Turkey is facing a grave constitutional crisis that threatens the foundation of the secular nature of their society. The dominant AHP headed by Prime Minister Erdogan is pushing through a constitutional change that would allow a majority vote to elect the president, which would replace the current system of election by Parliament. If it succeeds, the majority Muslim Party will elect their man as president.
The brawl in Parliament was between those advocating continuation of Turkey’s secular model, and supporters of a Muslim religious model (80% of Turks are Muslims). In the heat of the arguments a few voices urged their Muslim colleagues to consider the entire nation and hold off on making a constitutional change. It appears as though Erdogan will not back off. This increases the possibility of an Army coup d’état since, if a Muslim supporter of AKP takes power, he will have authority over the army and appointing top military leaders. The military is completely committed to a secular society and they may well feel compelled to seize power. That would end this venture in democracy for Turkey.
I realize George Bush speaks about the benefits of democracy, but democracy at this time in Middle Eastern history may well mean assumption of leadership by those seeking to impose a religious model of government that would stifle those believing in a secular life.
Information from Turkish Daily News