The slow death of Kemalism is been a sad thing to see - and something that still has a lot more time to work out, but the trend is there.
Shame. I have always admired Kemal Ataturk; not in a quasi-religious way many in Turkey do - no. I always looked at him as a pivotal character - someone who identified the core problem in his society and acted on a chance to fix it. He knew that for the Turkish people to prosper they had to look West and not East. Secular - and not religious. Say what you want - but he was a great man in the best sense. Judge a man by his times.
Sure, Kemalism was never perfectly formed - but he did amazing things with the ruins of the Ottoman Empire considering what he had to work with. That path, I believe, is close to an end. I think Turkey as we know it is at the beginning of the end.
How did it get here? Well, I think a first significant push was the rebuff to joining the European Union. The EU states slow rolled it as long as possible stating in the '90s - but in the last two years it has become very clear that Turkey would not join the EU. That, more than anything, caused a re-think among many. Look at it from their end; if the West does not want us, where do we go?
What sealed the deal from the EU POV was the election in 2002 and re-election in 2007 of Erdoğan and his party. If you need to, research him more if you need to from his time in Saudi Arabia, his jail time, his wife - but he is not a secularist with Western leanings. Full stop. He is an Islamists - in a "boil-the-frog" way.
The Praetorian Guard of Kemalism had always been the Turkish military. Almost to a man, they were secularists as most Westerners are. At their best - they would go to the Mosque when needed, but would join you with a beer anytime. Very modern - as modern as Greeks and Bulgarians are modern to the American eye .. perhaps even more. That too started to change a bit this decade. I think the death of the Praetorian Guard can be marked this FEB when scores of Turkish General Officers were arrested. If anyone expected Turkey's secular tradition to be saved by the military - well - the core of that was ripped out. Don't rely on it.
Another hint to the Turkish descent into Ottomanism is the Gaza blockade story that is still developing. Where does this head? I don't know - but the trend is clear.
The bias toward Islamism, demographics, and a wounded pride from the EU rejection is a head wind hard to fight. If/when this comes to a head, the Europeans will have the largest problem. The EU already has a large ethinic Turk population. If Turkey continues down the Islamist path - the educated and Western minded Turks will start leaving in droves. If the military won't stop the slide, I doubt they will want to stay; I wouldn't. Too many other options. Some will come to the USA - but most will go to Europe. Turkey isn't Albania - there are well over 70-million Turks. Different math - different numbers - different history. Lots of second and third order effects that are simply unknown.
I noticed recently that there is a little of the "Who lost Turkey" going on in the domestic USA political background, but I'm not going there. Turkey isn't ours to lose.
Who is losing Turkey? Well, the Turks are. They are losing out to the Ottomans. What will be the result if the Turks lose Kemalism? Economic decline, retrograde cultural decay, and as Islamism always does - bloodshed.
For the educated among them - I would offer up the experience of Iranians in the USA. Bring us your Doctors, CPAs, and business men. Send your huddled masses yearning for Jihad, however, to Europe. It is safer for them there.