"... the protests partially reflect "the deep ideological polarization between secular, liberal-minded Turks, and the more religious Turks." The modern Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who instituted secular laws to replace traditional religious orders. "Secular Turks complain that the Islamist-rooted government is intolerant of criticism and the diversity of lifestyles," he says and "so far, Erdogan's robust and muscular stance vis-à-vis the demonstrators has reinforced those perceptions." Erdogan describes his AKP party as a "conservative democratic" party but some fear the AKP's conservative Islamic values are encroaching on Turkey's traditional secularism. Writing for Hurriyet Daily News, Yusuf Kanli said an "arrogant" Erdogan had taken a series of wrong steps ahead of the protests, including passing legislation that placed additional restrictions on the sale and consumption of alcohol. Erdogan had referred to "two boozers" who had introduced liberal alcohol laws, Kanli said. "That was an obvious reference to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the diehard secular founding father of the republic, and his comrade in arms and second president Ismet Inonu," he wrote." CNN
Having lived and worked in Turkey when modernist secularism was in full bloom and having watched Erdogan's crypto-Islamist Sunni party seek the destruction of that tradition, I have waited for the Turkish people and the army of the republic to act. Perhaps "now's the time, and now's the hour." In the '70s when I lived in Turkey Erdogan would have been arrested by now for attempting to subvert the constitution of the Turkish Republic. pl
******************************"John McCain said on Sunday the U.S. should allow a no-fly zone over Syria and use U.S. and allied air power to establish dominance there. The U.S. should establish a safe zone for rebels fighting against Syrian President's Bashar Assad’s regime, the Arizona Republican said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” Assad is now prevailing in the battlefield against resistance troops, McCain said, warning the conflict has the potential of spreading throughout the Middle East. The U.S. and its allies, he said, should crater Syria’s runways with standoff Cruise missiles and use Patriot missiles close to the border to protect the safe zone. “We can establish that safe zone, and I’m confident that we will prevail,” McCain said. “Air superiority is a key element in any conflict with this terrain.” McCain disputed suggestions that the U.S. shouldn’t get involved in Syria, warning that the situation there has gotten progressively worse and will continue to deteriorate unless something changes. “It is in our strategic interest to see Bashar Assad go,” he said." Politico
Well, you read it here two years ago. SST has maintained from the beginning of the Syria civil war that the arc of hstory did not, in fact incline toward the mish-mash of Islamists, Jihadis and inept Syrian malcontents that make up "the opposition." Yesterday in the Washpost my old colleague Jeff White (of WINEP) and some thinly disguised Israeli analyst now resident at WINEP more less conceded the inevitability of Syrian government victory. Now we have the spectacle of Senator McCain demanding war against the Syrian government. Someone should explain to him that the Syrian Baath government are not the enemies of long ago against whom he and I fought. “It is in our strategic interest to see Bashar Assad go,” he said."
Really" Why? pl