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More on the definition of secularism and democracy

Reader comment on item: Islamist Turkey vs. Secular Iran?
in response to reader comment: A sincere question to Dr. Pipes

Submitted by Debanjan Banerjee (India), Dec 16, 2010 at 00:24

Dr. Pipes ,

This is what you said regarding "proto-democratic" regimes in Turkey and Iran :

"I supported pre-2002 Turkey and (to a much lesser extent) pre-1979 Iran not just because they were pro-Western but because they were moving in the right direction in terms of democracy, humans rights, secularism, and other goals."

Now Dr. Pipes historical evidence suggests that those pre-2002 regimes in Turkey or for that matter the Shah regime were anything but democracy. For example the SAVAK or the secret police in the Shah regime in Iran was , according to the TIME magazine SAVAK as having "long been Iran's most hated and feared institution" which had "tortured and murdered thousands of the Shah's opponents." The FAS (Federation of American Scientists) list of SAVAK torture methods included "electric shock, whipping, beating, inserting broken glass and pouring boiling water into the rectum, tying weights to the testicles, and the extraction of teeth and nails."

As per as pre-2002 Turkey is concerned I may remind you that the military in Turkey intervened 3 times in Turkish politics and popularly elected leaders like Adnan Menderes were executed by those military regimes in Turkey. Turkish press as well as the minorities in Turkey like the Kurds were suppressed heavily in pre-2002 Turkey.

So tell me Dr. Pipes when you say that the pre-1979 regime in Iran and the pre-2002 regime in Turkey were moving in the right direction in terms of democracy, humans rights, secularism, and other goals." what exactly do you mean ?

Submitting....

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".

Daniel Pipes replies:

I meant exactly what I said. That (1) the secular regimes were better than their subsequent Islamist counterparts and that (2) they were moving in the right direction.

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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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