Turkey Abandoning Atatürk

In just a few short years under Islamist control, the legacy of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk has been all but wiped out in Turkey.  Atatürk is arguably the greatest Turk ever to have lived, and he is a shining example of real progressivism.

Atatürk is to the raging hordes of contemporary "progressives" including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan what Martin Luther King, Jr. is to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.  Atatürk and King are as different from those impostors as the sun is from the moon.  Those wannabes are dim and distorted reflections -- cheap imitations of the real thing.

The inept Erdoğan has shown us that under his corrupt "leadership," the dismantling of progressive-leaning Turkey can be done in a short while. Regrettably, another Dark Age isn't out of the question for Turkey, and the West is heading in the same direction.

According to Andrew Katz:

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan escaped from a sweeping graft probe at home to visit Iran in hopes of easing tensions over the region's handling of Syria's civil war, state media reported Wednesday.

Erdogan flew to Iran with a delegation of economy, energy and foreign ministers to meet with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani. The election of Rouhani last June has led to improved ties with the West even as he and Western leaders remain starkly divided on the Syrian conflict.

Caroline Glick says that Turkey is gone for good:

Over the past 10 years, and with ever increasing brutality, paranoia and intensity, Erdogan has sought to destroy all independent power bases in the country. He purged the military by placing hundreds of generals in prison in his delusional Ergenekon conspiracy in which they were accused of seeking to overthrow his Islamist government.

He has destroyed most of the independent media in the country and sent hundreds of journalists and editors to prison.

The same is the case with independent businessmen.

After desperately but unsuccessfully trying to showcase himself as a modern-day Saladin, Erdoğan's dictatorial maneuvers at home and his kowtowing to the mullahs in Iran would be laughable if they were not such important strategic blunders in the most volatile region of the world.

With elections in Turkey just a few weeks away, let's hope that Glick is wrong and that the Turkish people set their country on a better course -- one that Atatürk could endorse.

Neil Snyder is the Ralph A. Beeton professor emeritus at the University of Virginia.  His blog, SnyderTalk.com, is posted daily.