Turkey Heads Toward Radical Islamic Dictatorship
BY VICTOR GAETAN
In Turkey, a failed military coup against President Recep Erdoğan on July 15, squelched in about six hours, has triggered a fierce government response: mass civilian arrests, declaration of astate of emergency giving Erdoğan authoritarian power for at least three months and a hateful atmosphere of accusation that puts Christians at risk.
As a longtime American ally, a member of NATO since 1952 and a country where important American military assets are located, Turkey’s stability has special significance for the U.S. government, NATO and the world.
Although the Holy See has not commented at length, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy See’s secretary of state, told Rome Reports, “These are not positive developments. They are a source of concern for everyone.”
It would seem that there are three aspects that are particularly worrisome. President Erdoğan is actively radicalizing Turkish society — a place where Christians already exist precariously — and he is scapegoating Hizmet, a moderate Islamic movement that has cultivated positive relations with the Catholic Church. In the process, his government is flattening a pluralistic country that, just four years ago, was still widely described as a model of moderation and economic success.
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