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European Press Review: The Repercussions of Terror

The editorial pages of Europe’s newspapers on Friday were dominated by the latest bombings in Istanbul and their effect on events elsewhere.

Bombs, demonstrations and a serious midterm drift are all the direct result of British Prime Minister Tony Blair's own decisions, wrote London's Guardian newspaper. London was fortified this week beyond endurance, said the paper, but there will always be soft underbellies exposed to Islamic extremist fury. There is no defense against terror. The paper expressed sorrow for Turkey, adding it was tragic that terrorists chose the country as the target for their revenge, since it is an actual existing model of moderate Islam.

The U.K. daily The Independent opined that merely to say that the British are paying the price for Bush's attempt to reshape the Middle East will only attract the usual venom from the very leaders pursuing the war against terror. They'll avoid the truth and close down discussions of Thursday's atrocities by saying such comments act as propaganda and only do the terrorists work for them. But the paper goes on to say that in Bali the Australians paid the price for John Howard's alliance with Bush, in Nassirya the Italians paid the price for Silvio Berlusconi's alliance with Bush and through the attacks on British interests in Turkey, it now seems to be Britain's turn.

The Financial Times said that surely one could hear from some the charge that the victims in Turkey were paying the bloody price of Britain's role in America's military adventures. But the protesters in London are naive if they think all that is needed for peace and harmony is the installation of a new American president, wrote the paper. The conservative German paper Die Welt reflected on why the terrorists have chosen Istanbul. This city is the junction between Europe and Asia, the paper said, the meeting-point of different cultures, ideas and religions. Therefore, it embodies all those things the terrorists loathe. The Turkish move towards the European Union, its NATO membership and its solidarity with Israel make it a prime target for militant aggression.