Foremost, they don’t spring from the same source. Although the Islamist government headed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan is nowhere near as tyrannical as Iran’s ayatollahs, the protesters in Istanbul have more in common with those who took to the streets of Tehran in 2009, than they do with the masses who toppled Arab despots in recent years.
The latter instigated mayhem for a variety of reasons which were nothing like the yearnings for civil liberties that the West wrong-headedly ascribed to them. Arab insurgencies were fuelled both by Islamic reactionary fervor as well as by ethnic/tribal divisions. Arab civil-libertarians were scant and soon drowned out in the turmoil. Continue reading