The great faultline in Turkish politics is usually considered to be the authoritarian secularists, as represented by the army, vs the democratic Islamists, who in the form of the AK party are currently in government. The recent attempt by the country’s chief prosecutor to get AK closed down for violating the country’s secular order is seen as merely the latest example of this feud, which dates back to the founding of modern Turkey by Atatürk.
But this is dichotomy is a false one, argues Nicholas Birch in a web exclusive for Prospect. Both the secularists and the Islamists are locked into a “Kemalist” system that ties Turkey’s form of Sunni Islam close to the state in a brew of piety and nationalism. At the heart of the Islamist posturing so hated by secularists is their own authoritarian tradition of co-opting religion for national purposes.
Also this week, John Quiggin and Tim Lambert attempt to rehabilitate Rachel Carson, of Silent Spring fame, from right-wing attempts to smear her as responsible for the deaths of millions from malaria.
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