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Re: Democracy + Islam
The steady and relentless penetration of Turkish centers of power (which may include the junior officer corps in the Army) by Believers (as opposed to secularists) shows that the beneficiaries of Kemalism, the secular (which does not mean they are secular in the Western sense) Turks, were insufficiently aware of how important it was never to let their guard down, or to permit Erbakan, and then Erdogan, and now possibly Abdullah Gul, to take power. Those who deeply believe in Islam and wish to undo Kemalism will never give up, and those who oppose them cannot wait for a demonstration, no matter how huge (700,000 is a large number, but Turkey has 70 million people, and how many might be persuaded to show up on the other side, waving banners in favor of "true democracy"), to do their work -- the steady, day-to-day work of undermining the hold of Islam over the minds of their benighted fellows, who can also vote, the true believers among the Turkish masses.
And what if the army intervenes, as it has before? That may be necessary. Logically, how is the Bush administration going to keep prating about bringing "freedom" and "democracy" to "ordinary moms and dads" in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East if, for the interests of Infidels everywhere, the Turkish army's domestic coup must be supported?
Or will the American government, for the purposes of some supposed need to be "consistent" (the only consistency that counts should be the consistent need, always and everywhere, to weaken the Camp of Islam) start sounding like the terminally innocent-- or perhaps something more sinister -- E.U. bureaucracy that has been trying to limit the army's freedom of action? Especially disturbing have been some Germans in the E.U. upper ranks, who feel keenly a need to appease Turkey (with the millions of unintegrated Turks in Germany) than do bureaucrats from Spain and France and England and Italy.
From today's news, there is the case of "Olli Rehn, the European Union enlargement commissioner, who has been a keen supporter of Ankara's eventual accession to the bloc, warned the military to stay out of politics, saying the election was a 'test case' for the Turkish military's respect for democracy."