posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 03:22 PM
Modern Turkey was born in a military coup, and its constitution was drafted so as to let ultimate power lie with the military. But the founders of the
state were also great admirers of all things modern and Western, which gave liberal and democratic ideas soil in which to grow. Islam was not such an
important political force in Turkey at that time; the Ottoman Empire, which had been Islamic in character, and no-one wanted to see it return in any
shape or form.
So the tension in Turkey has not traditionally been between secularists and the religious but between liberalism and military authoritarianism. For a
time there was a tug-of-war between them for control of Turkey. Over time, the liberals grew more powerful, and ultimately were able to corral the
military sufficiently to have a real, lasting democratic process. By then times had changed, however, and Islam was resurgent. An Islamic party –
the incumbent one – reaped the fruits of democracy's victory. Since they are no more keen on seeing the military sieze power than the liberals are,
they're bringing in legislation to reduce further its power. In a rational world, the liberals ought to support them, but the world is not rational,
so who knows? Doubtless some Turkish member will be along soon to enlighten us.