Erdogan Stokes the Sectarian FiresRoundup: Media's Take
tags: Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Halil M. Karaveli is a senior fellow at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and the Silk Road Studies Program.
Turkey was supposed to be the stable, Muslim-majority democracy on which the United States could rely as a strategic partner in the Middle East. The demonstrations that rocked Turkey in June came as a surprise to many in the West, and the brutal repression of those protests shocked those who thought of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a democratic reformer. With international media attention no longer focused on the streets of Istanbul, conventional wisdom holds that the crisis is over and order has been restored.
But this assessment is too sanguine. Erdogan is turning Turkey into a powder keg in an attempt to shore up his own political base. He is intentionally activating the longstanding fault lines separating religious and secular Turks — and most dangerously the divide between the country’s Sunni majority and its Alevi minority. If he continues to do so, Turkish democracy itself could become a casualty of his confrontational policies.
On Sept. 8, the police and Alevis clashed for a full day in an Ankara neighborhood. Alevis, a heterodox Muslim minority who make up between 15 and 20 percent of the Turkish population, have long suffered oppression and discrimination. Their faith and places of worship are not officially recognized, and Alevi children are denied exemption from Sunni religious education....
comments powered by Disqus
- Why Trump Would Almost Certainly Be Violating the Constitution If He Continues to Own His Businesses
- Remembering Pearl Harbor Brings ‘Date Which Will Live in Infamy’ to Virtual Reality
- Will Trump back women’s museum?
- New scholarship coming to Mormon lessons, but will instructors really teach it?
- Why the history of slavery in the US South is taking centre stage once again
- Novelist says History classes are our best hope for teaching Americans to question fake news and Donald Trump
- National Book Award winner Ibram X. Kendi is youngest in 30 years in the non-fiction category
- Historian Volker Ullrich’s book on the rise of Hitler is spookily relevant
- People are still talking about historian Mark Lilla’s NYT op ed 2 weeks after it was published
- Rick Perlstein says Trump’s election confirms a paranoid trend in the GOP