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The End of Democracy in Turkey?


While many in Europe and the State Department cheered the election victory this summer of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey as a sign that political Islam and democracy can mix, subsequent signs from Turkey are troubling.

The AKP is now moving to replace 5,000 of Turkey’s 9,000 judges and prosecutors with Islamists and political loyalists. Opposition parties are appealing to the Constitutional Court, but the AKP has already pplaced a party loyalists to head that bench.

President Bush and Secretary of State Rice have engaged in whiplash policy change apparently with an eye to their legacy. While pundits rightly focus on Iraq, Afghanistan and, perhaps, Iran, the loss of Turkey may be nearly as significant when historians look back years from now.


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