As the Ottoman Empire vanished after World War I, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk created a new Turkey in the mold of Europe. Controlling all levers of power, including the military, Atatürk implemented his vision by mandating a separation between religion, public policy and government, and by telling his compatriots to consider themselves intuitively Western.
It took a century and a democratic revolution invoked by the Justice and Development Party, or AKP — a coalition of conservatives, reformed Islamists and Islamists that came to power in 2002 — for Turkey’s “Kemalist Occident,” or dalliance with the West, to end. With the mass resignation of Turkey’s military leadership last month, the last standing Kemalist institution, the army, has succumbed to the AKP’s decade-long political tsunami.
This political bookend for Kemalism suggests that AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdo