The recent Turkish elections provide an excellent example of mob rule democracy being subverted (or simply used as a tool) by islamists intent upon returning Turkey to the halcyon days of yore when every man knew his place (and if his place was at the bottom - well, he could always beat his wife with impunity).
The polite fiction of democracy has been upheld by the autocrats running the Turkish army since the days of Ataturk, whose own success was based upon military rather than political prowess. After the ethnic cleansing (which came very close to genocide) of the Armenian Christians in Turkey, Ataturk was able to use the gentle art of persuasion by sword and bayonet to convince the clerics (those whom survived) that safety was only to be found outside of government - no matter what the Koran says. In order to insure that this understanding was passed on to their sucessors, Ataturk made sure that the schools which turned out the sucessor generations were controlled by the 'government' and that the theology taught was properly shaped to encompass secularism.
The system worked very well for seventy-five years, the people got to vote, the generals got to rule and the clerics got to live. Over the past ten-fifteen years the islamists have made inroads - actual islamic theology is being taught and the imams have been preaching about the wondrous, idyllic life that can be achieved through submission. While Turks are somewhat smarter than Arabs, they're not that much smarter and so a mob majority has voted themselves back under the heel of religious tyranny. True 'democracy' in action.
Turkey does have the largest secular movement in the ME. It is making its voice heard but it is definitely a minority voice. To whom will the army listen? More importantly, if the army acts in time honored fashion and slaughters the imams fomenting a return to darkness, which side should the West support?
Mob rule or a 'modernity' maintained by force?
Day 4: Eleuterio García Carmen
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