One of the reasons for which I have supported the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the past decade was its challenge to Turkey's deep-seated xenophobic nationalism. From the impasse in Cyprus to the rights of minorities such as Kurds, Armenians and other non-Muslims, the AKP dismissed chauvinistic bigotries and took boldly reformist steps. It also accelerated the European Union accession process and integrated Turkey deeper into the global economy.
For these same reasons, the AKP has been condemned repeatedly by secular nationalists as an "American puppet" or "capitalist compradore." A best-selling anti-AKP book of 2007 even argued, seriously, that Erdogan was a "crypto Jew" working with the Elders of Zion to undermine Turkey's "full independence."