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Is Turkey’s Strongman Caught in a Web of His Own Making?

When it comes to extended reporting in the Western press, Turkey generally gets a pass. The country is far away, sandwiched between the Arab world, Iran, Central Asia, and the Balkan peninsula. Its language is strange and forbidding. Neither Indo-European nor Semitic, Turkish is bereft of articles, gender, and relative pronouns; replete with suffixes employed for a great variety of purposes; and characterized by a host of idiomatic expressions baffling to outsiders. Moreover, Turks tend to be reticent and, as a political community, inward-looking. They have a proud history, and they have always marched to their own drummer. Few Europeans and even fewer Americans are closely familiar with Anatolia and those who inhabit it.

This is a misfortune, for Turkey is important. The country is large, populous, and strategically situated. It controls the entrance to the Black Sea. It sits athwart the most easily traversable roads that lead from Europe to the Middle East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and China. Its army is large and well-trained.

During the Cold War, Turkey’s membership in NATO was a great boon for that alliance. Over the last two decades, however, the country has become increasingly uncooperative, and its relationship with the United States and the West more generally is now in question.

To some degree, this is a natural concomitant of the end of the Cold War. Alliances tend to be held together by fear focused on a common threat, and when the threat disappears and the fear recedes, alliances tend to collapse or gradually dissolve. In this case, however, the approach taken by the current Turkish government verges on outright hostility. If it persists in its determination to deploy a Russian-made radar and air defense system—a system incompatible with NATO armaments and likely to enable our adversaries to learn the capabilities of our air force—it is possible to imagine Turkey’s expulsion from NATO.

Modernization on the French Model

If one is to grasp how this hostility developed, one must first glance at the country’s past history.

Turkey has long been a cultural force of importance within the Islamic world. During the Ottoman period, the rulers of Anatolia supplied Sunni Islam with its caliph; they provided the Sunni world with leadership and military protection; and at times they threatened to gain full control within the Mediterranean and to overwhelm Western Europe.

In the 19th century, the Ottoman regime began to give ground as the Christian minorities within its boundaries, encouraged by the states to the immediate west, emerged as self-conscious nations intent on achieving independence. It was at this time that, in the face of repeated humiliation, prominent Turkish-speaking loyalists began exploring the possibility of modernization on the European model within the Ottoman realm.

This process and the attendant debates, which Bernard Lewis traced in his classic work The Emergence of Modern Turkey (1969), eventually gave rise to Turkish nationalism. And where the Young Turks of the late Ottoman period stumbled and lost a great war, Mustafa Kemal, who came to be called Atatürk or “father of the Turks,” succeeded.

Like many of the Ottoman modernizers, Kemal was an army man—acutely sensitive to the technological backwardness of the polity he was called on to defend. He was also more than merely competent in French, and he was familiar with the arguments advanced by the Baron de Montesquieu and other French Enlightenment thinkers. During World War I, those of the Young Turks who sensed the depths of his ambition denied him access to a command where he was likely to be able to distinguish himself; but he was able to turn this circumstance to his advantage. For he was in command at Gallipoli in 1915 when the British landed along that peninsula’s shores, and by means of his victory in that encounter he emerged as the only Turkish commander to have enjoyed a notable success in the war.

In the aftermath of that brutal conflict, the sultan dispatched Kemal to Anatolia to disarm the remaining Ottoman troops. He did the opposite, organizing an army to resist the Greek invasion. After having expelled the invaders, Kemal then leveraged the prestige he had gained, and on the ruins of the Ottoman dominion in eastern Thrace and Anatolia he founded a modern, secular nation-state.

This required that he drag the largely illiterate peoples of these two regions into a new and unfamiliar world that was incompatible with traditional Islam. To this end, he effected the abolition of the Sultanate, then the Caliphate, the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and the religious schools. Taking France’s Third Republic as a model, he confined religion to the private sphere, put Sunni Islam on a leash, and instituted secular schools. He purged Turkish of Arabic loan words and substituted the Latin alphabet for the Perso-Arabic script hitherto employed. He abolished the religious courts, and, in place of the shariah, he established a legal system modelled on the law codes of Switzerland, Italy, France, and Germany.

Kemal also suppressed the religious brotherhoods, outlawed the fez, and brought women into the public sphere. Not only that, he enfranchised women, saw to it that there was a common curriculum in the schools for both girls and boys, and encouraged the entry of the former no less than the latter into the learned professions. At the same time, he did everything within his power to encourage the peoples of his new republic to think of themselves first and foremost as Turks, not Muslims.

