Fifty years after the country's most infamous military coup, Turkey finally appears to be strenghening its democratic institutions.
On May 27, 1960, Turkish military officers arrested democratically elected Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, and members of his cabinet. Menderes was placed on a trial before a military-orchestrated special court on charges of treason, and was subsequently hanged. For the last half century, Turkey has been struggling to overcome this original sin in civil-military relations.
Finally, there are some encouraging signs that Turkey has made progress in forging a stable democratic system. Turkish militarists are increasingly the subjects of legal and societal scrutiny -- despite their best attempts to turn back the clock on Turkey's democracy.
Contrary to the views of some Turkish and Western analysts, the primary struggle within Turkey is not between Islam and secularism, but rather between a militaristic pseudo-autocracy and liberal democracy.