Monday, February 22, 2010

I Used To Know These Twins Named Fatima And Yasmin, They Always Knew What The Other Was Thinking But Nobody Else Ever Did

Turkey is an interesting country. It is the most stable, secular country in the Middle East and at least nominally, a democracy. The reason for this phenomenon, in the Middle East, is that in reality, the country is controlled by a military junta. This has been the case for more than a hundred years, when Army officer Kemal Ataturk led a military coup that dismantled the remnants of the Islamic Ottoman Empire. Whenever things get politically out of whack, the military steps in and restores order and balance. It's often been bloody, even genocidal. Hey, welcome to the Middle East.

The Turkish people have now elected a strong majority government that is Islamic fundamentalist. The government is starting to roll back some of the secular freedoms that Turks have long had. This would normally be the time that the military steps in, makes some religious leaders disappear and scares some secular tolerance into the government.

Maybe it won't happen this time. Over the last few days, the government has placed dozens of highly placed military leaders and their influential civilian supporters under arrest. There may be no coup this time. Islamic fundamentalism may soon get a grip on secular Turkish life.

Most of the reason that Turkey is prosperous is that it is a secular outpost in the Middle East. One where Western businessmen are comfortable doing deals. That may soon no longer be true. Turkey is a strong Allie of the United States for the same reasons. That may be coming to an end as well.

Turkey will be fun to watch for awhile. The geopolitical life of the Middle East is fascinating. Nothing is as it seems and not too many people understand what's really going on, even the major players.


Cut and Shoot said...

Turkey will most likely turn into another Pakistan...with one foot in 2010 and the another firmly placed in 800 AD.

I like the picture of Jerry Lee Lewis (The Killer) and his wife in your blogroll. I wonder if she is the wife who was his 15 year old cousin? I saw him in concert at Folly Beach, South Carolina in 1969. He put on an awesome concert.

reddog said...

It's her, she was 14. I think the relationship started when she was 12 or 13.