In Turkey, Trial Casts Wide Net of Mistrust
But the question many are asking, inside and outside Turkey, is whether the Islamic-inspired government is exaggerating the threat in order to wage a much larger battle against this moderate Muslim nation’s secular establishment.
Since 2007, 300 people have been detained during the investigation of an underground group known as Ergenekon, including a writer of erotic novels, four-star generals and other military officers, professors, editors and underworld figures — some of whom appear to have committed no offense greater than speaking in favor of Turkey as a secular state...
... The case has brought into relief the larger strains in Turkey between a secular elite seeking to hold on to its waning influence and a growing, increasingly assertive population of observant Muslims. The case is being watched closely in Brussels, headquarters of the European Union, as a barometer of Turkey’s adherence to Western standards of justice. It comes as the country’s prospects for joining the bloc seem to be diminishing...
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