The Political Character of Islam

In many respects, the revolution instigated by Atatürk was a great success, and it inspired imitation by the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran and by Arab nationalists in a host of countries. But, in the course of the 20th century, he and the Kemalists who rallied to his cause and followed in his footsteps failed in two particulars: They never managed to fully assimilate the Kurds residing in eastern Anatolia, and they never fully tamed Islam. There were Kurdish uprisings in the time of Atatürk, and to this day the Kurds of eastern Anatolia are restive and often in rebellion. Secularism was contested in the 1920s and 1930s, and every time that Atatürk tried to introduce a multi-party system, one of the two parties exploited Muslim discontent, causing him to pull back.

It is easy for Westerners to underestimate the political character of Islam. Under the influence of our Christian heritage, we tend to think religion first and foremost a matter of faith. Under Muhammad, something of the sort may have been true for Islam. But, under the caliphs who succeeded him, it became what it is to this day: a religion of holy law. The word “Islam” means, in Arabic, “submission,” and that to which one is called upon to submit is God’s law. Barring a transformation of Islam far more fundamental than what happened within western Christendom with the coming of the Reformation and the rise of the nation-state, pious Muslims will never be satisfied with secular republicanism. The theologico-political problem is alive and well within the Muslim world.

This is especially true within Sunni Islam, which admits of no distinction between religious and political authority. In effect, as pious Sunni Muslims recognized from the outset, Atatürk’s attempt to confine religion to the private sphere was a direct assault on their religion. It is in no way a surprise that, when free elections were instituted in 1950 under American pressure by Atatürk’s successor Ismet Inönū, Islam once again gained political leverage. It grew thereafter in halting steps. In the mid-1980s, when I lived in Istanbul and traveled in Thrace and throughout Anatolia, the depth of the political divide over Islam was everywhere evident.

A Master Maneuverer

Soner Çaǧaptay’s slender volume, The New Sultan: Erdogan and the Crisis of Modern Turkey, is an attempt to chart the most recent stage in this theologico-political conflict and the concomitant rise to dominance in Turkey of a man named Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan. In the opening chapters, Çaǧaptay briefly sketches the history of Turkey after Atatürk’s death in the late 1930s, the emergence of Islamic political parties in and after the 1960s, episodic resistance on the part of Kemalist military to the threat to the secular state posed by these parties, and the gradual erosion of Kemalist sentiment within the military. Though useful and necessary to his argument, these chapters leave one wishing for what we lack in English: a full-scale history of the Turkish republic in the last two-thirds of the last century comparable in scope and grandeur to the account of its founding provided in Lord Kinross’s classic biography of Atatürk published in 1964.

The remainder of Çaǧaptay’s fine book has Erdoǧan himself as its focus. We learn about his childhood, his education, and his athletic career. We learn about his early involvement in the political parties headed by Necmettin Erbakan, about his election to the mayoralty in Istanbul and his imprisonment at the instigation of the military, and about his eventual break with Erbakan and his founding of the purportedly non-Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP). We also learn about the financial crisis of the 1990s and the highly unpopular austerity program introduced by the center-Right parties that enabled the AKP to garner more than a third of the vote in the election of 2001. Çaǧaptay also describes the provision of Turkey’s constitution, aimed at eliminating splinter parties and promoting something like bipartisanship, that awarded the AKP an outright majority in the Turkish parliament on the basis of its 2001 plurality.

We also learn a great deal about what Erdoǧan did with this opportunity in the 16 years that followed.

With consummate skill, this canny man tacked one way. He visited Israel and cozied up to the Europeans. He sidelined the military by using as allies the pro-Western liberals (who recognized this as a prerequisite for Turkey’s admission to the European Union) and the well-educated followers of the charismatic religious teacher Fethullah Gülen, who had been driven from Turkey by the Kemalist officers. He conducted negotiations with the Kurds and offered them concessions, and he absorbed a host of center-Right figures into the AKP. In these years, with the help of the economic expertise supplied by those trained in Gülen’s vast network of schools, he briefly continued the austerity program, stabilized the currency, and then oversaw a period of dramatic economic growth.

Thereafter, Erdoǧan tacked the other way, ostentatiously stirring up trouble for Israel, discarding the liberals, purging the Gülenists, using state power to eliminate the bulk of the opposition press, turning on the Kurds, eliminating the center-Rightists from his party, transforming the AKP into a fiercely Islamist party, and making deals with Turkey’s ultra-nationalists.

All the while, as he won election after election, Erdoǧan consolidated his loyalists’ hold over the military, the courts, the bureaucracy, and the press, systematically eliminating from positions of influence not only the Kemalists but also his erstwhile allies. Finally, he rewrote the Turkish constitution, transforming the republic from a parliamentary to a presidential regime on the French model, and he sidelined those who had helped him found the AKP. One may not like the man or what he is doing, but one must admire his political adroitness, and Çaǧaptay does a wonderful job of tracing his maneuvers.

And a Neo-Ottoman Prince

Where this volume falls short, however, is in the field of prognostication. Like many a Turkish liberal, Çaǧaptay falls prey to wishful thinking. One cannot read his narrative without coming to realize that Erdoǧan is a man with a mission. Atatürk founded the Turkish republic just under a century ago. Although Erdoǧan concedes the greatness of his predecessor, he is intent on overturning nearly everything that he achieved; and though, in contrast to his onetime mentor Erbakan, he is tactically flexible in the extreme, turning Turkey into an Islamic republic, jettisoning its pro-Western policy and its stance of neutrality in the Middle East, and turning it into a player in the larger Sunni Muslim world has been his aim from the outset.

As the title of the book suggests, Erdoǧan is a neo-Ottoman prince intent on following a neo-Ottoman policy, and it is easy to imagine him setting himself up as caliph and posing as the Commander of the Faithful. This might be folly. Atatürk would certainly have thought it so, and the advice that Çaǧaptay proffers to Erdoǧan at the end of the book is excellent. But it will not be taken.

It is, nonetheless, possible that Erdoǧan will find himself out of power in the relatively near future. They still hold elections in Turkey. These may not be conducted in a manner fully fair, and they are not entirely free, but to date few, if any, ballot boxes have been stuffed and the votes have been accurately counted. Just such an election is due in 2023, on the 100th anniversary of the republic’s founding, and Erdoǧan is under pressure. His party briefly lost its majority in parliament not so long ago; the economy is now in a tailspin likely to produce an enduring downturn; and in Istanbul, a stronghold that Erdoǧan and his minions have controlled for the last quarter-century, the opposition candidate just won the mayoralty by a healthy margin.

Turkey is a large, complex country. Thanks to the economic growth that took place early in the new century, it is now, as Çaǧaptay points out, majority middle class. Something like half of the Turks are fiercely hostile to Erdoǧan and his party. The liberals, the Gülenists, the old center-Right, and the Kurds are not likely ever to cozy up to the man again. Moreover, Turkey’s political parties have nearly always been personal vehicles, which is certainly the case with the AKP. The only such party to have survived the demise of its founder has been Atatürk’s Republican People’s Party. And, since 1950, the ascent of a party leader to the presidency of Turkey has led to his party’s collapse.

The adroit maneuvers that enabled Erdoǧan to get where he is now may render further maneuvers of a similar sort impossible. This new sultan would not be the first politician to be caught in a web of his own making.

Reader Discussion

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on September 10, 2019 at 09:47:58 am

1. The AKP did not briefly loses its majority just once (presumably Rahe refers to 2105, the year of 2 general elections). It does have not a majority in the current National Assembly, it onşy has a majority as part of an alliance with the National Action Party.
2. The Republican People's Party is not the only party to survive the death ots founder. The founder of the National Action Party (Alparslan Türkeş) died in 1997. It is the third largest party in the National Assembly.
3. It's a big stretch to say that the Presidential system in Turkey, as designed by Erdoğan, is modelled on that of France. The President of Turkey has powers to appoint judges, university rectors and issues laws by decree going beyond that of the French President. There is no Prime Minister in the Turkish system,.
4. The article is a bit generous on electoral malpractice in recent years. There are many reasons to suspect that the vote in the (Kurdish majority) south east is affected by intimidation and chicanery on such a le el, it could be about 2 % of national votes cast.

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Barry Stocker
on September 10, 2019 at 15:54:10 pm

The only thing that surprises me is that Ataturk was ever able to "partially" secularize the country given the persistence and strength of the Islamist preference for a *unified* theory (as it were) of politics, law and religion.

