Erdogan: The Turkish Reagan?
Thus far, Erdogan has been fairly moderate in advancing his Islamist cause: he legalized the wearing of headscarves in universities, and sabotaged Turkey's bonds with Israel.
Unfortunately, he has eliminated the power center most actively opposed to Islamism: the army. The army has long served to protect Turkey against the ravages of Islamism. In 1997, Erdogan's party leader Erbakan was forced to resign as prime minister, because of threats made by the army. But now, there is no chance that there will be a coup to depose Erdogan's government, or any other government, in the future. Which means that a future Islamist government will be able to do pretty much anything it wants. Also, he has brought in Islamists into politics, and they aren't going to leave any time soon. Should one be surprised that honor killings have skyrocketed since Erdogan and his party took over?
Reagan did not achieve that much for the religious right. He gave them Scalia, that's all. But he did bring them into politics, and he did give them legitimacy. He gave them self-confidence that they were going to be able to impose their disordered agenda on the United States. Erdogan has done the same thing for Turkish Islamists. He has not Islamized Turkey (yet), but he has paved the road for a future Islamization, by removing all the opponents of the Islamists.
Can't Islamization be reversed in the future? Islamism can even survive in a democracy. Any Islamization will be very difficult, if not impossible, to reverse. Any opposition to Islamic laws imposed on Turkey will be branded as 'anti-Islamic'. One need only look at Pakistan, where progressives and liberals are actually in charge. The Pakistani People's Party is a socially liberal party, which strongly opposes the blasphemy law. Unfortunately, public backlash, including the assassinations of PPP-officials Salman Taseer and the minister for minorities, have forced these progressives and liberals to promise that they will change nothing about the blasphemy law. Turkey is much more moderate than Pakistan, but there are enough Islamists who can wreak havoc, if they want to. Considering how much easier it is to stop changes, than to institute them, it is fair to assume that once Turkey has been Islamized, Islamists will be able to stop the repeal of the Islamic laws.