A Turkish official, accurately describing the opposition among Gulf states (with the U.A.E. leading the effort), to Turkey’s membership on the Security Council, then attacks the government of Egypt for being a “dictatorship.” But if it is a dictatorship, it is an enlightened one, attempting to do, in its own way, what Ataturk did. And Turkey today is also a dictatorship, but an unenlightened one, attempting to undo, it its own way, what Ataturk did.
That is the difference. The englightened despot, Al-Sisi, does what he can, but he still has to deal with the troglodytic Egyptian political class, still full of illogic, hysteria, and conspiracy-theorizing, even when it’s in support of the government. He can’t do everything. The unenlightened despot, Erdogan, with his hand-puppet Davutoglu, does what he can, but he has to deal with those who are horrified by what he is doing, both the secular, advanced people, who owe their existence to Ataturk’s systematic constraining of Islam, and those Muslims, the followers of Fethuleh Gulen, who cannot stand Erdogan’s self-aggrandizement and mad-dog ferocities.