That, sir, WAS a major accomplishment.

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gabe
on September 11, 2019 at 03:38:31 am

A ridiculous and biased article by someone who is clearly influenced by the Gulenist and MBS propaganda and hasn't spent much time living among the Turkish people today.

Whether you support Erdogan or not, his integrity, humanitarianism, and political cleverness cannot be denied. No one owns him. He can't be bought. Gone are the days when America and NATO owned the Middle East and Asia. Erdogan has proved that all by himself.

Erdogan does have principles and sticks to them, whether you agree with those principles or not. But he will compromise for a "greater good" and looks ahead.

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SUZANNE MONTGOMERY
on September 11, 2019 at 10:09:49 am

the most important thing is not to fight and fight because of differences.

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Siti Nur Amalia
on September 11, 2019 at 16:06:07 pm

Barry Stocker, who teaches at the Istanbul Technical University, is right in much of what he says. 1. I should have been more careful with my wording. The AKP briefly lost its "working majority." Then, later, with the help of the ultra-nationalist National Action Party, it once again achieved a "working majority." How long this alliance will last, no one really knows. 2. I forgot about Türkeş' disappearance from the scene. His party's survival against the normal trend needs study. It may have to do with the fact that it enjoys no competition in its position within the Turkish political spectrum. It may have to do with the fact that it has never led a government and has, therefore, never had an opportunity to disappoint its supporters. 3. Technically, Professor Stocker is right that the Turkish president has more prerogatives than his French counterpart. In fact, however, this is a distinction without a difference since French elections are organized in such a manner as to guarantee that the party of the President controls the assembly and that the executive and legislative powers are controlled by a single entity. It is a virtual monarchy, albeit an elective monarchy. 4. Electoral malpractice in the Kurdish region is a given and does not distinguish Erdogan from his predecessors.

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Paul A. rahe
on September 11, 2019 at 17:14:39 pm

And would those "principles" include shutting down the press, his political opposition and killing off a substantial segment of his military staff?

He DOES appear to "stick to those principles, now, doesn't he?

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Guttenburgs Press and Brewery
on September 11, 2019 at 19:03:22 pm

[…] Is Turkey’s Strongman Caught in a Web of His Own Making? — Paul A. Rahe, Law & Liberty […]

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Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials - September 11, 2019 - HotNewsCast
on September 11, 2019 at 21:17:26 pm

Thanks for your response. I am very aware of your work in the history of political thought which I recommend to everyone. Your comments are very reasonable. I still suggest there are some significant differences between the French and Turkish systems. A lot of the difference is that French politicians are more restrained in the use of power than Turkish leaders (though yes 5th Republic Presidents have a lot of power and have often used it in rather hidden and dubious ways) and there is a lot more experience in France of reasonably stable elective politics. On the Presidency, it seems to me that the more limited power of the French President to appoint judges is very significant as is the office of Prime Minister, even if with weak powers compared with the UK, Germany etc. Highly unpleasant state behaviour in the southeast of Turkey is not a new story, as you rightly suggest. However, the rise of the HDP which is much bigger than previous Kurdish autonomy parties, meaning it has got past the 10% threshold to enter the National Assembly, has lead to much more focused and systematic voter suppression, it's much more of an issue now than before 1980 when there was no electorally significant Kurdish oriented party or the period from 1983 (restoration of civilian rule after the 1980 coup) to 2002 (when AKP first entered power) when the Kurdish autonomy parties (subject to closure several times) never came near the threshold. The bad state behaviour in the southeast is not new, the strategy in which suppressing the vote of a Kurdish oriented party does seem to me to be new. The overall result şs to suppress the CHP vote as well, as some CHP voters give votes to the HDP in national elections to keep the HDP in the National Assembly. I don't think there has been such a significant assault on the opposite vote since the time when Menderes started to repress opposition, though the picture throughout the multi-party period has been of various bad practices including party closures, 100% votes for the governing party counted in polling stations where there is a a lack of opposition observers, etc. There is on the face of it some competition now for the MHP vote from the breakaway IP (Good Party), roughly speaking they appear to have divided the grey wold nationalist vote into relatively radical and relatively moderate halves. The new orientation towards party electoral alliances because of the rukes of the new presidential system, maybe make this difficult to be sure about.

