In an exclusive interview with Zaman, Bryza conveyed strong messages that particularly emphasized the need for Turkey to press ahead towards membership to the European Union and to stick to democracy.
Contrary to the arguments of Zeyno Baran, whose article recently appeared in Newsweek as an analysis of a possible military intervention in Turkey, Bryza stressed the strength of the Turkish notion of democracy and re-emphasized that he cannot see the point of a military intervention in politics.
Asked whether the United States would possibly back a military intervention aiming to protect secularism in Turkey, and whether this would be a post-modern intervention or an explicit coup d'etat?, Bryza said "no" and explained, "Turkey has a secular democracy in which the military plays a role that is different than other countries, unique, in my experience. But it is precisely the strength of Turkey's secular democratic institutions with its Muslim majority that makes Turkey strategic to the US significantly."
Bryza also said that Turkey's ability to inspire reforms in other countries makes Turkey a key partner to the US. "If there was some sort of an evolution in Turkey that was away from democracy in any way that would undermine the value of Turkey as a strategic partner. And I think the Turkish military absolutely understands that and appreciates that as well. I think it's only with great reluctance that the Turkish military has stepped into politics."
Bryza who noted that the Turkish Armed forces played a role much different than the forces in other countries, underlined the 'different kinds of democracy' and expressed that he was pleased with the army's role to protect the values and ideals of Ataturk since the founding of the Republic.
Bryza who denied the claims of the 2nd Chief of Staff General Ergin Saygin, who said that he contacted Zeyno Baran, said he would be glad if he could meet with the commander, but he noted that he would be out of the USA during those dates. While Bryza described Zeyno Baran, whose article he did not read, as 'a quite bright and capable analyst who has her own ideas', he asked the public to not deprive her from the respect shown to women in Turkey. Baran and Bryza have lived together for a long time.
Asked whether he supports the claims that Erdogan's government was 'Islamist' and that he had split Turkey from secular Europe and the West, Bryza answered "I can not know what is in the hearts and heads of the political leaders. I can only make a comment on their governance, acts, and words. From the leaders I did not hear any comment confronting the principles of Ataturk and secular democracy." Bryza, who noted that the USA backed the acceleration of reforms in Turkey, stressed that passing of the constitutional reforms packet and solving of the Article 301 problem would be good for Turkey. Bryza also said the Papa's visit to Turkey turned out to be 'the real plus'.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16