Turkey is a country that lies on two continents. It is o! en regarded as a bridge between Europe and Asia, or between East and West. This in fact implies that its inhabitants participate in two separate and somewhat conicting sets of political values. On the one hand, those are the values of western liberal democracy. As a country in which periodic elections are held and there is a competition between political parties, Turkey is a democracy at least in the procedural or formal sense. On the other hand, there are oriental values related to the authoritarian political culture that goes back to the Ottoman Empire and to political Islam, that are often regarded as incompatible with democracy. The in uence of these values on the Turkish political system has made some scholars to argue that a fully- edged liberal democracy is impossible in this country. Furthermore, the existence of these different sets of values had often in the past led to a political confrontation. For decades there has been a struggle in Turkey between the secular center, represented by the Kemalist establishment, and the peripheral political religious movements.