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Barry Stocker
on September 12, 2019 at 00:13:34 am

Your comment sounds a lot like a devout Erdogan supporter's comment. If you truly believe he cant be "bought"...that hes got principles....or that he "looks ahead" you have absolutely zero knowledge of Turkeys actual global state. The author is absolutely correct and is showing no biased at all towards Gulen....hes simply stating the facts. I'm almost certain the author is knowledgable enough to.know.the threat Gulen also imposes on Turkey and Turkish society. After all...he is explaining how Ataturk abolished and divided church and state. Religion has more place in politics. And Turkish politics has no room for the likes of Erdogan or Gulen...after all...Erdogan and his boys are directs descendants of Gulens teachings....the 250 plus innocent lives....the young soldiers who were just serving their time all.perished innocently on June 15...all the military personelle previous who have wasted their years in jail because they were "Kemalists" after the BS trials from the fake "sledgehammer" operation...all the journalists who were either killed or jailed....all the young kids that died or got jailed from the gezi protests....and u speak of principles? What has he done for the people of Turkey? Do you not see Turkey's state affairs today? The economy is on a direct down ward spiral....people are literally starving in Turkey....there is no plan of any type to reboost the economy because hes drained the country of all its resources....and all the hate towards the West....well guess what? NATO was a good thing for Turkey....donuts forget that Turkey is surrounded by 5 countries that would love to own Turkey? A country at the moment that's dealing with a military that took a.month to take over a small village named IDLIB ? Open those eyes....its time to save what's left of Turkey....

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Ataturk
on September 12, 2019 at 09:14:48 am

Thank you for those comments. Erdogan is no friend of the West or of Turkey for that matter. And if he thinks he is strong enough to counter the Russian Bears moves on the area, he is greatly mistaken.

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gabe
on September 12, 2019 at 09:19:55 am

Very interesting. This is useful -- especially what you have to say about the way the rise of the HDP and the willingness of the CHP to cooperate with the HDP have changed the electoral landscape and the way that the AKP has responded.

In the end, the key question is whether Erdogan will be willing to relinquish office if he loses. My own suspicion is that, in time, the MHP will mount an attempt to dislodge him. He must really hate his current dependence on them. Of course, the real kicker is the inability of the MHP to cooperate with the HDP, and it is hard to see how an ultra-Turkish nationalist party could ever work in harness with a Kurdish party . . . though one never knows.

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Paul Rahe
on September 12, 2019 at 13:11:38 pm

Interesting that the Turkey-admiring author teaches at Hillsdale College, which purports to be a Christian college.

And yet he did not mention that Turkey annihilated its Christian Greeks, Assyrians, and Armenians around the time of WW 1.

Ataturk carried on the butchery post-war.

Maybe the author is not aware of the latest research that authenticates the explicit "killing orders" the Turkish leaders issued in that period. See the book of that same name: Killing Orders.

Turkey also represses its relatively few remaining Christians and is not exactly kind to its Jews.

I do know that this Christian college sponsors sight-seeing cruises to Turkey.

So this is what Christian education has come to. Interesting.

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David
on September 12, 2019 at 20:39:15 pm

