In Turkey, Protests Reveal Break From the Past – NYTimes.com

The separation between church and state, civilian and military arenas continue to play out in Turkey:

While many praise the diminished power of the military, critics say these struggles have also laid bare the deficiencies of Turkey’s democracy, pointing in particular to the Islamist-leaning government’s crackdown on dissent and the press — there are more journalists in jail here than anywhere else in the world. That has given rise to a chorus of frustration that was on vivid display in the streets Monday as Turkey celebrated its birthday.

via In Turkey, Protests Reveal Break From the Past – NYTimes.com.

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6 thoughts on “In Turkey, Protests Reveal Break From the Past – NYTimes.com

  1. All of this information may seem like a shock because it isn’t in the news very much.but there has been limited reporting on this for awhile. As part of NATO and because of its more secular government, Turkey is one of America’s biggest allies in the region. A lot of posts recently have been about US relations in the Middle East and this is because we are trying to do so much with so many different countries. Because of this, some issues get ignored, like freedom of the press in certain countries, but get promoted elsewhere. In one of my business classes we learned that one of the keys to producing something that is high quality is keeping reserve inventory low. The connection to international relations may not click with everyone but in my mind this is what is happening in the Middle East. It’s possible we are trying to do so much with so many different countries that we are ignoring how effective each action is. It may be good to take a step back and make sure we have our priorities right. This article talks about some of the possibilities between the US and Turkey going forward.
    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/alliance-reset-what-to-expect-of-us-turkish-bilateral-ties-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=33496&NewsCatID=396

  2. I read a CNN article http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/21/world/europe/turkey-coup-trial/index.html that talks about the “sledgehammer,” where over 365 active and retires military commanders were given up to two decades in prison for plotting to overthrow the government. The article mentions that many Turks believe that this was an attempt to settle political scores, and that a fair trial was not given. The article mentioned that at the moment there are a lot of internal power struggles betweenIslamists, Secularists, civilian leaders, and military commanders, this leads me to question: How safe is Turkey’s democracy? Turkey has made a goal to eventually become part of the European union, but if the government becomes less stable I don’t see how this would be possible, especially if the argument over whether or not Turkey is respecting it’s citizens freedoms is under question. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1afa102e-12d9-11e2-aa9c-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2AoyA5Sya

  3. michaelseancovey says:

    Turkey is a great example that democracies can work in Muslim-majority countries. However, like this article highlights, Turkey still has a long way to go, especially in regards to freedom of the press. Every year, Freedom House gives each country a “Freedom Rating” based on the level of political rights and civil liberties in the given country. It is a 7 point scale, with 1 being the “most free,” and 7 being the least free. For 2012, Turkey scored an overall 3 out of 7, classifying them as a “partly free country.” Just to compare, the U.S. received a perfect score of 1, the U.K. got a 1, Jordan got a 5.5, and North Korea got a 7. http://www.freedomhouse.org/sites/default/files/inline_images/Table%20of%20Independent%20Countries%2C%20FIW%202012%20draft.pdf

  4. ctrmathias says:

    Turkey is currently challenging what it defines as “secular”. The parliament has implemented a system for citizens to share their opinions on forming a new constitution and the main discussion point seems to be what is secularlism. Turkey wants to remain secular, but will challenge the traditional definition of the term. These next few years will be very telling of the future of democracy not only in Turkey, but likely all Islamic countries.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20028295

  5. brianmedwards says:

    This article about Turkey is really interesting. As I read it, I am realizing how the government is turning from secularism to a more Islamic regime. It is obvious as to why this is happening. Since the Arab Spring, Turkey has been showing more of an interest in wanting to be a major power in the region. It wants to show that it competes with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, or Iran in power and persuasion in the Middle East. They are becoming more Islamic so that the other countries can see this as a model and example. The Middle East holds strong to its Islamic roots and Turkey is taking that and trying to show that Islam rules their lives as well.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/05/opinion/in-the-arab-spring-watch-turkey.html?pagewanted=all This article taks about Turkey and its want to become the Middle Eastern power after the Arab Spring.

  6. I think that it is very intolerant and ridiculous for citizens who want democracy to also be so offended at seeing a greater display of religious freedom. You shouldn’t be able to pick and choose democratic values, and the freedom of religion, a democratic value held dear to Americans, is unfortunately not valued as such in much of the world including especially increasingly secular Europe.

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/thousands-gather-turkish-capital-17586892

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