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Agreed (I think)

Reader comment on item: A Critical Moment For Turkey
in response to reader comment: "Secularism versus Islamism in Turkey " - A beautiful theory versus an ugly detail

Submitted by Pat (United States), May 25, 2007 at 18:10

Ianus,

I don't consider what's going on in Turkey a brave fight between secularists and islamists. Islamism has been not so much dormant as suppressed. The Turks are Islamists. How could they not be, given their history at the heart of the Ottoman Empire?

They simply feared domination by the Soviets after the Russian Revoluion of 1917 and the breakup of the Ottoman Empire. They sat on prime real estate in the eastern Mediterranean and so were coveted by both Europeans and Russians. It's all about location, location, location.

During the Cold War it was military dictatorships that allied with the US and NATO. The people weren't pro-secularism or pro-Western as much as their leaders were. Ataturk was and, after him, the military. Maybe they thought secularism would grow on people and they'd become used to it and accept it. It didn't work that way. Once the Cold War ended and the Russian threat receded, the Turks showed their true feelings.

The one question is how long it will take for American elites to get the message and stop living in 1924.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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