December 30, 2002 | Efraim Inbar
The recent Turkish elections were more a protest vote against economic difficulties and corruption, not a wish to embrace Islamic radicalism. When the Islamist prime minister Necemettin Erbakan took power in 1996, the Turkish military, which regards itself as the ultimate guardian of the secularist democratic tradition of modern Turkey's founder, Kemal Ataturk, elegantly eased Erbakan out of power.
September 2, 2001 | Dr. Robert O. Freedman
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, its main successor state, Russia, emerged in a greatly weakened geopolitical position. Complicating Russia's problems was a politically weak and often physically sick President Boris Yeltsin. Concerned about its "soft underbelly" in Transcaucasia and Central Asia, regions that were threatened by radical Islam, Moscow focused its Middle East efforts on Turkey and Iran, both of which had a considerable amount of influence in the two regions.
October 30, 1999 | Dr. George E. Gruen
More than seven decades have passed since Mustafa Kemal abolished the Caliphate, disestablished Islam, banned the fez, strongly discouraged the veil, advocated European attire, introduced Western legal codes, changed the Turkish script from Arabic to a modified Latin alphabet, and proclaimed "laicism" (secularism) as one of the cardinal principles of the modern Turkish Republic.