Thursday, March 18, 2010

Crisis in Turkey

Turkey has long been one of our staunchest allies in Korea and around the world until recently when radical Muslims gained control, by a plurality, of the government. Through attempts to purge the military of secularists, those against Shari'a law, they have lost some popular backing and are expecting to be defeated in the next elections. The US and the world cannot afford to lose the "Republic" of Turkey to radical Islam. Read the Daniel Pipes article Crisis in Turkey here.

The arrest and indictment of top military figures in Turkey last week precipitated potentially the most severe crisis since Atatürk founded the republic in 1923. The weeks ahead will probably indicate whether the country continues its slide toward Islamism or reverts to its traditional secularism. The denouement has major implications for Muslims everywhere.

Turkey's Islamic importance suggests that the outcome of this crisis has consequences for Muslims everywhere. AKP domination of the military means Islamists control the umma's most powerful secular institution, proving that, for the moment, they are unstoppable. But if the military retains its independence, Atatürk's vision will remain alive in Turkey and offer Muslims worldwide an alternative to the Islamist juggernaut.


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