Like many other countries, Turkey is a country that has a distinctive structure. The reason why I refrain from ascribing this to all countries is not because of cultural or geographical reasons but rather sociopolitical ones. Otherwise, I would have discriminated against those countries. Unfortunately, we have been through a period in which the West increasingly differentiated from the East; dominating the world with the outbreak of the Enlightenment, French Revolution and Industrial Revolution. While Western Civilization has given many good things to the world, it also had a habit of coming over to the East and forcing its philosophy and culture upon the hemisphere. For Westerners, anywhere that is not politically developed is the East.
A good many countries and people of "the non-Western East" have suffered an inner devastation which we can call "losing individuality."
The cultural and political interaction between the East and West got out of its natural and evolutionary line and turned into an absolute rule. Thus modern lifestyle and science, the Western-style democracy and economy, as well as the imposition of the Western-style state structure, all of which accompany the West's indomitable power, have turned the East's evolutionary and individual development process upside down. The colonized East in particular has lost its capacity to create its own independent intellectual and economic schism, preferring to become a poor imitation of the West.
Even well-intentioned social engineering attempts are far from being realistic and moral. The process of colonization usually implies occupation by violence and dominance. That situation has kept certain areas of the East in almost permanent battle.
Fortunately Turkey has never been dominated quite so thoroughly. It is true that the public was marginalized during the establishment of the Republic by the state's violence policy. However, following the transition into the parliamentary system, people gained suffrage and voted for leaders they could at least relate to. In short, people showed that they would not give up their religious beliefs and traditions but they also did not reject the benignant values of the West, by manifesting their mongrelized identity.
Apart from the outlawed PKK and marginal leftist movements, people have not resorted to violence and taken up arms even under serious violation of rights. The PKK and leftist groups were already secular movements that had almost nothing to with the religion and public. The PKK's termination of the armed struggle and pursuit of the reconciliation process, in cooperation with the government, only came after it recovered its ties with religion and tradition; which is quite an interesting development.
The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) that came to power in 2002 is the result of this story. The West isn't seen through an evil eye and the AK Party is committed to opening up to the world, expecting Turkey's identity to be respected.
In many Eastern countries, the West's prejudiced standpoint on them has been reciprocated with a sense of hostility against the West. In other words, there is a new complexity and a lack of self-confidence in the East which has led to a predisposition toward violence.
This only corroborates the colonialists' description of the East and further entrenches the problem. However, this did not emerge as a consequence of an ontological process but rather a historical one for which the West is mostly responsible.
Now Turkey is passing through these critical thresholds one by one with the initiation of the Kurdish reconciliation process, condolences to the Armenians and economic growth. Turkey puts all this into practice not through violence but by pursuing well-established politics. In the last 12 years, a strong middle stratum has emerged and as the political representative of this class, the AK Party has continually renewed itself. Throughout their 12 years in power, the AK Party has been exposed to treason once every three months on average and has grappled with closure cases and assassinations. The corruption allegations last December were only followed with remarkable electoral success and sound political measures. It has always regarded democratic reforms as a lifesaver in order to come through these plots. Rather than withdrawing into its shell, it preferred to explain itself to the world. In return, what it requested from the West is to approach Turkey fairly and to respect it while makes its own way towards its own democracy.
In many ways Turkey is the first of its kind and in this sense it is very valuable to the West. "Uncontrollability" of Turkey and Erdoğan is not a danger, but a great favor for the West, as this "uncontrollability" stands for acquiring individuality and independence. During Erdoğan's Cologne rally, this fine detail was highlighted once again. Turkey was objecting to the notion of it being a banana republic over which the West can dominate whenever it wishes. However, it successfully managed this not through violence but by adopting a reasonable political rhetoric.
Now the West and Turkey are enjoying the spoils based upon equality this time. For the West, the emergence of such a country means a more reliable Muslim companion than those which "moderate Islam and the Greater Middle East (BOP)" will bring.
The West maintained its 20th century political stance, which even contrasts with its own claims of democracy, on Turkey's Gezi crisis and Dec. 17 and 25 operations, crimes committed against humanity in Egypt and Syria. The survival of Turkey is a great advantage to the West, helping to establish a fairer relationship with the East. We will see when the West will discover Turkey's potential.