While the mainstream media continues to promote Turkey as a successful example of the coexistence of Islam, democracy, and economic stability -- referring to the country as "a bridge between East and West" and a potential asset to the European Union -- this view couldn't be farther from reality.
In fact, Turkey has descended farther into the abyss of Islamization as it continues to refuse to acknowledge its genocide of Armenians, Assyrians, Greek Christians, and other minorities; denies its decades-long repression of its Kurdish population; and persists in its illegal occupation of the Republic of Cyprus. Islamic instruction, under the guise of religious culture and ethics classes, has become mandatory in state schools, further signaling the demise of secularism in Turkey. Meanwhile, veiling, an emblem of Islamization, has increased significantly within the last decade.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's public statements have also defied this optimistic view of Turkey as a "moderate" Islamic state. In 2007, he was quoted in Milliyet commenting on the term "moderate Islam" to describe his party, the AKP: "These descriptions are ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that's it." On democracy, Erdoğan has said, "Democracy is like a street car; you ride it as far as you need, and then you get off." About the function of mosques, he said, "The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers."