Why the Turkish protests matter to the west

This isn’t just about lipstick – if Turkey can’t reconcile secularism, Islam and democracy, there will be global repercussions.

Secularism: what does it mean to the people of Turkey? Is it simply a question of whether we can buy alcohol when we please, or whether the cabin crew of Turkish airlines are allowed to wear red lipstick? It cannot simply be these eye-catching issues, beloved of the media, that have brought people out on to the streets in their tens of thousands. Let me draw a different picture of the current challenges to secularism in Turkey, as protesters continue to express their frustration with a government that seems to be defined by inflexible religiosity.

10 June 2013
The Guardian