Yes, on MHP-AKP tensions. Erdoğan and Bahçeli never look comfortable together. Bahçeli had been very critical of Erdoğan until the coup attempt. It may have looked to Bahçeli at that time, when he created an alliance with AKP that an AKP-MHP bloc would be in power for a very long time in an atmosphere of feverish mobilisation against the PKK and the Gülenists, with the opposition boxed in unable to do much without accusations of being pro-Gulenist and/orPKK. That mobilisation has already peaked and hasn't giv en Erdoğan immunity from the consequences of economic problems. MHP got a short term victory in last year's national elections by picking up a soft-protest vote from previous AKP voters and even this year got some benefits in the local elections from the way the MHP-AKP alliance carved out territory. The other side of that is that a soft protest is likely tıo be followed by hard protest and defection to the opposition. Bahçeli could certainly take the MHP out of the AKP alliance and force early elections. He did this to the coalition government which preceded AKP coming to power, forcing an early election in 2002 and then of course doing an about turn to ally with Erdoğan in 2016. He may risk a period in which MHP is outside the National Assembly (which was the case in the 2002 National Assembly) to avoid the MHP being completely dragged down with Erdoğan, if he sees Erdoğan in irreversible decline. It's difficult to see the MHP joining with the opposition. The MHP moderates have defected to IP which is in the opposition coalition and seems to be competing with some success for the old MHP base (as far as it is possible to say this given shifts over time in alignment and the complications of electoral alliances). IP has made some gestures, suıch as criticising ing the removal of HDP mayors (in a moderate way focusing on the lack of court authorisation) so that is it is possible to imagine IP as part of some grand deal between Turkish nationalist and Kurdish autonomists.. It is already effectively in a sort of de facto indirect alliance with HDP as it is part of a formal alliance with the CHP which relies on HDP votes outside the southeast. It's very hard now to see MHP shifting towards accommodation. At one time it seemed just about possible they might accommodate themselves to a strong executive presidency with more decentralisation to the municipalities and provinces, effectively creating more autonomy for the southeast. The MHP has now doubled down on leanings towards a militant confrontational mobilising ethno-nationalist security state. They can survive as a party of the 'Spartan' vote and might play a role aim bringing down Erdoğan, it is hard to see them doing something constructive. On Erdoğan conceding defeat. It's a big question and no one can be sure until the moment. The grudging acceptance of the Istanbul rerun result suggests to me that Erdoğan will not resist a 10% sort of defeat. It doesn't look like refusal to accept obvious defeat would go down well with all AKP voters and certainly not MHP. It does not look like the AKLP has succeeded in absorbing the armed forces and though the era of (successful approved by the general staff) coups is I presume over, I doubt the armed forces would stand by Erdoğan is there was widespread unrest after an obviously stolen election. For reasons already discussed, AKP and allies, have an inbuilt advantage of at least 2% in national elections, so can survive in power if it has in reality narrowly lost majority support. Maybe ıt would try to manipulate a result in which the 2% plus maybe one or two more % advantage is not enough. My guess is that they wouldn't go very far and faced with a very clear defeat would open discreet lines of communication about def facto immunity from legal investigation in exchange for a smooth transfer of power. I can only guess, but it seems to me that's where the available evidence points. If there really was a big shift against AKP and any allies in the next election, intimidation in the south east might be less effective, if people can sniff weakness in the regime. If this seems optimistic, I will say in my defence that I did think the CHP would win the rerun Istanbul election with a bigger margin and that the government would not try to conceal or fiddle the result.

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Barry Stocker
on September 12, 2019 at 21:37:24 pm

I did not discuss the events that you highlight because they are not germane to the subject I was addressing -- the rise of Erdogan and his transformation of the republic founded by Ataturk. Had my subject been the reunification of Germany after the Cold War, Angela Merkel, and the current state of the European Union, I doubt that I would have discussed the Holocaust. Your comment says a great deal about your own obsessions and casts no light whatsoever on my outlook and that of the institution where I teach.

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Paul Rahe
on September 17, 2019 at 02:49:16 am

I cannot remotely equal the level of scholarship of the above posters, but one simple observation lept out at me.

"It is in no way a surprise that, when free elections were instituted in 1950 under American pressure .... .. Islam once again gained political leverage."

Do-gooders nearly always destroy whatever they 'improve', then walk away to accolades passed around within the circle of their peers.

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A Spectator
on September 17, 2019 at 03:22:00 am

Thank you, Prof. Rahe, for your intelligent and subtle article, and Atatürk for your informative comments. Turkey is not Cuba, and if Hillsdale students get a chance to tour the beautiful country of Turkey with its big-hearted people, that's a good thing. (I have lived in Israel for almost 35 years, and the Turks remind me of Israelis that it is both confusing and amusing.)

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Chana Siegel
on September 17, 2019 at 07:57:07 am

[…] "This is especially true within Sunni Islam, which admits of no distinction between religious and political authority" https://www.lawliberty.org/2019/09/10/turkey-strongman-caught-in-a-web-of-his-own-making/ […]

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“This is especially true within Sunni Islam, which admits of no dis… | Dr. Roy Schestowitz (罗伊)
on September 17, 2019 at 12:17:38 pm

For on-the-ground, up-to-date political analysis, it would be hard to beat the last of Barry Stocker's comments on this piece.

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Paul A. Rahe
on December 27, 2019 at 10:57:18 am

[…] Is Turkey’s Strongman Caught in a Web of His Own Making?, by Paul A. […]

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Law & Liberty welcomes civil and lively discussion of its articles. Abusive comments will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to delete comments - or ban users - without notification or explanation.