The Corner

Cognitive Dissonance in Europe

The European Union is welcoming the outcome of the referendum in Turkey in which voters endorsed Prime Minister Erdogan’s proposal to rework the judiciary, a proposal which, a senior court official has warned, threatens the independence of the courts. The breakdown of the vote, according to press reports, is interesting. More European-oriented cities (Izmir, European portions of Istanbul, etc.) voted against the referendum, while the referendum was overwhelmingly popular among Turkey’s more Middle Eastern constituencies. Before they cheerlead for the false dichotomy that Islamism equals democracy and secularism equals fascism, European Union officials should take some time to consider why those Turks who most embrace European values rejected the amendments.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

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