Turkey’s future: Forward to the past

Tayyip in all his pomp

“I DON’T order you to fight, I order you to die.” With those words Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, rallied his troops against the British-led forces fighting for the Dardanelles in 1915 during the first world war, when Turkey was allied to Germany. Ataturk’s men won the battle for the straits, but the Ottoman empire lost the war. As millions of Turks prepare to mark the centenary of the battle of Gallipoli—the bloodiest of the campaign—on April 25th, many will hail it as the moment when the seeds of Ataturk’s secular republic were planted.But what remains of his legacy? The question is more urgent as Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s first popularly elected president, presses for constitutional changes that would endow him with executive power. He then hopes to fulfil his dream of a new and assertive Turkey, where Sunni Islam prevails and the glories of the old empire are revived. Others are less enthusiastic. “Turkey will become a Middle East-style dictatorship,” predicts Levent Gultekin, a prominent pundit.That may be an exaggeration. But Mr Erdogan certainly has grandiose ambitions. At Ataturk…

Link to article: www.economist.com/news/europe/21637417-can-turkeys-past-glories-be-revived-its-grandiose-islamist-president-forward-past?fsrc=rss%7Ceur

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