My friend Cato Institute’s Chris Preble just returned from Turkey and offers compelling insights for us.
On the other hand, fears of a return to military rule—a Kemalist revival, as it were—seem overdone. A few look back fondly at that earlier period, albeit through rose-colored glasses, but most of the protesters and their supporters are looking forward, not backward. AKP supporters are a little too quick to invoke the Kemalism bogeyman, the one thing that united classical liberals and religious people behind the AKP in the first place. The AKP also likes to blame foreigners, including the foreign press, for throwing gas on the fire. Some allege that foreigners must have started it. By dismissing the liberals’ legitimate concerns about the state of Turkey’s democracy, Erdogan risks losing them completely.