Interesting to note that secularism was introduced to Turkey after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the 1920s (after WW I), when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (founder and 1st President of Turkey) imposed sweeping reforms in an effort to modernize his country. Islamic courts were closed, the office of the Caliphate was abolished along with Islamic Law, Islamic dress was banned, women's rights were established, a Turkish alphabet replaced the Arabic one, amongst other changes.
ISTANBUL, Turkey -- Some 700,000 Turks waving the red national flag flooded central Istanbul on Sunday to demand the resignation of the government, saying the Islamic roots of Turkey's leaders threatened to destroy the country's modern foundations.
More than doubling a similar protest 2 weeks ago in Ankara, it looks like there might be some hope after all, depending upon the outcome of these protests. If Islamic countries like Turkey can somehow manage to survive and thrive as secular entities, then perhaps other middle-eastern countries will follow suit.
I wish them luck!