If free speech and religious tolerance–even tolerance toward those who renounce religion–is the mark of a liberal, free society, then Turkey is moving headlong into Islamic Republic of Iran territory. A cartoonist who questioned religious devotion and the existence of God in a cartoon will be tried in Turkey. According to Hurriyet, “The Istanbul chief public prosecutor’s office charged cartoonist Bahadır Baruter with ”insulting the religious values adopted by a part of the population’ and requested his imprisonment for up to one year.”
If Turkey’s Jews were the canary in the coal mine, then Turkey today has become the Centralia mine fire. No longer can Turkey be said to enjoy freedom of religion, a free press, or the trappings of any other modern, European society.