The current protests in Turkey may have a beneficial effect in diminishing the Islamic fervor of the Turkish government. But judging Turkey just on its recent history, the expectations for a more civilized Turkey may be premature.
Turkey is not a conventional Muslim country. It is a former imperial power in search of past Islamic hegemony. This makes Turkey dangerous to Europe and the Middle East.
The main reason for a resurgent Turkey has been America's use of Turkey as a potential shield against Russia. America opened the doors of NATO to Turkey. This narrow-minded decision created bad feelings in Greece, Turkey being Greece's most bitter enemy.
Turkey, however, does not fit in NATO. It pretends to be on the same fence with the West while remaining an Islamic country with deep historical hatred for the West. Turkey uses NATO merely for upgrading its military.
In 1955, Turkey launched a war against the Greeks of Istanbul. The state pogrom destroyed the property and livelihood of some 80,000 Greeks, in effect, exterminating millennia of Greek civilization in Asia Minor, the Greeks' Ionia.
The British actively encouraged Turkey in that barbarous onslaught on the Greeks because the British hated the Cypriot Greeks who were resisting British colonialism in Cyprus. America dismissed the whole Turkish atrocity outright, telling Greek government officials to immediately shake hands with the Turks.
In 1974, Turkey invaded and captured 40 percent of the Greek island of Cyprus. The Turks killed thousands of Greek Cypriots, forcing close to 200,000 to become refugees in their own land.
The Turks also plunder Cypriot antiquities, converting churches to stables and mosques, while vilifying Cyprus' 12-millennia-old culture and history.
The United Nations condemned the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, urging Turkey out of Cyprus, but Turkey, knowing that America and England share its strategic interests, has been ignoring the United Nations.
Turkey also keeps violating Greek air space, provoking Greece to nearly daily confrontations.
Despite Turkey's aggression toward Greece, the European Union, doing America's favor, is courting Turkey for a possible EU membership. And Greece, forced to a pro-Turkish attitude by EU or the US, has been an active booster for Turkey's membership to EU.
How could anyone expect about 75 million Turkish Moslems, now governed by an Islamic government with imperial dreams, to become Europeans? They have no legacy of European civilization.
Thinking of Europe one immediately comes up with a galaxy of Greeks: Homer, Thales, Pythagoras, Aeschylus, Plato, Hippocrates, Aristotle, Alexander the Great, Aristarchos, Euclid, Archimedes, Hipparchos, Galen, Ptolemy, Plethon, Adamantios Koraes, and George Seferis; and another galaxy of non-Greek Europeans: Dante, Desiderius Erasmus, Philip Melanchthon, Galileo Galilei, Nicholas Copernicus, Isaac Newton, Beethoven, Voltaire, Friedrich Nietzsche, Charles Darwin, Pablo Picasso, and Leo Tolstoy.
But thinking of Turkey no name comes to mind, except the violent legacy of an Islamic state that terrorized and slaughtered the Christians of Southeastern Europe and Asia for about five centuries.
The Turks are still celebrating their 1453 capture of Constantinople, the capital of medieval Greece. Turkey is the country that George Horton, the American consul general in the Ottoman Empire during World War I, described as "the blight of Asia."
The Ottoman Empire became Turkey while Horton observed its genocidal policies against its non-Moslem minorities. In early twentieth century, in fact, the Turks sealed the doors between them and civilization: They murdered 1.5 million Armenians; then they turned against the Greeks, murdering one million of them and expelling from Asia Minor another 1.5 million.
So the Turks don't fit in Europe, much less civilization: Turkish Islam and the genocidal strategies of Turkey against the "infidel" non-Moslems are antithetical to Western values. Even the few millions of them living in Germany and other European countries, including Greece, find it difficult, if not impossible, to become European.
Fortunately, France and Holland put the Turkish project of EU into deep freeze. They rejected the EU constitution primarily because of the Turkey effect.
If the Turks really want to join Europe, they must water down their Islam, better yet, discard it all together.
European Christianity is in steep decline. Islam needs to be placed in the same trajectory. The world and civilization would be better without Christianity and Islam.
The Turks need to open their culture to democracy, secular ideas, human rights, and the rule of law. They must also come to terms with their history, admitting and apologizing for their genocide against the Armenians and the Greeks.
Above all, Turkey must get out of Cyprus and cease provoking Greece. Both NATO and EU must oversee the removal of all Turkish forces and Turkish settlers from Cyprus.
With these facts in mind, the popular eruption in Turkey has a long way to go.