Turkey: God and Country

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Kerem Uzel / NarPhotos

SEEING RED: A protester sports the image of Ataturk. Secularists believe that the ruling AKP is undermining his legacy

Who is out to subvert the Turkish state? On July 14, Istanbul's top prosecutor, Aykut Cengiz Engin, gave one grave and tantalizing answer. He announced indictments against 86 people, including military officers and prominent journalists, for allegedly "attempting to overthrow the Turkish government by force." The "Ergenekon" coup plotters apparently named their hard-core nationalist group after an idyllic valley evoked in the Turkish people's pre-Islamic founding myth. The prosecution claims they were out to unseat the Islamic-leaning government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan by sowing chaos to provide a pretext for the army to step in.

But...