In a recent piece published on the Open Democracy website, Kerem Oktem of the Oxford University claims that the end of 'Islamism with a human face' in Turkey might be coming to an end.
Places in context of recent trends in Egypt (and the Middle East in general) the article may raise a number of ethical questions about the transition of power from rigid but largely secular autocrats to democratically elected Islamists will be even more pressing. How will this affect broader historical trends of development of modern democracy in the Middle East? How should other states in the international order respond to potential (and real) threats of constitutionally limited liberties of citizens and the corresponding increase of executive power? How should we understand and respond to an ever increasing role of religion in certain countries?
But, more importantly: how much does this challenge our assumptions about a progressive trajectory of the humanity's 'ethical project' (Philip Kitcher)?
Also, there are many issues in countries such as Turkey that have been a matter of ethical dispute in the international arena: for example, the questions of Armenian genocide and the treatment of Kurds. But there are many others that require ethical scrutiny and perhaps a larger role of both governmental and non-governmental international bodies. Rights of women and different minorities (sexual ones especially) are among them.
Though I'm not a student of Middle East, I will watch with great interest the way events there develop. Any suggestions about the literature that addresses some of the ethical issues outlined in this short post are welcome.