Dissents of the Day

A reader writes:

While these secular demonstrations in Turkey are impressive - at the very least the sheer number of people who showed up surely is - I have at least one serious contenion with the way you interpret this mass outpouring of democratic sentiment: You said that Turkey is, among other things, "critical for maintaining the survival of Kurdistan" - well, right you are, but why in the world would you think that these demonstrations against Islamist tendencies in Turkey's political class bode well for the Kurds?

Turkish secularism has since the time of Ataturk always been strongly linked to Turkish nationalism. Therefore a resurgence of the secularist in Turkey is really no indicator at all for how the Turks and the Kurds relate to one another - it could improve the situation, but it might just as well make it worse.

Another adds:

You should probably be reminded of the fact that the secular groups in Turkey are the "conservatives." They oppose EU-integration, as this would put a spot light on Turkish human rights abuse. The Islamists favor the EU because they support individual liberty (which you support as well).

Also, as far as Islamism is concerned, isn't it good for other Islamists to see that you can be moderate Islamists? Edrogran's Party in Turkey could be a model for other Islamists...progressive, individual liberty oriented, good relations with Israel. I'm not defending all their actions but secular is no longer presumptively better.