Now for something completely different--Turkey!

Americans don't pay much attention to certain countries, andTurkey may be one of them.But as this story in the Asia Times makes clear, the words and actions of its prime minister are having a big impact in the Islamic world."In particular, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's public snub of Israeli President Shimon Peres last Thursday in a television chat show on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meet in the Swiss resort of Davos has caught the imagination of the Islamic world and cuts across the Shi'ite-Sunni divide. All of a sudden, Erdogan takes the form of a latter-day Ottoman sultan with an empire that spreads all across the fertile Mesopotamian planes, the Arabian desserts, the Nile Valley, the Levant and the Maghreb, all the way into the heart of Africa."Read the story and whatErdogan said:http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KB04Ak01.html

Margaret O’Brien Steinfels is a former editor of Commonweal. 

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