Is it now time for William Hague to send money, and possibly arms, to the rebels now participating in what we might call a Turkish Spring? There have been violent demonstrations, clashes with police, petrol bombs thrown and the like. The protestors are largely from Turkey’s most secular cities and regions and include gay rights supporters, students, professionals, football supporters (?), women’s groups, journalists and the like. Their objection, principally, is the growing Islamification of what was, until comparatively recently, a proudly secular and fairly modern state. They complain too that the state’s medieval leader, Recep Erdogan, is a ‘dictator’ who has brutally suppressed freedom of speech in a country which is cheerfully hurtling backwards towards the eighth century; indeed, if Wikipedia is to be believed, there are currently 70 journalists languishing in Turkish prisons for saying stuff which has annoyed Recep.
And yet these demonstrations – and the political nature of them – have attracted little interest here, despite the fact that for once the protestors are battling in favour of liberal ideals which are shared by most of us.