Sunday, March 18, 2012

Turkey's Enlightenment Languishes, like the Journalists in Prison

"So how could a country that is held up as a poster boy for democratic reform and economic success, the model Muslim democracy for the Arab spring to follow, go quite so horribly wrong?" asks Fiachra Gibbons in his Guardian op-ed on Turkey's imprisoned journalists.
"The answer, or much of it, lies in that police raid last March on the homes of Sik and Sener, and shows how Turkey's once reformist government has succumbed to the same old repressive paranoia of the military-nationalist establishment it was elected to clear away nearly 10 years ago.
(...) In this atmosphere, with renewed violence and repression in the Kurdish south-east, chest-beating nationalism, and such public tension between the devout and the secular that MPs cannot debate an education bill without two mass brawls in a week, a new constitution to replace the old military one is finally being broached. Erdogan, the rock on which hopes of reform once rested, has entered his third term in power ill and ill-tempered, his absolute majority in parliament fighting yesterday's sectarian battles. The Turkish enlightenment may not yet be completely dead, but its flame is fading, locked away in the jails where so many journalists are now being held.
Let's hope for all our sakes it gets a second chance of life."
Read the rest of the article on The Guardian.