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Reader comment on item: Islamist Turkey Overreaches
in response to reader comment: NATO and EU membership

Submitted by gibor (United States), Jun 27, 2010 at 19:48

I think Mustafa Kemal on the wake on his military successes, and because of his unprecedented popularity (in Turkey) , was able to (or at least transform) create a Turkish nation state out of the leftover multi national multi religious Ottoman Empire. He did restricted the influence of Islam. Not only "turkified" language and changed the arabic alphabet to a latin one, but banned religious schools and many expression of religion. Sometimes he hed deragatory comments about Mohammed publicly, he banned the veil and before the USA gave voting rights to women. Of course it remained a question how much anybody's voting rights has worthed. Yes he was a dictator like many others in the 1920's and 1930's but what he was doing, could be done only by iron hand in a country like his.

After his death Turkey still remained a dictatoship and the military has been guarding over his type of governance. Since the fall of the Soviet Union Turkey's importance decriesed to the West, the army is not get involved with politics that is how a pure fundamentalist islamist government came to power. But hello, is it a fact that we all want democracy, and that is what the Turkish People want? After all their whole history as a great empire and their mere existence is the consequence of their Islamic faith. So who can blame them when they want to return to it from an artificially forced "secularism". We do not have to like it, even do not have to ally with them anymore but they are not traitors at least not to their own cause. I do not think that they belong to NATO or should belong to the EU. Nothing is European about them. I am sure that a substancial part of Turkish society is "secular" but this sector is keep shrinking. The leadership of the Army that was the guardian of Mustafa Kemal's legacy, is being changed. Slowly but surely the Islamists are taking over all sections of society.


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