear power plant within the next 6-7 years. We will also have the chance to enrich uranium at low levels, and having this chance is our right as long as it has peaceful purposes," Haber Turk newspaper quoted Erdogan as saying.
What we have to see now is how Erdogan's AKP does in the next election. If Turkey's voters endorse the course that is apparently now being charted then the process of the US losing any ability to influence events in the Middle East is accelerating.