For many Europeans, integration with a large Muslim country of 70 million people with a lower level of economic development and a much faster-growing population seems a daunting prospect. Equally daunting, however, may be a Turkey cast adrift….
While the goal of earning EU membership has been central to the recent push to implement significant political and legal reforms in Turkey, it still remains to be seen whether Turkey's Muslim heritage, large population, and economic underdevelopment will remain immovable obstacles to full membership. It is now clear that this is a decision that can no longer be indefinitely postponed by Brussels or Ankara.
The Kurdish question consists of the desire of most Kurds to have the cultural, linguistic, and political rights that will protect their Kurdish identity. Some Kurds also seek autonomy or even independence from the countries in which they live; those states, however, have long denied such aspirations. … The result has been a constant instability that promises to intensify as the Kurds become more politically aware and as their cause grows more visible to the outside world.
Kemalism has been superficially Western in form while remaining rigidly authoritarian and dogmatic in substance. It continues to stress republicanism over democracy, homogeneity over difference, the military over the civilian, and the state over society. … Its quixotic quest to radically recast Turkish culture, history, and identity has ensured a permanent kulturkampf against society.